Thursday, March 10, 2011

A tour of our school room

Since this is the first time we have had a dedicated school room, I wanted to share it with you. When I first started homeschooling my intent was to never have a school room, because in the many books and blogs I read, school rooms were often equated with “compartmentalizing” learning in one’s home.

However, as time went on I realized where we study really makes no difference to our mindset, because learning has become a very natural part of our daily rhythm whether we are at home, in the car, the grocery store, or at afternoon activities. I also realized that if I want to give my boys an organized, inspiring, and engaging work space that they can really make their own, we needed to have a dedicated room, otherwise the daily set up for me took time away from learning and our main living space was always piled with books, papers, and projects.

In Hawaii I split our office space with a school space, now in our new home we have a full room to ourselves. It has been great fun putting it together and now it is one of our favorite rooms in the house, because it is colorful, flooded with sunlight, and we have such a great time learning together.

We also use the dining area for art projects, the kitchen for science experiments, the play room for imaginative play, the reading room for story time…you see where I am going, having a school room has not prevented learning from happening elsewhere, it has simply allowed us to be more organized and use a lot of visual learning aids on the walls. So now, on with the tour…

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Our Animals of the World map (bought at Costco), continental map for our geography studies, elements of drawing chart for Drawing with Children, writing chart for letters and numbers, Damian’s alphabet and number charts, our Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom palm tree with our two main alphabet books at the bottom of it.

Next to this area is a book case that holds supplies, reference books, work folders, and manipulatives. We also have a two door built in cupboard that has shelves for more storage.

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Our school song, as decorated by my two boys. This is next to our circle time area, since we sing our school song every morning.

IMG_6981 [800x600]Calendar and weather portion of our circle time area, beneath this, which I forgot to take a photo of, is a rug and big floor cushions for us to sit on while we say prayers, do our virtue learning, sing our school song, and go through the calendar/weather activities. I am in the process of re-working our virtue learning poster which is usually in this area of our classroom, I will share it when it is completed.

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Our white board, which we use for all kinds of things. I keep it at ground level so it is easy for the boys to work on too.

IMG_7057 [800x600]Our electronic globe which is still a favorite.

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Our feature study area – whether it is a science, history, or geography unit we are working on – we keep all the books, posters, and manipulatives in this area, so that while we are studying the subject, the boys can easily come and do further investigation or re-use the manipulatives.

IMG_6929 [800x600]Our activity and work boxes – I did away with workboxes for Damian, since he and I work together through all of his work now, and converted them into activity boxes (I will do a full post on these soon, because they have proven to be very popular with the boys and helpful to me in teaching two students doing very different levels of work). The workboxes are Rylan’s and he works through them in the mornings after our circle time, while I am focused on working one-on-one with Damian.

My area labels as seen above were all done on my computer, laminated and I glued on the wood deco animals (or a castle, which you can see on our “reading nook” sign below), which I purchased from Michaels for 25c each.

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Education is the indispensible foundation of all human excellence”. A banner I made across the school room wall from a quotation from the Writings of Baha’u’llah. A reminder of why we work so hard to learn! I will change this quotation banner a few times during the course of the year, re-using the same letters.

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Our Baha’i Holy Places and Houses of Worship wall which we are adding to as we study the continents in geography.

IMG_7039 [800x600] The Golden Rule poster – a quotation or verse from all the major world religions referring to the golden rule of treating others the way we would wish to be treated.

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Our reading nook – this is just a small reading corner in our school room, we also have a reading/library room downstairs next to the play room.

And that is a peek into our school space!

This has been added to Preschool Corner & 5K too.

6 comments:

  1. Love it! Thanks for sharing :-)

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  2. nice, wish we can visit once!! :)

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  3. Thank you, Chelsea and Nancy! Wish both of you could come and visit too! :)

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  4. What a great learning space! Really like the banner with the quotation!

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  5. We have a school room too and at first I was not sure if we would like it...but we love hanging up the kids projects, having lots of visuals for their learning and the accumulation of books alone is a reason ;) Love your set up!

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  6. Love the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree! What a great idea! Stopping by from Preschool Corner. :-) ~Julie

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