I don’t know about everywhere, but I know that this satellite campus of Homelife Academy starts on August 5th!
It is so good to know that I could start school at any time. It’s nice to know that everything has it’s place and every place has it’s thing. It’s nice knowing that all of the crazy stress over the last few weeks has paid off. Do I have ALL of my planning done? No. Do I have every school supply needed. Um, no! Do I have all of my organization done…we’ll I’ll let you be the judge.
Welcome to our transformed school room. Once upon a time, we used this room as the older boy’s bedroom. You can see from another blog of mine that it’s been used and abused. So far though we are taking very much care to keep it neat and tidy…well by the end of the day anyway. We have three boys! Mess happens. Can I get an AMEN?
Without further delay, allow me to introduce you to our new education space! Half of our attic space was converted into living space before we moved into our home. Score for us because it’s PERFECT for schooling! At the top of the steps, the first thing one sees is my desk area:
I was given the yellow rack under my desk by a church friend of mine who runs her own childcare center. A parent of one of the kids who attends her center has a vending machine route I think she said. She had brought in a bunch of these shelving units for them to use in the classroom for toys or whatever but her teachers didn’t care for them. It just goes to show that God will do whatever it takes to get you what you need. I don’t know this woman who has this vending route so there was no way she could give them to me but God knew that I knew Stacy and that one day I’d post on Facebook that I was looking for organizational structures to get my home education room set up. Stacy sees my post and messages me that she has shelving that her teachers aren’t interested in using. Ba-da-bing! God provides! I don’t have much in mine right now but you will see in the boy’s desk area that I have all kinds of paper in theirs. It’s PERFECTLY sized for lined paper, printer paper…basically any paper that is 8.5 x 11in. You can see my DIY daily schedule on the wall to the right. I am a huge upcycler so the cans on my desk are from various food purchases. One is a coffee can from my friend, Lisa, the other was probably green beans in bulk! I plan to spray paint them with chalkboard paint, but for now they will do the way they are. A childcare kiddo I have brought me the pink flower sitting between the two cans. 🙂 My printer is sitting on a little riser shelf that I picked up a couple of weeks ago at a yard sale. Cha-ching! Perfect for this work space. My bible fits perfectly under there!
The reason I wanted to show you this next picture collage is because next to my desk, the first element you notice about the room when you reach the top of the steps are the decorations! I had originally made the felt board/bulletin board for my childcare but for whatever reason we didn’t really use it as much as I thought we would. Now it will act as a place for the kids to display work they are proud of or for me to put messages to them.
The second picture says “See the world through God’s eyes” with a pair of glasses under the wording in the arch. During the year, when we come across something that maybe the Word has something to say different than what society or science says, we are going to pair the two together and hang those facts and fiction under those words as a constant reminder of how we need to have a godly worldview, not a secular worldview. Some examples might be evolution or Greek mythology. I know for a fact we will come across both of those before October! I am thankful to be able to use those moments in a lesson to reinforce our faith and trust in God and God alone.
The last two pictures are of the apples I have hanging from the ceiling and the long light fixture. I just think apples say school like nothing else can. Just because we’re educating our children at home doesn’t mean we can’t decorate and make the place feel inviting and exciting!
And here’s the boy’s work space! They each have their own desk to work in with a 4-drawer organizer in the middle of them. That organizer and the stackable shelves were purchased with my riser shelf from my desk…all for $5. The little totes on the shelves were purchased at Dollar Tree for $1 each. They hold pencils, glue/tape, scissors, etc. The photo box on top has crayons in it. Each of the boys has a letter chart above their desk also. My 2nd grader needs a bit of help with penmanship and I plan to teach my 5th grader cursive since the public schools don’t teach it anymore. Their charts reflect either manuscript or cursive, depending on the work space. Those, too, came from Dollar Tree and were $1 for both. You can see their yellow shelves are in fact M&M shelves! Ha! Their shelves hold blank printer paper, lined paper and their spiral notebooks. Each desk also has a pencil box, dry erase board (inspired by pintrest) and that’s about it. My oldest lives with ADHD so he needs to have limited choices. True he has all the supplies in the house next to him, but he is only allowed to use what’s in the pencil box without asking. Each day I will load up what he needs for the day in there so there’s no question as to which pencil or how many erasers he needs for his assignments.
The next area as you scan the room is the reading nook area. We had the futon already. The bookcases on either side are FULL of fun, age appropriate reads. My sister gave me those amazing gold and burnt orange pillows several years ago. It just didn’t seem right not to have a touch of her in there as she has taught me so much in my life. The paintings above the futon were created by the boys and me last summer for the school room I thought we were going to be. I must say they are going to look MUCH better in this room that the room I would have had last year at this time! God’s timing is amazing! On top of those two bookcases are the trophies and other personal belongings of the boys. Naturally they needed to have their personality in this room, too! The bookcase to the far right has reference materials and other books that will be used along side our curriculum for the year. There’s a filing type organizer on top that I have their readers/novels on for the coming year. I haven’t gotten to planning those yet, but they are going to be awesome.
Allow me to take a side bar for a moment. With home education comes the need for books, books and more books. If you don’t have an electronic device from which you read books from, you are left with three options really for all of your reading needs.
- Library. I will write about it another time but it’s not an option for us.
- Purchase. Again, not an option for us as we are working on a shoestring budget as most other home educating families (ha! most families in general these days) are.
- www.paperbackswap.com Oh my word! My friend Lisa introduced me to this avenue and I’m in love! Basically what you do is offer up books that you no longer desire to keep around and you trade them for books you do need. The only cost associated with this is the shipping it takes to mail your book to the person requesting it. I haven’t paid more than $2.35 on a book I’ve sent out yet! Each time you send out a book, you get a credit. Each credit can “buy” a book from someone else. The more you ship, the more you can shop. It’s super easy. Should you wish to sign up and swap books too, please let them know that I sent you! Just type in “SeriouslyOutnumbered” for your referring friend.
In the far left corner of the room is their play area. We have told the kids that the tables in the middle of the room act as a dividing line. On the right half of the room, it’s all school. The left side of the room is mostly play. That way they still have an area to go hang out when school is over and/or when they have friends over. This room,except for my desk area, is totally theirs. As the year goes on they will personalize it and make it even more so their own.
Moving on! The next area that I have shown here is half wall as you come up the steps. It’s to your left as you are looking at my desk. I have decided to use 3M strips to attach 4 clipboards for each child’s assignments. If you recall from my previous post, their assignments for each subject will be clipped her the night before so they have easy access to their work. This will be beneficial to the flow of our day since I also will be running my in home childcare at the same time. The tall red rack is also one that I got from my friend Stacy. It holds all of our curriculum. Easy peasy to pick up their assignment, the book they need to work with and sit back at their desk. My 5th grader is using Math-U-See this year so he needs the TV for the instruction time. I have placed two card tables point to point under a long light that is attached at the peak of the ceiling. It’s spaced perfectly that he will be able to see the TV and still be able to have lighting to work the problems along with the DVD. The black shelf on top of the DVD/VHS player is….you guessed it, from Stacy! It has come in handy for sure! This one, I wasn’t sure I’d use actually, but it’s perfect to hold his Math DVDs, any DVD’s that go along with our curriculum and one extra shelf for every day movies they are currently watching. The dresser that the TV is on has double duty. First is to hold up the TV and DVD/VHS player. Second is to hold all of our craft supplies. That area is one that still needs a little work. Everything is in there, but I need to get more trays or photo boxes to further organize. In time, in time.
That’s our learning environment. The only thing missing is the big world map. I’m sure that will be a totally different blog post when it’s ready to go up. that’s also another item I made for the school room last summer. It was far too heavy, though the idea behind it was spot on. We’ll see how we reinvent it this year.
Thanks for stopping in! I’d love to see what you’re doing in your school room this year!
PS: Not all of my areas look as put together as my classroom. Look at my little table off of my living room. Yes those are the folders that are supposed to be organized in the filing cabinet, full of weekly and daily work. And diecuts which are organized into that manilla envelope. And a binder for an upcoming study on Isaiah (if you are in Middle TN and want to do a PUP study, comment below). Oh don’t forget the Gatorade my 2 year old carried around all day yesterday. *le sigh* we are all human aren’t we. No matter how “together” people present themselves online (myself included), don’t forget right outside the camera shot is more than likely a pile of something that needs put away or a child who needs a bath, or a table which needs wiped. Don’t measure yourself against what someone else decides to put (or not put) online. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by the King of kings and he makes no junk. And he loves you very much!