Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Working Mom's Home School Classroom

It's transformation Tuesday! This week I'm showing how we turned a toy catcher into an education station or home classroom. 

I am a full time working mom. I admire the classroom spaces my home school mom friends have set up. While I can't make the decision to stay home and teach my children full time (and I don't think I'm wired for it), I still cannot leave their education solely up to the school or even the church. Having a spot that has all of my tools close by and organized, helps me fit teaching time into our weekly routine and it helps me stay on top of what they are learning at school.

We have had this IKEA shelf for a few years now and it has lived behind our couch in our living room and most recently under these photo shelves in our dining area. Typically, these baskets have stored lots of toys. We have had baskets filled with balls, cars, stacking toys, coloring books, puppets and more. 

Lately, we've been trying to clear out clutter and we have tried to declare the family room a toy free zone. We also have had a problem with homework time and a place to put the backpacks and other school supplies. So, I cleared out the toys and gathered all my educational supplies and got to work. 

The shelf unit is right in our dining area so the kids can do their homework right at the table while dinner is being prepared. 

  • Three empty baskets store each child's back pack. 
  • One basket holds coloring books and paper. 
  • Another basket holds basic school/homework supplies such as a pencil sharpener, pencils, erasers, notecards, hole punch and stapler. 
  • A literacy box holds letters, letter and word flash cards and other literacy tools. 
  • The math box holds items such as geometric shape manipulatives, addition, subtraction and multiplication cars, money manipulatives and flash cards and time clocks. 
  • Our religion box holds notebooks from Sunday school, family devotion books and a study bible. 
  • Finally, our therapy box holds fine motor skill and occupational therapy tools.
Now, what's left is being disciplined enough to go beyond the nightly school homework and actually use these tools regularly. 

On Saturdays we go to tutoring and a literacy class for my little guy. Each week we get homework of flash cards with pictures and words and activities that go along with the letter of the week. These activities are also good for my kindergartener as she is learning sight words. Carlie likes to play school and do the flash cards with her little brother. I try to fit at least 10-15 minutes of this work on the week nights. 

I plan on incorporating some math, literacy and Bible study into the daily routine this summer as well. 

Do you have a home classroom or study/homework area? I'd love to know how you set it up and are using it within your weekly routine.