Sunday, January 11, 2009

Welcome to our Homeschooling Room aka: The Learning Room!

Ok so i took these photos at night which is why they are a little dark but you get the idea! I wanted to post about our learning room before we officially start classes tomorrow morning. I am so excited and have no idea of what kind of challenges/adventures/joys lie before us but like anything else in life, when you have the Lord's peace that you are doing something right, you just can't help but be excited!


This is the view from the door of the learning room. It used to be Stassi's bedroom but after reading Sally & Clay Clarkson's 'Educating the Wholehearted Child' we both agreed that it would be great to have a whole room dedicated to the kids' learning area. So after much room shuffling, we ended up with this little room as our first homeschooling space...


Here's the cute little magnetic calendar i bought from an educational supplier this year - each morning the plan is that as we enter the room, we change the day/date/month/season/year when necessary...

I made these little dilly bags. No seriously - I MADE THESE!!!! LIKE SEWED THEM MYSELF!!!! LOL! Anyone who knows me well knows that i really cannot sew a straight line and did not even own a machine until two weeks ago. So Brett helped me work out how to do it and I am determined to learn properly how to make stuff using that machine! And Stass will learn too - she was so excited that i made these! :) I'm still giggling stupid as i type this! Anyway, she calmly says, here are the three bags which sit on these cut hooks Brett fitted for me. One of the bags has fidget toys in them and while we have Bible & Devotions in the morning, one of the kids grabs this little bag and each child can choose a small toy (little rubber frogs/lizards/balls) to play with in their hands. This really is only for Liji but all the kids enjoy them so there you go!
PS: Did i mention I MADE THESE???!!!!!! lol!
Here are the little 'happy homeschooling 2009' stationery packs we made for each of the kids as a little gift from us to celebrate the first day of school! I also made these little cards for each of the kids telling them how wonderful it is to be starting this new journey with them. They will get them in the morning and the idea is that the little pots will sit on the table so they always have their own little supplies in front of them...


Here you can see the cute blue sofa we bought about a fortnight ago. I think i already shared the story but i will again here. We had been looking for a sofa but didn't want to spend through the room for one. After much searching we thought that the only thing we would get to fit in there that we could afford would be an armchair. The purpose was so that I can stay in the room to feed our new little princess when she arrives or sit with one of two little ones curled up together reading a book while Stassi is doing independent work. Anyway, all the second hand armchairs were either broken or just not suitable for some reason. Then we were in our town walking around the day before Christmas Eve and went into a very expensive furniture store. I asked if they had a price for the armchair in the window and of course nearly died when i found out how much it was! I said, 'oh ok thanks. we're just looking for something for our new little homeschooling room but we'll keep on looking!' and she asked if we would be interested in this little blue sofa which was only $150! I couldn't believe it - there is not a thread missing and it is so comfy! Not only that but it fitted PERFECTLY into the area we wanted it which was under the window. God had it all set out and we are all so thankful!



If you are sitting on the couch, this is what you see on the opposite wall....



I just love these cork boards! It was really important to us that we had a wall where the kids could freely display their work and we could rotate posters when we wanted to as well. I also love having photos of the kids learning and being and doing up there too. I got the cute photo frames from Ikea for a ridiculously cheap price and converted all the photos to black and white which really makes the colour of the frame stand out...



And next to the sofa is this fantastic bookcase which we got, no pun intended, from Fantastic Furniture of all places! Again, it was such a God-find for us. We had been looking at bookcases that were this size (extra large shelves and extra tall too) and they were all so expensive! Brett and I went down to Penrith on the last day of the kids all being in preschool/school and i asked if we could just stop in at Fantastic Furniture. He said they didn't really sell stuff like the bookcase we were looking for but as it turned out, we were both pleasantly shocked that they did and we save about $300 just on this one item! God went shopping with us! lol :)

At the moment it holds all of Stassi's text books (in those fab cardboard magazine holders also from Ikea) and the baskets of maths manipulatives and exercise books. Over the past few days we have bought 100 x 48 page exercise books for $1.50!!!!! Massive bargain! See the red/blue/yellow crates in the bottom left of the picture? That has all the pens/pencils/erasers/sticky tapes/glues/feathers/pipecleaners/bottlecaps/toilet rolls/paddlepop sticks and other fun things for quick crafts...


The magazine holders (yet to be labelled) but they are all sorted by subject... and underneath is my big black diary which i have been recording in each day since the start of the year (ok so that's not even 2 weeks yet but that's still good for me! lol!!!)...

And also on the shelves...this little basket full of Ikea containers which hold pins for the cork board, small wooden pegs for displaying more artworks, paper clips etc...


And those fabulous Ikea baskets which hold the blank exercise books...


More baskets with Phonics books and readers for Liji...


And in that yellow box? I know she's not here yet but this box is already filled with soft toys, rattles and books for our little girl when she's a little older....Can you tell that none of us can wait until she's here!!!!!

Here's the fantastic clock which Brett found on 00.com for $15 including p&h! The best bit is the timer on the bottom so that the boys understand when the session is over...(and i love that it's bright red too!!!)

Now speaking of the boys, I've read alot about 'entertaining littlies' who aren't really homeschooling while an older child is. And almost everything i read suggested taking a little extra time to organise some crates for the younger kids and allowing them to play with whatever is in that crate until the end of each session (which are about 1 hour long). So the crates are filled with lots of things to help the boys have fun and learn at the same time! The crates are stored on a shelf behind this door (even buying the shelves was a bonus - saved heaps on those too just b/c Brett suggested we check out a different store first - thanks Lord!) This was Stassi's wardrobe once but we cleaned out all the kids' wardrobes just before the New Year. This little hanger has all the colouring in books along with their blue Nature Study Sketch Books...
So behind the door is the storage shelf and the 8 x $2 crates from Ikea...The storage shelf fits two of these on each shelf as you can see and was $39 from our hardware store. Bargain!


A close-up of the boxes (will post another time was is in each one)...I have no idea if this will work but it's worth a try! I am hoping that the boys will love them :)


Back near the door is the cupboard which the little dilly bags hang off and this houses all the extra craft supplies that i don't want the kids into each day (like play doh, paints, glitter, etc)... This cupboard was given to us by my dear friend Lyndall and we are so thankful for it!

These sheets are laminated and stuck on the learning table to help the kids remember the alphabet if they need it...
And on the door is this beautiful artwork that Elijah made almost 2 years ago. It is of our family. See that little black dot in the right hand corner? We say that is our little bubba!
Ok that's about it for right now :) Will share more as the year goes on and as our room changes shape. Like i said, i just wanted to post what it looked like as we began our schooling year.
Love to everyone,
Lus x

11 comments:

Donna Heart said...

HI Luci - reading your post on gearing up for homeschooling truly filled my heart with such joy! I am sure that your enthusiasm and desire to follow 'the road less travelled' will bring many wonderful adventures, rich learning experiences and lots of laughter too! All the best for a wonderful year. Donna

Scrapsister said...

Oh Lusi! This post made me cry LOL. Such a beautiful, organised space and so many blessings on the way to setting up your precious room. I wish you every happiness and success in your homeschooling journey and will keep you all in my prayers for your first day tomorrow!
Much love, Kerryn

Sal :-) said...

WOW!!! What an amazing room! You guys have done such a great job in getting planed for this year & I pray it is one full of blessings and joy as you take on the journey. May your obedience to His calling be richly rewarded.

HAVE A GREAT FIRST DAY!!! :-D (and 2nd and 3rd and ....)

Nat said...

Oh Lusi! Your room looks fabulous! I know that all the effort you've put in to this will come back tenfold, and God will bless and guide you each step of every day. I'm so proud of you for this awesome journey you're taking with God, and I look forward to watching your year unfold. The room looks fantastic!!! What awesome parents you and Brett are!!

Mel said...

Wow, Lusi!!! This looks soooo wonderful!!! This really makes me wish I could go back in time & do this with my kids!!!!You guys are going to have sooo much joy in this room!!!
xxx

Kaz said...

Wow Lusi the room looks amazing. It makes me want to come and learn too. By the way.....where did you get those 3 cute hanging bags??? lol

luv Kaz :)

Sumara said...

Hey wow, did you MAKE those bags?! lol.

It looks fantastic Lus!

Can I just say... and I only say this, in love, because I was there when you spent every Tuesday night up until 4am finishing next week's homework! ... remember not to worry about it when the neat containers of supplies end up in random locations, or the one-hour sessions in the homeschooling room turn into "a bit here and bit there" throughout the day... just live life, and the learning will happen.

And, for the millionth time, I'm so excited for yoU!

Sumara said...

Oh and hey, I hope you have had a fabulous day today, all of you! ANd I hope they stay just as fabulous for the next..... oh... 17years! Tee hee.

Now you can change your profile thingy to say "we ARE homeschooling our children"!

lusi said...

lol thanks sumi! and profile has been changed - thanks for the reminder :)!!!
Love Lus x

Deb said...

Lusi and Brett, this is just awesome. Just reading this bought me to tears. I wish you well on your journey. Your children are blessed to have such wonderful parents.

mizbear said...

HI Lusi
Just wondering where you got your cork boards from? They look great and I want some for our schooling area :)
Anne

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