Monday, 23 February 2015

NBTS Blog Hop - Our Learning Space

It's week 4 of the Aussie (NOT) Back to School Blog Hop - and topic of the week is "Our Learning Space". The Blog Hop is being hosted by Our Worldwide Classroom and Every Bed of Roses, thanks ladies! 

Our Learning Space .... is small.  Yes I am lucky enough to have a dedicated space and we converted the small spare bedroom in our shoe box 3 bedroom home (yes doing the Maths isn't it lucky I have only one child?!) into a classroom 4 years ago.  It started out clean, un-cluttered and looking spacious.  Oh that didn't last long! Here is a "back then" photo: 

I look at that now and think OMG where is all our stuff!  Mind you, we had everything we needed at the time.  Things were a lot simpler then and I didn't know of as many book sales sights as I do now!

Bare in mind that living in such a small house, we have no storage and this room was once a baby room (throughout our IVF days), a Tupperware office (during my sales years), and THE only storage space we have.  This room has two cupboards and set of drawers that store our stuff (behind where I was standing to take this photo), my Tupperware and those few baby things I will always keep. This room also stores my huge collection of scrapbooking stuff which sadly has sat unused for years. It also houses our collection of medieval gear used for the one or two festivals we attend. We have a lot of stuff. So only half of the room is technically usable for us as a classroom.

Now fast forward 4 years.  Add in my obsession with books, starting my own Scholastic book club account, 4 years worth of curriculum, 4 years worth of projects, new shelves to fit the extra books, limited wall space etc.  It's squishy, I won't deny that.  But it works for us till we win lotto.  

This is my most used item of furniture.  Each drawer has a different subject. Bought from Officeworks for less than $30 on sale. 
Top drawer has general stuff and HEU papers.
2nd - Spelling

3rd - Grammar
4th - Handwriting and Reading Comprehension
5th - Mathematics
6th - Science 
7th - History
8th - Geography
9th - Art 
10th - Printer & Art paper

These drawers help me keep organised and it helps the males in the house know where things go when I ask for something from the Spelling drawer LOL.

In this photo is my Tupperware drawers, Ring Binders, my organiser white board and a bookcase (it's actually a DVD shelf unit) for the Literature Units I have planned for the next 4 years. 

The books here include 24 from the Classic Starts Series, 16 from the Shakespeare Stories collection for Children, Fair Dinkum Histories series by Jackie French, Classic novels like Arabian Nights and the Tale of Two Cities, Narnia Series, History Quest series and the Mike Venezia Inventors books as well as books ready for high school reading.  These include The Diary of Anne Frank, Playing Beattie Bow, Catcher In the Rye, A Brave New World, The Barrumbi Kids, and some poetry books by Edgar Allan Poe and Banjo Patterson. 

This little bookcase houses our collection of "Horrible" books (Histories, Science & Geography) on the top shelf and the bottom shelf is all reference books. From science, history, picture books, atlas', biographies etc.  
Up top is a file storage box that has printed work to go with the reference books.  When I come across work on websites or free curriculum sites, I print it out and file it here so I can find it easily when I am ready to get to that topic.  

It also holds our much used Scrabble game and my son's new favourite - the dreaded recorder! As well as the recorder book I found for $1 (bargain!). 

This is Warrior Kid's desk.  On the back of the desk caddy there is a weekly timetable so he knows the rough plan of the week.  On the far side in the shelves you can see one of his mini whiteboards.  He has two. We use them everyday.  

He has a love of stationary like his mother so has a huge stash of pencils and erasers, and easily fills a lot of his shelves with it.  We keep all his Maths counters and sand timers, protractors and paddlepop sticks etc in there too.  His art boxes are there, project boxes, globe etc.  

On his desk is a laminated prompt chart.  It has the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, counting grid etc.  He will need to check it to reassure himself that he has written something the right way etc. 

My desk.  I have the PC and printer on my desk. Sitting in this configuration means that I can set up online clips and work for Warrior Kid and swivel the screen and he can view it (without it being in his way), and means I can easily help him with his work.  I am now a pro at being able to read fluently upside down and back to front.  I can even do find-a-words like that LOL.  

I have the same shelving set as Warrior Kid does, mine is filled with Scrapbooking gear and photo albums, as well as all the Carer folders and medical documentation needed for all his therapies, Dr's, hospital appointments, funding, Disability Services, centrelink etc.  That section takes up a lot of room and unfortunately seems to be growing. 

The bookcases inside the doorway are Warrior Kid's FUN books to read whenever.  Stuff like the Harry Potter series, How to Train Your Dragon series, Geronimo Stilton, Zac Power, Star Wars Academy books, 13 Story Treehouse series, Beast Quest, Roald Dalh collection, Goosebumps, Deltora Quest, Pokemon etc. 

This month I did what I never wanted .... I expanded into the hallway!  We now have a DVD shelf unit full of the DVD's that go with the Classic Novels we are reading and also with the curriculum we are learning. AND a few books that don't fit anywhere else LOL. I REALLY need a library!  

Now we aren't stuck in this little room everyday.  We might do an hour or two at a time but reading is done out in the lounge room or on the bed.  Larger projects are done on the kitchen table or outside.

Outside is an old photo - because Warrior Kid's Dad desperately needs to mow the lawn and it currently looks horrendous.  I won't be too hard on him though as he's had a melanoma removed from his back twice in the last month and it's not healing well so he's not up to yard work yet. 
So this is a few years ago, there is more grass now, plants (in the tyres) are bigger etc.  Sadly due to Warrior Kids blood disorder, he bleeds too much in summer to use this year round, it really only gets used in winter. 
Lounge room = TV and DVD watching area, iPad playing (and charging LOL), reading.

Bookcase full of DVD storage.

Oversize armchair for reading and laptop use.

Dining room table for bigger projects (and to store boxes of books yet to fit in the classroom as per this photo LOL).

Hallway storage (board games etc). 

So there it is.  My little, old house.  No second TV/family/media/rumpus room, little bedrooms, little everything.  One day I will get my big house with a big library and classroom and store room ..... till then, this is it, very full - and usually covered in dog hair.  Why would it be covered in dog hair you ask?  Well this giant white hairy student likes to shed on everything and take over everything as per this last pic (yes that's a two seater couch size ottoman he is covering LOL and yes, he is watching TV hehehe).


  1. Those drawers are so handy aren't they? I love your learning spaces, and that outdoor play area is amazing!

    1. Yes I wish I had room for more of those drawers :) Thanks for the lovely comment, yeah the outside needs to have lots to do when you have an only child to keep entertained and not too bored LOL.

  2. I really like how efficiently you have used your small space. Wonderful set up.

    Best wishes
    Jen in Qld

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment! It helps that Ikea isn't too far away hehehe