Sunday, August 18, 2013

Our School Room

We just moved here at the end of March so this is a new school room for us. This is the first time we've had one in the basement. The other times our school room was the bonus room on our second floor. I'm a little worried that it will be cold in the basement in the winter, especially since we live in Minnesota. We do have a small heater in our school room so hopefully it will help keep it warm. I do really like not having to worry about the walls being angled like in our past rooms. I feel like I have so much more wall space now.

Here is most of the room looking from the stairs.

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This is on the left side coming down the stairs. There is a line for hanging up the kids' art, an easel, and a small table that the girls like to use when they're drawing. The red containers have art supplies. The letters at the top of the wall say "Every child is an artist."
The door goes into the playroom, which we are still unpacking and is a big mess.

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To the right of the stairs are bookcases that hold our curriculum, with a different subject on each shelf. The white shelf holds the printer, and there are different types of paper in the drawers.

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This is a reading area for the kids. These shelves have picture and chapter books.

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Next to that is a computer. The map above it has stickers for each state we've visited.

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The windows look out to our backyard.
Under these windows is our timeline. We aren't using the whole thing right now. In history, we've gotten to the 1800s so I have the timeline starting in the late 1500s and going to the present.

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We do a lot of reading aloud so I always try to have a couch in our school room.
We've had this table for a few years now. I couldn't find one as big as I wanted so my husband made this one. It has shelves underneath for storing supplies.
I painted a lazy susan blue and added small pails to hold pencils, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, etc.

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The wood cabinets hold craft supplies. The shelves under the maps hold most of our everyday things. On the left side of the picture are drawers for all our math supplies. The colored drawers are the kids' workboxes, one for Colin and one that the girls share (5 drawers for each of them).

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I saw this idea a couple years ago and started collecting letters for it. We never really had the extra wall for it before though. While unpacking, I was surprised to find we had all the letters except I (for some reason we also had an extra R, 2 extra Os, and 2 extra Qs). My 10 year old made an I from craft popsicle sticks and painted some of the letters. I covered some with scrapbook paper.

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I wanted to somehow incorporate into the room places we've been. I hung some of our postcards on this board. Hopefully I'll be able to find more of the postcards we've collected to add.

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Now I just need to do some baby proofing. I'm hoping we can do the majority of our work while my almost 7 month old naps. She doesn't always sleep well though so I can't count on that and need to get it done before she becomes more mobile. I plan to find a space to have a basket of toys for her. I think I'm going to get a high chair for that room so she can be at the same height as everyone else. She can use the tray to play with toys, and for snacks once she's eating finger foods.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What's Been Happening Around Here

I keep meaning to stay caught up on this blog and then before I know it lots of time has passed. It's just been such a busy time and I feel like I don't have time for a lot of things. I really want to start getting back to normal here though. I've started so many posts and then not had the time to finish them.

So what's been taking so much of my time?

For starters, my sweet new baby, Sophie. She is 6 months old now. It's been quite an adjustment to have a little one again. My other kids are 13, 10, and 8 so it's been a while since we had a baby. She had reflux, which caused her to have some bad days, but she's doing much better now. She's never really been a difficult baby. She's actually very happy most of the time and is almost always smiling. However, she doesn't sleep well. She doesn't usually go to sleep until around midnight. Then she still wakes up every 2 to 3 hours at night. I have to say after 6 months of that, I'm so tired and have trouble finding the energy to do everything I want. She also doesn't sleep much during the day. Sometimes she has good days with 2 naps, but not very often. I feel lucky if she has one good nap. Many days the only sleep she gets is falling asleep on me while she's nursing, which means I don't get much time to do anything and can't really type.

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Sophie in the middle of a clap, one of her favorite things to do right now.

My 10 year old took this picture. Didn't she do a great job?

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I mentioned that we moved in March. It was a big move, about 1200 miles. Moving is always difficult with unpacking and organizing. Moving to a new place means you also need to learn where everything is and how to get around. Being homeschoolers adds more to that because I have to research the homeschool laws of this new state, search for homeschool groups, try to find classes and fun things for the kids, and get us out to try to meet new friends. Luckily, homeschooling seems to be very popular here and I've found a lot of activities for us.

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We're mostly on break from school. The kids are all doing some math practice. Colin is still doing Exploring Creation with General Science. I didn't make daily assignments for him and thought he would finish if he just did a little each day. I think he did very little some days though so he still has a couple modules to get through. We've also been reading The Little House on the Prairie series and doing Prairie Primer. The girls have really enjoyed it. I'm so glad because I loved the books when I was little. We've been trying to take advantage of living near some of the Little House sites. Last month we visited Walnut Grove, MN. Hopefully I can write about that soon. We plan to visit De Smet, SD this month.

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Walnut Grove

I've been trying to work on school planning for next year. The girls (5th & 3rd grade) will be doing mostly the same thing as last year, just moving up to the next level. Colin's (8th grade) school planning is taking more of my time. I'm feeling a little anxious that this is his last year before high school and want to be sure that we get everything in that is needed. I want him to be pretty independent, but feel that he still needs me to give him quite a bit of direction.

Anyway, I'm sure we'll all settle into a routine soon.