Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Celebrating Endings & Looking Ahead To New Beginnings~ Part 1 of 2

With summer officially upon us, we are celebrating the end of a school year and looking ahead to new beginnings.  Today we are celebrating clean desks!
~This is (soon to be 3rd grader Princess') tidy learning space~
(It hasn't been this clean for quite awhile!)
It feels good to wipe the slate clean and start anew...
With a Home Educator Conference to attend, I am looking ahead to new beginnings.
Thinking about new curriculum...
Thinking about organizing my "own" desk...
Thinking about cleaning...out with the old and in with the new...
Thinking about trying to de-clutter detach...
Thinking about getting rid of "stuff"...
Definitely lots to think about and lots to do!
Over the 6 years that I have educated children at home, I have often felt overwhelmed at this point.  The thought of cleaning out several children's school work and making room for the new grade has gotten the best of me.  Over time, I  have learned to take things one room or space at a time.  I found it best to devote the first part of our summer to purging bedrooms and learning spaces so the new school year is a fresh start and not a stressful start.
My realistic goal this year (especially with busy toddler at foot)  is to work on one room or space per week.  So far, this has proven successful!  To date, we have purged and cleaned 2 bedrooms and started on the school room, hence the 1 clean desk above!
I thought I'd share a few photos of a storage cupboard I have in our school room/play room.  This year, I decided to keep my liturgical decorations and supplies separately (from all other stuff) for easy and quick access when the time comes.   I found that if I'm "ready to go", we tend to make the most of both our school year and church year!  This is the outside of 4 cupboards in our school room:
Inside these four cupboards, we keep school supplies and play things.  We use this world map when we do our daily saint readings to point out the country and continent where the saint comes from.  This ends up being a great daily geography lesson!  And of course the liturgical year, in poster form, is a great tool for following the church calendar each day.
~One of the top shelves holds all of our Advent & Christmas resources and crafty supplies~
(I keep holiday picture/reading books separately on a different book shelf)
~Next to Advent/Christmas is the Lent/Easter season supplies and crafts.  This year, I added Mary Month of May storage, including materials for next year's May baskets~
I know many of you already do this but it sure is helpful to have separate containers for pens, colored pencils, and crayons.  These 3 tubs provide quick access at our house and easy clean up.
~Here's how I keep my gift bags and ribbon~
~Saving the best for last is our prayer shelf in the school room~
Out of respect, we always try to keep this area clean but it's always nice at the end of the year to tidy it up a bit.  We keep our daily saint readings here so they are accessible after our morning prayer.  This little prayer shelf has made our morning prayer and saint reading time a huge success.  Praise God for these graces received!
**For my next post (Part 2) I want to share our Learning Binders**
These were created as a result of my desire for a tool to help all of us "celebrate" our school year  and the children's accomplishments.  These binders have been successful beyond measure and they have really been very easy to maintain with several children!
God Bless your summer!


  1. Would you please come over and straighten up my desk? :) It sure needs it! Great work!

    God bless!

  2. Looking great! Thanks for inspiring me to get our summer lessons organized! Can't wait to see the learning folders, I am learning about homeschooling and still undecided what we'll do....
    Many Blessings,

  3. Thanks for the peek. I'm doing the same at my home front and could use your inspiration. I've been viewng past posts and blog hops on homeschool rooms. I plan to start this year with a clean slate. I'm talking a COMPLETE purge. Hopefully I'll be able to post about it.
    Pax Christi - Lena

  4. Wow! I wish I were as organized as you. I love your litrugical boxes. I have one box with a big jumble of all of our "religious" stuff. Does that count? Lol! Can't wait to see your learning binders :-)

  5. what a neat glimpse into your educational/liturgical spaces. I too have found it helpful to organize the liturgical seasons. love your prayer shelf. I think your desk looks pretty clean to me! looking forward to part II.


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