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Classroom Reveal

For the last few months, our household has been focused on updating the classroom.  While I enjoyed the process, it was an incredible amount of work.  I am overjoyed with the results so far.  The space is calm and cohesive.  It offers everything we need for the moment and plenty of room to grow.

If you're wondering how this decision came about, you can read about our School Room Evolution.  

 With that said, I want to offer a caveat.  This room has been in progress for more than six years now.  This isn't where we began, not even close.  If you're newer to Montessori, I know it can be overwhelming to think you have to have it all.  You don't have to have traditional materials or a dedicated space to be successful.  This is where our path has led us for our family.  I also like to point out the we intend to homeschool for the long haul.  Perhaps you will find inspiration here.  But please do not see this as THE way to do it.  Make your journey yours.

To meet our needs, I had to break some of the traditional Montessori rules.  My children are currently seven, five, and three.  I have one in elementary and two in very different places in primary.  You'll notice that my shelves are tall.  That was a compromise so I could display the materials I felt were necessary for everyone.  Nearly anything each child could need is within reach, although I did place a step stool in the room.

Our welcome sign is still similar, although it's a bit more battered and bruised than in the past.

 This is the full room from near the door.

This is the full room from the set of windows.

The rugs, sensorial shelves, and advanced math shelves are here.  These shelves are not new and were there before the update.  The only difference is that this was our only set of math shelves.  I now have two.  This set holds most of the advanced math.  The upper portion of the shelves holds my albums.  There is a photo of Maria Montessori by the door.

This is a closer view of the sensorial and advanced math shelves.  I decided to keep these two together since a number of the sensorial materials are used in elementary math and geometry.

This wall houses two closets. The short bead chains are hanging on one door with the long chains attached to a shelving unit.  The various math boards are kept under the bead chains and sorted by operation.  The shelves used to be for practical life.  They now hold our bell set.  Our fine art is hung here as well.

One of the biggest gains from our update is the increased floor space.  I'm amazed at how much my children need these days.  I added an Ikea LACK table on casters.  I love it because we can easily put it anywhere we need a work space. 

This wall is almost solid shelves.  Here you see the washing table and clothes line.  Next is the geography cabinet where our puzzle maps and continent boxes are stored.  The science shelves are next followed by practical life.  The small table out front is mainly for my three year old.  We currently have a large wall map, which is easy to bring down.  The wooden frame currently holds The Ten Commandments; it's held on by magnets, and I periodically switch it with The Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

This is a close up of science and practical life.  I am in the process of preparing for the upcoming school year.  As a result, the upper shelves are relatively empty.  I keep traditional works, such as the botany cabinet and zoology puzzles, available year round.  However, I rotate the upper shelves to match our Classical Conversations work.

The first of the large shelves is for early math.  I have started to put some books for myself up top but I'm not finished with that process yet.  There is blank space that will eventually be used for our Young Children and Worship material.  The next shelf is our classroom library.  It also hasn't been sorted to my satisfaction yet, but it's a start.

This is a close up of early math and the library.  The early math includes works such as the spindle box and tens and teens boards.  For the library, early readers are in the bins on the bottom, although my main goal for this shelf is elementary purposes.  The blue bins are designed to fit with our weekly Classical Conversations theme.  The rest is a toss-up at the moment.  We have several large bookshelves in our basement that house our full book collection.  We rotate fairly often.

The set of drawers are our nature center.  It holds various items to explore, such as rocks, shark teeth, and sea shells.  We now have a real botany center near the window.  We haven't grown much yet since we're barely in the space, but I  look forward to that soon.  There is small basket by the window that holds binoculars.  The kids love watching wildlife from the windows.  I also installed a thermometer on the window for recording temperatures.

This is the language area.  Much of this is the same.  The older two share this table.

These are the two main language shelves.  The tall cabinet to the left is my new teacher supply shelves.  I was very excited to see Ikea now makes doors.  It helps me control the clutter.

This is a closeup of the language shelves.  I'm not completely satisfied with the arrangement, but it works for the time being.  Moving between the various reading approaches in Montessori has been daunting.  I have a lot of materials to make in this area.

This area houses the metal insets and related items.  There are a few early language items here as well since I had the shelf space.  I use the book sling to highlight a few options.  It seems like my younger children are more likely to pick from there than from a shelf.  The material to the left is called the geometric hierarchy of numbers.  And yes, it's huge.  We've already used it as a desk more than once.

The area against the wall is all that remains of our office.  I've claimed a few areas for myself.  The desk at the left is for the kids, not that it is used during school time at this point.  It's mostly used by my oldest.  The light pad and printer share the table with my file cabinet underneath.  My desk is in the corner.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel with such a small area, but I like it so far.  Between the drawers and the teacher cabinet, I have what I need.

And last but not least is our calendar.  Since we have limited wall space, I have ours hanging on a pocket chart stand.  Sometimes it's in the room, and sometimes we push it in the hallway.

 We store the decimal system on the other side.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour.  I'll provide updates as I complete my science shelves and become happier with my language setup.

You can find me at Montessori Homeschooling.  And don't forget to follow me on Facebook.

This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Series.  I am truly honored to be part of this endeavor.  I want to encourage you to visit all the participating blogs to learn more about Montessori Spaces.

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