We've been doing a bit of reorganizing around here this summer. (I know you're probably all sick of hearing about my binge of cleaning out, but be patient, this is just a lot of pictures.) It all started because we needed to find a place for H. to sleep. The room that A., P., G., and L. share was at capacity and was also not ideal as G. and L. are more interested in all of A. and P.'s stuff. So that combined with the fact that I've never really been happy with the school room and ever since we redid the kitchen we haven't really been using it, we have made a major change. Now, there is no more school room. It will become A., P., and H.'s room once we (by we I mean J.) finish the dry walling and painting. The school room was dismantled and either moved up to the third floor or given away. This past couple of weeks I have been reorganizing the third floor. The bulk of it is still a playroom, but I have also carved a limited-access (meaning I have to be with any child who is in it) 'Homeschool Resource Room' out of it.
Here's a tour of what happened with a room full of books and stuff.
First, we head up to the third floor. On the landing we have moved a couple of the bookcases. These will hold any books we are currently using, plus a cubby for each child. This way they have access to their school stuff without having to enter my new room.
Now as we enter the third floor, we'll move around the room to the right. Inside the doorway, we have moved our school table which now houses the school computer. (It will work once we have an electrician come and figure out why the outlet we need to use is dead.) This computer is only for writing and playing the few educational computer games we have that are too old to be used on our newer computer. The only reason I allow it to be up here is because it has no internet access. (All devices with internet can only be used in very public locations in our home.)
Continuing on, we come to the costumes and the newly dug out funny little alcove. Why the previous owners created this is a mystery, but it is great fun for creating hide-outs and forts.
Our row of theater seats and the bay with the train table.
The newly organized block corner. (Curious about the state of the floor? That's what happens when many children make use of scooter boards on a pine floor covered in cheap paint. Not a pretty sight.)
Here you can get a sense of the immenseness of the room. (And for any concerned, all those windows and doors are covered in hockey-grade Plexiglas... we are really far away from the ground up here.) You can also see (those of you who know this room well), how much stuff I've cleared out. It was vanfuls.
(This is D. practicing on the stilts that B. made for his brothers.)
The opposite bay which houses the wooden ship and wooden doll house. You can also see the school room futon has a new home up here. It is against the column which houses the chimneys and the remains of an old dumb waiter track. (Sadly, the dumb waiter had been removed and covered over before we bought the house. How cool would that have been to have?) Around the corner are the dolls and doll accessories, I just didn't take a picture of them.
And now we finally come to the part you've been waiting for... my new resource room. In it are the school room books that were not given away, chapter books (in alphabetical order by author), preschool boxes, and all the toys which are in storage. (I will make a schedule for bringing out the toys one at a time... one week will be train week, one week playmobile week, etc. It will help cut down on chaos and prolong the play lives of the toys.)
Inside the room.
The other end.
Everyone has been pretty good about staying out of it... though I have toyed with the idea of a chain link gate, or perhaps one of the those velvet ropes they use in museums to keep people out.
With it so clean, organized, and uncluttered, I find the whole area to be much more restful. I don't think we'll miss the schoolroom, since for the past two years, everyone has done their work pretty much in the kitchen (or outside if the weather is nice). The children are all enjoying it as well. The third floor hasn't seen so much play in a long time.
Next step in getting ready for school? Working out a reading and learning schedule for everyone.