Sunday, August 21, 2011

Homeschool=playing school? In our case, yes!

OK, time to take a break from the music ed stuff for a bit ;).

One of the best and worst things about homeschooling is that I'm the school. And while Alli doesn't miss the school side side much (and much of what she misses from the classroom as far as time with other kids and teachers other than mom is more than covered by our great homeschool group (Homeschoolers of Memphis Eclectic) and her various activities, she still had some frustration, especially after we spent a week with her cousins, one of whom had just finished Kindergarten and one of whom had just started (the rising 4th grader stayed out of it). She started to really, really want "School stuff". Not being stuck in a room with kids who are learning at different speeds than she is, and having to deal with it, not being in school for 6 hours vs doing everything at home in 3, and certainly not having to choose which single activity she wanted after school because of homework commitments and general fatigue. But she still claimed she wanted "school stuff".

As it turns out, a lot of what she wanted as far as "school stuff" goes really WAS school STUFF-the trappings of being in school, like a school mascot, a name other than "Homeschooled" (and Home Life Academy, which is our legal cover school didn't count in her book) and a bumper sticker for mom's mini van reading "Proud Parent of an X elementary student" or whatever. Not to mention her own desk with her name on it, a cute theme in the classroom to talk about, and the like.

So, we've been playing school :). The plan had been,. for most of the past year, that we'd finally get the upstairs redone, and move the office up there, which would give us an extra bedroom that could be used, essentially, as a great big homeschooling closet. That finally happened, so we were able to move into our school room. And with a trip to Knowledge Tree and some time spent online, we now have a classroom. Alli and I have had a LOT of fun putting this together and "playing school". How long our homeschool room will look like a classroom remains to be seen (so far, school has still been mostly done snuggled on the couch or sitting on the floor). but it's given me a very happy child.

So, without further ado, I introduce "Mount Parnassus Elementary-Home of the Hydras"-which exists only in Alli's imagination and our spare bedroom :)

Here's our door sign, created with the help of the internet. The "Class list" consists of American Girl dolls and stuffed dragons, plus Alli.

Here's Alli's workspace. We bought the purple school desk/chair when she wanted one last year, so just moved it in, along with all the bins for various drawing supplies, paper, art supplies, and the current books we're reading/working with.

The bulletin boards and whiteboards all came from the office move that Michael's company did last year-we just decorated them.

Alli's enjoyed making bulletin board art and making signs using glitter letters. Dollar tree also had a bunch of little post-it note type mini borders. I think they're designed for scrapbooking, but she's enjoying framing her art to hang.

The pocket charts are the $1 ones from Target, and are hanging on cup hooks installed in the bottom of the shelf of the bookshelves-that way we can pull them down easily and do the usual word sort, sentence building and the like with various vocabulary words. And Alli enjoys having a "word wall" which contains ALL her languages. And they're easily removable to access the books underneath.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with our "school" room-and Alli is too. Her only regret is that we didn't bring the American Girl School desks back from Atlanta. I think the next "school stuff" task will be to dig into the cardboard box collection and make some desks for the other students :).

1 comment:

  1. Visiting from WTM forums! I love the hydra mascot... that's what I feel like as a hs mama, most days!