Homeschool Room

Last year at Christmas break, I decided that I wanted to change our little used living room into a homeschool room.  So little by little we have added some things to make it more usable as a homeschool room.  Here's a little bit about each of the shots in the slideshow:

Piano - This would be the piano my parents bought when I was five. I took lessons on it for almost eight years.  When my mother moved across the country right after I graduated from college, my step dad told her he would buy her something else if she would leave it with me.  (I think he knew it would get a lot more attention from me than from her.) Princess M has been taking lessons for four and a half years and Princess S for three years.  Princess L would start this year if we let her but we told her she had to wait until she was reading well enough, or until she was 6 1/2 - whichever came last.

Teacher's Manuals - This is where I keep all of my big stuff.

Ikea Billy Bookshelf - I've waited for this for a long time!  I finally was able to take my books out of boxes and bins and put them all up where they are easily seen and accessible.  And would you believe they are almost totally full!  I can gain a little space by putting books of the same height on one shelf and add another shelf.

Teacher/Mom's Desk - We've had this awesome desk hanging on the wall for about six months and I love it!  It's another Ikea buy.  The nice thing is that when we do need to use the room for something other than school, like an extended family celebration, then it closes up into the wall and locks!  Which also means I can keep my laptop away from the kids if I'm not going to be around. The organizers came from DH's work.  They are moving their office at the end of the summer and are getting rid of stuff.  He brought home several things that had been left in the cafeteria for anyone who wanted them.  They're a little beat up but they work great.

Whiteboard - This was a Christmas gift from Nanny and Papa.  Another nice addition.  Notice the picture of the principal (DH) that hangs over it.  He hung that as a joke a long time ago when his family was going to be coming over.  But, I teased him endlessly because he wrote "Principle (name) Strive for Excellence".  I reminded him that the principal was your pal.  It remains there still to remind us.

Height Adjustable Tables - I purchased these from Sam's Club. I love them because they are easily taken down and stored, have handles built in, and are height adjustable.  Last year I had one as low as it goes, and one at chair height.  I figured Princesses L and M would use one, but they really didn't yet.  So this year, since we had the stools, and I have one (Princess S) who NEVER SITS STILL, I thought we'd try this at counter height and see how it worked.  It will keep Princess M from coloring on, spilling on, grabbing or otherwise attacking whatever is on their desk at the time.  I also have one sorter on the top that they can use to put some of the more often used books.  For this year, only the older two princess will use these tables.  Princess L still does everything with me, so we just work at the kitchen table, which is just to the left of my desk.

Read Aloud Sofa - When we made the room over, we brought our old beat up sofa (which was our first major purchase as an engaged couple) up from the family room and moved our "nice" furniture (read less beat up) down to the family room.  While it takes up a large foot print, we needed to have a sofa for read alouds.  At least for those that we don't do during lunch.

Entire Room - Someday I have dreams of doing more, but not until we have a lot more saved up.

Well there you have it.  I hope this gives you a little better glimpse into our homeschool life.  And for a full disclaimer - it never looks that straightened up.  I grabbed the rest of the stuff that was scattered all over and put it all in a laundry basket so I could take pictures.  I'll have to go through it all tomorrow.


Getting Ready - Part One

Well, we're on the countdown for the start of our school year on August 9th.  I cannot believe how fast this summer has slipped away.  I still have a few things left to do, but I'm almost done.  Here is where my list stands so far:
  • Make spreadsheet with library request dates
  • Make and print schedules for everyone
  • Purchase bookshelf for home school room
  • Clean and organize home school room
  • Make copies of phonics games
  • Get MCT books spiral bound
  • Get Latin books put into page protectors
  • Purchase school supplies - pens, pencils, markers, paint, glue, etc.
  • Print TOG SAPs
  • Organize recipes and menus for meal planning (I'm beginning a kids cook night where the older two princesses will help me with a meal, so I want to decide which recipes are simple and easy for them)
  • Make handwriting books out of this year's Awana verses
  • Finish summer unit study on the Civil War
  • Finish summer science chapters on the planets
So as you can see, my work is slowly getting done.  When I finish the home school room organizing, I will get some pictures up.   I've been very blessed to find some of the books that are needed for multiple weeks at Half Price Books - some even in the clearance section!  I also exchanged some books with my former TOG secret sis.  Now I'm getting excited to jump into our study of the Twentieth Century this year, as well as to implement the new things which I feel God has lead us to use this year.  Bring it on!

Princess L's Amazing Logical Reasoning Skills

This amazing point of logic was uttered by Princess L after I bent down to wipe up the tea Princess M spilled:  "You know mom, if you had given her a sippy cup you wouldn't be cleaning that up right now!"