Thanks for visiting my blog. I began journaling about my daily life when I was eleven. Over the years, this has grown to become a way for me to share my thoughts rather than my daily life. I’m pretty open with sharing all the beautiful chaos of life with six children. I have to remind myself to extend grace to myself each and every day! It is my hope that my writings will help others to learn to extend grace to themselves too. After all, if it weren’t for the Grace of God, life would just be messy. I’m so glad that life can instead be a Beautiful Mess and is covered by His Beautiful Grace.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Classroom Cleanup and Reorganization

This school year has been a rough one for our family.  We've had foster family visits twice a week, 3 therapy appointments each week, co-op once a week, quite a few court dates, a few extra kiddos for a few days here and there, and a few viruses too.  We've done the bare minimum this school year.  We've done lots of school in the van while driving down the road.  Working on multiplication facts with one and addition and subtraction with the other.  Even with the rough start, I'd say my kids are actually doing great.  They are both still ahead in math, self driven in science, social studies and art, and Elijah is reading beautifully now.  Levi is still learning letter sounds following Getting Ready for the Code and I think as soon as vowel sounds are taught, he will pick up reading in no time.  I wish that I had introduced his letter sounds to him vowels first but lesson learned!

In the midst of all the crazy scheduling, I was having some trouble keeping our classroom clean and organized.  All of our math lessons were together, no matter what age level they were for.  Language Arts the same.  Sensorial the same.  The two toddlers were enjoying their work but the youngest is still unable to put her work away on her own.  That trickled up and no one was putting anything away, even me some days!  Levi has referred to his space as his office since I found his desk at a consignment sale so I decided to take that concept and run with it.  I separated our classroom into offices for me, Elijah, Levi and the oldest toddler.  We have a door between the classroom and the nursery so the youngest can play in there with the baby gate between the two rooms.  Everyone can now work without their work being destroyed by the baby and everyone is once again returning their work to their shelves.  The toddler isn't messing with the work on Elijah and Levi's shelves because he's so happy to have his own work.

Each of them have age appropriate work on their shelves and I have a language arts shelf, as well as a math and sensorial shelf in the center of the room.  As they are ready for a lesson from that shelf, I can move it to their shelves until they no longer need it.  We also still share the art shelf and many materials are available for them to use as they want.  It still needs a bit of work to get the shelves in order but overall, I'm happy with the changes.  Maybe I'll post pictures as I organize the shelves a bit more.  I may even try to weed some things out that I feel we don't need anymore.  It's so hard to do this though with Levi just starting K this year.  The things that didn't work for Elijah may actually work for him.  I may just have to hang on to these materials until I've raised all my kiddos, because you just never know when you might need it.  Yes, I know, I'm a hoarder!

We are making some other changes beginning in January that should allow us to have a much better 2nd semester and also allow me to blog more.  I'd like to start doing a daily or weekly recap and using this as my outlet more so than Facebook.  Being at home all day with young children can be a little isolating.  It's hard to talk on the phone because it's always loud.  I probably annoy my friends on Facebook with my posts about how awesome my kids are and how wonderful or horrible our school day has gone.  Well, I'm about to head to bed.  The kids will be up soon.  LOL!  Good night!  ~Audrey
Elijah decided to build a zoo in the middle of trying to organize the room.  Notice how his zoo completely sectioned off his area?

The toddler is doing a lesson that I've had packed up for a while and decided to bring back out.  He was unable to do this lesson when I packed it up in the summer but can now do it with ease.  Elijah and Levi were enjoying digging through some boxes of coloring books that have been packed up for a while too.  

Levi got excited over a new lesson that I placed on his shelf and jumped right into working on it, skipping over using a work rug.  

The view from the south side of the room.

My office.

The view of the south side of the room.

View from the northwest doorway before we had completed the room.

View of the north-east side of the room.  Our Language Arts shelf and Elijah's office. 

South east corner.  

Finished view from the North East corner of the room.  

Toddler work space.  This is the west wall.

This is the view that you see as you walk up the stairs in my hallway.  It makes me happy to see such a beautiful classroom.  I feel very blessed and fortunate to have a husband that fully believes in me as a teacher for my children and fully supports my desire to have a beautiful and inviting learning environment for them.  

The view from the South West corner of the room.  

This is Levi's office.  

Math shelf that needs a bit of organization.

Sensorial shelf that needs a bit of help.  There are some math materials on this side as well. 

This shelf houses our turtle cage as well as our botany cabinet and unit study library.  The unit currently available is Birds.  We have not begun this study yet, though I've been ready since May.  I plan to do this study in January and study Winter birds.

A closer view of the toddler office.  

A closer view of Elijah's office.  

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