Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Actually, it's the After first as I have a hard time even stomaching the Before. You'll remember the dark 70's paneling where our math manipulatives duked it out with Plutarch for space on the shelves - that will be the final photo.
Charlotte Mason considered order and neatness among the branches of education that "should be about the child like the air he breathes," (Vol. 1, p. 125). Well, it was down-right stifling in our study when we began this DIY make-over but the air has finally cleared and I wanted to share the results. Included in our efforts was the salvaging of a vintage department store display we found in our garage when we moved in. We re-purposed the 16-unit mouse condominium into the project table shown above.
When the behemoth Expedit was moved in I doubted the sanity of putting a 6'x6' shelving unit into a 13'x13' space. Rather than crying, I put in a quick call to my friend Laurie, hostess of Rocks in the Dryer - her design blog with a bite. With cool candor, she took me through some do's and don'ts of Expedit arrangement and I got busy moving in the books and sundry.
"Neatness is akin to order, but is not quite the same thing: it implies not only 'a place for everything, and everything in its place,' but everything in a suitable place, so as to produce a good effect; in fact, taste comes into play." (CM. Vol. 1, p. 130).
To keep all those bits and pieces in a pleasing and suitable arrangement, we rely on a number of storage solutions. A flip-top archival photo storage box houses our floppy spiral-bound math curriculum, paper storage boxes hold math and language manipulatives, and an old silk-covered box keeps loose letters in one place. Ikea's Prant box with lid is perfect for keeping one subject's resources together, especially if they include thin paperbacks. A bonus to Ikea products is that your kids can assemble them and you've had your handicraft for the week!
This is probably our most pleasing vignette, and having the Brock Magiscope on display with our field guides has increased their usage.
Before. Don't let the flash-induced honey color on the walls fool you.