Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Library

When we moved into our lovely new home we found we had a lot more room then we did previously. This was both an amazingly fun realisation but also a little daunting. After all who wants to scrub that many toilets or dust that many rooms? One of the blessings of a bigger home, however was that we could dedicate, once again, an entire room to our learning if we wanted. I was really torn on this at first because I know our learning can get crazy & messy.  The thing is, the room we were looking at for schooling is a really long room. Once upon a time I suspect it was two rooms, but now is one long one. It has a beautiful fire place in it, a heat pump, a lovely huge window. Plus, if it gets insanely messy in there I can shut off all the doors to that room & no one is the wiser of what's in there. The only thing was, we had no furniture for the room aside from a table & a couple of chairs.

I had a bed in there which we were using a couch, but this past weekend we discovered one of the local Op-shops was having a car park sale. This is when they generally bring out lots of big things from the back of their shop & sell them off. We were a little disappointed to discover they didn't have much out there, but after sitting on the couch & chairs Mr S instantly dubbed "Old Lady Furniture" we figured they were comfy enough & in good enough condition they'd totally work in the room. And, let's face it at $45 who cares if it is "Old Lady Furniture"? We paid & put them in the back of our car. Or rather we put the couch in the car, then packed the kids in & went back for the chairs. The kids were really glad we didn't walk, because they weren't sure how cool it would have been to walk up the giant hill to our home carrying a floral couch.

With a little moving & rearranging of things we all ready owned we ended up with a lovely cozy area for reading our school books, sitting with company who drops in if the rest of the house is trashed, or just hanging out for the fun of it. It's not a grand picture above, but you get the idea. There are three end tables in there all of which my father-in-law made & some were made specifically for us others were hand-me-downs that I was very grateful for. The "coffee" table is actually a TV stand we used in our previous home that wasn't being used anymore. The purple chair is the only other item I purchased. We'd picked it up prior to the couches for, oddly enough, $40. It's a huge lovely two person style chair with a bed that can be unfolded from it. The quilt on the back is a bottle quilt my mother-in-law made, she's made one for each of her grandchildren.

Our fireplace is a little too decked out for use at the moment, but it's not quite cold enough yet to fuss about that. We also have heat pumps in our home so we don't have to use it if we choose not to. The basket on the left is Jayden's & the one on the right is Morgan's. I pulled the books leaning against the baskets of the shelf earlier this week & put them there so they could look through them if they wanted. I'd nearly forgotten we owned those to be honest. We moved our AAS to our school room & just purchased a tiny whiteboard to use for now. It won't house all the magnets in later books, but it works for us now. Jayden absolutely needs the tiles especially when he's working on a new step or he really struggles. Morgan can do fine if he just writes the words out, but this gives each of them the option of doing whatever they prefer. The cross atop the stove is really not something I'd generally have for decoration, but there's a cute story behind the thing.

When in America last we went to one of our favourite shops where it's way too easy to spend far too much money. I would have done my best to avoid it, but my mother-in-law asked me to go there specifically & pick her up some quilting supplies. Seemed like a good idea! While in there we wandered down the isles of Christmas ornaments, something we don't see here much. Jayde picked out a funny ornament for Mr S, but then felt he should get me something. He ended up picking out the cross & was very insistent on watching out to be sure we packed it in our luggage. In fact when we got back & opened up our cases one of the first things he asked about was that to be sure it hadn't been damaged. Oh he can be so funny sometimes!

The house had a built in bookcase on one side of the fireplace whig we quickly filled in. Crazily enough there's an electrical outlet on the bottom shelf which drives me batty. Australian outlets have on/off switches on them, but it still freaks me out that the books could cause a fire hazard. The books are not currently in any order on those shelves, all though some series are grouped together. The shelves are all varying heights so when we unpacked we simply filled the shelves with what would fit. The books on the top two shelves aren't of interest to the kids & the tippy top houses their lap books & a few bigger books that don't fit elsewhere. It's really is a cozy corner to sit in for reading in front of that big window. All though I had to go out there & attack the roses that were scratching the window & making me squeal, the sound was going right through me!

No unclose pictures of them at the moment, but each of the end tables also house things we use daily for school. The top of one has our book basket of books we use on our short day of school. That's when we try to read about a famous person {musician, president, artist, prime minister, mathematician, or scientist}, & we try to read from a few of the other fun books in there. The same table also houses or memory box which is in plain sight so as not to be forgotten. Another table has our read aloud box on a shelf on it. The tables all have a shelf under the tops & then a cupboard under that as well. The third table houses our globe which Jayden uses often to find the places we read about in his theme this year.

Excuse the mess, we hadn't tidied up yet from our school week. This is our "coffee table" which is just the right size & with all the shelving space works beautifully where we have it. On the lefthand side we have some photo albums on the bottom & my copy of a book a child is reading to me. I follow along in case they stumble on a word, all though admittedly I've lost my place a few times & had to scramble to catch up. The next shelf up has a few Bibles on it & our Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament. Morgan is reading through the OT this year & it not only has the schedule in it but discussion questions afterwards. He loves discussing what he's reading so they make good points of topic to address.

The right hand side has our spelling books & boxes on the bottom shelf as well as Mystery Of History Volume 1. Even though Morgan is listening to the audio version we have the hard copy. I use the quizzes & pretests to be sure he's remembering what he's hearing. Which work well for us. I've never considered them a quiz just a way to be sure he's grasping what he's doing. The top shelf has our Aussie History book a second spelling card box, & some of my homeschool books. 

This part of our learning area is actually dubbed the library because most of our books are in this room. Mind you there's another half of the room not even in the above photos!

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