Twas the night before our first day of homeschooling all through the house, the children were bustling, the pencils were sharpened and the school books were ready. As an educator for over two decades, I am taking this launch with the frame of mind to KEEP IT SIMPLE! I love opening a classroom in the fall with all the fun matching decor and labeled school supplies. If this is you, find one or two ways to bring your ‘teacher’ flair, but I wanted my kids to create and love their workspace. We are also starting mid-year and I’ve got to figure out a lot of details and coordination of schedules, so I had to let go of making the space perfect.
Our first week of homeschooling went remarkably well. We have a funny phase in our house from the Matrix – you are either an architect (constructing routines and regularity) or an oracle (deconstructing the afore mentioned). Well, normally I am the primary architect calling out “5 minutes to ____” (lunch, loading…). Well EJ, was clearly the architect this week. We agreed that “Mom’s Morning Meeting” would be held in the living room at 8am every day. She hollered “Mom’s morning meeting starts in 5 minutes” on Monday morning, much to the chagrin of her older siblings who were still sleeping! I loved it and I made sure I was on time all week because she was so excited about it.
EJ’s school space is an old Ikea table and chair in her bedroom with some spare wooden crates for her books. She got a gift card to Target for Christmas and used that to buy some fun supplies and a lamp. I would really encourage you to find what you already have! This set up cost me zero dollars. For reference here are a few of the items with why we picked them (there are affiliate links which I do get a small financial return for your purchase -thank you if you do click and purchase). EJ was part of the set up of her learning space, so she really feels ownership of it and really loves using it.
- Dining Table and Chair – this Ikea dining table is deeper than a typical desk, which allows enough space for storage and working.
- Wooden Crate – We tipped them on their sides lengthwise to use for storage of books and supplies. It creates a bookshelf with a flat surface to store additional items on top.
- EJ wanted a small whiteboard to write her daily tasks on so she could check them off. A magnetic one allows for her to attach small things too.
TW’s school space is a lifetime kids picnic table (Thank you mom – this has been so handy for so many year!). With TW’s learning challenges, a simple space that can be clear of clutter is really key for him.
- We had a cute segmented box like this one (thank you sis) for pencils, pens, color crayons, reward stickers and sight words. I figured it would fill up with things as we need them, so I left it pretty empty.
- We had a name tag from a previous school I taped to the table with shapes, 100’s chart, and the alphabet. You can always order something and have some extras to share or purchase a printable one.
- I put a simple binder together with dividers and two pencil pouches (one for my supplies and one for his) again with not much in it as I know I’ll find my groove as we go.
- We have had this Visual Timer for years, this link is similar to the one shown. It does have an auditory beep when time is up that is customizable in volume and length. Be sure to pick a visual timer that has the numbers going clockwise like the one I’ve linked, our numbers are counter clockwise and it has been confusing for TW.
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