Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Changing Our Learning Spaces

When we built our house I had plans for the Library and Play room. It had became apparent that even thought I had expected these rooms to work out perfectly it just wasn't so.

So in the interest of change that Stephen's homecoming created I thought I would change these rooms as well.

So this is our New Library room~
I just can't say how much we all LOVE this room. It looks an feels like a library and they children have had some great times reading and learning down here already.
Our New Library Room~
Our big 5over meter long brick and plank bookcase
A view of our new 2.7 meter long bookcase that I managed to fill by unstacking our double stacking of books on various other bookcases and having a little bit of wiggle room to get books out. The Early Reading Bookcase (details below) and the Serendipity Bookcase
(details below as well.
The posters are of the Milky way and a World Map.
The stairs lead up to our loft area that has my sewing stuff, the children's guitars, drums and keyboard. A table tennis table and Stephen's train board

The Australian Bookcase. It has other resource books in it on the bottom shelf, on the top shelf there are some poetry and as well as some nature books too. The manipulative's (Montessori type and Gnomes and Numbers resources on top)
A view from the table where the children will do their lesson work, or play games do craft projects and other interesting things.
Another view of the Australian Bookcase and the posters we put up. The bean bag will get some use here too.
Our New bookcase along the west wall and beanbag near by to sit and read with.
A northerly side shot of the Australian bookcase
To the right is the small bookcase I have with Early reading books as well as the Sound pouches I use for Alphabet Path Studies. The bottom shelf has Charlotte Mason style early reading programme in a box and there resources like my Catechisis of the Good Shepherd Manuals etc.My Resource Folder I have had since I was 17 and did a Course on Vacation Care for children.
The Serendipity Bookcase~ has our Art Center and Art Center supplies on top as well as our Sandpaper Letter in Upper and Lower Case and Sandpaper letters as well. In front of these are Bees Wax crayons in a small crate.
A file for coloured and white paper for colouring and cutting.
We also use cornmeal in a container for tracing letters in for sensory practice.
The wooden boxes are my Catechisis of the Good Shepherd boxes for The Annunciation and other Advent activities.
The Serendipity Bookcase has my folder's with the Serendipity Plans I have copied for our Home School.
It also has all our Flower Fairy books including the Fairyopolis books we own.
More of our Nature Study Books as listed on my Book list Blog.
Math Book resources to use with manipulative's. Other odds and ends I am using this year for lessons with the children.
Some old Bible story cards that tell a story over 3-5 beautiful cards.
Next to the bookcase is the basket we have our Confirmation and First Holy Communion books.
Directly next to that is our Poor Box Toys Inc basket that we are adding to through out the year.
Behind both the baskets are the blackboards we have made and the hundred's board Braedon made for our Montessori Maths Manipulative's.
Our huge wall to wall built in bookcase for many resources ( I may do a more detailed post on what is in this one later)
Left hand side with resources
Middle row of bookcase
Right hand side with resources.
This is a small view of our very large built in bookcase that has most of Montessori and early Learning resources on it.
As you walk down the stairs to the Library room you can see this brown unit and the rocking horse, that was Stephen's as a 2 year old and Moran's rocking chair.
On one side of the sliding unit I have craft boxes with various craft materials. eg, paper, old cards, ribbon, peg doll bases etc
Our puzzles on one side of the brown sliding unit.
This is how we made our plank and brick bookcase. I really recommend these as they can be put up immediately and you can have a floor to ceiling bookcase in no time at all. We have put strips of narrow wood behind so the paintwork doesn't get scratched and cardboard against the bricks to protect the books.

This is a photo of the books being moved form the old Library room to the new one.
Autumn as custodian of the book piles.
Piles of books on the floor.
Another pile on the floor. Trying to keep them in the order they were in previously. Guess what that didn't really work. We still have to tidy the shelving up with books in the new order.
Books, Books Books....
And again.
The empty old Library room as we add emptied the shelves and about to dismantle the bookcase
This is our old Play room. The reason I started looking at changing the two rooms is when we got our new lounges for the Family room the children asked for the old ones to come down here to use like the children in The Saturday's by Elizabeth Enright. This is one of our favourite family reading series.
The wooden box has dress ups in it the brown sliding cupboard is the same one as described above. The other narrower wooden box has odds and ends for dress ups. Hats, bags shoes, belts, light sabers cowboy guns etc.
The doll house corner with other odds and ends. This room really is hard to organise in a tidy aesthetic way.
The Little children's bookcase. It has Golden books, Dr Seuss books and lots of other picture books that aren't organised. And quite frankly aren't my prize favourites.
A long view of the room.
Doll corner and bean bags with Doll furniture.
The grey table with bakets of toys under it and Saxon would do his lesson work here.The big bookcase before the changed rooms. Most is still the same but some added things are in the new version in the Library room

Our Old Library room has become our new Play room:

Old Library pics below~
The 5 meter bookcase in its old spot. Looking very untidy from lack of space and very dimly lit.
The piano in the corner (where it still is) and other musical gear.
The serentipity bookcase , confirmation and Poor Box Toys baskets, and atrium altar.
The Australian bookcase with serendipity resources on top.Music books beside.

Our new Play Room~
I actually am not as happy with this room yet as it seems a little crowded and very bare n the walls.
Today as I finsih this post we are renaming the Play Room the "Butterfly Room" from Toy Story 3. Although it has all the makings of a "Caterpillar Room" as I speak.
We are redecorating and I will add some pictures at a later date.
The little kid bookcase and boxes of doll clothes where the Serendipity bookcase was.
The old unit with Thomas trains, wooden blocks, Lego, Medieval Castle and knights Kelly Dolls, 'Cozy cones' Puppet Theater, Dancing ribbons, and other odds and ends.
Beside is the Tree House Doll House Stephen and the older boys made for Eden for her 8th Birthday.
The grey desk (where the large table was) with baskets full of toys underneath. And on the wall behind little kitchen stuff baby doll stuff and dress up boxes where the 5 metre bookcase was.
The other side of the grey desk.
Baskets contain:
Duplo and boards,with house and barn, army men, farm toys, electric Thomas trains sets, basket of big cars and trucks.
A veiw of the piano with the doll house beside it and a side veiw of the unit with trains etc. in it.
The little
Also the other doll house.
A side veiw of the Little Chldren's bookcase and a drawing table under the window where the atrium altar was and doll table where baskets where. The small dolls table and chairs and a plastic tub with baby doll clothes and baby swing on top.
A veiw of the doll corner and a basket of play pillows. And that concludes a very, very long post that took days to complete .

I hope you enjoy it.



Dove's Rest said...

Oh My! you have worked hard to organise all of that. I hope it stay like that!! I'm so jealous of all your space and resources AWESOME. Ou home is quite small with only your basic rooms and we use each one of them. But I also only have 2 children!!So much fun at your place.

Erin said...

Love your library. It looks so warm and inviting. All those long rows of books just draw you in.

What a massive undertaking though, but now you can curl up and read:)

The play room looks lovely, not how I'd pictured it from what you said on the phone.

Tiffany said...

WOW, WOW, Gae! You have all worked so hard and have done an incredible job. This is definite inspiration for getting organized:-) I will enjoy spending a bit more time with your post for details. Thank you so much for sharing and may you enjoy the fruits of your labor! Abundant blessings.

Cinnamon said...

Okay you've succeeded, I'm jealous!

I like the ease of the bookshelf. Great idea and so simple~


Kim said...


The Watts Family said...

everything looks so wonderful and I love your plank and brick bookcase that is a fabulous idea!! Love it~ Blessings Love Heather

Gardenia said...

Gae, it is truly remarkable what you have done. I love the newly transformed library, and the new Butterfly (caterpillar !) room. You have so many books that I am sure are the treasures of your children's daily lives. Oh if I could have just one half of those!! and what is unbelievable to me is how you have managed to categorize them and shelve them according to subject or theme, such that you know where they are when you or a child wants something. just beautiful. i love the heart carvings on the wooden spindles of the staircase too ! I'll check out the resources you linked in your post.

Anonymous said...

I love your library! And, the hearts on your banister are so warm and cozy. Love everything about your place. Happy Homeschooling!

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