In the Learning Room: Year 3 and Year 6 Organization

I am going to make an attempt here. To be pithy. Succinct. Abbreviated. One picture. One idea.  LOL! I’m not sure I’m capable of limiting my vocabulary in this way.   >>>Just.Not.Sure.I.Can.Limit<<<  But, I’m seriously going to try.

I finished my Year 3 and Year 6 booklists, term plans, and weekly plans! Happy dance!!! After getting all of the paper stuff finished, it’s time to clean up and set up the shelves with all the books and things needed for the year! It’s a HUGE component to a smoothly running year for us!


PICTURED: The bottom shelf is Year 3; the middle shelf is Year 6. Some people use baskets, bins or bags – I dedicate one full shelf of our learning room book-case for each child. Every CD, notebook and book needed for that child’s term is present on the shelf. All in one place. I refresh shelves in between terms (we divide our year into 3 manageable chunks – 3 terms) so each term break the shelves are wiped down, I remove all the migrant stuff that wandered into the mix, check pens and supplies, refresh term books and off we go again!

One thing I love to use for organizing art supplies for the term are plastic letter size zip folios (pictured on the left side of each shelf). We use Artistic Pursuits as our art program (but this works with whatever you happen to use for art!). Find the materials list and start assembling materials: grab construction paper, sketch pads, oil pastels, sketch pencils, glue – whatever – and throw it in the zip folio and it lives on the shelf!! Having it all assembled means that art is MUCH more likely to be completed during the week…because I don’t have to hunt down an elusive red pastel or an HB sketch pencil!

I know you’re going to ask!  🙂 The little aqua cart in the corner of the picture is our art cart. Ikea RASKOG in turquoise. Love this thing! We don’t have an IKEA near us, so I ordered ours.

That’s it! I’m stopping. Zipping it. Putting a lid on it. I am seriously refraining and holding myself back from adding a gazillion more pictures to this post. >>>WILL.NOT.ADD.MORE.PHOTOS.<<<  Because I’m off to work on that top shelf up there in the picture…the one with books piled high! THAT would be Year 10!

Maybe…just maybe…if I can manage to keep my silly vocabulary in check, I can post little snippets like this more often as I progress through the learning room, preparing for the next year! Hope your planning and organizing is going well! Drop me a note if you have a question about something! 🙂

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  1. Can I ask about The Appalachian Trail book now or must I wait until the next post? LOL

    And I just ordered that Ikea cart in almond to match our kitchen!!

    1. You can definitely ask about it! LOL!!! I’m still pre-skimming but it’s a fantastic book. I got I as a reference to go alongside Mark’s geography book for the year: A Walk In the Woods (Bill Bryson). The Appalachian trail is really more like a coffee table book – glossy pages, lots of gorgeous full color pics on every page. I picked it up for a penny on Amazon. The main reason I got the book was for the map of the Appalachian trail that comes tucked in the back flap – it doesn’t disappoint! The map is slim and vertical – about 3 feet long. A great visual!!! I’m definitely hanging it up. We actually live in the foothills of the Appalachians – so the trail effectively ends in our front yard, so to speak. We hope to hit the trail in Tennessee this year – maybe the Nantahala natl forest? We’ll see how the year plays out. Let me know if you have specific questions!!

    1. Thank you so much, channon! I love chatting here and I love writing longer, meatier posts!! Those longer posts take lots of my time though. If I can also manage to exercise some self-restraint with the shorter, more succinct post…I can post more often!! Goodness it’s hard not to sit down and just spill my vocabulary though!!! LOL!!!

  2. My son read A Walk in the Woods during his 8th grade year. I felt squishy about it as a book for school…but now that I know you are using it, I feel so much better! Nothing like validation from homeschool moms I look up to. I love your blog and poke around over here every chance I get. Thanks!

  3. I have the same cart! But, umm… what do you put in yours? I can’t ever settle on a use for ours? I used to use it as a teacher cart (it’s so pretty I didn’t want to share)with my supplies and teacher’s manuals and binders. But it wasn’t quite what I wanted. This year I was thinking communal supplies and Math U See blocks… I would love some ideas on how you use yours though!

    1. I love this little cart, Katrina! I was using it for my toddler’s toys, but I decided to reclaim it and contain all of our art supplies because sometimes the kids are at the table for art, sometimes at a desk, and sometimes on the couch or front porch – so I thought the rolling cart with art supplies would be useful! The kids have already been enjoying how portable the art supply cart is – they like rolling it right up to their desk!

      TOP SHELF: markers, crayons, color pencils, sketch pens, notebooking pens, watercolor sets and watercolor paint pens.

      MIDDLE SHELF: is for my preschooler’s art supplies: pipsqueak markers, crayons, beeswax crayons, washable watercolors, sticker book.

      BOTTOM SHELF: stencils, sketch books, watercolor paper, sketch paper, other art papers.

  4. Can you tell me about Story of the World? Would you fully recommend it for a Catholic curriculum?
    Thank you and love your posts! God bless!

    1. I don’t use the entire set. I avoid the periods that are typically troublesome for Catholics (vol 2, 3). I use and like volume 1 (ancient) and volume 4 (modern). I use excerpts of Vol 4, but I like vol 1 a lot. I find nothing in vol 1 that would be objectionable for a Catholic. I highly recommend the audio read by Jim Weiss.

      TAN homeschool is just releasing a Catholic version of SOTW and I’d really like to preview those. They could be great in place of SOTW…I know they’re releasing the ancient history module this summer, so if that’s where you are in history, I might check them out, too!!

  5. Oh Jennifer! PLEASE DO NOT LIMIT YOUR WORDS OR PICTURES!!!!! How inspiring you are! How lovely are your pictures! How your words excite inspiration! When you limit your expression, you limit us!!! So please oh please talk and post away!!!! 🙂

  6. I love your long chatty posts with the beautiful photos! I understand completely about how the composing is time consuming, but do be reassured that I, and I imagine many many other readers, adore your blogging style!!

  7. Hi Jen,
    I would like more photos also as I am visual. Just FYI. The Ikea cart is $ 30 more on Amazon than ordering directly from IKEA. I know Amazon prices fluctuate so it’s good to check. I’m not sure how the shipping compares.
    God bless,

  8. I would love to know about how you use the Artistic Pursuits curriculum! I have kids ages 10, 8. 6. and 3. Should I start with the Book 1 k-3? Are the supplies needed many or expensive? How self-directed could one’s children be? 😉

    1. Hi M.T. I combine my kids as much as possible and Artistic Pursuits would work well when combined with your kids ages. I’d start with Book 1. The website has the list of supplies needed for each book, and you can supplement since you have more than one child using. I have my older (4th grade+) kids use the program completely independently, but I read the lessons aloud to my K-3 kids. It doesn’t take a lot of my time, and if they’re all combined it’s a good use of your time. Artistic pursuits is my favorite art program! I have every book through high school! I highly recommend it!

  9. Please don’t tease me like that. I just grabbed a tall drink and I was looking forward to a long visit.
    So…I will have to content myself looking elsewhere on your blog for more encouragement and inspiration!
    Love you, Jenn. You are awesome!

  10. General question, Miss Jennifer!
    How did you like the Latin program from Classical Academic press for the older ones (not the monkey Latin one..we have it and enjoy it) I was thinking about the difference between Memoria and the CAP product and i wanted to know what you thought.

    1. Both programs are good, and both fall short to me. I like the layout and organization of CAP, but (at the time I viewed anyway) the programs are definitely more geared to classical pronunciation, and we have always taught ecclesiastical. Memoria is well put together, but you cannot do that program without the DVD series unless you are quite good at Latin on your own, which I was not. And the program is so, so dry. Sooooooo….what we’ve finally done is use Visual Latin with Dwayne Thomas and let that take us up through Henle. I switched over completely to Visual Latin when Mark was about halfway through Latina Christiana and he excelled! (He’s in 11th grade now) My kids are HUGE fans of Dwayne Thomas. HUGE! And his dry wit really helps with Latin. Visual Latin goes on sale pretty regularly through Homeschool Buyers co-op, Donna Marie, so keep an eye out for it there if you decide to go that route. 🙂 Hope this helps.

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