Saturday, July 20, 2013

Our Homeschool Area

We have morphed several times with homeschool, as I think most families do.  You find the place that works, the curriculum, the style, the time and you go with what works.  When I was teaching just my oldest daughter we sat at a little table.  When it became the two older girls we needed an upgrade.  This is our current set up, has been for the last three years.
Last year we had begun our year working on Five In a Row (FIAR).  We truly loved diving into great books and doing the unit studies that corresponded.  We combined FIAR with the workbox method.  Each girl had six boxes and I had the top three for things I wanted out of reach of the little one.  Of course there's a handful of papers floating on top, hey real life at it's finest.
Usually I've got cute little theme decorations around.  Last year was a big banana tree with monkeys crossing on a vine.  The vine was a reading chart, they'd move a leaf for every 10 pages read.
Now we are trying to get our home ready to sell, so I've taken down much of what should be prettying up our space.
I love having the murphy desks.  All their items stored inside and hiding while not in use, but ready when we need them.  For now I like having the set school area.  I think it reminds them that when we are here, we need to set toys aside and focus.  This is where we do our book work.  Work sheets, math pages, things of that sort.  We always have a bit of that to do.  
Half way through the year we started as part of a Classical Conversations group that meets on Mondays, so we are not at the desks on Monday.  Then every other Tuesday we have MOPS, so again, not at the desks.  I also try to break up desk time with movement and activities.  No one likes to be pinned up too long. 
Here's what we have on the inside.  A file folder to hold their work books.  I pull out the pages that they need to complete for the week and put them in their work box.  If they finish all their math pages early, Tues, Weds, whenever, they can play math games on my ipad, or if both girls have completed a subject for the week we can all play a game together.  I like allowing them to see what should be completed for the week and giving them a bit of freedom within those boundaries.  There are days for each of us that we really don't feel like doing much.  So, as long as they are done for the week, some days they can be a little slow.  However the reward is there if they work hard and get done early.
They like to put up things on the cork board in the back to decorate. Then there are disinfectant wipes- NO, not really.  That's our make do pencil case.  It works well for keeping tiny hands from spilling our pencils EVERY DAY (seriously, she did).  You can tell she's also left some "art" all over the desk.  Creativity at work.  
You see on the side there's a little hook closure and the chain that keeps it level when open.
I wish I had taken pictures of when we made the desks so I could do more of a tutorial on making them.  Basically a box made of boards, with a lid on hinges.  You really could make them whatever size suites your needs.  I'm not the first, so there's probably a tutorial out there :)


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