“School Room” Tour 2016

“School Room” Tour 2016

I can’t believe I’m already writing my third annual school room tour!  The room hasn’t changed much as it’s still our living room. We did get a new sofa for Christmas so we have a bit more floor space without the chaise sticking out. Although most of the items on the shelves haven’t changed. I’ll go around the room and point out what we have out and what is new.


Standing in the middle of the room and looking to the left we have DJ’s work table, his art easel, language & science shelves and the geography maps cabinet. I had to close all of the curtains to get a good picture because the sun was too bright.


The top shelf has: sandpaper letters & numbers, metal insets, grammar symbols and a rotating art frame. I moved the sandpaper letters to the top shelf hoping they’ll be more accessible than laying down on the bottom shelf. DJ has little interest in reading/writing so I just try to keep it on his radar. The grammar solids are new but he’s nowhere near ready for them. I suppose I should have them put away until we get to that point but they’re just so pretty!

The left set of shelves have writing implements, markers, colored pencils, short pencils, chalk, sponges for erasing and a small chalkboard. The large green chalkboards are tucked to the side of the shelves on the right. The movable alphabet is in the large box just below all the writing tools and next to that are 5 spinny-spellers, one for each vowel. The bottom shelf has various types of paper and the sand tray (which I hate but will give it one more chance). The middle left shelf has various language materials like phonics books, puzzle pairs, puzzle opposites & story sequence cards.

The right set of shelves is loosely our science materials and some random things that don’t fit anywhere else. It includes our life cycle sets, biology puzzles, vertebrate class books and biology classification card sets.


The maps cabinet has puzzle maps for the World, the US and 6 Continents (not including Antartica). On top of the cabinet is our continents globe, land & water forms, 2 small map jigsaw puzzles, a maps book and some cultural items – South American doll, Matryoska dolls and an Australian boomerang.

To the right of the maps cabinet is our “Tell me about Today” calendar. We don’t update this every day but having the months listed at the bottom right & color coded by season has really helped DJ see the rythym of our years. Just to the right right of the calendar are the stairs which will help orient the next photo.


As our living room is full the school materials have overflowed into the dining room. You can see at the end of the hallway the black bells cabinet and our new complete bead material for math. The longest bead chain on the left is the thousand chain. And just to the right of th photo you can see DJ’s Little Davinci art frame. He’s very proud of his “Blue Dog” painting that he did as part of a mini-camp this summer. Again to orient you, I the photo the TV is directly to my right, although you can’t see it in the picture of the hallway.


So turning to the right again you can see the rest of the living room. The shelves on the left are mostly math & sensorial materials. The shelves on the back wall to the left of the piano hold books and some miscellaneous items. The white shelves on the right with the doors house my husband’s movie/game collection so is sadly not available to me. On the window sill to the right you can just make out two sets of hardware drawers that hold our miniature phonics objects with each drawer labeled from A to Z.

This is a closer look at the shelves below the television which hold mostly math and sensorial materials. The 8 photo boxes on top actually go with the geography map puzzles. There is one box for each continent, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America and Antartica (and also the Arctic Circle). The eighth box is for the world oceans. The four “skittles” in front of the boxes are fraction skittles that are apparently used in elementary but I pulled them out to teach DJ about quarters and he likes them so I left them out.

The left set of shelves start with the Golden Bead material with the large number cards to the right. We used these a lot last year so I’m not sure how much use they’ll get but DJ likes them so much I didn’t want to remove them prematurely. The next shelf has the Stamp Game that he started at the end of last year and our new Snake Game. This Snake Game set includes all the components needed to do addition, subtraction and negative subtraction but we’ll just start with addition. Down one more shelf is the Decanomial Square in a ziplock bag, a box of random number cards and the Hundred Board. The Number Rods are tucked in behind all of that.  I’m not sure if we’ll need them this year so I left them accessible.  The bottom shelf has the Geometric Cabinet and three boxes of small number cards tucked to the left.

The right set of shelves is mostly sensorial materials. I displayed the Geometric Solids on top again because I thought they looked nice and now I can use the basket they were in to hold DJ’s clock materials on the bottom shelf. The top right shelf has the five Constructive Triangle boxes and the Tens Board (which DJ doesn’t like but he needs to review). Below that are the Binomial & Trinomial Cubes and “Race to a Dollar” Money Game. The Brown Stair is hidden behind these items. DJ is so far past that work but he loves them so there would be a fit if they disappeared. (The Pink Tower also still sits on its stand to the right of these shelves but I didn’t think to include it in the picture). Next are the Knobbed Cylinders, which may not get any more use this year. The last shelf has the Knobless Cylinders, Clock Work materials and our new Decanomial Bead Box.


Turning to the right again, you get a close up of the last set of shelves. These are mostly things that don’t fit anywhere else. There are some books (not all that we have but some), the gray thousand chain may rolled up in a huge ball, Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks, a Microscope & Prepared Slides, Guidecraft Feel & Find Shapes in a bag, and finally the much unloved Botany Leaf Cabinet & related cards. Maybe I’ll find the inspiration to actually use that this year?  And of course there is the piano, which will become part of DJ’s homeschool this year as he will begin taking piano lessons in the fall.

So I think we’re almost ready to start DJ’s third year of Montessori. Although he’s already completed two years he won’t be five until November so this is technically still his pre-kindergarten year. And in true homeschooler’s fashion, we’re going to start the new school year by going to Hawaii. Hah!  So we’ll be back in mid-September doing our work.

Happy Not Back to School to you all!

One thought on ““School Room” Tour 2016

  1. Thank you for the tour, I can’t wait to make our space more functional! I’m curious what brand your puzzle maps are? I purchased mine used and your cabinet looks just like mine- I’d love to figure out what they are so I could purchase controls instead of making them! (The world and North America were fun but 50 is really a lot of states!) Thanks!

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