Monday, October 27, 2014

Our Homeschool Room.

Homeschooling is fascinating, isn't it? I was so curious before I began, on the how's and why's, and where's of it all. I do admit, it's interesting stuff. So today I thought if you are anything like me that you might find it fun to tour our homeschool room, or as we call it, our dining room. Nothing fancy here. Just a dining room where we do our schooling. No two days are the same. And we like it that way. So here we go!

I would have really liked to take some beautiful pictures with a camera that is not my iPhone, but who has time for that? These are just some quick shots I took cleaning up for the day on my phone, so the quality is pretty poor.

Here Lars is in the kitchen. This is a central hub in our daily lives. One major reason I kept going back to when thinking about homeschooling last year was that I wanted my children to have daily access to quality, life giving foods that we would prepare together. So three times a day we are all in this tiny kitchen making a beautiful mess and some really delicious food.

My dad just built us this beautiful shelf for over our radiator in our dining room/ school room. We haven't stained or painted it yet, because honestly, I can't bring myself to touch that beautiful natural wood. But this piece has become major for us. I pile a whole days worth of stuff  on it, leaving it there till I clean up dinner in case any of the children want to mosey on back to do some more research on their own throughout the day. (this happens. awesome, right?! kids WANT to learn!)

We use a loft of color in our learning. Almost all of Graycen's work this year she has hand drawn. Hours and hours of her time poured out into beautiful illustrations of how she learns and what she learns. She never has to feel rushed or move on until she is ready, and some days, like today, takes over an our to get just one picture right. We use Math-U-See for the kids math books, but branch out often making math flowers, or division houses. Always drawn, always colorful, and often times beautiful!

This is a shot of our dining room from one corner. We use that one bookshelf to hold most of our daily work.

To the far left in this picture are these beautiful watercolors the kids have been doing weekly after they have memorized our bible verse for the week. I have them up on the wall right now because they are just so wonderful, but we plan on making them into homemade Christmas gifts.

Living books! Following the beliefs of Charlotte Mason, we read living books. A "living book" is a book that a child gains knowledge of through his own effort. "Whole books are living in the sense that they are written by a single author who shares personally his favorite subject with us, and we pick up his enthusiasm." - Karen Andreola, Charlotte Mason Companion

Some of our favorite supplies that we use everyday are Dixon No.2 pencils (they really are the best pencils!), LYRA colored pencils which are high quality and have beautiful colors, and Stockmar paints.

I am not kidding when I say that for the past two months I have started almost every morning with a thankfulness so big to be able to homeschool and have the laws to back me up in my choices here in America. I tell the kids all the time, it's not just a right that we have, but a GIFT! We try to live accordingly with this gift. That flag right there bring me to tears everyday.

I have a little corner set up on our dining room with a sheepskin rug thrown down on the floor for some coziness and some wooden toys if a child is feeling frustrated or unwilling. A few minutes left to play and most of the time come back to the table with a willing attitude.

We also have this table set up where the kids can display treasures they have found on a walk or in our yard, it also holds our moveable calendar that Dune and Lars are in charge of changing every day, and little weather story telling wooden pictures that they predict the days weather with. I'll really be sad the year they outgrow this, as it has become one of my favorite things.

       We use all parts of our home though, from the attic to the basement, from the yard, to our neighbors yards, to the little lake we live on and beyond. I would call our local library just as important to our homeschool as our dining room, along with our homeschool co-op and church. We are really blessed to live in the Hudson Valley where learning is rich and everywhere. A train ride north or south from us and we've landed upon all new worlds. We have access to some of the best art in the world in museums that are as close as just one hour away. 

Well, I am being called away from the computer to come see some very rosy cheeked kids hanging blankets on our clothes line declaring today, "washing day." Hope you enjoyed our little tour!
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