Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Our Learning Space

I have been pestering Adam for some time to let me turn our crowded office/guest room into a learning room for the girls. Life is so chaotic now with the blinking toys, iPad, TV, and rushing. It seems like our whole house is taken up by those things. So I wanted a designated space that we could go to and shut out the world. No light up toys. No iPad or phone. No hurry.

About three weeks ago I finally begged enough that he caved. The only thing was I couldn't take out the desk or bed. I was a little bummed, but now I can't imagine not having the desk! The bed on the other hand is another story.


For a small room that has a bed taking up a lot of room I like the areas. Of course you could always use more shelves, but the basics are covered! It also forces me to keep it simple and allows for easy rotation of toys and materials. If the bed was gone I would probably keep the space open to have some extra room.
I use this open wall to hang up images and things to open up discussions. This is where we sit and have our opening circle time. We sing songs, go over the pocket chart, and use the inspiration images to talk about the topic.

The bed. Not only does it take up so much room, but it also doesn't really flow with Montessori. Ideally things are at a child's level. So even though I am using it as a massive quiet/reading area it still doesn't work. I tried convincing him to let me take it off the frame, but that wasn't happening. You win some, you lose some.

This is our science/exploration shelf. It will change as the season and over all topics change. Ideally in an interest area you should have a couple books that go along with the items. I decided to put scoops, the magnify glass, binoculars, etc. by nature items. I also put a couple books about outdoors and trees there. Then there is an animal basket with books on different animals and how they move.

This little nook has some pretend play items. It isn't used much, because when she is in here she really is more interested in the other things that aren't like what's in the rest of the house.

Since space is limited this shelf really just has everything else. Baby toys, color tabs, blocks soft and hard, transportation, letter puzzles, sandpaper numerals and letters, puzzles, tower, and lacing. Ideally the manipulates and building sets would be separate even of each other. I'd have literacy and math separate. Here the sandpaper letters and numerals are even in the same basket. The former preschool teacher in me wants five more interest areas and more space, but the mom in me knows what's realistic and that it's pretty minor. I'm really glad I got this shelf. Before everything was in baskets lining the wall, which is fine too!

This is our little music and movement area. It's where you will usually find Natalie!

Montessori rooms typically don't have teacher areas. I decided to really utilize the desk since it wasn't going anywhere, and I can honestly say I'm glad it is here! I can't even imagine where I would put all this stuff if not!
All in all I am really happy with the room. The basics are there. I'm sure it will grow as time goes on and things will be rotated out easily. I usually find myself getting something at the store each week to go along with the lesson plan, but it's typically small and inexpensive. The hardest part is getting that foundation. It's like when you first get married and you are buying spices left and right. Eventually you have the ground cumin on hand and things get less expensive. Is that a good analogy? Anyway, that's how I see this room. If it seems overwhelming at first it does get easier as your supplies grow!

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