Friday, August 17, 2012

Under Construction

Gratuitous picture of Kal-El's ninja moves in front of our vegetable garden where they set up a battle camp of some sort.

Someone must have notified the nesting and organizing center of my brain that September is just around the corner.  (The materials orders I placed this week might have been the tip off.  A bunch of neat things like timelines, a leaf press, and a volcano...just to name a few...are on their way.) The sawdust is flying here today.  The Home Depot is finally carrying shelving material in BLACK so I am cutting extra shelves to add to the tall black bookcases in the school room.  I am also cutting a few white ones.  I am assembling the two extra white bookcases that I bought at the same time as those in the school rooms.  Once assembled, they are going in our fourth bedroom.  I stole all the shelves that they came with to add to the school room bookcases so now I need to cut shelves for them if I want to use them.

The fourth bedroom is our playroom/guest room/exercise room.  Soon we will add "homeschool library" to that list.  Our "library" has been stored in our toy closet since the move.  That closet is often locked making it a less-than-ideal location for books.  While the closet is sometimes locked to prevent every toy we own from winding up out on the carpet at the same time, I don't like limiting access to books.  Plus, now that Kal-El is an elementary child he'll need our non-fiction books at his fingertips to spark interest and do his research.  

Creating a "research library" for Kal-El meant reorganizing our books.  Until yesterday they were organized by Dewey decimal number, spines out.  As you have probably seen most lower elementary classrooms don't store their books that way because it is difficult for the child to see what is available and difficult to return the books to the shelf.  Yesterday I spent a few hours sorting the non-fiction books into forward-facing baskets loosely by subject.  When I was done I was horrified by the amount of fiction books left behind, most of which have been outgrown.  Next thing I knew I had culled about 150 books from our collection.  That is a good thing because I just ordered a few books recommended by The Well-Trained Mind as good home reference books and I should probably make room.  I like to own most of our fiction books during the toddler and preschool years.  Younger children have a harder time "letting books go", ask for such frequent retellings, and inflict some pretty heavy wear on the books. Now that the boys are older, I am happy to use the library instead.   

After culling all of those books, they needed to be removed from our catalog (I use  LibraryThing).  Fortunately I bought a book scanner this summer so that step went very quickly.

Projects always seem to snowball around here.  Now that nearly all the books have been removed from the toy closet I have an excuse to reorganize the toys as well.  That is a job that is long overdue.  Our toy collection has changed somewhat since I last worked on the bin labels.  Also, I am still using containers from our old house that don't suit the shelves very well.  I bought some bins this morning that won't waste as much space while I was at the hardware store buying shelving.  

Speaking of I'm adding the new shelves to the bookcases in the school room I am noticing things on the shelves that the boys have certainly outgrown (zoology and botany puzzles come to mind).  I may have bitten off more than I can chew here.

Well, if I can find my way out of this mess I will be posting all next week about our various curriculum choices for the upcoming year.  


  1. We are totally doing the same thing! Our dining room will be turned into our library. Not enough room in our classroom to house the books. Looking forward to your postings. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Good Luck! I did alot of that earlier this summer! It is really overwhleming sometimes! I cant wait to see what you guys are going to be up to! I feel like I have been preping all summer! I really should have start a little sooner! When are you begining your great lessons? Oh I made all of my own posters for the God who has No Hands. I fyou want them I can send them to you. I also made the fundamental needs of humans chart too! If you can use any of ,let me know. I made them pdfs so I can email them. I may as well share the work I did! :) Good luck getting through it all!

  3. Do you have the book "If you give a moose a muffin" ? ;)

    That is how I typically work and I have to keep stopping and re-focusing on one task at a time. Sounds like it is working for you though!