Thursday, February 15, 2007

Our School Area

You asked for it! Here are some pictures of our areas!

This is our school table. It is a great table that adjusts from toddler/preschool height, all the way up to tall enough that I'd be comfortable sitting there, so it will last us through all the kids!

This is our workbox system. Brief description: I fill the boxes each day (sometimes I get it done the night before, although that hasn't happened since the newest one arrived). They start at box 1 and move through the 12 boxes. Most of the work is done independently with this system, although, I'm still transitioning my 7 yr old to do more of her work independently as she is becoming a better and better reader. If it is the introduction of a new concept, or a concept that I can see they are having trouble with, I put in an index card that says "Work With Mom." When they see this card, they know to come to me with whatever the contents of that box are. If I am busy with another sibling (or some other household task) they let me know they are ready, and they go to the "wait center" (which is currently on our couch). The "wait center" has some sort of activity-usually special library books that I pick out for this purpose-to help them pass the time quietly until I am available.

This is my organization. This area is under our bar, which we never used for it's intended purpose anyway, so I finally convinced dh to shelve it! The books you see on the far left are the things that we use on an almost daily basis, so they are never put away (math books, Story of the World, and whatever book the girls are currently reading). Also our "circle time" materials are there-a big cardboard clock, today's weather and tomorrow's weather cards, and some ring games I made recently. The huge binder you see on top there is where I store all the work we want to handwriting samples from the beginning of the year (to compare) and special projects, and also lots of art (my kids are CONSTANTLY drawing). You also see a tray which has on it a bag of oatmeal and a box of rice. We use those for spelling in. :) Lastly, on top, you will see the GREAT Valentines day present my dh got me...a laminator!

Inside the cubes are various things, I'll list them for you!
--Paint and supplies are in one (the paint cups that hold the paint, and various brushes and sponges)
--Math manipulatives
--Paper Paper and more Paper (handwriting paper, construction paper, Story paper-the kind with blank at the top, lines at the bottom, sketch pads, stencils, and cardstock),
Foam (sheets and stickies)
--Tissue paper/Stickers
--Baby Bin (this has some rattles and board books for when he gets big enough to want to crawl over there and get his own stuff)
--Folder games
--Musical instruments
--Stampers and Ink pads
--Fine motor skill activities (beads w/pipe cleaners for stringing, lacing letters, nuts and bolts, play doh)
--Games (Mancala, a wooden tic-tac-toe, chinese checkers, and various other games that I made)
--Science-has 2 bins, one has a big thermometer, a microscope, Ladybug land, Butterfly Habitat, and big container of sea shells we collected, the other has smaller things like magnifying glasses, color mixing paddles and window clings, smaller thermometers, etc.
--Coloring devices (colored pencils, chalk, markers, crayons, mini-stampers)
--Fabric (I buy various fabrics/ribbons from the clearance section in the fabric dept at Walmart and just let the girls use it for any sort of craft they choose. Also, there are pipe cleaners, and pom poms in there)
--Books (I use 3 of the cubes for school book storage. 2 are for our personal books, and 1 is where we keep all the library books so we don't get them mixed into our book shelves)

I think that covers it! You see that some of the cubes have doors. The girls know that they have to ASK for anything that is behind a door. Meaning, they can't just get all the paint out without letting me know they are going to do it. But if it's not behind a door, it's free game! :-)

And, just for's what happens when you let the baby play with the Sharpies!

Now, before anyone BELIEVES I let my 5 week old play with the's Gentian Violet that we're using to treat Thrush that's all over his face! But when we first started using it, my dh made the comment that he looked like he'd been sucking on a marker! :-)