In case you’re searching for inspiration or merely satisfying your curiosity about how someone else’s work space looks, here are the variations we’ve had over the years:
When we first started (right after Peatie’s 5th birthday, but technically still PreK), our only seatwork was a bit of handwriting, for which this little table (a cut-down kitchen table that ‘Love had used as a bachelor) in the basement play area was perfect.
Most of our learning that PreK year was entirely interest-based and happened as we did life in our kitchen and living room, pausing to ponder the maps and make number line discoveries, reading books and doing projects about things that inspired the kids.
For practical purposes (namely being able to hear Pookie if he cried during his nap), I moved our workspace to a different room–this weird space that was always hard to utilize.
We moved just before Peatie officially started kindergarten. (I go by the traditional school calendar just for the sake of the kids knowing how to respond to grown-ups who really want to know their approximate age.) Here’s how I set things up when we started.
Unfortunately, Pookie (2.5) no longer napped, instead spending his time dumping out all the toys in the room. And while that table was perfect for two kids, it was quite crowded for three.
A few months into Peatie’s kindy year, we invested in the cheapest desks we could find at Walmart (combined with folding chairs we already owned) and some whiteboards. The kids loved having their own space to spread out, though I didn’t love the regimented look.
We kept those trampolines handy, though. They were a lifesaver for allowing movement during discussions or a brain-break during difficult work. The coffee table on the far side of the room was merely to keep the adults from bumping our heads on the dining room light fixture.
The building toys had been in our family room, but we got tired of having two spaces messy with toys, so as we started the next school year–1st grade for Peatie and kindy for Goober–I tried combining them. Unfortunately, this meant that anyone who came to the front door got an eyeful of mess, and the trampolines really had nowhere to go but across the entire front hallway.
Halfway through 1st/K, we switched our family room furniture to the front of the house and moved all the school stuff and play stuff to the back.
So far this new arrangement is working, though the trampolines are still floor hogs. Here’s how everything is arranged for Fall 2016, which is 2nd/1st/PK4. At this front edge is a little two-shelf bookshelf that contains all the curricula for the year, as well as resources like a dictionary, art books, and blank paper.
This was taken a couple weeks ago, but already that bookshelf on the right has had books added so it is now completely full. (Oh, the joy of people giving books away!) The white labels on the long bookshelf are attached to cardboard magazine files; some are “Picture Books: Author’s Last Name A-E” or similar, while others are “Brief Biographies” or “Maps and Atlases”. I use the shorter, top shelf for chapter books (alphabetical by author), which also spill onto the smaller bookshelf on the right.