Monday, May 2, 2011

We Live In Our School

Our questions for the Blog Cruise this week are: "Do you separate your school area from your home area?  How do you keep from having your school materials from spreading out all over your home?" I did a post 3 weeks ago called Our Semi-Detached Home and School. That post has a lot of pictures of our home and may explain some things further... check it out if you missed reading it when I posted it.

Ok... this weeks questions.
The answer to the first question is No.
The answer to the second question is our workboxes help contain some of it, but we have school materials all over the house.

Thank you very much for reading.

Just kidding. You didn't really think I would just leave it at that did you???

First I want to say that our school started very differently than it ended up. I got my Elementary Education degree and was a teacher in a small Christian school for one year before I got married and had children. When my children were old enough for school and we decided to homeschool I set up a traditional classroom in our home... it was all I knew to do. I made bulletin boards, not that they are bad, and had a little desk for my daughter and it was to much school at home instead of homeschool.
We live in our "school". Our "school" is our home. Most of the education takes place at the dining room table. In order to do school we have to make sure the table is cleared off after breakfast. Then we get the books out and get going. Then to have lunch we clean up again... at least partly, then eat. Then clean up from lunch and finish up school. Then clean up from school so we can eat dinner together. That sounds like a lot of work... but it's not really.

Why? Because of our workboxes. The boys get one workbox out and do the work in it, take the workbox tag and flip it to the DONE side and put it on the floor next to me. I made the tags 2 sided recently to make it more convenient. I grade and record the stuff in the workbox, update it for the next day if needed and slide it on the floor over to the bookcase behind us. When it is lunch time we don't have a ton of stuff on the table. We put the finished boxes back on the bookcase with the tags turned over to the side that says DONE.

I also keep my own "workbox." It contains the teacher "stuff" that I use every day: the school log where I write down what the boys accomplish for school each day, the binders and folders with the teacher books, answer keys and such, and papers I need for the week. On the weekends I print out all the papers we need for the week and have them in folders then I can reload the workboxes as I update them each day. Then they are ready for the next day of school.

We have books in the hall upstairs that don't fit on the shelves... I am working on this problem by trying to store books we don't need right now. First though, I want to make sure the books are logged in to the book collector software I have so I know what books are in each box. We have books and bookcases everywhere.
Some times school takes place on the floor or on the living room furniture. Here the kids are exploring some new to us used books I brought home from a surplus store. On most Thursdays the boys and I do school in the living room when my daughter has sewing class. School takes place all over the house. The house is our school. The basement.. phys. ed. - the Wii and other exercise equipment when we can't get out to walk. The living room for all of school some days, we used the t.v. for our IEW writing dvd's this year... enjoying our classes with Andrew Pudewa, the pianos are in the living room for music practice as a family, the game closet and some bookcases can also be found there. The kitchen for the cooking and science classes a lot of days.

Sometimes school, and thus our home, is a little messy. Sometimes the science projects need to be left out. We often have books or other projects left out. But I would rather have these problems than send my children off to school to be taught by others and not have as much influence on their education or the chance for them to interact with their siblings. That is priceless to me... so I put up with a little mess. If we need to get the place cleaned up... we all pitch in and call it Home and Life Management (like home ec. but much more than that).

When school is done it is mostly packed away on the shelves or in my workbox and we can eat dinner together as a family and enjoy our evenings, which also take place all over the house.

We live in our "school". Our "school" is our home.

Thanks for reading. If you are interested in seeing what my other crew members have to say about this topic then click the button at the top of the post. The link will take you to the Blog Cruise label on the TOS Crew blog and will be updated with this topic sometime early tomorrow, Tuesday. Thanks and leave me a comment. I hope this has been a help and a peak into the reality of our homeschooling.

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Doreen said...

We live in our school too! We love it! Thanks for sharing on the Cruise this week. I loved all your pictures....I'm such a visual gal!

And....big congrats on your 25 lb weight loss. Woohoo!

Vickie said...

We school at home too :) We use backpacks instead of crates, except for my books. I like the divider you have for the boys. I need to do something like that too. Looks like we have the same dining room set :)


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