Have you ever heard the saying that everyone wants to quit homeschooling in November and February? I think February needs no explanation, falling in the long part of the winter for many Northerners. For me, however, November can be a little bit overwhelming because it is when we start to see the clutter creeping in....
Our shelves look a little less straight. Pushed full of materials not quite put away correctly, projects in progress, and those extra materials we purchased (or pulled out of storage) last minute not realizing we would be needing this year. We didn't plan for them and the failure to plan means they are just wandering homeless around the school room, piggy backing on spaces meant for other things.
And we just won't talk about the toddler. I had to finally put the food preparation works away for a time because we just couldn't keep her away from them. Almost everything that is at her level is fair game and she had mixed together color boxes #2 and #3 several times.... We ended up with piles of things we didn't want her to reach shoved up high.
The thing about our school room being our dining room is that when that clutter creeps in there, it starts to creep into other spaces as well. We have to look at it all the time!!! I took some time this weekend to refresh our shelves.
Math materials, in particular, just didn't have nearly enough shelf space. Since we used traditional pencil/paper curriculum for the last 2-3 years due to space constraints, I didn't really know what we would need and I guessed.
And was wrong.
We have a fairly large front entryway that almost no one uses, so we moved all of the math materials into that space adding shelves. Still accessible right off the dining room, but able to be spread out a little more.
I also swapped out a couple smaller shelves for larger ones. These were shelves I bought for a previous home we lived in and declared them too large for our new house. I was wrong and they look beautiful. The higher height means more Logan/Kylee accessible, but Lucie inaccessible, shelving.
The final swap was to bring our kid research computer upstairs. There were too many things in our office and having kids in and out of there, up and down stairs, made supervising a challenge for me. Now I can supervise and assist in computer work without leaving the toddler alone to do what she will to the rest of the room.
The moral of the story is this- if you are feeling overwhelmed and a little dragged down by homeschooling right now, take a look at your environment. Have your carefully laid plans for the year gotten a little off track? Is your mood perhaps and reflection of your environment? Are you controlling the environment or is the environment controlling you?
A few hours taking charge of your space and your clutter can give your entire attitude a facelift and inspire you for the business of the holiday season, followed by the long days of winter.
I am so incredibly blessed by a husband who understands Montessori better than I do. He helps drag shelves up and downstairs, makes suggestions, and then sighs at dinner and looks around and says, "I really like it. It does look better in here."