Tuesday, July 28, 2009

july 26: life on the shelf

Maybe it's because things have seemed slow around here, maybe I was taking inventory, and maybe I was just exhausted by thinking of the looming disaster area, but Sunday was spent on the shelves.

The children's games.

We were due for what I call Juice. Juice being that magical ingredient that's thrown into the mix that inspires, jazzes things up, and gives us a jumpstart in the discovery and enthusiasm department.

Mama's cleaned craft cupboard.

One sure way to be inspired around here is re-organization.

Art shelf in the den.

We have lots of shelves to hold interesting things. Sometimes things are brought in by the Mama of the house (strewn), and sometimes we all venture downstairs together to get something and end up carting up a whole mess of Interesting Things.

The dress-up and puppet station.

We don't do curricula, and we don't do lessons (unless you call experiments 'lessons'), and I don't like the word "teach" because I far rather the babes find value and have confidence in themselves and their processes by way of Discovery.

Shelves off the kitchen for holding library books, and current science projects and interests.

My role is to be mindful and make interesting offers.

The science center.

So we do things a bit differently than many do.


Knowing re-organizing is a fine way to get things flowing, I finally tackled the rumpus room.
Maddie was down there taking full advantage of any three feet of space cleared out and organized, of course. Dug into all sorts of things before I was even done.

Craft, reading and writing games, and people and places.

I didn't mind tripping over her. That was the purpose of the day's work, after all-- to spark interest.

Building center.

I feel it's mandatory for us to have our things accessible and in view.
Our things living openly on the shelves works beautifully for us.

Most things (things not currently being used) reside downstairs, where we don't go terribly often-- which works well because we can see them with fresh eyes and be animated by their possibilities.

So operations around here are seeded not by plans well laid...

but by what can be seen, imagined, and discovered

All things math.

on the Shelf.


  1. Organizing feeds my juices, too. :)

  2. Oh yeah, me organising things always has the kids coming and finding cool things to get back into.

  3. This was one of the best descriptions of unschooling philosophy I've ever seen. Didn't expect that from a photo-essay. Very cool.

  4. Juice! JUICE!Ya know, I am always quite thirsty for juice.

  5. I am riding a juicy wave of reorganization right now myself. We have lots of stations and shelves and baskets of learning goodies everywhere and it is great to see what the kids gravitate towards on any given day.
    Thanks as always for sharing


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!