Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday School Round-Up

Happy Saturday readers! As I mentioned in an earlier post ever so briefly, we became homeschoolers. After dealing with bullying at the beginning of the year with my daughter, we started looking into seriously becoming a homeschooling family. In this day and age, it is OUR responsibility as parents to protect our children. The bully at that time left the school due to family issues and we were okay on bullying from that point until this past week. We had other issues with the school that were tolerable but had us completing our homeschooling research for next year. When my son was physically hit by a child and in the SAME day that same child threatened my daughters life...well I knew it was time to go. This happened on a Monday and my kids were gone by Tuesday. I will never make my children 'deal' with bullies that a school will not even handle. To this day that child has gone on to threaten the lives of other children. This is a cry for help from that boy and yet, the school seems to find it a laughable matter, how sad. My husband and I knew when our children were born that it was up to US to listen to them and keep them Happy, Healthy & SAFE.
The good thing is that we knew exactly what we were going to do for a curriculum. We love Seton as they are an accredited school with a homeschooling program! This meant that they would keep transcripts and the like. They send us lesson plans, books, everything we need to be up and running. They send placement test out, grade them and your curriculum arrives shortly thereafter! This meant it was time to get organized and ready to begin. We took a 'Winter Break' as we awaited the arrival of everything.

We have a classroom space, but I know that I want to keep it clutter-free. In our basement when we bought the house, was this vintage cart that I posted about earlier in the week. With a can of spray paint, it was going to become our mobile classroom. This cart fits perfectly into our front hall closet when we need to tuck it away out of sight.  
When our testing packet arrived, I knew it was time to get everything ready to go but I was just so nervous. Thanks to some AWESOME friends and readers, I was able to get over those jitters and move on to what needed to be done! My kids were so excited to start learning and working at home that they were all confused on day 1. They put on their old school uniforms and were seated in the classroom! I told them that even though we had a schedule and were starting early, we were going to be a lot more casual and comfortable, no more uniforms!!
As I began to organize the cart, it took me 14+ tries. I 'shopped the house' for storage options, because I didn't want to spend any money when I knew all I would need was right under my roof! It took multiple turns and tries and so much frustration that I had to wheel out of the classroom while the kids were testing and do it in the living room! I think nerves combined with a new adventure just made everything a jumble in my mind but as I kept working at it and calming down, I was finally where I needed to be.
I finally got exactly what I wanted and it has worked perfectly for us all week! I'm thrilled with it and the kids can find everything they need and put it back at the end of the school day.
1. File Box that is divided into 3 sections. 1 for each child and each section holds their books, worksheets and curriculum.
2. Back to Back black boxes. Back one holds a reader for each child. Front Box holds basic supplies like staplers, dry erase board items, rulers, paperclips, brads, sharpeners and the like.
3. Turn-In Basket. This is where the kids hand in their work as they finish. Makes it easy for me to grab the basket in the evening to grade the papers with my tea in front of the fireplace.
4. Flashcards, Cd's & DVDs
5. Journals for each child, reference books and educational game of the week.
6. Paper Basket. This holds all of our paper that we use on a daily basis. It is all separated by thick red card stock, so I can just flip to what I need at that moment.
7. Pencils, Pens, Colored Pencils and Crayon Caddy
8. Religion Books
One thing I have learned so far about being a homeschooling family is using EVERY.Single.Bit of space WISELY! This cart, as I have shown you before, is our mobile classroom and NO PART goes unused! This is one end that holds our pocket chart. My son was working on matching upper case letters with lower case today.
We have  THING for maps and globes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about them. We have huge ones in the basement and this laminated one was PERFECT for our homework center. It still needs a low shelf under it that will hold items that are on the desk, so that it can be clutter free and have more space for working.
My Sight Word Wall is perfect for many activities to help my youngest and the middle file holder holds our 5-A-Day books. Desk and stools are all from Ikea! We picked up the globe at a flea market over the Summer for 1.00! My original intentions were to cut it in half to make pendant lamps over the center but I am not that handy with the electricity right now, so maybe in the future!

Look at the cart! Look at the Kids! Look at the Classroom!! Roman is working at a larger table to the right, since he has more hands on work that takes up more space. With the fire crackling in the early morning, we are loving life right now.

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