May 28, 2013

Tuesday Teaching Tidbit : Schooling without a School Room

Hello, friends!  Hope you had a lovely Memorial Day weekend.

Today's teaching tidbit video is not at all what I had planned, but our handy man was banging around in the next room, so it was too loud to do much of a sit down and chat sort of thing.  Several readers have asked about our school space, so this seemed like a fine time to give a quick tour.  In the book, Home Field Advantage, we were still using our school room, but we've opted to use a new charter school that not only reimburses us for the curriculum that we choose, but also gives us a tech allowance to add some computers to our home, which will make our days flow a lot more smoothly.  Can't wait!  But our internet connection stinks downstairs no matter what strength router I've tried, so we're moving upstairs.  Since most people school without a designated school room, I thought it might be handy to see how we've arranged things.

As I mentioned, I keep our history and literature books in the living room.  We have a wall of book shelves in there and it's the very next room, so it just makes sense not to have them all piled up in the sun room.  Once the bathroom construction junk is gone, I'll take you in there and show you the color coding system I've used to keep our books in order.  If you're a homeschooler, you know how easy it would be to let books just take over the house!

Keeping all of the posters and calendar stuff that we need under the couch and just pulling them out for the correct lesson keeps us from having kid posters all over the walls of our grown up room.  I also have a chalk board, white board, and felt board under there, which I forgot to pull out and show you.  That really gives us everything that we had downstairs, but in an easy to put away arrangement.  

I said that this is the boundary within which we stay during school hours, but I didn't mention our exceptions to that.  This is actually where we stay during our together school time.  When we get to the parts that they do on their own, like reading and instrument practice, they spread out across the house.  I've noticed, though, that once they spread out, they're not big on regrouping, so we do all of our together courses first, and then split up and plan to stay split up for the day unless we're coming back together for some sort of hands-on, 'so fun it's worth sitting down for' sort of lesson.  This might be a science project, art video, or some sort of edible model building.

So there ya have it!  We've only been schooling upstairs for about 2 months, but so far it's working quite well.  And with it being in the sun room, we have lots of natural light and don't need to use a lot of electricity during the day.  Can't wait to get those new computers in here so that the kids don't have to wait in line to do their math and typing.  Things are about to get a lot easier!

Next week is going to be pretty crazy, so I probably won't be posting a video or even do much blogging.  But Tuesday videos will be back in 2 weeks!  

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