I took a little bit of a break from planning last week in favor of reorganizing. I still managed to fill in a few squares on my planning pages, but I'm just about done with each kiddo for the first quarter. I wanted to get started on reorganization of our school room.
In the last few years, pretty much since we've been homeschooling, we've had a dedicated school room. Sometimes, it's been thrown together rather haphazardly. Sometimes, it was a difficult room to work with so the setup or layout was weird. In this house, however, it's a pretty awesome school room. Nothing fancy, just a good size room with a ton of light. It's also made very bright by the excessive amount of white paint, more specifically contractor grade flat white paint. Now, in addition to it being a white room, it's also earning different color stripes, lines, marks, scuffs, etc. from anything that touches the wall. It's time for a re-do. It needs work done from top to bottom and everything in between.
I've been going through every school supply, manipulative, game, book, everything to determine if we need it and if we'll use it. If not, it's getting the boot. Someone else will get more use out of it than I will so it needs to go. I think, for the first time ever, I might take some stuff down to the homeschool bookstore I love and consign it. As I'm going through everything, I've been working on the layout of the room. I don't want to fill every nook and cranny with stuff. Just when I think I might have the space figured out, Adisson decides he wants to move his desk from his bedroom to the school room. :) No problem, just have to figure out where to put it.
Also on the agenda is painting and window treatments, as right now, there's none of either. Blank white walls and bare naked windows. I think we've decided to look at nice, soothing green colors. We haven't even started picking one out, but that's where we're headed. I have already decided on our first day of school (to be revealed in another post!) so the time crunch is on because that date is coming up fast! I really don't want to be in the middle of two big projects at once--the school room decorating and the first floor repair--but my hands are tied in that matter. The repair work downstairs hasn't even begun...in fact, it's not even close to beginning. :(
Painting, making window treatments, organizing, reorganizing, moving furniture...it's all on my list. Adam insists that the school room is my area so I won't get too much help from him. He also hates painting more than anything else in the world so he opts out of that every time. My hope is to start prepping this week so I can purchase paint this weekend and get started. I might have to move the timeline up a little if I hear there's a chance repair work might get started next week. I can't be painting upstairs while they are fixing the floor downstairs because that leaves 3 boys trapped in their bedrooms all day long.
Anyway, I did get a little planning done. Zander will be using Science4Us for his science curriculum this year, so I started clicking around over there. I wanted to see how easy it is for him to navigate since it's a different format than the online lessons he's used to. Fortunately, it's very easy to use and I think he'll have no problem getting his assignments started. Plus, the lessons are fun and interesting. I think he'll enjoy them even though he hasn't expressed much of an interest in science before. I went through some of the lessons so I could write them in my daily planner. Gotta fill those boxes in so I know we have stuff planned!
One thing we absolutely need to work on this year is handwriting. My boys don't have the best handwriting. Adisson is quick and sloppy and Zander is still learning. Also, mommy/teacher confession here, Adisson still doesn't know how to write well in cursive. I was told by our previous education monitor not to waste my time teaching cursive to the kids because most public schooled kids aren't learning it anymore. Nevertheless, Adisson will be writing in cursive (occasionally) by the end of the year and his printing will have to improve because it's terrible! Handwriting worksheets will be a part of our daily routine!
Last, but not least, is the organization of my stuff. I've been busy accumulating my Teacher's Toolbox from online teacher resources to filling my supply box with white-out and staples. At the beginning of the year, I'm like YES! I CAN DO THIS! I'M READY FOR THIS! I get my computer stockpile of information organized, filed, and bookmarked. I've got my storage box of paper clips, brads, and pushpins sorted out. I've been busy going through my filing cabinet and my bookshelf. I've emptied my school binder from last year and got it ready to start filling up for this year.
I'm on the path of a new, clean, organized school room for the start of the school year. We're not there, yet. In fact, there are some days I look around and think we're not even close to being *there* but I'm working hard to get it all done. Adam's right, the school room is My Area. This is where I work, where I teach, where I learn, where I spend a ton of time with my three most favorite kids. I'm ready to make it an awesome place for us to spend our days.