Monday, June 7, 2010

home school tour of homes

This past weekend, I participated in a home school tour. Imagine a progressive dinner, but instead of eating a little bit of the meal at each home, you are checking out their school room. The director of our homeschool group thought of this idea and took the time to organize it. And I can only imagine all the behind the scenes energy it took to pull this off.

We had 2 groups of HS moms that traveled around to 6 different homes. At each home we learned a little bit about how they school their kids and how they set up their schooling space. It was a great variety of schooling styles and spaces. From schooling in the bonus room, to using the dining room or even the living room. I wasn't able to make it to the first 2 homes on the tour (I was waiting for the tour groups to arrive at my home).

One thing that I have learned from home education...each year it looks a little different...each year we need to adapt to our current circumstances.

So, for now, our school space looks a little like this. (I have posted pics before)
This is where the big kids sit to do their seat work. Just got these tables this year. LOVE them. I have a taller table and a shorter table for the little ones.

This is where I set out the trays for the little ones. I try to include a variety of activities. Fine motor, letters, counting, sorting, and something crafty.

I just moved this shelf into the school room to hold the tot supplies. Our bonus room has no closets, so ALL of our supplies are out all the time. This forces me to keep our things tidy and organized.

We only had 20 min. at each home. So I quickly sent the group out the door and onto the next home. The next stop was at Kim's home. She schools in the dining room. Here she laid out a some of her favorite curriculum.
Kim uses the workbox system. She lacks the space to have the bins, so she uses one hanging file box with different colors for each child.

Kim also shared one of her favorite tools that she uses as a mom is the Wise Words For Mom chart. I LOVE that chart and think it is worth checking out. You can order here.

Next stop was Tonya's home. She is the one who inspired me with making tools for the boys to play with. Her organization bins have me all but organizers dream.
Notice that book cart in the corner? How cool is that???

Tonya also uses the workbox system. She has boxes for each of her older kids for their daily assignments. The other side also has 12 boxes.
This is her tot space. She puts out 9 trays each day for her younger boys. Love that little learning area. So cute.
Since Tonya schools in her living area/dining area (minus the table) she keeps her supplies in her laundry room (her handy hubby moved the washer and dryer up to the MBR). He closets are well labeled and full of great supplies.

Even her closets were inspiring. This is in her laundry room/pantry/school storage.

Tonya has great storage closets. This is under her stairs. It was like a teacher supply store in there. She gets lots of goodies as gifts from grandparents.The closet kept going if you peak inside. Tried not to covet her stuff. Just keeping it real here.

Last stop was at Terry's home. She is the one who pulled this whole thing off (great job Terry).
Terry schools her girls in their dining room. I loved how she said, even though it is the first thing when you see when you walk into their home...she said school is their life so why hide it? Great perspective.

Terry also uses the workbox system. Each girl has their own system and it looks so cute with cute colored bins.Terry has one of the BEST collection of books. I would rather find books off her shelf instead of the library. You can tell they love to read in their home. She uses Sonlight as their core curriculum. Notice their timeline around the top of the room. I think we all have thought about doing that...she is using homeschooling in the woods for the timeline figures.

This whole idea was such a good get a peak into all these school rooms. Each home is different. Each family schools in their own way. I hope each participant came away encouraged and not overwhelmed. I am bummed that I missed the first 2 homes on the tour. I know Shelley and Jennifer had great things to show and share too. Maybe next time I can grab some pics.


Tonya Lee said...

Wow, I came off really organized here! If only I could maintain it as well as I want to... I was so sad I missed your house. You are taking off with the Tot School- lucky boys :)

ScienceGeek said...

I've never heard of a homeschooling tour of homes, but it's an AWESOME idea! What a great way to see what works for other families. You have a great group of homeschoolers!

Linda said...

Thank you so much for posting these!!! I was so sad to miss the tour but this helps :o)
Linda Rojas

Karen said...

Wow! What a great idea! 20 minutes I sure was not long enough. It is really neat to see how others organize their schooling area... how to have more space :) Thanks for sharing! I hope all is going well for you guys!!

Cristy said...

I, too, am trying not to covet. And drool. I am inspired. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

Tim and Susan said...

what a great idea...I am sure you get inspired by others...although remember that everyone cleaned up their home schooling spot nicely for the tour...probably not everyone's looks this organized all the time...just keeping it real with ya!!

K-Sue said...

It's always fun to see what other families are doing. Thanks for giving us a peek into these homes.