As promised, here is a tour of our homeschool room. When I first began homeschooling my two oldest, we lived in a town house. We turned our finished basement into a little school room with a table, cabinets, and a chalkboard. After a year or two of that, I got tired of spending most of our waking hours in a basement that hardly had any natural light. We moved up to the dining room and kept the kids’ books in bins on the sideboard table. The toddlers played in the adjoining living room while the bigger kids studied at the dining room table. When our fifth baby was born, we began to feel a little crunched in our townhouse. So a few years ago, we moved into a house that allowed us to have a school room on the main floor:
One of the things I enjoy during the summer is cleaning out and reorganizing our homeschool room. I’m often on the lookout for new ways to organize and for fun, creative ways to use our space. So, I asked some of my friends to share pictures of their homeschool rooms. Here are four homes for you to tour, along with commentary from the moms.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an unlimited budget to spend on school books???? You know, where all of that “nice-to-to have” curriculum actually becomes yours instead of just gazing wistfully at it at a homeschooling conference. Alas, many of us are on a strict budget (and it is a good thing because it keeps me from overindulging)! I love to buy books! For me, there is nothing like getting a whole box of books in the mail. Unfortunately, I only have so much money and space to store all of my treasures.
Here are my top 5 tips for staying within a homeschool budget!
I love Latin. Ever since my highschool trip to Rome, where Latin phrases adorn the walls of churches, I have admired the logic, beauty, and timelessness of the Latin language.
But I also know that when we consider the myriad of subjects and activities we wish to include in our children’s curricula, it can be easy to put Latin on the “nice but not necessary” list. After all, Latin is a dead language, right?
Happy Father’s Day! Here’s a post my husband wrote for the Dads:
Do you ever wonder how God intends for us to cope with, or better yet master, the daily demands of life? I do. If you’ve read any of Mary’s blog posts, I imagine that you’ve found her to be inspiring – as do I. How does she do it all? Our house is always impeccable, the children are excelling in their studies, the bills get paid on time, she has a large and growing number of friends, she’s written three (or is it four now) books, and she seems to always have time for the essentials. Then, there’s me… So, I couldn’t help but wonder, how does she do it?
Last year I put this list up in the Homeschooling Help menu during the spring. With so many kids to plan and buy books for, I made this list to keep track of what I needed to buy, what I ordered , and what arrived. I also like to compare prices of new and used books, so I made columns for that. I made a division between Books I Need and Books I Want, because don’t we all get excited about new curricula? Now with this list, I buy the books I absolutely need first, and then if I haven’t spent too much, I go for the books I want. For those of you who sometimes discover you have bought two of the same book (oops!), here’s the handy-dandy list:
Once in a while, one of my kids fall into a funk – a period of negativity and difficult behavior which makes parenting, especially homeschooling, a real challenge. When this happens, not only do I feel sorrow for my child, but I also feel discouraged and inadequate. And yet, I know that this is a common experience among parents.
Perhaps it’s a hyper-sensitive child who whines and cries over the smallest vexations. Perhaps it’s a strong-willed child who fights you tooth and nail whenever you tell him to do something. Perhaps it’s that hormonal middle schooler, who has suddenly become moody, disrespectful, and ultra-critical. Or perhaps it’s a child whose health issues makes her irritable and crabby.
Whatever the situation, although you know deep-down that you love this child, there are times when it can be a real challenge to be patient and loving. So what can we do?
When my oldest daughter entered middle school, I wanted to discuss the books she was reading. When I was a kid, I loved to read and even more, I loved to discuss the books I was reading. It helped me to discover details that I missed and look at the story from a little different perspective. So I began a quest to find curriculum that would serve as a basis for these discussions. Kolbe Academy has an extensive literature program with reading comprehension questions as well as paper ideas. Rainbow Resource has Christian Novel Studies that include questions, vocabulary, recipes (in some cases), and background information. I own parts of each of these program, but for sheer money-saving purposes, I felt that I needed to write some of my own.
8 tips, short and sweet, to help us get through the year:
It all started on a sunny day in California, when Big-Sis was a little over a year. We were at Mass, and for some reason our sweet little cherub was taking a fit. My husband carried her to the cry room with the hopes of calming her down, but to no avail. When the time for Communion came, Chris had to carry her, while she was kicking and screaming, to the front of the church to receive the Holy Eucharist. From then on, attending Mass has never been the same.