It hasn't changed that much from last year's post. We've rearranged, moved out toys that we don't need there anymore, and added some things for older learners.
Of course, learning happens everywhere. Since I started off as an unschooler, and have slowly become more and more structured because it turns out that it works better for us to have some structure, I have never had to reset my mindset about learning and what it should look like. I have no problem with our schooling looking nothing like my schooling did back in public school. We love having a dedictated school, or learning, space but we're not married to specific times or places for learning.
This space is probably most helpful to me, since we (okay, it's really me) seem to stay free from distractions such as the phone and chores while we're in there.
We now have three small tables against this wall. I bought an Expedit bookcase to store things for "centers". It goes with my love of strewing- to have a lot of fun things out for the kids to investigate, and to rotate them now and then to keep it fresh. I thought they could take their center to their table, and that their own table space would allow them to sit and focus on the center they were using. Kind of Montessori influenced.
But my three youngest kids decided instead to each claim a table as their own work space where they like to sit and do their independent work. They have Ikea toy bins next to their tables which work well for storing their books and supplies and "work in progress."
Here is the Expedit case, which is in between some of the tables.
Each box is labeled with a category: science, math, history, and so on. Here's an example of what's in the math box: a FlashMaster for practicing math facts, attribute blocks, geo boards, math windows, pattern blocks, math card games, small calculators, dice, and mind benders. I try to change the contents periodically, and I try to include things my youngest child can use, as well as the middle two.
We still love our rain gutter bookshelves. And I still keep a small kid sized table there because my six year old is more comfortable there when we work together. I can't tell you how excited I am that we're expecting a new baby so I'll have a preschooler again eventually- preschool is probably my favorite age. I love how much they delight in exploring and interacting, I can't wait to get out our Lauri toys and our rice box and lots of other fun manipulatives and games. So that table will be getting a lot of use for many years to come.
This wall now has a big table for projects or for when we all want to sit together, shelves for our arts and crafts supplies, and another table that was supposed to be the art table, but my teen likes to sit there so it's his for now. I finally gave in and put up a white board and a bulletin board, (those did seem rather schooly to me), because my kids are highly visual and I think there's a lot of value in memory work- it's amazing how quickly they can memorize a poem or spelling rule when it's written where they can see it all the time. And they are very arty and love having the bulletin board to display their creations.
Below is a closer picture of our art shelves. Top shelf: bulky craft items, like egg cartons, a box of Plaster of Paris, and contact paper. Next shelf: jars of scissors, colored pencils, markers, paints, and smocks. On the next shelf: bins that hold craft supplies (yarn, pipe cleaners, craft sticks, glitter, etc.), lapbooking supplies (glue tape, brads, small pieces of cardstock for mini books, etc.), and various school supplies (pencils, staples, erasers, etc.) The shelf under that has letter trays that hold construction paper. The bottom shelf: baskets that hold paint brushes and tools, water color, origami, and tracing paper, and various colors of cardstock, and ink pads and stampers.
This wall has our reading tree and loveseat.
I like bright colors, and we all just seem to feel happy and content in this room, working on our projects and daily school work.
Thanks for visiting and touring our learning room!
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