About Me

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I am a home schooling mom to three amazing kiddos.  We primarily use the Montessori pedagogy to guide our journey.  We also enjoy aspects of classical education and are part of Classical Conversations community. 

I write a Montessori column for Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

I am still a geek at heart and at times miss my former career as an Information Architect/SharePoint Specialist.  I don't have much free time but if I do, it is spent on comic books and video games.
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Classroom V2

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We recently overhauled our classroom.  While it has taken while to adjust, it has been a great transition.  It has given us a bit more floor space all the while increasing overall shelf space.  The greatest challenge I have faced lately is being able to provide for the development needs of all three of my children simultaneously.

Please keep in mind that I have been working on this room for more than five years.  Our beginnings were far more humble.  It has gradually grown and shifted over the years as necessary to meet our specific needs.  This is a way to approach Montessori at home and nothing more.  There is no right and wrong and it's important that each family discovers what fits them best.  I do not share our classroom as something to be copied; merely as inspiration. 

Our home school is called The Cornerstone Academy.  I have an obsession with naming things.  It does give me something to put on the forms when I order supplies.  The sign is on the outside of the door.



This is a view of the main learning area in our classroom/office combo.  I apologize because it's difficult to get a full shot.




Our sensorial area begins to the right of the doorway.  This is also where we keep our rugs.  And yes, that is a picture of Maria Montessori hung at a level where the kids can see it.




This is a wider shot of the sensorial and math shelves to the right of the door.  Obviously, the children cannot reach the highest shelves.  I still prefer to keep materials out verses in the storage closet otherwise I forget about them.  I use the top shelves to house my albums.



These are the sensorial shelves.  Most of the material in this area is traditional in nature; the geometic cabinet, brown stairs, geometic solids, knobbed and knobless cylinders, binomial/trinomial cubes, constructive triangles and color boxes.  We also have a host of sensory works such as tasting and smelling bottles and the baric and thermic tables


These are the math shelves.  The materials are in a strange order to prevent the resident toddler from dumping the smallest pieces.  Math is our largest subject material-wise.  Most of the elementary works are not on the shelves yet



This side of the room contains two storage closets.  Our math work continues on this wall.  Here you can see the complete bead material.  Our practical life shelves sit below the beds and you'll notice a small table in front of it for completing work.



The practical life shelves are the smallest area in the room.  I do occasionally rotate items here.  We tend to get most of our practical life experience outside of the classroom throughout the home.



This side of the wall contains our washing table, geography cabinet, science shelves and toddler area.



This is a closer shot of the washing table and geography cabinet.  The bins below hold our continent boxes.



Our science shelves hold basics such as the botany and zoology works.  There is also at least one other science topic represented that is rotated.  We were studying physics when this photo was taken.



This is the toddler area including the toddler desk.



The desk next to the toddler area is used mostly for auxiliary storage.  I tend to keep extra toddler materials and puzzles here.  The sensory bin and alphabet sound tubs are here as well.  The filing cabinets hiding behind the sensory bin hold our extra cards and miniatures.  The desk with computer on the right is my husbands.  We still use this room for some non-school purposes as well. 



This is the language area.  My two older children currently use this table and chair set.  Each has a set of drawers for supplies.



The area along the back wall houses items such as sand paper letters and the phonogram folders.  I'm slowly bringing the bell material in and housing it here.  The large tower holds various sets of cards for use with the moveable alphabet.  The shorter shelf on the right holds various spelling works with miniatures.  Supplies such as paper, blank books and cutting strips are on top.



This area is behind the table to the left of the main shelf.  It holds the metal insets and several other language works.  The cart on the right is for our grammar farm materials.



There is a small area in the back of the room that is utilized for school.  There is a chair and book sling tucked into a corner to the left.  The cart of drawers is used to house various nature items such as rocks, shells and insects in acrylic.



There is also a small set of shelves tucked in the back.  It contains a random assortment of things such as a visual discrimination activity.  Our classroom plants are kept on top.  I also keep a basket of binoculars by the windows for viewing the birds.



This corner functions as my office for both managing school and my personal pursuits.  Most of my teacher supplies are on the desk on the right.  The lateral filing cabinet contains everything needed for the current school year (in theory) as well as any work completed by the kids for tracking progress.  Sadly, this is as clean as this area gets.



There are two small shelves in this area that backs up against the language section.  This is used for organizing the various readers as well the books we are currently focusing on for Classical Conversations.  There is also a small area for picture based reference books.  Most of the general reading books are kept in the book sling.