Monday, August 4, 2014

My Summer Projects - Part One

 

I had three goals this summer:  re-organize the school room; have fun and build memories; get ready for next school year as a Classical Conversations Challenge II director + parent/ teacher of my own kids.

I  purged 3 boxes of curriculum to give away/ sell at our used curriculum sale in June, and managed to only have one box return to me unsold.  I made $93 (enough to purchase a second microscope for the biology class I tutor), and started my de-cluttering of the schoolroom. 

Dave helped me to put up another bookshelf in the schoolroom – a wall-mounted shelf so I could reclaim some floor space.  

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It is very nice having a strong young man in the house!

 
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Here is the new L-shaped wall shelf. It is 4 ft. unit, which can provide 12 linear feet of storage.

love. love. love!

 
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Purging, sorting and storing, oh my!

With 10+ years of homeschooling behind us, we have acquired a wonderful library of books and materials.  I’ve always used the “library” system in our office – which to me means that we keep all of our books and materials handy, categorized by subject or history cycle (Ancients, Middle Ages to 1600, Early American/ 1800s, 20th Century/ Modern).  My darling husband suggested that I store books we will not be using this year – so I put our history books from creation through the Renaissance/ Reformation away. I also stored curriculum sets and instructor’s guides in the basement as well.  My schoolroom closet and shelves are so much better!

2014-07-27 20.24.51This is the command center;  printer, paper supplies, the boys’ binders, workbooks, and curriculum; slots to turn in their papers.  The hooks and clips hanging on the wall were used last year for our CC timeline;  this year, I’m planning on using them to display art projects, hang our memory work flashcards, and generally serve as a catch-all for head phones and ear buds (those things turn up everywhere!)
 
2014-07-27 20.25.51There used to be two white bookshelves side-by-side on this wall.  It made the window area cramped.  I really like having three locations for the couch – under either windows or under the suspended L-bookshelf.
 
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I’m obviously not one of those people who posts perfectly designed and organized pictures of our rooms!  There is still a big pile of Ben’s freshman year schoolwork that needs to be stored in the basement.  I’m planning on purchasing a few more 4” binders so that I can keep our required 3-years of portfolio (for state law) organized and not have to keep swapping papers out. These will be stored in the basement.

(And, yes, at certain points in the day, our schoolroom looks like a yellow highlights.  I don’t care for it, but this is a hard room to paint.  Plus, the yellow is more than cheery to help me through the long winters.)

 

I still want to replace the particle-board bookshelves (in white), and plan to do that over the next few months as I set aside some money for it.

Reorganizing the bookshelves has allowed me to finish the boys’ portfolios for the year, and I’ve been working on a template to create course descriptions for Ben’s high school level work.  I’ve only completed 3 of them – I think I have 4 more to go.  The resources over at The Home Scholar have been inspiring and so helpful as I create Ben’s transcript and course descriptions.

The reorganizing has also allowed me the opportunity to clear out other homeschool materials that had started to clutter spaces in the living room and dining room.  I brought a nightstand down to the living room, and one of the drawers if for teacher guides and read alouds that I use with the boys. The other drawer is for my Bible study tools. 

We also acquired a  futon/ bunk bed for Ben’s room.  What teen wouldn’t want a couch in their room?  I thought the bunk/ futon combo would be good for him and if he has a friend sleep over, they can crash on it. I’m trying not to nag him about cleaning his room (as Dave has reminded me, we’ve taught him what to do, the rest is up to him).  He did have to do a major clean in order to get the new bed and mattresses into his room;  and I admit, I did nag him to finish cleaning it once the bed was in place.  Now it is time to let him be in charge of his stuff.

I’m hopeful that with the extra room we have in the schoolroom + Ben’s new acquisition, we can keep at bay the curriculum scatter that seems to happen over the course of the year.

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