Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DIY Writing center

Homemade books, by the 6 year old.

I keep seeing fantastic pictures of homeschool classrooms, with neat little "centers" for the kids to work in.

Our house is small. We have neither a devoted school room, nor many built in niches throughout the house to devote to "centers."

In spite of that, I wanted to set up a little writing area for the kids. L is really into writing little books right now, and V is churning out a steady flow of cute little drawings.

A book about "monsters with belly buttons,"  by the 3 year old.

Here's what I came up with:

We picked up these little plastic shelf things from Ikea on clearance. I have no idea how they were actually meant to be used but they work fine for this. (You could also just set out a couple of wicker baskets or plastic bins on a shelf. )

The bottom bin is filled with all sorts of paper, lined writing paper, computer paper, little note books and scrapbooks, and tiny homemade books, (which have been a great hit around here.)

The middle bin is filled with pencils, colored pencils, and crayons. If my kiddos could be trusted independently with markers, I'd add them too. (But they can't. Somehow the temptation for creating unauthorized murals on the walls is too much...)

The top bin is for "published works," that is, things the kids are finished with. They like showing off their latest creations to their daddy, and whoever comes over. (When it gets too full, I have to cull the masterpieces.)

Although this is a simple idea, it's gotten a lot of use here. The kids are able to help themselves whenever inspiration hits, and also put supplies away when they are finished. I like it because it's cut down on the stacks of paper everywhere, and the dog has been eating less crayons, since the kids aren't leaving them all over the house.

If you're interested in making some of the little paper books, check out this tutorial from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar.

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