This is our 8th year homeschooling. I feel like I have successfully accomplished so many things with the kids. I was in my studio and was thinking this morning. “What Items Can I Not Live Without?” Besides the kids computers(yes, they each have their own netbooks) and AOP homeschooling curriculum called Switched on Schoolhouse, there are a FEW other things that just make my life a bit easier!!!
We started off our homeschooling sitting on the floor in the living room with a few workbooks for a lone 1st grader. Shelby was AMAZING to go along with mommy, having a 2 year old brother and and a one year old sister. Then, we moved out of boxes at the dining room table. – We never ate at the table because there were always projects going on all of the time. When we moved into our new house 20 months ago, we converted the formal dining room into a classroom. I really don’t need anything “formal” in this house since, well, we have little hand who break things. We got a FREE dining room table and chairs set off of the local Freecycle group. It needed a bit of “re-gluing” but is perfect! I also have a dresser that we have added into the room in order to have some extra space for art supplies.
My Cricut Machine is never far from me and it lives on the dresser in the schoolroom. Today, I am using the calendar set and cutting the months of the year to hang on my classroom wall for Berlyn and Rowan. (Berlyn is my autistic child and does go to a half day Kindergarten class at a public school with the most AWESOME teacher.) Berlyn has been learning the months of the year at school, so I wanted to add that to our classroom wall too! Shelby even got the new one for Christmas this year that hooks up to her computer and has digital art and can also use the cartridges. I can’t imagine not having this tool in our collection. The kids use it for reports. I use it for scrapbooking, and school related items (both theirs and mine).
My Cube Shelving in my classroom is another essential. I pick up a lot of items at local yard sales and I needed a way to organize them. These cubicle shelves are at places like Walmart, and Target. They have all different color shelves and you can pick up drawers separately.
We use the drawers for “glue”. Yes, I have an adhesive drawer! And one that has all of their painting supplies, and decorative scissors, and extra supplies.
The shelves also hold the plastic shoe boxes GREAT and can double as bookshelves! I have math counters and science equipment in those. Along with a shoebox of crayons, and one with colored pencils and one with markers. I have never run out of or lost my colored pencils while they are in these shoe boxes. (Hey, I even labeled the outside of the boxes with my Cricut machine and wall vinyl!!!
INTERNET plays a HUGE roll in our schooling as well! I use it for project ideas and the kids use it for research. I find worksheets online and activities as well.
Last but not least – a TIMER is essential in our house. We DO NOT school all day with formal lessons, however, we do school for a time every morning. I set the timer to 3 hours at 9am and get started. Once that buzzer rings, I check the computer work. If everyone has gotten done their today’s work, then… WE ARE DONE! 🙂 In the afternoon is free reading, activity, cooking, etc.
I hope that this gives you an insight to “US” and what we can’t live without.