Here is a before and after of part of our living room.
The shelves were removed and one was placed in Stiggy’s room, because his one bookshelf was totally full (that’s where we keep most of his story books). The other shelf will be placed on the opposite wall, so I will have 5 shelves there.
The bottom shelf on the bookcase houses our arts and crafts books and supplies (excluding our paper, temperas, clay, and some of the high-quality stuff). The next shelf up is all science, above that is math (on the left), and ‘language arts’ stuff: writing, phonics, First Language Lessons, Mad Libs, etc. Then we’ve got the CDs and some educational toys, then History & Geography above that, then a shelf for some of my homeschooling reference books. The yoga mat is tucked neatly out of sight between the bookcase and the wall.
The new arrangement has made for some dramatic changes in our day. For starters, the horrible set of plastic drawers (not pictured..they’re not horrible really, they just don’t go with our living room decor) that were in our living room are now in Stiggy’s room. Each drawer, which is more like a plastic tub, comes out. His ten million Hot Wheels are stored in one drawer, his Ikea train set in another, and various other toys in the other 2 drawers. Before, his cars and train set were in shoe boxes lying around the living room floor. Our living room is much tidier now.
The other, and more fantastic change, is that now Stiggy has access to all of our resources. He loves going over to the bookcase to ‘find’ something to do, or a book to look at. He’s also initiating more art projects on his own.
A lot of unstructured learning happened last week. We did a few Mad Libs and Stiggy is pretty clear on what a noun is.
We also did some baking. I’m gradually allowing Stiggy to do more and more of the work. This time, when the pot needed stirring to heat the milk and Crisco (Trex), I allowed Stiggy to do it. I gave him very clear instructions and kept a hawk’s eye on him. We have a gas cooker, so vigilance was essential. I felt proud of myself for ‘letting go’ and allowing him to do this. I don’t want to be one of those overprotective mothers. I already am, I know that, but I don’t want to be, so I have to take steps to undo some of that.
Reading is going well. We had a minor problem on Thursday because Stiggy often likes to guess at the words. He’s becoming more fluent, so does not want to take the time to sound them out. I’ve had to encourage him to slow down and sound out words instead of guess at them. His vowels have improved since doing all that drill and he’s not misreading ‘e’ and ‘i’ as often.