27 April 2011

Where We Learn

We've been at this long enough now that there have been several incarnations of the homeschool room. We started off at the kitchen table and the books were in a little pile on the nearby dry sink. We had a little box of art supplies there as well. The ABC cards were displayed on the closet door and a string for artwork was hung across the corner of the kitchen. We painted on the windows for each holiday and watched people drive by on the road outside. Everything "school" was fresh and new, and I loved having a classroom at home.

Then, we moved. Since the girls now shared a bedroom, we had an extra room for school with a mirrored closet full of supplies. (Mirrored doors are great for letting small children draw with dry erase markers.) It was sunny and warm in the morning and had a bird feeder outside the window. The computer was in the corner, and we had a dress up trunk. The northern window opened onto the front porch, shutter style, and was great for drive through, store, and a host of other play scenarios. We used it for two years, and then we bought our own home.

When we moved, our homeschool "classroom" was set up in the basement of our new to us home. It was on a piece of carpet and had lots of storage, but it was cold in the winter and much too dark. In search of sunlight we oozed up the stairs to the dining room table, but Mr. Dad found that to be too messy for his taste. Over the summer, we moved the school table to the living room where I promptly lost my mind trying to keep the shuffle of papers off of the floor. It just wasn't working.

During the winter, we moved up to the room at the top of the stairs. Because we do a lot of art and writing, we did need the table, but we almost killed each other in the process. Moving furniture with Mr. Dad is not my idea of a good time. Nevertheless, we persevered.

It turns out this is the room I like best. We put interesting things up on the wall, and there are books galore, but it isn't too institutionalized. As we have moved farther from "school" at home to the realization that education is a lifestyle, the items that identify it as a school room are dwindling. It's cozier and there is no computer. There is an eastern window at the top of the stairs for sunshine, and the Straight-haired girl can get her time by herself in her room next door. We've conquered the paper mess and it stays picked up most of the time. It's all good.

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