Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our Learning Spaces - Not Back To School Sharing

Today as part of my own little Not Back To School Fun I'm sharing some of our Learning Spaces. We never stick to one room and do take our activities all over the house. We are blessed to have a largish home with plenty of indoor and outdoor space to spread out in.

These photo's are all from the one room which is probably best classified as our Home Office, Home Library and Home School Storage Space. Do we spend time in here completing activities but we are not bound to this space.

This was actually two fairly small rooms that were only divided by a wardrobe, since we barely ever used one of the rooms it made sense to convert the space, once we knew for sure that homeschooling was an important part of lives, into one larger more useable space.

The room is definitely a work in progress and nowhere near where I see it being. It's actually quite plain and boring right now also, being the start of a new school year we strip the walls bare.

When you first enter the room, via one single door, that is situated close to the center you can see straight out into our front yard. On your left, right alongside the doorway is this shelving unit. This is the last place in the room that still needs the magical touch of a cabinetmaker, so for now these shelves make do.

This is basically my daily go to shelf, where everything we are currently (or will be very soon) using is housed.

Top Shelf - Office must have's, well technically not must have's but make life easier's hehehe  Shredder, Laminator, Binding Machine

First Shelf - Geography Books and some folders that the kids add to from time to time on some of their favourite topics. B's is Star Wars and K's is Fairies.

Second Shelf -  Each child has a magazine folder for odds and ends and things that we hope to get to soon but aren't actually in their rotation of activities right now. There's a few of our current read alouds sitting there and the white basket is simply paperwork, catalogues and stuff I still need to file.

Third Shelf - Each of us has 2 coloured lever arch file folders to store our completed work in (although mine is more for planning and other paperwork)

Fourth Shelf - Each child has a basket that holds all of their current activities, school books etc....this is what I pull from daily when adding items into the kids workboxes. It makes life so much easier for me to have one basket for each child. C's obviously quite empty, he is only 2 after all ;-)

Bottom Shelf - Unit Study Baskets, current studies we are working on or will start in the coming weeks (I need one more basket to fill the empty space). So right now I have a basket for beginning Geography stuff, an Aboriginal Unit Study and I am working on getting started on Earth & Space (which I need a basket for). My History stuff just gets stored anywhere I can find room at the moment as I only have enough space on that shelf for 3 baskets.

If I had a spare shelf it would be great for future planning of unit studies. The baskets make it really easy to add to and I keep notes in the baskets (books on order or too order, websites to visit, items to print, supplies to purchase etc) as well so even if I haven't worked on planning a particular study for a few days I can easily pull the basket out and have everything at my fingerstips.

Moving around the room is our main desk area that houses two computers, well that was until one died. I'm still undecided with what to do on the wall under the cupboards behind the computer screens. I'd like some kind of cork/magnetic board but am concerned that it would just be another place to attract clutter, albeit hanging clutter.

The keyboard also stored in here, I really need to find a more permanent solution for this though. As the kids do their keyboard lessons online they need the computer and it is a chore to set it up each day.

Keep turning to the right and you are virtually standing in the doorway (this is what you see when you enter the room). I'm still contemplating what to actually do with that wall space where the world map is. We don't have alot of available wall space in here to hang things.

I was considering attaching the map to a framed cork board so we can easily pin on it but then I'm not sure I want to do that to the map and may just print one off to use in that way. However if it was attached to an easily removed board of some description then I could change out that wall depending on what we are studying at the time. I also thought that world time clocks might kinda look cool hanging across the top of the map there but haven't seen anything that works for me yet....decisions, decisions, decisions.

There you can also see the kids workbox draws ( a new addition for us this year) that I'll post about sometime soon.

The centre shelf holds C's Bambino Academy Work Trays for when we are in this room. We still have the area for him out in our 'Kindy Garage' for when we are also out there.

Keep on turning to the right and you looking at the other end of the room. You can see K's adjustable height desk on the left, she looks out of the window and is a nice spot in the mornings to sit and watch the cows over the road grazing.

The second desk in the room, doesn't have an actual purpose right now. B doesn't have his own desk, sometimes he'll use this one, other times he'll sit up at the computer area, he generally reads on his bed and often will go off somewhere else to complete his 'quiet' work.

The shelves and cupboards above this desk will house my scrapbooking supplies and extra special craft supplies...when I ever find the time to finish sorting them. I hope to slowly transform this area into a Writing Centre of sorts and will keep you updated on my progress.

Yet another turn to the right and you are at our main book shelf unit, floor to ceiling, with super chunky shelves to hold the weight of all of those books. It certainly isn't as neat and tidy as I would like it but I am still working on cataloging all of my books over at Library Thing, this is very much a stop start type activity. I have quite a ways to go yet and if the book isn't catalogued then it is not on these shelves.

The shelves are organsied by subject/theme, it just made sense to me to do it that way. The bottom left (in the corner shelves) three shelves are all Science, so broken into Anatomy, Earth & Space, Animals etc etc, as we are preparing to cover a theme I look for books at Lifeline Bookfests, 2nd Hand stores and Book Depository.

Above there are history, of which we haven't done a great deal so there is shelf space in here. Currently in that shelf space is some of the books and games that I picked up at the last lifeline bookfest, waiting to be organised.

To the right bottom shelf is Preschool type books and easy readers. Up from there is a shelf for Language Arts and then one for Math, then up we go to Art, Craft and  Music books, next up is seasonal books, Christmas etc and top shelf is character building, religion and parenting books.

Just next to the main bookshelf is C's little spot up against the door. This is where he does his 'school work'.

Hope you enjoyed the little tour. :-)

Next week I'll share a day in our life.


April said...

What a wonderful learning space... so big! I love how each child has their 'own' area.

Diane said...

I am so envious. Great school room. Love the desks and book shelves.

Heidi said...

What a great space! I'm interested to see what you think of the drawers style for work baskets. I feel like my toddler and baby would kill those, but our wall hanging file thing gets cluttery looking!

Michelle said...

Oh, those colored binders are so pretty!!! I'm sucker for color. Thanks for sharing all the photos!

Ticia said...

It's so clean. I aspire to that..... Someday.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Everything is so organized. I love all the workspaces!

Queen Bee said...

I love your space - what wonderful light!
I love the way you organize, too! =) I like the shelves above the desk - and I, too, have scrapbooking stuff just waiting for me. Sigh.
We also use the magazine holders (one per kid) - they work so well.
Thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

I love your classroom!
We just got started with homeschooling this past September and I am finding that we also take our schoolwork everywhere. But it is still nice to have a room to put everything!
Love the binders with bright colors!

Heather said...

LOVE your space! You are so organized!!

You mentioned online keyboard lessons... I am in search of something like that for my little one. Can I ask what you are using?

Karen said...

I love this space!!! I love how organize you're!!! amazing!!! I have to hang more with you!!!lol.... Love the area of the Bambino academy, the jars on the top!!! super Kylie!! tHANKS FOR SHARE IT!!

Erin said...

I love those big cane baskets, and of course the book picture caught my attention:)

Anonymous said...

Hi there, as someone new to homeschooling in NSW it's inspiring reading your about your ideas and daily life. I'm stuck for storage & really liked your workbox draws. Can you let me know where you bought them from? Thanks & Regards, Nic

Kylie said...

Hi Nic,

Welcome to homeschooling :-) I got those drawers from Officeworks. They also have multi coloured ones. Best of luck :-)

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