Welcome to our school room! Do you even recognize it without two kids in their pajamas and four work rugs full of projects? I am constantly moving things around in here, but this is how it looks this particular week in February of 2014. As of the date of this posting, Kal-El is eight. He would be in second grade if he went to a traditional public school or lower elementary at a Montessori school. Me Too is six and would be in kindergarten this year. If he went to a Montessori school I don't know for certain whether he would be in primary or lower elementary. That would be up to the judgement of the guide. He is slowly starting to cross over, but still behaves much like a child in the first-plane rather than the second. Either way, our classroom looks much more like an elementary classroom rather than a primary one these days.
We'll start with some photos of the big picture so you can get your bearings. Later on this week I'll zoom in a little closer so you can see what is actually on the shelves. If I zoom in on every shelf today you will all suffer from information overload. If you have any questions about anything, please ask in the comments and I will answer. The first photo (above) is taken from the foyer right next to the front door of our home. This room is intended to be the formal living room and is about 12.5' x 18.5'. I always say it but I'll say it again anyway, there's no hiding the homeschooling at this house!
This photo was taken from the opposite side of the room. You can see into the foyer on the right. To the right of the couch are two baskets. The large brown leather basket toward the front holds timelines and other large charts that can be rolled. Behind that is a tall white basket that holds work rugs. Behind even that are some large items that don't fit anywhere else such as the corkboard for the geometric sticks, history question charts, fundamental needs charts, and the multiplication checkerboard (If it's not too late, buy the fabric one. It can be rolled up!)
Note: There are no affiliate links in this particular post. (You can read my disclosure policy here.) The links in this post will take you to other posts on this blog that show particular materials, areas, or cabinets in the classroom that have already been written about in detail; or, occasionally they may take you to a website that explains a material in question.
Starting to zoom in a bit, this is the coziest spot in the room. My husband talked me into keeping the couch even though I knew I'd need more shelf space (and I do). I'm so glad it is still here. The two green chairs are pretty obviously public school castoffs. Shoehorned into the corner are actual shoe shelves. The grey hardware drawers on top of the shelf next to those house our miniatures collection and our very glamorous roll of paper towels. Okay, it's' not glamorous but I was really proud of myself the day it finally occurred to me to keep a roll in there instead of having the kids run to the kitchen every time they used a dry erase marker. (Now, if only we had room for a trash can...) The white shelves in this corner together comprise the music/biome/grammar corner of the room.
There are three tall black bookcases on this wall of the room. The top two shelves on all three are for ME, at least until the boys get taller. They house teacher's albums that are not available in a digital version (The bulk of my albums are on my iPad.). I don't recommend black bookcases. They show dust within minutes of dusting them and they also show all of our fingerprints and smudges. As for the contents of the lower shelves of the bookcases, these shelves are mostly botany (green bins), zoology (red bins), continent boxes, and language. The woven baskets on top of the bookcases hold things that I rotate very frequently. This includes: continent box innards, word study, and grammar. Works that I rotate less frequently or haven't gotten to yet are in my basement storage space.
To the left of the black bookcases we have what I call "the spelling corner." We have a little chair tucked away over there for the boys to use when they work on spelling at the magnetic dry erase board. Also in this corner are my Dad's old set of metal hardware drawers that I painted turquoise. The hold specimens, science equipment, a lot of our history materials and more. The clear plastic and black drawers tight in the corner are a work in progress but mostly contain specimens.
The white shelves on the far wall hold mainly math, geometry and geography materials. This is my most frequent viewpoint in this room. Although, there is usually someone hard at work at the table.
...but it's not usually that guy. I asked my husband to take photographs of the school room for me for this post. I wasn't having too much trouble taking close shots of the shelves (which I didn't even use in this post) but my broader photos to try to show the space as a whole were just awful. I was out of the house at the time he took them and I laughed really hard when I found this photo among the others he took. Apparently our resident minion had a go at the binomial cube. See how much he enjoys this work?
Finally, the last wall of the school room. All the way to right we have our bead cabinet (and our kombucha brewing). All the way to the left is a shallow bookcase that holds rotating reading material. Right now most of the books have to do with the fourth Great Lesson, The Story of Writing. On the window seat we have our fraction cabinets, geometric cabinet, tone bars, and temporarily a collection of plants the boys picked out. I need to find a new spot for the plants. Right now they are occupying Kal-El's favorite place to do his fraction work.
Stay tuned this week for a closer look at what's on the shelves.
If you had quizzed me before I looked up the following links, I would have sworn that I have done a school room tour every year in January or February. Well, color me surprised, it has only been every TWO years. If you would like to look at how our space has changed over the years, here are links to the past school room tours:
School Room Tour 2012
School Room Tour 2010 (previous home)