Over the past few years I've continually tried to rearrange our small little school room to make it work for our family, and the sometimes overwhelming amount of school books we've collected over the years. The last time I gave you a tour was back in 2009. It was still pretty crowded and cramped, but we made it work. The only problem was the table in the middle always seemed to collect piles of "stuff" and would make the room look so messy all the time. I also had a very difficult time maneuvering around the table when I was pregnant... There just wasn't much space left over. Last year I finally moved the table to under the window, between the two windows, which you can sort of see in this picture, but it still looked funny. Since we needed all the extra chairs for our dining room table (yes, we have two very different sets of chairs at the moment, but at least we have chairs for everyone!) I finally just removed the table from the room and left an open area on the floor
to pile all the stuff for the children to play games, assemble puzzles, and read books. Anyways, last Saturday I finally spent some time cleaning, decluttering, and organizing this room!
One day last week, when my mom stopped by, I asked her for a few suggestions. (I had a few big boxes and baskets of books all with no where to go, in addition to lots of other stuff that needed to be sorted and put away. I'm sorry I didn't take a before picture to share with you all. I should have, but it really was rather embarrassing.) Anyways, she suggested that I push the desks together, under the window, to allow room for another bookcase near my desk. I had never considered that because there is a book case on the end of Rascal's desk, and the floor vent is directly under the window. She said that if I switched the desks, putting Rascal's on the right and Captain's on the left it would work, and sure enough it did! Not only does it look so much better, their desks are so much more functional! (In the past Rascal couldn't open his bottom drawer because it was blocked by the computer plug, and Captain couldn't use the keyboard space, due to the little shelves on the back wall.)
I also moved the printer back to the school room (from inside my closet) and placed it on Captain's desk! Now when I want to print at night I can do so without upsetting my husband! ;) My old iMac is set up on Captain's desk for the oldest four children to use for Math, and the CD player is on Rascal's desk for audio books and the three oldest to use for their spelling - Phonetic Zoo.
On the back wall I have a stack of shoe shelves/closet organizers that we have been using as extra shelving. The children each have their own shelf on which they keep their Timeline Books, Special Artwork Boxes, State Scrapbooks, and art supplies. On the bottom/floor I have a couple tubs with extra crayons and safari toob figures.
In the past I kept the rest of the art supplies on top of these shelves, but I moved some to the small curved book shelves to make room for our Puzzles (in a case similar to this one) and stacking blocks!
Our puzzles include a set of four Schylling Wooden Puzzles (the school bus, the fire truck, the cow, and the duck), various Lauri Puzzles, a shapes puzzle, US puzzle, and a barnyard puzzle. We have a few others that don't fit on the case which I placed on top of some books on the bookcase.
To the left of the shelves is our basket of puppets! We have a couple large puppets (Ziggy the Zebra to go along with All About Reading and a fun Gray Squirrel) the rest are small Folkmanis finger puppets. My children have discovered these in their Easter baskets and Christmas stockings in the past. They are all so cute!
I purchased the book shelves from my parents neighbors years ago when they moved. The corner shelf is huge, and had to be placed in the room through the window, but I really love these shelves! I'm able to fit so much on them! I had been using the corner shelves for various seasonal things, but since I needed the room for books I packed all of that stuff up and rearranged everything!
The children each have their own Martha Stewart Magazine File Box (I purchased more with a teacher's 50% off all Martha Stewart coupon in the fall!) to hold their Lap Books. They also each have a Black Closetmaid Fabric Drawer for their current school books.
This past week, during our study of the past Popes, I hung up our old Pope Chart on the back of the door. It only lists through Pope John Paul II, but the children have loved looking through all the popes pictures and reading a little about each of them.
Also just inside the door, hanging on the wall is our Alphabet of Saints Dolls (there is a matching poster on the wall, up above and to the right) , and to the left of those, on top of the shelf, is Rose's Wooden Fairy Tale Village. It's another set of toys that comes down when she wants to play with it, and then gets put back up when she is done. :)
I've given you a little peek at the calendar I have hanging on the wall behind the door before... It is where we store any current Lap Book Mini-Books in clear ziplock bags until we are ready to assemble the actual Lap Book.
Underneath the calendar I have our Geo Safari USA Search hanging on the wall. It apparently decided to stop working this past year... I was hoping new batteries was all it needed, but they didn't seem to help. Oh well. :(
And that just leaves the other wall, where you find my desk. I still need to do some work on this side of the room, sorting through the plastic bins of school and art supplies. (One which came from my closet!) I'd like to eventually paint (or replace) the desk and then get one more bookshelf to place in the corner.
On one of the shelves is a model ship my husband started building when we were dating (maybe someday he will have the time to finish it!) and on the other I have a few of our Pop-Up Books, safely out of the reach of the little ones: Sounds of the Wild: Nighttime was a Christmas gift from my mom, The Sound of Music from Rose's birthday, and Snow White which was a gift from a friend a few years ago! They are all such awesome books!
I did end up getting a few more curtains to cover the opening/shelf above the hallway. We actually had to move the intake for the heater to the other side so now there is a big silver pipe going through that area, along with all the various Christmas, Easter and other seasonal items that need to be stored.
It's nowhere near as organized and beautiful as some of the learning rooms I've seen online, but I've been able to make this small space work for us. And after filling 3 bags of trash and 3 boxes/bags to donate, everything seems to have a place at the moment! It has been so nice this past week to finally have an organized school room again! Now to move on to my closet and the kids bedrooms... I think I need a full week of Saturdays! ;)