Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dining Room to School Room: Yes, you too can homeschool in a small house!

I love to read blogs and I especially love to read blogs about homeschooling. There are so many different approaches to home learning and I love getting new ideas. Sometimes I must admit that I feel serious stabs of envy when I see some of the great classrooms that families set up for their learning.

Since our homeschooling supplies are kept in the hallway, you know that I don't have room for a separate classroom. I do however have a knack for making do and coming up with solutions.

Workbook work is done in bedrooms. Rebecca is a great independent learner. She takes her lesson plans into her room and gets right to work. She comes to me with questions or to have me check things over but generally she loves the quiet of working on her own. Lily on the other hand still needs me with her and our teaching is very interactive.

Two of our subjects are not from workbooks. We all do history and science together and that is where the real fun begins.

We have been studying the animal kingdom. We've read books and watched videos and observed animals in the wild. Now we are making books about the animal kingdom. When we started this project I knew that I would need to find a place for both girls to work at the same time and where I could set up a dry erase board.

The dining room seemed to be the most logical place for our work.

Here is the dining room as a dining room. Think of it as mild mannered reporter Clark Kent.

Here it is minutes later transformed into our science lab! Superman!

Today we worked on amphibians!

Notice how many of those books have yellow stickers on them? That's because I bought them all at the junk store for just a few dollars.

Lily and Rebecca were drawing the life cycle of a frog. You can learn everything that you need to know about my children from viewing their frog life cycles.

Here's Rebecca's. Sweet, innocent, happy frogs.

Here's Lily's. Starts out normal...But somewhere between froglet and frog things go terribly wrong.

I have no idea why daddy frog is angry and missing legs. She is a strange kiddo. I have no idea where she gets it. Mom, this is not the right moment to bring up the "Ten Catmandments" that I made in fourth grade at St. Joe's . Demented frogs are way weirder than coveting thine neighbors cat.

After our lesson on frogs we played a math game that I picked up for 1.99 at the junk store. Yes children, your education was purchased at a store that smells like moth balls and old socks.

The children complained when I told them that we were playing a math game.Until I opened the box that is!

Giant foam dice! How wonderful!

There were a bunch of different ways to play this game but we adapted it for our needs. The kids rolled the dice. On Lily's turn she would answer the addition and subtraction problems. We converted Rebecca's problems to multiplication. Once they knew the answer they would jump on that spot. Rebecca's was more challenging because once she solved the multiplication problem she needed to step on the right numbers which added together would equal the answer.

They loved this game. There was jumping and head butting the dice.

It was a super great homeschooling day. And I did it without a classroom and a lot of expensive supplies. I think I just may be getting the hang of this.


Lisa said...

Ok first before I get into my comment I want to say you do a great job with homeschooling. I don't have my own children but I went to school to be a K-6 teacher. So I understand how really great your work with your kids is. Well Done You!!
Now I really did read your post but lost it for a while when I I saw the first picture of your diningroom. YOU HAVE TWO HOOSIERS!!!! I would LOVE to have two Hoosiers. I have one and in my current kitchen it is a necessity. There is one at a local store I am so in love with!! I recently got an enamel top table and have my eye on another one of those too! Your little home is awesome! I really don't one bigger than the one I have and liked my small apartment where I could vacuum the whole place without unplugging it!! I am glad you and your girls are having such a great time! Homeschooling is really coming along. It used to be such a separate and lonely thing. You really have done a great job!!
Hugs, Lisa

amy said...

Lily is an evil genius. If she and Theo ever have tadpoles, the world will never be the same. I'm inspired to do a better job with my own edumacation project...I've been slacking a bit.

Sarah A. said...

Almost all of our books and crafty stuff comes from thrifting, Craigslist, or our favorite used bookstore. We always find what we need and then a little more, so our room is well stocked! Before we moved last year, we homeschooled in a house that was slightly less than 1100 sq ft, and yes, it can be done...it was pretty cozy and lovely and perfect because it was home.
That math game looks neat! (See, I would've never said that before I started homeschooling!)

Anonymous said...

You realize, of course, that at some point you will have to tell the "Ten Catmandment" story. Between this blog and Cheryl's latest, I have really had a good laugh today!!
Love, Mom

Cheryl said...

I don't think I was meant to comment on this since I've been kicked out 3 times already. I'm going to blog about it instead.

Julie said...

I think the bride frog is from your catholic school girl photo you posted and the mean scraggly haired frog is Lily's dad in the morning before coffee.