I know we recently posted about our homeschool room, but I had to follow that post up with our newest organizational components, because we have put soooo much thought into this that it is worthy of sharing. My hope is that if you are in the same boat as I am (finally having the guts to jump in after experiencing virtual schooling in March - June 2020) than here you'll find some inspiration, some motivation, and perhaps pick up some tidbits that will help you along on your family's journey as well.
I have been knee-deep researching all things:
Here's the best advice I can give you as a newbie to another newbie:
Seek out a SUPPORT GROUP (Facebook Homeschool Groups)
I joined a ton of facebook groups and feel that as a newbie that is key. There is sooooo much support out there if you look for it; many homeschool families part of the Ambleside Online and Mater Amabilis community cheer you on, guide you, and tons of others in our same boat have asked the very same questions we have swirling around in our head already, making it very easy to research what others suggest as best practices to those questions. So if you haven't joined some homeschool facebook groups yet, please do. You surely won't regret it! These are the ones I refer to the most when I have any doubts whatsoever:
Ambleside Online Community
South Florida Homeschool Group (look for your area's local homeschool group to help with legal questions and other broader homeschooling questions)
So let's get into the nuts and bolts of our newest transformation, shall we....
The Learning Space
Here are some shots of the space after we converted from a play space to a learning space + living in it for a while. It's definitely a loved and used space, but we realized that we weren't utilizing one side of the learning space to the best of our ability. The kids loved seeing their art work on this wall, but we can display their artwork differently (I actually made a shutterfly portfolio of all their PreK-3 and Kinder artwork... um, did you know that shutterfly is giving one free photobook away per month right now? Not an ad.) So Danny, the hubs, went to work designing shelving that would work for the space we had.
Here are the materials he gathered for the project:
We purchased everything at our local Home Supply Store in several lengths & widths of wood so that they would scale in size the higher they were placed. Each was sanded down and beveled unevenly along the corners and visible sides leaving the length along the wall nice and flat. Then we elected to stain the wood lightly.
We have lots of different stained wood in our home and the fact that everything is different actually adds to the cohesion in our particular aesthetic. If you scroll down a bit you can take a look at the shelving in the video below, along with how we're organizing my Year One's Ambleside Online Curriculum.
Organizing Ambleside Online Curriculum
If you're not entirely sure what philosophy best resonates with you, I highly suggest using Cathy Duffy's 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
After lots of research, I decided that a Charlotte Mason approach would be best for our family. When I came across the Ambleside Online Website & Mater Amabilis Website, the online forums for both and their incredibly active facebook support groups. I fell in love!
The Ambleside Online Curriculum is 100% free and the sweet families that have gone before us are very generous and provide lots of resources for new families coming into new years with their kiddos. One thing that I've noticed many people have a hard time with this curriculum is that it can seem a little overwhelming to organize. That's why I made it a point to really figure out how I wanted our school year to ideally flow, tried to anticipate what my Year One student would like and how to make a clean and inviting space.
I hope you enjoy this video touring our newly organized space highlighting how we're organizing our Ambleside Online Yr 1 Books.
If you're interested in learning more about the Charlotte Mason philosophy of home educating I'll post a few resources below.
Don't forget to grab your free printable magazine file folder labels below so that you can get to organizing your curriculum today!
This post may include affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase based on my recommendation, I get a small remuneration at no extra expense to you. I only recommend things I actually use and believe to be a blessing.
Charlotte Mason Resources
These are the two books that I absolutely recommend you read if you want to learn more about this philosphy of education:
1. A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
2. Home Education (The Home Education Series) (Volume 1)
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These are the toys are 23 month old is enjoying right now. They're great to have on hand in your schoolroom to keep those tiny hands and big minds busy and learning.
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Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!