Summer Homeschool Room Cleaning! School Room Refresh For The New Year!
Getting our space refreshed and set for the new year is always a favorite of mine. It feels so good to clean out our bookshelves and the millions of paper that we seem to accumulate over the year. Anyone else relate? Where does this paper come from!? We also still have many unfinished projects around our fixer upper.
You'll notice trim that *still* needs painting, switches and outlets that need replacing, flooring - oh goodness do we need flooring-, but with a whole house of needs, we get a room functional, and circle back later to do the finishing details. Hindsight, that might not be the best plan of attack as the circling back seems to get pushed off quite a bit... but I do think I'd rather have all my spaces almost done, than a few spaces totally finished, and a few spaces untouched and stuck in the 60s. Ok, random tangent, sorry! Back to refreshing the school room!
I like to take advantage of our time off and the little bit of time alone in the school room it offers.
This has been true when we've schooled in the kitchen, in a sitting room, in the dining room, with a tiny cart, and now in a full fledged school room. Whatever our room, cabinet, cart, closet - whatever - that housed our school "stuff" was, I took time in the summer to reorganize, clean out, and also assess where exactly we were at with everything.
Quite honestly, in the hustle and bustle of the homeschool year, our school room doesn't get deep cleaned as often as it should. Anyone else? So I love to take this opportunity to deep clean. I start off by clearing out some of the furniture and shampoo the carpet. I don't know what it is about carpet cleaning, but it is so satisfying!
A quick shampoo of the carpet brought our cream rug back to life! It had gotten quite dingy. Side note - look at that 60s peachy tan carpet lol. I'll be happen to get this out. It also is coming apart at the seams, we have to vacuum very carefully, and avoid certain parts that just unravel. Glamorous right?
I should also note, that just a week or so before we took a break for summer, I had made a few small changes to the school room. I brought in the comfy yellow rocker- that we actually inherited when we bought this home. I moved the table, and moved my desk, and added a map of Texas.
A little flash back to how the room looked earlier in the year:
Basically, the only things I didn't rearrange in this room were the bookcases themselves. But all the books and supplies on those shelves definitely moved around!
After deep cleaning the carpets, wiping down walls and the window sill, I start to attack the shelves! Well that is a little extreme, but this is quite a big job. I pull out all the random things that have been tucked here and there. I remove all the garbage. Next, I remove the curriculum and organize it into piles: unfinished courses, finished courses, future courses.
I put everything on the table/floor/chairs/etc and start one shelf at a time putting everything back. I also cataloged our books this year using the LibraryThing app. Total nerd thing to do, but it was satisfying. It also allows me to make exports of what we've used for records, so I'm hoping I'll use that feature!
A quick break down of a few of our most used shelves.
This bookcase holds our most used shelves. The top shelf is my Teacher Guides for our group subjects, my planner, and my record book. The next four shelves down are individual "lockers" for each of my children.
Each locker contains a basket of independent readers, a children's bible, a hanging under shelf basket (meant for a pantry) that has their daily discs, and any other journals or workbooks they need. Daily Discs are a set of Happy Planner Discs that hold a quarter's worth of math and language. I refill this with fresh work as needed. There is also a set of Discs to file all completed work, with dividers for each subject, including our group subjects. My youngest's locker looks a bit different. He has board books, Stepping Stones, busy toys that I rotate out, and a little notebook for drawing in.
Now let's move to the left and discuss the second most used shelves!
This shelf holds our reference books for some of our current courses. Namely Zoology and America's Story, and Living Art Lessons. There is also our Paleontology books which we aren't using quite yet, but will be in the future. I wanted these books up higher because my 3 year old is obsessed with dinosaurs and a little too rough to have these within reach.
This shelf houses reference books and Master Books extras. Mostly science but not necessarily grouped by subject.
Here we have our morning basket - this year we are using the Family Morning Basket from Master Books. We also have our History/Geography reference books.
The last tall bookcase has future courses, cumulative record binders, math manipulatives, activity books, coloring books, and baskets/magazine files to hold loose papers / crafts / drawings / etc.
The small bookcases by my rocking chair hold our "Children's Library", our craft supplies, and my children's tablets.
This craft area has the supplies that I have out for the kids to grab at will. We have a walk in closet in this room that holds more craft supplies that are off limits without permission. Sometimes I rotate out what is available on the shelves, but I keep the messier things in the closet!
This rocking chair might just be my favorite addition to the school room. I love that I can sit here and read aloud as my kids sit at the table drawing, and there is room on the floor for my youngest to play with blocks or cars. The side table has enough room for my coffee, books, planner, teacher guides, and anything else I need within reach.
I have ended up loving the fact that we went with an inexpensive folding table and chairs. My kids have been rough on this table and it has held up well. We used to school at my dining table and I would be fussy over pen marks and paint spills and everything else. This table is easy to clean, and I'm not worried if I end up needing to replace it , it won't break the bank. Same with the chairs - they have paint and permanent marker and scratches and it is just fine.
This beaded garland is another favorite of mine. The kids can display their art or projects and it is an easy way to hang things up for their dad to check out!
I'm always amazed at what a difference a quick-ish refresh will do for a space. Moving a few things around, deep cleaning, and organizing the bookcases does wonders! Now we are all set to start our year on Monday.
What do you do to prep for the new school year?
Until next time, Happy Schooling!