Over halfway through August- can you believe it? We have two more weekends of our “summer” before we dive into our new fall schedule and school year. We plan to start the Tuesday after Labor Day, when Kaitlyn returns to 3 mornings a week preschool.
At this point my nerves have subsided. Having had a summer break, we are already in an at-home rhythm. Hailey is excited about having mom be her teacher and I envision our days will fill up with lessons, of course, but also with exploring, cooking, and being out and about. Honestly, I’m quite giddy about the whole thing and really looking forward to having some quality one on one time with my big girl.
I mentioned we went through a total overhaul of our playroom to transform it into a space for learning, creating, and having fun. I promised myself I wouldn’t get hung up on making it look perfect, so though interior decorators may not be asking me for tips, I’m really thrilled how it turned out!
However, before I dive into the details, I think it’s worth taking note of the “before” to really appreciate the transformation:
Um, yeah. Pure chaos.
The biggest change happened when we replaced the old, green carpet that had been there since we moved in. We donated the baby toys, threw away broken items, and added new carpet- boom! Clean slate.
Having this fresh, new slate to start from was really exciting. I promised myself that nothing would go back in the room without a proper place, then got to work.
Let me take you on a quick tour! First up, the heart of the room, the table I scored on facebook marketplace for under $100. I LOVE the blue.
The rug is from Rugs USA where I found it on clearance for under $100. When it showed up, it was more bold than I was expecting, but it’s grown on me. Also, it’s purpose is to be there to collect and hide paint, markers, and other items that are sure to fly off the table at some point, so bold is probably good.
Speaking of markers, paint, glue, and other supplies…
We are stocked! I have all our curriculum in hand, and I’m ready to go with a new stack of construction paper, tape, glue, scissors, paint, fat pencils… the works! Though most of the art supplies are tucked safely away inside our little storage area because… three year olds.
Opposite the table looks like this:
I totally nerded out and bought educational posters. I felt a little silly, like playing school (though I guess I am?), but they’ve really been a hit so far! They are high quality and Hailey often reads through them. We have the keyboard with note stickers and a karaoke machine too, which gets a lot of love.
Then there is the storage, complete with cube cubies from Ikea. We are stocked on games (very popular at our house right now), puzzles, magnatiles, and baby dolls. My favorite thing about this wall though, are the art display boards!
I really look forward to switching out the art displayed each week, especially the seasonal art pieces. The clip boards, which are available in different colors, are sturdy and strong and even arrived with the right screws for hanging them.
We tend to talk a lot about the world and we’ve had the large map up for a while. There are color-coded stickers that show where we all have traveled to. Yellow is David, green is for me, and blue is where we’ve been as a family. We have a lot more we want to add!
To round things out we still have the play kitchen, complete with fruit and vegetable prints, which the girls use as “recipes.”
Then there is the reading corner with our giant Love Sac and forward facing bookshelves.
Hailey still draws Koda in our family pictures because “she’s still our dog mom, she just lives in heaven now.” <3 <3 <3
The best part of it all is that since the transformation, both girls have been really adamant about everything going back in its proper place when they are finished playing with it. Will that last forever? One can only hope, but the room stays spic ‘n span right now, which basically makes it my favorite room in the house.
So as for school itself…
I’ve been through our curriculum a few times and really only need to read about the upcoming week each Sunday, so I feel good about our writing and math. For the rest of the subjects (as much as you have subjects in kindergarten), I’m doing themed units each month. September is not so surprisingly on APPLES and I’ll be sharing my plans for that unit soon. Whether you homeschool or not, I’ve found some fun books, activities, and recipes that will fit right into the beginning of fall.
OH! And I have an amazing tip for you that I got from a reader (Thank you Alison!!). You must check out Thrift Books, an online used book store that offers serious discounts.
I mentioned the books I really wanted to get for our Kindergarten library and was told to check out Thrift Books. I found so many of the books I needed in great used condition and now I’m hooked!
Use this referral link for 15% off your first order. I got these 4 books delivered to me for less than $12. Amazing!
So the room is set, the curriculum is in hand, and the excitement is high. We’re ready to dive in and get started!