If it's something that I have discovered, it's how our classroom changes. Constantly. It seems that it, itself, is a living breathing thing (mostly because it is where we do our work), so that things get put up, taken down, moved, added to, or removed all together. I'm lucky in the fact that we keep it picked up so that the small space doesn't feel confined (unless you close the pocket door). I'm also lucky that this was a playroom before The Monk became school age, so I had already painted the walls with rolling hills and trees, which helps when we are inside, plus it adds a sense of whimsy to our day. We have a snuggle area for read-a-louds and there is a small closet that allows us to store all of our odds and ends that we need for various school supplies and art projects. Our workbox station remains out of the way (for those interested in workboxes, you should check out this site - she gives excellent advice about how to start that up!), and we were able to hang a small bullatin board that I'm able to change once a month (just because it's fun!).
Spring is my second favorite season (running a close second to fall), so I always feel as though I have to revamp whatever isn't working in my life and around the house as a way of cleaning out the old and getting on with the new (I've always felt that New Years should begin in March rather than January). Since there is an air of rebirth and renewal in the spring, going through clothes, washing the windows and drapes, and reviewing curriculum are some of the things that I like to do as the sun is shining longer and the days are getting warmer.
That being said, I have pulled out all of my paperwork and binders and whatever what-nots that I started with when I began planning to homeschool last year and I have decided that I need to really start getting my act together and clean out what has and hasn't been working for us.
One of the things that hasn't been working is not having a set schedule. I tried having a really tight schedule when we started and then that transformed into no schedule at all. Now it's come back to we need a routine, but not anything that is too strict or confining (The Monk HAS to have wiggle room - pun intended). So I have developed a schedule that I think is very right for us (it even includes afternoon tea at 3 so that we can have a snack and just hang out before The Hubs gets home and the wild rumpus of dinner, bath, and bed begins).
Another change that needs to happen right now is my being more organized about how and what The Monk is learning. That being said, I've finally broken down and checked is learning against the CCSS. Ugh. I know, I thought that I left that in the classroom as well, but our state requires that he take a national standardized test in the 3rd grade, so I figured I might as well check to see where we are at (above in reading, behind in math). That being said, I have to get my act together and have a system that works for me to be able to track and monitor his growth. It sort of takes all the fun out of things, but it is a necessary evil, especially for me to feel like I am being successful as his teacher (elementary curriculum is very different from what I was doing while teaching middle school). I have piecemealed some things and am getting ready to sit down and sift through it all so that I can spring clean myself into feeling better about what I'm doing (btw, I found the great teaching binder here). Hopefully during the household purges and deep cleaning and the seed planting and everything else that leads me to love spring, I can get myself and The Monk on a better track towards success.