Monday, March 31, 2008

A window into our Homeschool classroom

Well, it's back-to-school time...back from Spring break that is. Speaking of which: we had both snow, and hail the size of marbles this weekend. I asked hubby to videotape the hail coming down because it was quite comical the way it was bouncing off the ground, similar to a bouncing rubber ball. And it came on so suddenly, I jumped when I heard the first volley of it pounding the roof. The snow was really big flakes, but it wasn't cold enough for any to stick for long. The calendar may say it's Spring, but I'm not buying it.

So I thought I'd let you have a peek into our homeschool classroom.

This is our awesome whiteboard that I picked up at Costco for $19.95. It was a great deal- it's really quite large (atleast for our classroom) and came with dry erase markers, eraser, and spray cleaner. And I'm starting to sound like an advertisement...The white 3-drawer dresser is for the kids to have somewhere to put their in-progress projects, crafts, ect. The large globe is probably my oldest son's favorite thing in our classroom; he has a definite love of maps.

Oh, and isn't that giant space book awesome? We watched the space shuttle Endeavour land the other night on the Nasa online site. I couldn't figure out why we would see it, and then it would change to darkness, then back again. My oldest told me that they were switching to the view from inside the shuttle; it's nice having him around for when the Teacher can't figure things out, LoL.

This is our project/game shelf. One of the great things about our local Goodwill thrift store is the fact that I find lots of learning and project kits there, often brand new. And at a much cheaper price than those wonderful teacher supply stores. Which really are wonderful; I feel like a kid in a candy store when I (rarely) go to one; and it's rarely because they're SO expensive.

And there are our tons of folders, because I have to have our worksheets very organized or they blend into the household and I can't keep track of them. The games are a mix of family games, as well as learning games. My oldest son loves the game Take Off, which is about World Geography. It really makes learning geography fun. I didn't even know some of those countries existed. I know...and I'm the Teacher. Geography was never my best subject;)

This is one of our bookshelves. If I had my way (and I will one day) I would have a room totally devoted to books. But for now I don't have the room. This shelf is a blend of our favorite books, as well as some school-subject oreinted books. I just picked up a book this weekend about a dog that went along with a family on the Oregon trail. It's written from his point of view- I thought that was kindof a cute idea.

The crayola colors storage thingy is for our assorted odds and ends craft-wise. This weekend I picked up $40.00 in Crayola Model Magic Fusion for $10.00 at the thrift store. Brand-new still in the package! That added up to 24 individual (different colored) packs. My 2 youngest kids love this, and it's a great way for them to be creative. If you're not familiar with it, it's very flexible, and not crumbly like playdough can be as it dries. When this clay dries, it pretty much turns to a hard foam. I had promised my middle son to buy some as soon as it went on sale at the craft store, but this was a much better deal.

And here is our curriculum shelf/music center. I usually play acappella or classical music when the kids do their schoolwork. Sometimes the louder instrument and singing music is too overwhelming for me during this time, it's a sensory thing I think.

And this is where they usually do their schoolwork. (Last picture at the bottom). I have to admit, when I first started homeschooling, I thought they should work at desks. Then I found out that many other homeschoolers do it anywhere from the kitchen table, to laying on their bed! While I can't handle the idea of propping up your feet or slouching while doing schoolwork, I have settled onto this middle ground. Though sometimes I do split them up on those days when they are just a little too much distraction to each other. In this picture they're playing a game of dominoes; think I could squeeze that in as Math?

So that's our homeschooling world. And I'm definitely not writing this as a blueprint for how to set up a homeschool classroom; it's more of a keeping of a record of it for myself.

Items on this weeks homeschool agenda:

  • The 3 R's- My son says he's pretty sure one of these is Rrrr..Science. Nice try, kiddo.

  • Music study: The composer George Handel. My personal favorite.

  • History: World Explorers Unit study- I sidelined this earlier in favor of our Irish study. I can't wait to do the first project. You know I'll post pictures.

  • Gym: I've decided to do a little workout each day with the kids. It'll stretch more muscle than just outside play does. And start a good habit of daily exercise. Someday they'll thank me:)

  • Okay, okay...I think we can manage to throw in a Science experiment or two. Hope I don't regret that...after all, how much damage could mixing mentos with a 2-liter of soda pop do? I'll keep you posted...
So there you have it: our classroom within our home. Maybe not as fancy or well-stocked as some- but we like it:)


Mrs. Darling said...

Have you tried that moon sand? I want to get some for Peter. Im not sure I undersand how it all works but it never is suppose to dry out so it would be used or different projects than the stuff you're talking about probably.

MyKidsMom said...

The kids got about 4 containers of the moon sand for Christmas, and I REALLY don't like it. It's kindof like damp sand; you can mold with it, but not a nice solid mold. It just seems messy to me.

Come to think of it, I just threw out a container today. I'll see if we have anymore left, and you can check it out before you buy:)

Nikki said...

"A room totally devoted to books" is called a library, and it is my dream also to have a library one day. I'm going to need one soon as my books seem to be taking over the great room!

Minimalist Mommy said...

Wow I have goosebumps looking at your room. You are so organized and put together. Impressive. I admire woman who take the task of homeschooling on. It is so rare here and we have little resources to go on that is why most people shy away from it. Fear of the unknown. I learn more on blogging than anywhere else. Thanks for the peek into your world. Oh and here is my hubby's blog, let me know what you think