Saturday, May 9, 2009

Organized homeschool space!

I am currently in decluttering mode. We are buying a new house, and we have found one, our offer has been accepted, and we have been approved for the loan. Unless something goes terribly wrong over the next three weeks we are moving into our first house in June! Part of me is excited. And another part of me is DREADING moving. Remember, I just moved here in Dec. Two moves in just over 6 months? YUCK! So getting rid of things is my current obsession. Getting rid of, or getting them organized.

On Thursday I had my Homeschool Mom's Meeting. I gotta say, these ladies are a lifeline and a whole world of great ideas! I love having them as my sanity backup, cuz let me tell you, sometimes homeschooling certain little people can be the fast track to Mommy-Meltdown 2009.

One of our mamas (Sarah) is reading a book called The Workbox System. Honestly, I only know what she has told me about it.... but when I heard the basics of the system I was instantly on board and it fit right in with my current obsession. I quickly finished my current list and moved on to declutter my homeschool stuff. For a couple hours and $60 I had a brand new, organized and spotless, homeschooling space.

I also did something that I have wanted to do for the last 6 months in this house. I set up our Nature Table. I can't believe I waited so long to do it. The kids were THRILLED when I told them what I was doing and instantly ran outside to collect bouquets of flowers, rocks, acorns, and other nature things unique to Spring. The set up isn't perfect, but it works (it's two boards on top of the new homeschool drawers) and I am happy to say that even Logan was intrigued and excited to add the things he had found.

More about the boxes: Of course, the best part about the boxes is the way they organize the homeschool stuff. They are not for storing anything in this system, they are for setting out a schedule to our day. The first box (for the past two days anyway) has held the kids chore charts. They check off their chores as they go through their morning (which range from 'brush your teeth' to 'vacuum the living room') and after that they *get to* move on to their first homeschool assignment. Every assignment is broken down into it's smallest components, so for science yesterday we were working on botany, and we had a drawing, a dissection, and a reading section. Each were in their own boxes, complete with every material that they would need to complete it and instructions on a post it note letting them know how to do it, and when to get me for assistance. Very similar to how Alex's math was set up today:

The post it says "Watch chapter 14 on DVD. Do 14 B-C."
And then of course, I had to add in the fun stuff in between the heavy stuff.

It says "Get mom for lesson #2, activity 4. GAME!"

It says "Read to Dad."

These boxes were made for holding scrapbook papers, so they are slightly larger than 12X12X2. Each one locks closed and is it's own box. So, if we have to take a nature notebook somewhere, along with some pens, and a specimen jar, it can all be there, in this sturdy little lap desk sized tote! It already seems like a wonderful investment. The kids were excited to see me filling the boxes last night... and that is always a good sign. :)


Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

This is so inspiring and looks very organized. I'm loving your nature table. I bet Emily would love one too!

nestof3 said...

This is a great idea! I am a big organizing fan, and this looks like it would help a lot.

Infant Bibliophile said...

Hey, can you believe we also are buying a house, moving in in June AND also moved here cross country in December?! I'm going to go back and read this post more fully now - was so excited that I had to comment before I read it all. I don't know how I'll manage the packing, but I love the feeling of starting fresh. For a short while, I allow myself to believe that I will be perfectly neat and organized in my new home...

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Valerie: I bet both your girlies would love it! I know that Logan got a real kick from adding his dandelions to the table in his little jar he took outside. He felt so big!

Nest of three:
Thanks! I am thrilled to say it is already helping. I will need to find a happy medium between wanting to fill all the boxes and understanding my kids don't want to spend all day long doing school... but that will come.

Oh goodness... Me too! That is crazy that our dates are so similar though. It is like meeting someone randomly who has the same due date as you... you know? Nice to 'meet' you!!

This time around I am a bit more determind to be organized... and it is making me kinda psycho. lol... hopefully it is a good thing and doesn't drive my husband to drink or something. With three kids and three cats it is a challenge just to keep all the laundry clean, much less keep it organized and clutterfree. But I'm trying!!


The Masked Mommy said...

This stuff is so cool! We're moving soon, and I'm hoping to have a classroom. My daughter is only 3, but I'm homeschooling her preschool. My husband's family all homeschools, and if preschool goes well, I would like to continue with homeschooling into kindergarten.