Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Learning Environment

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I'm working on transitioning our home from a secular homeschool to a GODLY homeschool. It's taking TIME! I'm learning with God's abundant grace and love that it's the atmosphere I create that generates a positive learning environment. I say secular because, when we started HSing 3 years ago, I prayed for stuff like, should we or shouldn't we homeschool, what to buy, that kind of stuff. I've been missing the other 90%. I included God in the planning. BUT... big BUT. I've been missing out on what God has for us for the everyday. But this post is about the stuff I guess, so here it is. Just to mention (in case anyone cares) behind the stuff, the SCHOOL ROOM stuff are hours of consideration, prayer and a willing heart to push against the old thought pattern and walk in His direction. 

Toward the atmosphere of God's grace and not the stuff. 
Homeschooling, it's been a life changing road, I tell ya. more about that another time

This is what my kids are usually seen doing.  
Morning, afternoon and evening. 
Books, books, books, books, books.

I added our couch as the first thing in our "schoolroom", because most of our studies happen here. 
My oldest retains so much from reading books. I take out 20-30 from the library every month. Our impromptu narration "MOM, did you know!", is done here, or in the kitchen or in the van while running errands. 
The bulk of conversations and prayer are here as well, and in the kitchen or in the van while running errands. 

I love books. Sometimes too much. My dream home would consist of the normal stuff, nothing fancy really, not a mansion by any means. But this, this is my dream... a library. You know the kind, with the ladder. Oh ya.
moving on...
This shelf holds the majority of our "important" books, which are shelved by subject and the very bottom are the fun ones like Robert Munch, Dr. Seuss, etc. On the very top hosts a small but very bright LED desk lamp to shine down on the floor in between the two shelves for reading. Like a little reading nook of sorts I guess. The kids seem to gravitate to it. 

Here's our new addition.
The much needed 3-footer, which houses reference type stuff, bibles, classics and living books and in the middle is the TOT shelf, for Alba. I usually rotate three bins for school time. 

The wicker basket holds items for Alba which she can't get on her own (on purpose). Things like, links and smaller shaped learning toys including the Counting Cookies, which ALL play hide and seek with me under the furniture. The wicker basket only comes out when I'm there. I just don't like things lost or not in their homes, call me anal I guess.  

You may have noticed that the two shelves are turned into each other and are not placed back against the wall like normal book shelves. Ya, that's a new thing. I actually switched out living room around (with Eagle's help) last month. It's working great. My husband gets tired of seeing school items all over the house. He has a point but there isn't much we can do about that. Creativity and a willingness to change helps a ton. 

The Little Tikes table/chairs is used very often. I keep it in the middle of the living room for the younger two children to paint, glue, play-dough (messy stuff). The tall Ikea cabinet holds all the TV/Media stuff and all our school cd-roms, cd's, etc.

The clear bin with the paper mache balloon is our Family Work Bin (new this year). The 5 drawer cart is Zazu's Workbox. On the wall above that is our rough schedule for TERM ONE (with double sided Scotch tape - works great). Reading lamp. And what you can't see very well is the homemade rolling shelf for audio books, all of Eagle and Zazu's school books, the massive printer, paper and odds & ends.

The rest of ALL our STUFF is in our laundry room (hidden, just how the hubs likes it) in wonderful Ikea cabinets which my loving husband installed last year. 
I should really post about that, soon I think. 
It's a great solution to our huge space problem.

I thought I'd throw in the freezer. It currently sits partially in our living room. We are putting in a new kitchen next month, so this will have it's proper home soon. It's a great surface for art and other projects at the moment.

AND finally, the kitchen chair. I think the kitchen table is a multi-purpose item especially in homeschools. Don't you think? I don't allow any writing to be done on the floor or at the couch. I require it to be done at a proper surface to reinforce posture. I'm all for the floor for crafting and what not but this one, well, I don't budge much.

And that about covers it. It's changed quite a bit in our short 3 year run. From starting out in my son's bedroom to now. I think I re-arrange every 6 months. I hope it stays this way for a bit longer this time, maybe till next summer... 
what a dream.

Check out the NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter. Catch some good ideas from others, it may help you out in the School Room department of your HSing.


  1. I would love to have a library, too!! DH has limited me to 2 bookshelves, though. Thank God for real libraries. I would love to see your storage, there are so many things to put away when homeschooling!

  2. HI! I am a book lover as well.. hoping one day to share our growing home library with other homeschooling families. I understand your husband, because I am like that.. I want everything to be 'pretty' and 'cozy' and 'vintage-y'! When the children were younger, our school area looked much like your own.. visuals on the wall, plastic bins all neatly organized and at their reach, lots of different shelves! I was a preschool teacher before marriage and school myself in the public school system. Some of that always comes into our home.. the fun parts! like learning 'centers' for the little ones.. and a real old timey pencil sharpener! We even maintained a changing bulletin board for a while.. just to get fun stuff at the teacher store! And we may start it all over for our grandchildren! Over the years your school will change with the ages of your children.. you'll get bigger and bigger bookshelves! more 'grown up' art stuff! (event though all mine still love playdough!) and you'll love it all! oh.. and I don't budge on the writing with good posture thing either! or, the reading in a comfy spot! Happy schooling ;-)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...