Before I take you on a tour of our schoolroom, which I prefer to refer to as “the library” I will introduce you to the cast of characters here at CandL HomeLearning.
- Curly, our oldest son, will soon be 17 years old. He’s a Junior this year, but he’s also enrolled in a class at the nearby Community College for Dual Enrollment.
- Larry, our second oldest son, is 15 years old. He’s a Freshman this year, and he’s excited to rise to the challenge of taking accelerated courses.
- Mo, our third oldest son, just turned 13 years old this summer, and he’s looking forward to tackling 7th grade head-on and so far he’s risen to the challenge.
- Li’l Bro, our youngest son, turned 10 years old this summer, and he’s ready to be a 4th grader. He’s still trying to figure out where he fits in best, whether tagging along with his almost-twin sister or wanting to be with the big boys too.
- Li’l Miss, our oldest daughter, is 9 years old but just 4 months younger than Li’l Bro, and she’s excited to continue learning in 4th grade this year.
- Li’l Bit, our youngest daughter and the baby of the family, is 5 years old, and she couldn’t be more excited about being a Kindergartner this year and being “in real school” with her brothers and sister.
These wonderful T-shirts were designed by Mo and Li’l Miss, and we’re really happy with the way they turned out after ordering them custom on-line. Some of the biggest kids decided they’d rather not wear them on the “same day” as their siblings, but they were gracious enough to pose for a photo for me.
As my students enter our library, which is where 75% of our bookwork, as I like to call it, is done, they can see our rules at the top of the door. They are as follows:
- Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.
- Time with Mom is meant to be positive! I want to HELP you and listen.
- Assignments are NOT optional. Some ARE challenging. Enjoy them ALL!
- If I ask about your reading, it’s because I’m interested in what you’ve learned.
- Our Five Family Rules always apply in CandLHomeLearning too. More about those here.
- Always do your best!
I have designated workspaces for my youngest 5 learners, but they also can move about the room as well, and it isn’t uncommon for some of us to take books to the back porch or to do reading together on the couch in the den. Some things need to be done at a table and/or desk area, but many things lend themselves to various locations. We’ve been known to throw a quilt on the ground too! The photos below show various students at their designated work spaces.
Books are a huge part of our day. We spent some time this summer reorganizing some shelves in the library and cataloguing books we have. I still have work left to do on this task, but I finally decided it could wait for winter when outdoor chores are less and time spent inside seems never-ending. Since I love books, hopefully that chore this winter will feel less like a chore and bring joy on a gloomy gray day!
I am still working out the details of our choice/center boxes. This system has not worked as seamlessly as I would like. I don’t really have more to share for now as I’m still working through how it can serve our needs best. Somewhat of a work in progress but I would love for these to help with independent learning for the younger three.
This magnetic board houses our large calendar, which coordinates with Li’l Bit’s personal interactive calendar. She is loving using this every morning, and for now any learning that takes place is icing on the cake. She loves to make her daily calendar, form CVC words and 2-digit numbers! This resource is available for purchase at my TpT store if you’re interested!
It is VITAL for our large, multi-age classroom to function efficiently. After all, I can’t help everyone at one time, so a schedule is truly not optional. Every year, it varies based on our daily activities, therapies, etc. I keep it posted and each child knows their number. Thursday is our Tutorial day (and Tuesday as well for the 1, 2 and 3), so I don’t even post that. They just know to be at the van by 7:45 a.m.
In addition to the posted daily schedule, I posted a volunteer jobs list. On the second day of school (our first was Thursday tutorial day so no time), we sat down together and went over rules, expectations, menus (more on that) and I mentioned a new idea: classroom volunteers. To my delight, the children jumped on this and quickly took on various volunteer jobs from dog walker to tutor to lunchtime helper. Having these tasks assigned really helps with our efficiency and helps us function as Team “Last Name” should.
About that daily menu, a). it helps tremendously with the grocery budget and b). it helps tremendously with the smoothness of our days together. Each child as you might imagine helped to choose foods they like in particular so no one is unhappy with the choices on more than a day or two, but so far there aren’t any complaints and breakfast and lunch are running quite smoothly and efficiently! We also usually enjoy the time together to have meaningful discussions and/or sometimes be a little silly too!
I would be leaving out a large part of CandL HomeLearning if I didn’t show the extensions of our classroom. There are too many to list, but a few are our gardens, the nearby creek, the workshop and the land we call home.
That sums up my classroom reveal post for 2015! I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour at CandL HomeLearning!