Ok, I've just reorganized our preschool homeschool classroom to accomplish the following:
- Better separate the "learning activities" from the toys
- Place the weekly rotating teaching bins closer to the "learning activities"
- Add a new bookshelf to get the math, sensorial and culture bins off the floor
- Add a shelf dedicated to pre-writing motor skills activities like rubbing, stencils, metal insets, etc.
- Create a whole separate shelf for teacher planning
- Add a small bin and improve the location of the bible study board (I'm using Betty Lukens Through the Bible in Felt and the felts change each week).
- Consolidate the flashcards and workbooks / worksheets for easy access in my weekly planning.
- Organize the practical life bins so that one was strictly for transferring activities.
There still are a lot of things I'd like to do so our homeschool classroom remains a work in progress. For one, it's still a bit busy as we do have quite a few materials that I've been collecting for the past two years and I just don't want to put anything in a separate room for fear of never using it ("out of sight, out of mind"). (I do have some materials upstairs that are clearly elementary aged - but all of our materials for ages 2-5 or so are in here).
I would also like to paint the new bookshelf (not really new, just borrowed from another area of the home) to match the rest of the furniture - I wish I had a picture of the original hodge podge!
But other than that, this is a pretty good start. I'm hoping one day to get an even larger homeschool classroom although I am more than grateful for this size now too.
Here are the pics!
Our Daily Schedule Chart
This is a Lakeshore Learning chart.
The new teacher supply shelf
To be painted to match at some point...!
- Top Shelf: The top shelf houses the A-Z letter tubs, which are an absolute staple in our homeschool. We use them all the time. My favorite ones are from Lakeshore Learning (still eyeing these), but I snagged these from eBay for a lower price.
- Second Shelf: This shelf is strictly for my weekly planning. The clipboard is for notes on the current week's unit. I pull from the workbooks daily and place selected sheets into a clear folder to do together during craft time (which incorporates some written / coloring work and a craft). I find it's not good to give access to the whole workbook - it will be scribbled up in no time - better to give a few sheets at a time. The glass jars on that shelf are our Montessori moveable alphabet, which I reeeeaaaalllly need to get the Montessori storage containers for, because we're getting to the point to need them sorted by letter (I just introduced CVC word picture matchings with the letters and am finding myself having to manually sort only to bunch them back in the container after).
- Third Shelf: These are a bunch of odds and ends for crafts and educational activities that used to be mixed in with bins for toys and now they are sequestered over on this side of the room, leaving the toy "stuff" in it's own area. These are stored in clear shoe-sized boxes which I purchased from The Container Store.
- Fourth Shelf: This is my new writing shelf! With the exception of the vocabulary bin, that entire shelf is dedicated to writing motor skills activities. Some of the containers there aren't listed (there's one shoe bin that needs a "rubbings" label), but they house some pretty specific stuff. Find containers everywhere - for example, the wooden box below the sandpaper letters houses our Montessori metal insets and it was a box from an old chess set.
- Bottom Shelf: The culture and math bins have now been moved off the floor. I'd really prefer they both be facing forward, but you've gotta work with the space you have!
Our reading chair and this week's library book selections
The blanket is from my Aunt and never leaves the chair.
Our Table Now Floats in the Middle
Most of the time it's covered with a plastic tablecloth for crafts! In the background are the toys (the other side of the room are the educational toys, although really, most toys at this age are educational, but you know what I mean).
Current Book Bin
We have tons of book bins around the house, but this one in particular are the selections from the library for the week (except the two Montessori books - those are ours).
This was on it's side and held books in the previous version of our classroom. This once olive green number has been painted to match the white look of our room.
For the toys that have small parts or sets where pieces could get lost easily, I put them in these bins so we can play them with some supervision. I used to also have the Mr. Potato Head, animal figurines, toy vehicles and legos in sealed containers, too but since Lexi is getting better with her overall tidiness, I went ahead and put them in the open bin container (above) and so far so good! The rest of the sets are here, though (with the exception of puzzles, which is on a bookshelf that I forgot to take a separate picture of, but is in the panorama at the top).
Our Boards & Our "Centers"!
The weekly theme board is central to our little classroom! I use a magnetic standing white board and use laminated cutouts with magnets on the back to create weekly scenes based on the week's theme we're doing. I keep all my laminated cutouts and have been accumulating a "cutout library" to keep making these weekly theme boards. This is where we "go" first when call out "school time!" We go to the board, review the concepts. On the back we go over a number of the day and a letter of the day, as well as some other concepts like day, weather, etc. I bought this board with a 20% off coupon from Lakeshore Learning and is a bit pricey, but extremely sturdy and is a great investment.
The small felt board is for our Betty Lukens Through the Bible in Felt set.
Below these boards you will see 6 bins. These are 6 of 8 small bins that I have which I swap out with different activities each week. (See my method, here).