Saturday, May 19, 2018

Homeschool organisation and a decision

Hi friends!

I mentioned in my last post that we were seriously considering homeschooling S. (Previously, it had been a sort of vague notion that we might homeschool her one day, since we were already homeschooling L.)

Well, today I made the decision.

S had most of this week off school with a cold, so I used the time to test out homeschooling on her. It went much better than I'd expected, possibly because she was on her best behaviour in an attempt to convince me to let her homeschool. (She has been begging me to bring her home.)

Yesterday we had a lovely moment when all the kids were learning about physical and political maps in geography, and got the chance to create their own map for a country of their imagination. Normally it would have been L doing this task by herself, while S was at school and J played, but since S and L were both doing the activity, J joined in too. All three kids got so excited about their made-up countries, laughing and encouraging each other along.

It allowed me to see the advantage of teaching all three children together - how much more stimulating it has the potential to be for them.

I know it won't always be as easy or pleasant as it has been this week. S's personality has its challenges for sure, but I'm prepared to give it my best with her and have officially decided to homeschool her.

This afternoon I sent off an exemption form to the Ministry of Education for S, in order to get the bureaucratic cogs turning. My hope is that S will be formally exempt from school and able to start homeschooling by the beginning of next term.

Homeschooling one girl has been pretty straightforward and easy for me, but I realise I'll need to be far more organised once S starts homeschooling, if I'm to split my time well between both girls, and potentially J in the future too.

After just one week of having S at home, the corner of our dining room had become a crazy mess, piled up with homeschool curricula and stationary.

This afternoon I made it my mission to find a shelving unit that would fit this narrow corner and corral all our homeschooling gear for when we're working in the dining room, which is most of the time.

I had a pretty specific list of requirements for the unit. I wanted something made of real wood, preferably white as we have a lot of dark wooden furniture downstairs. I also didn't want it to be too invasive. It needed to allow us access to the dining room light switch and leave space for the curtains to be pulled back. I took measurements of where the light switch is, as well as how wide and deep the space for the unit was, so I would be sure to get something that fits.

The unit needed to have at least four shelves: one for stationary items, one for L's work, one for S's work and one for J's work in the future. I visited a few different shops and finally found the perfect piece of furniture at Bed Bath and Beyond.

This shelving unit was actually part of their bathroom range, but I think it will do nicely for our homeschool needs. It was the floor model, since they didn't have any more in stock, so I didn't even have to assemble it - just bring it home.

I cleared out the disaster zone that was and found a place for everything we're using this term on the new shelving unit.

Various stationary items are easy to access from the top of the unit, where I keep them organised in glass jars.

I'm ecstatic that the new homeschool shelving unit fits so perfectly into this little corner of our dining room. Living in a small home means every space needs to be custom fitted to get the most out of it.

The new unit is is low enough and narrow enough that we can still access our dining room light switch, read the calendar on the wall and pull back the curtains.

Its small size also means it isn't too intrusive into the dining room. We can easily walk around it to get to our seats at the table. It's actually about the same depth as the little piece of furniture that was here previously, just far more functional and pretty.

I really love those shuttered cupboards.

They tie in nicely with our white wooden Venetian blinds in the adjoining lounge.

You all know how much I love a bargain, so you'll be pleased to hear I nabbed this little beauty at a 50% off discount too.

I'm so happy with it. Now I just need to make sure it stays organised while I'm homeschooling not one, but two kids next term.

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