Sunday, August 11, 2013

School Room Week

It's School Room Week over on the NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop. My school room hasn't changed much (at all?) since I posted about it for last year's blog hop. My long dreamt of seventeen foot wall of built-in cabinets and shelves is still there, still beautiful, and still holding 14 years of homeschool stuff (preschool through 11th grade). My husband is awesomesauce and put in these beautiful built-ins a year ago last month. However, I don't have a wide angle lens and I can't get a photo of the entire wall in one shot. So here's two of them.
These fill up the western wall in our family room and in addition to serving as our school room it is also our dining room, toy room, computer room, entertaining room, and is open to our kitchen and living room.

Even though our school room hasn't changed since last year, these things do have to organized at least yearly. I had planned to get all the organizing and cleaning out done in time for School Week on the NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop, but so is life. So, instead, I took the opportunity (let's call it that ;) and am showing you "real life" photos. This is more or less what my school room looks like every Sunday afternoon. We live in that room, and it shows.

I have gotten the upper cabinets all organized. Here's the inside of two of them.
Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, started the rain gutter book shelves idea. The premise is that if kids can see the cover of the books they will be more likely to pick the book up to read it. The idea makes sense, but I simply do not have the wall space to pull it off. This is my compromise, and it works. Less than an hour after I set these up, my son picked up that Greg's Microscope book and started reading it. He has had access to that book for over a year, but this the first time he took it off the shelf. Note my microscope on the upper right shelf. It makes me smile every time I see it.

You can't see them, but the center lower cabinets is a drawer unit. It's three drawers, the top standard depth, the bottom two 8 inches deep. They are full to overflowing with arts and crafts supplies. The bottom one is all paper, drawing paper, scrapbook paper, printer paper (white and colored), construction paper, and much, much more. The one above it numerous kinds of paints, markers, crayons, glues, beads, art kits, and more that I probably can't remember because the drawer is such a mess. Plus a friend whose only child is now a teen gave me a box of even more supplies a few weeks back. Going through these drawers is high on my list for this month.

Lastly I want to show that basket in the middle of the second shelf from the top. It contains an idea I got from last year's School Room week. It's a nature basket. I want to get a flat tray so that the things will be able to be seen while it's on that shelf, but I haven't found one I like yet that isn't $$$.

In the basket is honey comb, a butterfly wing glued to cardstock, a burro vertebra, a coyote atlas bone, lots of sea shells, a piece of sand stone, a piece of petrified wood, a devil's claw, and a few other things. Not bad for only a year's worth of collection, huh? It's been very educational too, as we research each find. It took hours of googling and reading (not all at once) to figure out the smaller bone on the left was a coyote atlas bone. You can't buy curriculum that teaches skills like that.

Update: I organized that terrible craft drawer. See here.


Michelle said...

I ABSOLUTELY love your cabinets and shelves!! I also love Jim Trelease but had not heard of the rain gutter method.....I'm going to change my books right now. Thank you so much!!

Thank you for stopping by and making such a nice comment on my blog!! We just left Lemoore, CA last year to settle in MN.

HAve a wonderful week!!

Shelby said...

I love the cabinets! I would love to have those along a wall in our house. The idea of all of that storage makes me want to swoon. :)

I also love the nature basket! I have seen others who lay out all their nature finds on a shelf or counter but I can't do that since I have little hands that will gladly destroy such items. A basket is a great compromise though! Thanks for the idea!