I love how big it is... it makes our "bookroom" (now the schoolroom, I suppose!) look like a conference room with it sitting there in the center! It will give us much more space to spread out than the old table, which was square and only seated four. The main problem with the old table, though, was that it was tiled on top. That was great for cleaning up paint or sticky stuff, but it made drawing and writing very bumpy! So, now we have a smooth work surface...
...well, almost smooth. If you look closely (or click to enlarge), you can see the indentation made by my youngest brother. He was apparently addressing an envelope, because his first and last name are visible as well as the street address, although you can tell that he repositioned the envelope after writing part of the street number. It was my dad who told me to look for this - but he said it was Stephen who wrote his name on the table. But I even made a rubbing to prove it:
I found this pocket chart at the Target dollar spot... gotta love that dollar spot! We will put words in it that are relevant each week... for instance, A week will include apple, St. Anne, and angels. I also have a word box in which we will put words on index cards... words that Caroline learns through our weekly Alphabet Path story and the weekly saint story. Eventually we will use these cards to find patterns in spelling, rhyming words, and other patterns such as long and short vowels, etc.
Here is another shelf of materials... the left side is for religious books that will be used for read-alouds and "tea time" - a weekly event in which we will have tea and a yummy treat (bye bye, diet? hopefully it won't go completely out the window!) while reading aloud from the Catholic Children's Treasure Box books, the New Catholic Children's Bible (just arrived today and not appearing in the above photo), A Life of Our Lord for Children, and My Jesus and I. I also have a Bible that was mine, which is written on a second grade level and will make a good reference. Also on this shelf, we have a sketchbook to be used for various drawings, and Little Folks' Number Practice, which is an introduction to letter formation and concepts.
Here is one of our art supply shelves: construction paper and paints/brushes. The shelf under that holds clipboards for use during nature study or other outdoor activities (and we use them on long trips in the van!). There is also a plastic storage box there in which we can keep ongoing projects that might have small pieces or cut-outs that need to be glued, like a lapbook.
Here is one of our den closets, which is where I am storing the work activities (on the top two shelves). The shelf below those holds a bunch or reference books that are not likely to be useful right away, but we are holding on to them.
The shelf above is in the same closet (gotta love whoever put in all these closets with shelves before we moved it!) and on the top, we have musical instruments and some small puppets and feltboard figures. Then we have a shelf full of puzzles and some math manipulatives. Toys are on the shelves below these.
Here are our pencils... we had them in old jars, and then I saw this post and decided we could do that as a fun craft (since Caroline was already asking me if we could do some kind of art project that very morning!).
I am planning to paint little wooden saints for each letter of the Alphabet Path. Here is St. Anne (with young Mary alongside her, or as Caroline calls her, "kid Mary"). They are incomplete here (need hands and hair!)... I hope to make a few of them each week or two so they will be ready for their corresponding letter.
I love the shoe organizer on the back wall... can't remember where I first saw that idea, but it keeps things organized, visible, and accessible.
The orange basket on the table surface is our Alphabet Path essentials basket. I have the books we will be using each week in it: A Flower Fairies Alphabet, An Alphabet of Catholic Saints, God's Alphabet, a reference book of saints, Museum ABC, our Alphabet Path binder (where all the copywork and illustrations for the fairies and saints will be kept, along with the Alphabet Path stories themselves). I downloaded Startwrite handwriting software to make the copywork sheets... Caroline will start out with lots of tracing of letters in the form of the poetry from the books as we work on proper formation. We will also use the poetry in the books for memory work... not that Caroline's memory needs any work! ;)