Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A project

Since I last posted, I have definitely come to terms with Sebastian's school decision.  So much so, that we had a 'project' weekend.  This is something we have never done before, so try and follow

We have had it in mind for a while now to turn our dining room downstairs, which contained the cat litter tray and a few big toys, into a learning room.  I had seen this on Pinterest, and when I explained it to Paul, he thought we could do similar.

See, the boys need a table to do their homework/colouring/arts and crafts/Lego on, without me having to push them off once I have to serve a meal. They have currently been using the dining table in the kitchen for all of the above.

After a few discussions between ourselves, then with my Dad's input, Paul had a list of what he needed and where to get it.  They headed to Lowe's first, to get the top for the table, and a few other bits and pieces in between.  Then to Kmart in Mauldin for the ends of the table.  But they didn't have 2, so they had to head to the Greenville branch to pick up another one.

We began construction on saturday evening.  I painted the top, 2 coats of white.  

Paul built the shelving units 

 The next day, Paul used some of the off cuts from the MDF for the top to make the supports to hold the units sturdy under the tabletop.  These were glued in place, and left to dry

Once dried, the table was turned back over, and fitted to the top of the units.  We have not fixed it permanently.  We hope the supports will be enough to hold it in place. I am hard pressed to push it off, so the boys would really struggle.  We want it like this so we can disassemble it easily if and when required.  We added a black bench we had purchased from Ikea when we first got here.  It was initially for the boys computer, but that gave up the ghost a little while ago.

Oliver testing out the unfinished product

That evening, Paul glued the edging to the top of the table.  This is to stop pens/crayon/Lego from rolling off the table.  This was left to dry over night

The finished product!!!

We are insanely pleased with this, and the boys seem to love it too.  It draws them away from the TV, and gets them engaged and using brain power. 

 Seeing as I am going to be trying to do some learning with Seb at home to help get him ready for school, I decided to add some finishing touches.  Drawing from some boards on Pinterest, I have done a timetable.  This is mainly for Seb, but it will also give Oliver and Isaac some structure to their days when they are off school.  For example, Isaac goes back on Friday, Oliver 2 weeks on Friday.  I am hoping Oliver is going to get involved with the learning room, and show Seb how things work.  All signs looking promising, so far.

I have done a sheet of A4 with 'Todays day is.....', 'Todays date is.....and 'Todays month is.....'.  This is for all 3 really.  There are laminated cards to velcro onto the laminated sheet, so the boys can change this, and I can talk to Seb about it.  On A5 laminated sheets I have done color, number, letter and topic.  Isaacs preschool in the UK did this, one of each a week and it was really good, gave them all some focus.  We may change ours more regularly though.  Again, there are laminated cards for the boys to stick on.
I had to buy a laminator.  This is such an awesome product, and I am so pleased with the results.  A real investment I feel.

 Each end of the shelving unit has open shelves and storage boxes.  All of these are labelled.  This should help Isaac with his reading.

We also have a storage shelf with boxes containing painting and arts and crafts equipment.

(Sorry the pictures are rubbish, they were taken late at night.  If you want better images just let me know!)

I am hopeful that I can get Sebastian engaged in what we have so far.  There are colouring books, notebooks, scribble books and lots of construction paper.  I also have some fake flowers, pebbles, bubbles and jigsaw type things for him to try.  It will take a bit of time to get him interested.  but I am hoping Oliver will help with this before he goes back to school.

I have also signed Seb up for some Art type classes, with kids his own age.  Give him the chance to spend some time in a social environment.  I also intend to start him at Gymboree at the beginning of September.  This will help with his gross motor skills, and again assist in his social skills.  We are going to be busy.  I am so looking forward to my mornings with Seb...

I have a board on Pinterest which I have created to help with inspiring Seb.  This isn't just about educating him.  It is getting him involved with his environment, helping him know what is expected of him, and hopefully bringing his speech on a bit more.  

We have a few more plans.  We want to make something like this, but a bit more basic, so we can move the litter tray into the office room.  I would also like to make one of the corners in the learning room into a book nook.  This would take the boys books from the play room, where there is the distraction of the TV, into a nice quieter environment.

Lots of fun to come!!!!!

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