Organizing the School Room

I finally organized the schoolroom.  I forgot to take a before picture, so here’s a photo of some schoolroom fun, in which you can see the disarray in the bookshelves behind her. 

(Pay no attention to the seemingly happy toddler.  The messy bookshelves are truly driving her crazy.  You can see it in the angst-ridden art she creates because the room is such a mess.)

So one day, soon after my triumph in the basement, I decided I had enough gumption to organize the schoolroom.  I did great taking all the books off the shelves and lining them up against the walls in alphabetical order.  Then along came the children. 

Child#1:  “Wow– look at all these books!”

Child #2″ “Look, it’s like a library!”

Child #3: “Where’d all these books come from?”

Mommy: “Don’t touch those books– I’m putting them back in order!”

Child #1: “Can I help?”

Mommy: “Sure.”

Child #2: “Where does this one go?”

Mommy: “Guess what, you can’t help.  I just can’t handle your help right now.”

Child #3: “So what should we do instead?”

Mommy: “Go play.”

Child #1: “I’m bored.”

Somehow all the books got put in their respective spots, and then I couldn’t take it any more, and I called my friend to go do something.  I’m not even sure now what we did, but it didn’t involve any children tripping over a large pile of alphabetized novels and completing worsening havoc within my havoc.

By the time Sam came home, I had all the adult novels (adult meaning non Young Adult, not the other meaning of that descriptor) on the upper shelves and a shelf of Shakespeare and poetry alongside them.  Then I have a shelf of youth anthologies (like Lang Fairy Tales and Junior Great Books and mythology collections), and then YA novels.  Finally on the bottom shelves, I have picture books and some non-fiction: biographies, history, biology, astronomy and physical science, and then our Spanish books.  All the philosophy and religion went into the TV room shelves.  Also in the TV room is a bookcase with deep shelves where I have our old piano books, medical books and art books (which are always so big).

Over here you see what used to be our cubbies.  However, the cubby system quickly disintegrated into a cube for all the random papers my children were too pack-ratty to recycle, and after several days, each cubby would be vomiting papers onto the floor any time someone walked by.  Something Had to Be Done.  So I have co-opted these cubbies and made them our school book shelves.  I have all our books for next year here, plus some reference book we use frequently and are just too big for the regular shelves.

What was left was a disaster of all the papers and half-used workbooks and clippings and flashcards that I had stuffed into the shelves– now all over the table.  I couldn’t handle any more, and I had the piano teacher coming in 15 hours.  She’s a great teacher, but very neat.  There was no way I could let her see the mess.  So I begged Sam to put his fabulous organizational skills to work while I took the kids to swim practice.  When I came home, he had recycled about 20 lbs of paper, and had three tiny stacks for me to sort.

Thanks, honey.

So here it is.  Nobody touch anything in there till the fall, okay?

7 thoughts on “Organizing the School Room

  1. It looks great! What a breathe of fresh air for you! Love it!

    Also-I’ve realized that instead of commenting on your blog (like I thought I was previously doing) I was actually “updating my status” or something? Anyways-apparently all I’ve been doing, according to my status updates, is making now sense at all by referencing a blog post that no one can see. Oh well, I’ll get the hang of it somehow : )



  2. Pingback: Featured Blog ~ Learning As We Go – The Official HSB Community Blog

  3. WOW you have really accomplished a lot while I have made no progress in our classroom.
    Seems the summer swimming is getting to much of our attention these days. I will not take me long so I will share my pictures at the end of August.

    Of course the temptation of them entering the room before fall may be more than they can endure.


  4. Wow! That really appeals to me! Organizing the bookshelves/library. I’ve considered trying it again, but I’m with BETH…the idea of the kids coming in and scrambling them around would be too much for me to bear. I’ve tried labeling shelves, but that didn’t work. Just yesterday I discovered, and have even considered labeling the individual books themselves. But then I have to wonder…would that make me the crazy lady in town with the labeling gun? Should I just LET IT GO???


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