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The beginnings of a learning space.

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I’ve been working to create a learning space for Darren, with some success. It occupies a corner of our large dining/craft room. The room is terrific. It’s a large open space that is usually half dining room and half sewing/blogging/painting/knitting/etc space. When needs necessitate, we transform the room into one large dining room, thanks to the two Svalbo tables from Ikea and the generosity of my brother-in-law who purchased them for us.

The idea really started coming to life when my mom snagged a preschool-size set of a table with two chairs from her neighbor. It’s a bentwood set from the fifties in fairly good condition. I reinforced the pieces to relieve some wobbliness by taking them fully apart, applying new glue to the joints and replacing screws where the holes were stripped.


For Darren’s third birthday last November, I made a set of tactile fabric number cards, using the pattern from the fantastic book Growing Up Sew Liberated  by Meg McElwee. Finally finding time and energy to complete the project by gluing and lashing the clothespins to a stick from our favorite neighborhood mulberry tree, I am completely delighted with the final (final) product. (Trivia: I used a bit of yarn from my very first spinning to hang the branch. The wool was shorn from our own sheep, processed by a local fibre mill and spun in….1994!)


Below and to the right of the numbers sits a wooden crate with books from home and the library. I plan to have themed books out in the bin. Currently, I have some ABC books and some counting books. The crate held peaches from last year’s peach canning extravaganza. Underneath the book crate I have a small piece of weaving from my first exploits in fibre art, probably in 1992 or 1993. It’s a simple rag rug with multi-colored warp and light pink and white weft. The “rags” were probably cut from a bunch of my mom’s stash fabric.


To the right of that are a corkboard, the table and chairs, and a set of two hanging folders that were not being used in our office. The folders house coloring pages to color and write (with my help) notes to mail to friends and family.


To the right of that are three pieces of artwork: a large, wooden lower-case f purchased at Columbus Architectural Salvage, an unframed poster with artwork by NIkki McClure and a poem by Hank received as a party favor at a friend’s birthday party, and a darling needlepoint of our last name done by friend and former co-worker, Sabra.


Darren is excited about the space and the activities it contains. As you can see in the first photo, he’s very interested in writing letters using chalk on chalkboard fabric.

Do you have learning spaces at home? Please share.


One response »

  1. Reblogged this on Teacher Chandy' s Cubbyhole and commented:
    A little space set for studying is the first step in teaching and developing good study habits to our children. Great job Kate! Happy learning Darren! 🙂


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