I snapped a few photos so that you could take a peek inside the latest re-arranging I've done in our little home.
We'll be schooling Beatrix at home for the upcoming year. We plan to have a few other children join us. The more the merrier, we say!
We live in an average size house, so it's been a fun challenge making sure that her learning environment isn't overdone, or overly consuming to our living space. I am constantly reminding myself that simplicity always reigns. With that in mind, I like to think that this environment offers a taste of a more traditional Montessori setting. A taste of the world. Just enough, I think, for a three year old.
By next month, we hope to have the construction of a screen porch underway. Once it is built, the environment will change again. The screen porch will become the main learning space with room for art projects, science experiments, and lots of practical life activities such as washing and baking preparations. I envision a sweet balance between the comforts of a home and the peace afforded by fresh air and sunlight. I even dream of woodstove on the porch for the (slightly) chillier months.
This is the view that one sees when they enter our home. To the right of this point is our living area. To the left is our kitchen.
This shelf holds language and practical life materials. The box on the floor to the right of the shelf contains dressing frames.
And here is where we keep puzzle maps (tucked in the cabinet on the left), math, and sensorial materials.
This shelf contains art materials and more practical life activities. It's hard to see the details but there's collage work, watercolors, playdough, beeswax crayons, pencils, and a sewing basket.
Our nature and science nook....
I hope you have enjoyed the glimpse into what our learning space looks like right now. Though, it is an ever evolving place. Interests peak and wane and with limited room, materials will sure to be rotated as necessary. No matter the size of our homes (and Bea has had three in her short life already), I feel nothing speaks to the idea of 'hominess' more than when children can find their place within it. That in some way, they are a part of it. A place for them is carved out. A path has been created for the child to assert her independenc and her desire to contribute.
In our case, it is working out smashingly well so far. A typical day begins with Beatrix rolling out of bed, Byron and I following along behind. We get the coffee going. First things first, after all. And she goes to town, so to speak. Working. Arranging flowers, counting, slicing an egg, squeezing her own orange juice. From one activity to another. Humming along. Engaged and peaceful. And during these times, there is an overwhelming joy that fills me up for the wonderful opportunity of being her mama and watching her grow.
Setting up the learning spaces are always fun. Though, what is almost as rewarding is discovering creative solutions to store away the materials that you don't see on the shelves. Afterall, everything must be easily accessible or else updating the materials on the shelf becomes a daunting task which doesn't happen as often as it should.
Next up, closets! Nah, not sure I'm ready to reveal that much!