Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I finally got it clean enough to take pictures :) We start school next week, so I have been in "get ready" mode all week. I must say, I love my house! We have been so very blessed with this home, it is as if it was made for me. After moving every four years, home number four is one I hope to stay in for quite some time. Our school area is what used to be an in-law suite, so I was able to devote two whole rooms to school without interfering with other areas of the house.
Here is the room as you enter from the hallway. We spend lots of time on the futon reading, and I love the easy access to the outside. The queen (4) can go out and play with water toys or other outdoor things, and still be right where I can see her. Under the table I store some of our math manipulatives and a box of the queen's "games," activity bags that are just for school time.
Here is the view from the opposite end of the room. The door leads into the office where the computer and my sewing desk are located (the castle on the table was a project crocodile hunter did for the middle ages). The deer is courtesy of my hunter husband (hey, in our other house it hung over the bed for a year, so this is not so bad, trust me!).
Here is a great shelf I bought at Mich*el's (a great buy with a 40% off coupon!). It has math books on tops, and then various things for the queen to use during school hours.
This is our meeting area for much of our morning work. We have calendar time, recitation and new memory work here. The shelf contains art books and supplies that they can use at the table.
Here is the view from the table area into the rest of the kitchen. Have I mentioned this is my dream house? This is NOT my main kitchen, but a secondary kitchen. This house has a large kitchen on the main level, then this smaller one which was set up for an in-law suite. These areas have become our schoolroom. It is wonderful to have access to a sink, and lots of counter space without dealing with dishes etc. And most of those cabinets are full of school books, art and craft supplies, and other school goodies (a few do have my cake decorating supplies, but each school year I inch a few more cake supplies out and a few more school supplies in :)
This is the little princess' desk. The basket to the right contains all of the books she needs to access every day (Explode the Code, her readers, her main history book etc) and her notebook.
This is the crocodile hunters desk, again with his main books in the basket next to him. The blue boxes on the hearth contain knitting supplies and a set of wooden figures for biblical stories.
Finally, here is a closer look at my low shelf. I love the window in this room, and in planning the curtains and shelving, my main concern was to not block the view or the light. So I found these nifty stackable shelves at T*rget and they are just the right height. The window sills are just below the top of the shelves! In these shelves we have our math manipulatives, some educational games, flashcards, globe and map puzzles and a basket with nature books. The show box on top is full of nature finds - a birds nest, a molted snake skin - all the wonderful treasures little boys love to find and bring home! Finally, the black storage boxes on the left (from Office M*x - I love the look of these boxes) hold each child's specific flashcards.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I thought I would share what we do to learn more about the saints of the Orthodox church. I got this pocket calendar from a teacher supply store. Then each month I go to this calendar site and choose which saints I want to focus on for that month. I find an icon online and print it off on cardstock. I also have a packet of pocket icons I use. I type labels with the saints name and date of commemoration, label the back and laminate the icon. Then I insert the icons into the pockets on the date that saint is commemorated. Each morning part of our school routine is to go over the calendar information, so we always talk about which saints we are commemorating. I review with them the date of commemoration as part of our calendar review, and they spend a month looking at those icons, so they quickly come to recognize a multitude of saints. There are no number cards in the pockets yet because we do that each morning - talk about what day it is, the date, and then one of the kids puts the number card in for that day. By the end of the month all the dates are filled in. To make it still a learning experience for the Crocodile Hunter (who thinks telling the date is a bit beneath his level :) we also learn the months, days, date and weather in Spanish. Finding the icon images took some time in the beginning, but you can start small, just selecting 2 or 3 per month. Then the next year add two or three more, and in a few years you will have 10-15 saints on your calendar. I also mark all the church feast days with icons so we always have the reminder of the feast we are approaching. To keep it organized, I have a manila folder labeled with each month on the outside, and the icons stored in the appropriate envelope. Then all the envelopes are stored in a filing cabinet. This has been such a great visual way to teach the saints, and has become the focus of our morning "getting school started" routine.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Okay, I am really excited because I finally took the time to figure out how to upload pictures to my blog (like I said, I am a little behind the techno train.) So until I have time to blog about a few things I wanted to share pictures of (like my school room!) I thought I would share a picture from our garden. Last year our lilies struggled along, this year they have spread all over the little pond, and finally, we have blooms!
Monday, August 11, 2008
1. Link to the person who tagged you (i.e. me)
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger (me) know when your entry is posted
Six Random Facts About Me:
1. I was voted most likely to color code my coat hangers in high school (pretty sure Jen had something to do with that :) Not only do I color code, but all hangars face to the right.
2. I married at 19 - a sophomore in college, I married my guy after a one year courtship - against the advice of all of my college buddies who were convinced I was ruining my life. Well, nearly 15 years and four beautiful children later, I would have to disagree :)
3. I was home schooled - back before homeschooling was cool! My parents were part of the movement to legalize homeschooling in our state - and we were all prepared with passports to relocate to New Zealand if the government tried to stop us! As a child, a small part of me always kind of hoped we might have to do that :) it sounded like so much fun.
4. I climbed Pikes Peak. As a teenager I attended Summit Ministries two week worldview camps (highly recommend them!) and on the last weekend of camp those who wanted could attempt the hike up Pikes Peak. It took me most of the day, and it began to snow as we hit the Peak, but it was such a thrilling experience.
5. I had a crush on Bo Duke and Remington Steel. Still think Pierce Br*snan is one of the best looking actors out there (check out Thomas Crown Affair if you don't believe me!)
6. I have always been terrified of dogs. I was chased by a huge one while riding my bike and have never been able to stand to be around them. In 1998 my husband announced he wanted to get a black lab. I said okay, all the while thinking, I can't own a dog! We went and picked one out (I kept my distance as best I could without looking like a chicken). I got over my fear only after my husband dumped this new puppy in my lap for the drive home. I think my whole body was shaking for the ride, but after 45 minutes of being forced to hold this black mass of fur, I decided dogs weren't all that bad. We still have that lab, and now have a second one (third really - our current puppy's mom we had for 2 years before she had to be put down). I feel like I have come a long way!
I am not very good about doing these things, so I am going to refrain from tagging anyone else. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged if you want!