Visual Inspiration for Home AL Set-ups: Share and Inspire in the New Year!

We have attempted to collect the few known visual samples we have of some methods of “visual” organization some moms have put into action to display the Aquinas Learning materials at home. The goal is to inspire each other with some ideas for the new year, and to hopefully engender some new ideas and sharing among our community. 

If you have an idea about how you handle memory works, visual materials, etc. please share via email or to  FaceBook and we will update this page accordingly. 


Casey Beltran’s All in one supplies and visual aid station. 

Casey Beltran locates many school materials in one “control booth” place: hooks for backpacks, hanging caddies for school supplies like pencils etc., a magnet board for Mom’s organization purposes, a hanging box for paperwork, and, lower down to child sight-lines, the visual aids from the parent handbook for the week.


Daly “Wonder Wall.”

Above, Rebekah Daly took a trip to Michael’s to gather some frames, a display “line” and pins to create what the family now calls the “wonder wall” to display the visual aids for the week, along with relevant timeline pages, and some inspirational quotes at the top. She says, “What I’ve done is to just put the pages on our wall where we walk by often. In the morning we all gather there together for five minutes and we sing the memory songs as I play them from my computer.”


Mentor Doris Dean’s Classroom Display.

The above is a classroom display put together by Mentor Doris Dean. The photo is from a few years ago (when Aquinas Learning incorporated spelling as part of the program), but it gives a good idea of how to incorporate “everything in one place.” The construction is individual cork boards that were then stuck to a wall that was painted with high gloss paint so they were easy to remove. Her display included labels for each subject, the relevant visual aids, and the timeline pages.


Trifold display easily folded and put away so you can have your kitchen back.

Ana check out the usually hanging or standing trifold display prior to the weekly visual aids being changed out.  

Rosario Reilly, like many classroom mentors, prefers a movable “trifold” display that can be easily taken out or stowed away when necessary to save on space. This makes for an easy transportable option for mentors.

“Fun bins” next to work space for filler times.

Extra bins next to their desk or work space had items for the kids to study, play with, or just explore. This one way to address younger siblings who are bored with nothing to do while  mom is working with the older kids. Replenish every so often so as to keep them interested in their “school extra-curricular bin.”

Color-coded bins for organizing each child’s materials.

Color-coded bins worked well when my five children were younger and I was necessarily a lot more hands-on due to age. Each child had their own color. The top drawer was things “to do” and the second bin was when they were done. would take the second bin to check their work. You can do this even if you have clear bins, just mark it somehow so they know one is “work to do” and the next is “work done.”

One more tip from Rosario for handling multiple “I need help mom” interruptions from siblings during one-on-one sessions: Make use of a clump of playdoh or some form of non-drying clay, and design “flags,” one for each child, to mount to the top of toothpicks (you could also just pick out different cupcake toppers for each student). When a child has a question during a one-on-one session, they stick “their” flag in their own clump of clay so that when mom looks up she can see who needs help. In Rosario’s instance, her children all sat at the kitchen table and kitchen counter. Their flags were next to them but visible to her so they didn’t have to get up.



Former AL mom Lisa Kearns (see article,”Former Aquinas Alumni Recognized by National Merit Scholarship Program“), put her timeline figures near the ceiling…they circled her entire living room and crossed into her school room and bookshelf area.

 

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