Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Habits, Spaces and Supplies

As I dive head first into this homeschooling world I find that my first objectives must be:

1) Reorganize the home classroom so that it provides a comfortable working/learning environment.

2) Gather the proper supplies based on the demands of the curriculum.

3) Restructure the daily routine to make the most efficient use of time.

So I guess I'll start with Extreme Makeover - Homeschool Edition. The space that I have is great, except that it is currently "dad's den" which also happens to be the black hole where everything ends up when we "clean" and set aside items that aren't currently useful. We all have that space, whether it's the garage, the game room, a "guest" room or all of the above. I am proud to say that about 3 years ago I finally made the garage a place that we can actually park our cars in (if you can imagine). Now, as much as I dread trying to figure out what to do with all the clutter, I am looking forward to making this den space useful. With the holiday weekend coming up I will have four days to make this den into a homeschooling command center. I promise to post before and after pictures as soon as I'm finished.

Now for the supplies. Where to begin…oh boy. For now I will use the two books that I mentioned in my post Kylie - The Journey Begins to create a list of supplies. I can't say where I will be shopping until after I see the list, but I am hoping that Bookman's and Wal-Mart will be able to do most of the heavy lifting. I will also post my final supply list once completed.

Finally, the daily routine. This will be the most challenging part for Kylie and me. We are set in our ways as far as waking up later than we should, hanging out at breakfast while watching TV and finally going someplace to play. In the past, I have only been successful at executing a more productive agenda by using a daily planner. I will either use my smart phone or Google Calendar (or maybe both), depending on whether or not I need to share the calendar. Google Calendar is a good way to go because you can access it from any computer with Internet access and you can share it with anyone that has a Google account. This way, for example, my wife can update my calendar with a dentist appointment for Kylie so I shouldn't forget about it.

Hopefully, these first posts aren't too boring. I will have more interesting posts once I get things established. The reason I've been making posts as I go is because I thought it might be helpful for new homeschoolers to see another greenhorn go through the process from the very beginning instead of having more seasoned homeschoolers make suggestions in retrospect.

By the way, the inspiration for this blog post came from another blog called Wildflowers and Marbles. This lady has it together. I can only hope that I will be as efficient someday. Plus, her site is full of useful links and great ideas. The link above will take you directly to a post from this past summer. It's a guided tour through her learning spaces…very cool.

- Ryan

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