In Australia, our school year begins in February, and in the past, all children would start school the year they turn four. A while ago, this system changed in Western Australia, and children turning four after July 1 of that year start school the following year. This is probably not a bad idea in theory, but I know that Stephen would have been ready to start school next year, so I have decided to homeschool him for PreK and K starting from September.
Since we moved into our house, the backroom has been a blackhole for everything we cannot find a place for, which is a real shame since it is one of the nicest rooms in the house. It is big, full of light, and looks out onto our backyard and pool. I decided that this would be the perfect school room for Stephen and craft room for me. And here it is:
This is one wall of the room, and is filled with Besta bookshelves from Ikea. This contains mostly cookbooks, reference books and craft supplies for both myself and the kids. All of Stephen and Irini’s picture books are kept in shelves in their room.
I am going to follow Sue Patrick’s Workbox system for organising our day, so here is the workbox set up at the moment. Stephen is not yet 3, so I am starting with 6 workboxes, and I can expand to 10 workboxes as we go along. I am using Sue’s numbers at the moment, but I am planning to make my own up that are more fun.
Because Irini is only 16 months and gets into *everything* I cannot have all of Stephen’s school necessities out on his table, so I have corralled them all together, and they are stored on the shelves with his workboxes. In the box, I have chunky crayons, twistable crayons, triangular pencils, markers, and safety scissors. Stored in the craft shelves are finger paints, tempera paints, and watercolour pens as well as various brushes and rollers.
This will be the spot for my poster center. Following Sue Patrick’s advice, I have made this poster interactive by buying a second copy of the poster, cutting it up into various parts (in this case, the numerals, the words, and the individual items) which Stephen will then match and stick on to the intact poster. I am starting with numbers, but i will be adding more as I find some good ones.
This is our reading nook for reading aloud initially, and hopefully in the future, for Stephen and Irini to enjoy buy themselves as well. I have had this chair since Stephen was born, and have nursed both Stephen and Irini in it. The quilt was the first quilt I ever made, for Stephen before he was born. Everything I made then was green since I didn’t know what I was having!
This will be Stephen’s work area to start with (regular readers will remember seeing this in the playroom) until he needs a child size desk and chair. Since most of the activities at this stage are more puzzles and games than full on school work, I think this will be fine for now.
Lastly, this is my work area. The bookcase on the right holds all of my curriculum books, workbooks and other homeschool bits and pieces. I am trying out using a fit ball instead of a chair, to strengthen my core while I am working.
So, the room is organised. All that is left is to plan out my first week, and then get started!!