Since one of my goals this school year is to be a little more multisensory, and since I have a whole schoolroom to decorate now, and full ink cartridges in the printer, I spent the weekend making and hanging maps, charts, little blurb-like biographies, a timeline, and the State Song of Texas. (In between coughing and naps. I am recovering from a cold.)
Please bear with me while I give minute and painful details as to what went up. I have been without a dedicated space for school, lo! this many (okay, only this past) year. (Will you put up with me if I provide some links?)
Triss is doing Year 7 this year, and since that is a lot of British geography and history, I hung maps of England, Wales, Scotland, and even Northern Ireland/Ireland.
I never feel like we know enough about our adopted state of Texas, so I hung several maps of Texas, including this one, and this one, and this one, and this one-- all conveniently marked with You Are Here dots. One map I am not linking to is the one of our specific city area, so the girls can see where we our home is in relation to the places we go regularly. I also put up the names of the different regions of TX, the state song, and the state flag.
Flushed with success, I took this timeline of Texas history and copied it into Word, reformatting it with clip art for each date. I hung that outside of the girls' bath. (They spend a lot of time there staring at the walls, waiting for one of their sisters to give up the bathroom. We have two Doorposts posters in the same hall for their reading enjoyment, the Go To The Ant Chart and the Brother Offended Checklist. These have had the same places on the wall for the past four years. I wonder how much the girls notice them nowadays. I nearly took them down, but then recalled that Cornflower has only recently begun that insatiable reading of anything posted phase-- she only just burst into reading this year-- so I will leave them up a little longer.)
Inside the girls' bath we have a map of the United States, showing state capitals, and a map-of-the-world shower curtain.
I relocated three large posters that help us identify trees by their bark, leaves and trees (order these for free), and moved a poster of our national anthem as well.
I redid our art study frame in the entry, and put the first painting of the term into it.
Not my best job of cropping and matting, but it'll do. We generally use the painting as wallpaper on the computer too. I put up Leonardo da Vinci's self-portrait and a portion of text from Sister Wendy's Story of Painting in the schoolroom, as well as the list of his works we will be studying this term. And maps of Italy (where he was born) and France (where he died).
I have a stack of biographical blurbs, pictures and lists of musical pieces to hang as soon as we get Mariel's room sign off the door to the schoolroom. Yes, The Mighty Handful will have a place of distinction, and I have Mrs. Happy Housewife to thank, as I used her composer study lesson plan to find resources.
I posted an official Policy for Unplanned Activity on the pantry door, in order to circumvent arguments when I must become the Cruel Queen and insist that rooms be clean, zones be presentable and schoolwork be finished before they take advantage of last-minute invitations anywhere. I also simplified the zone chore sheets and added clip art. I'm really having fun with the clip art.
We sit at the computer to read Plutarch (which for me is often like walking blind through an unknown land). On the computer armoire door we have a map of Roman Dominions in the Late Republic, and a map of Greek Political Alliances-- this is actually a better map than the one we have. These two maps have hung here for a year. Our current Greek map has the alliances of Sparta and Athens crossed and we have to remind ourselves not to look at the key to keep from getting mixed up.
To these I added a diagram of the Government of the United States-- a little small and hard to read, but better than nothing. I wanted to hang the list of Roman government offices, but decided our own government was more important. Instead, we will read them aloud and refer to the online list as needed..
Tonight I printed out pictures and definitions of geography terms, and am trying to think where I should hang them. (I printed my chart from Enchanted Learning, as we have a membership, but I cannot locate it outside the members' site. I think this will be a good resource for us when I need something "schoolish" to keep Cornflower occupied, or to reemphasize a skill or concept with Mariel. They have a very cool pirate map activity that I will be printing when Mariel reads about pirates this year.) I have a nifty idea for a special "Bird of the Week" display, since Cornflower and I will be reading the Burgess Bird Book this year. And I want to hang the children's recitation assignments in several prominent places as well, once I decide on them.
Can you say hyperfocus?