Revealing the new school room!
A few weeks ago, Chris voluntarily suggested that he give up his home office to be the new school room. This room is downstairs, opposite the dining room, and was designed to be a formal parlor, but has always been Chris' home office while we have owned this home. However, Chris pointed out that I need increasingly more room and really he needs only a desk to work from home. So, we put a desk up in the guest room and he has been working from there while I took over the downstairs room.
A tour . . .
I put two small wooden desks in front of the two windows. I'm not sure how I envision their being used, but they are technically slated for Margaret (4) and Joseph (2), if they ever sit and do desk work. Lately when I've been doing reading lessons with Margaret, we step out and sit at the dining table or on the couch.
The Rubbermaid shelving in the corner holds art supplies.
The exercise machine cannot be moved at this time. We wanted to move it to the bonus room above the garage, but it is too large to make it around the narrow curve of the staircase. And, for various reasons, none of the bedrooms are an appropriate home for this machine at this time, so it will remain in the school room for the indefinite future. Maybe I will teach aloud while huffing and puffing!
John (8) and Mary (6) have work stations on an IKEA table. We are working on their learning to focus while sitting next to each other. Often, I send one child to work elsewhere (e.g,. practice piano) while I do a lesson with the other child at the table.
The small bookshelf to the right of the work table holds All About Reading and All About Spelling curriculum, as well as History books.
The antique bookshelf to the left of the work table houses our math books and manipulatives.
Chris' desk is very heavy, so we chose not to move it and to make it my desk instead. I'm still in the process of moving my desk supplies and laptop from the built-in 'mother's desk' in the kitchen to this one.
At some point, we intend to move these two beautiful bookshelves with our adult fiction and nonfiction book collection to the dining room. Then we will move the old, less attractive bookshelves from the bonus room into this room in order to house all the children's and school books.
We left the file cabinet and printer in the school room as well. I intend to mount the white board with All About Reading/Spelling tiles on that wall.
Why move school rooms?
Our original school room was the bonus room. That worked very well during the preschool years, but began working less well when my school-age kids actually had to concentrate. They were distracted by the younger children being allowed to play with their toys in the same room. Also, we had to clean up toys well at the end of every day so that the room was in order for school each morning.
Last year, we moved our base of operations down to the kitchen table, leaving the bonus room for the younger kids to play (and leave messy). I housed our school text books in a crammed closet in the kitchen. This made it much better for me to tend to homemaking duties while teaching and to separate out the playing children. The negatives were that we had to clean up all our books every time we wanted to have a morning snack or lunch and we had no permanent base of operations. Perhaps most exasperating of all is that, because the bonus room served as a play room and a storage room for all our school supplies, the toddlers and preschoolers had constant, unsupervised access to my school supplies and you know what that means: they trashed my school supplies every week! Torn or defaced books, dried-up marker pens, math manipulatives tossed and lost, the list goes on . . . .
Being in this new downstairs school room means that we have a permanent base of operations, I will be working from downstairs so I can tend to my homemaking duties, and I can shut the door (even lock it) to keep out unsupervised toddlers.
If only organization were the primary predictor of homeschool success because then we'd be all set. Instead, the homeschooling lifestyle calls for peace of heart, the patience of Job, and both representing Christ to the children and seeing Christ in the children, in all areas of which I am failing dramatically.