Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Need Some Help in Texas!


Hope this title isn't too alarming. I don't really need urgent help, just some good advice from all you homeschooling Montessorians out there.

Okay, first the update. Well, we finally closed on the sale of our house in Virginia. So we are officially, homeless. Though this isn't technically true, we do have a roof over our heads, but we don't call it home. After the first sale contract fell through 12 hours before closing, (and we found out from the buyer's title company...not their agent) to have this sale close is a huge weight off our chest.

So now, until our purchase house in Texas closes, we are waiting it out in our small four-room rental with a dishwasher that leaks, lights that come on and off at will, a thermostat that keeps on resetting itself to 70 degrees-freezing, and wood roaches that seem to like the freezing temps inside. Hopefully after we sign we'll be able to get our storage cubes delivered quickly, get past an in-town board meeting, and have appliances delivered promptly so that we can get settled, finally.

Now, onto the reason I need some help. We will have a dedicated space in the new house for our homeschool environment. (A homeschool space was on our house-hunting must-have list.) It will be a fraction of the size, perhaps half, of the space that we had in Virginia. There will be no plumbing and no direct access to an outdoor area. There is a wall with windows on one short side of the rectangle space and this faces north. The classroom is on the second level and the space has rather long shaggy carpeting. (Not really "shag" but it is far from that short stuff you put down in office suites.) There is a short wall on one side (the door side, not the window side) that "overlooks" the stairwell.

Because this classroom is much smaller than our last space, I am seeking ideas from any readers out there about how to organize a small space for multiple Montessori levels. (I have a first year primary and a first and second year elementary.) How do you organize your small space? What do you have out, what do you pack away? What kind of shelving, cabinets, and furniture do you use?

If you are able, would you please leave in the comments section any suggestions about how to fit it all into such a tight space? (I am sorry I don't have dimensions. But I am thinking 15' x 9' maybe??)  If you have written about this topic on your blog, or read someone else's post on their blog, or seen pictures on Pinterest, would you mind leaving those links in the comments too? 

The other topic I am seeking help with is the matter of storage. Texas doesn't believe in basements. (Well the limestone beneath central Texas doesn't believe in basements or in-ground pools.) And we are spending only a modest amount on this first house feeling that we are probably going to move AGAIN in a few years. So, at this point, we have limited closet space as well. How do you organize all your Montessori materials so that you have a prayer knowing what you have, what you don't have and what you need? (And maybe where it is located.) Again, if you are able, would you mind leaving a link in the comments to any posts or sources of unfounded inspiration on the matter of storage? I think I am going to need all the help I can get folks.

Thank you in advance for any and all advice. It took a ton of time to set up our last classroom and I never thought in a million years that I'd have to take it all down one year later and move it half-way across the country to a state where wood roaches grow to the length of your middle finger. I am sure we'll get to say'n "y'all" soon enough, but I don't think I'll be getting used to those horrific roaches.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Where We Are - July 1, 2014

We are in Texas!

We are renting a small vacation home in the south of the city until we can close on a home here in Texas. After six weeks of my husband alternating between Texas and Virginia, we decided to rent a home for a small bit before our home purchase was finalized. This will keep our family together and help keep my husband from spending 10 hours a week in airports and planes.

The sale of our home in VA was supposed to close two days after we arrived in Texas. It didn't. Back on the market, we received two offers in two days. We already have a ratified contract to purchase a home in Texas and we need to close in VA before closing in TX. Now after negotiating one of the sale offers, we are just holding our breath that this sale will go through and will not lose the house here in TX.

IF all goes as planned, hopefully we will be settled in a new home come late-August. Until then we are enjoying humid 100+ degree days at the neighborhood splash pads, cooking dinners at home, and getting lost in and around the city.

I can't wait to unpack our Montessori classroom and get started again. Stay tuned! And have a wonderful summer!