Wednesday, September 01, 2010

And so we begin...

Even though I consider our learning to be an all year around kind of thing, we are not immune to the aisles of school supplies that fill every department store in the US come August. Kitten folders, shark notebooks, new pencils, pens with green ink, sharp, unbroken crayons! How can we resist the allure of these wonderful creation tools? I certainly can't and neither can the beasties. So we purchased shiny new things to start of our "school year" alongside the school kids.

Time is a funny thing. It's not just that buying school supplies is a "tradition" we have fallen into without thought. Rather it's that H and I have centered our lives around school. We just recently got done being students and are now teachers. We plan on being students again, and hope to spend the rest of lives as professors. Our lives for a very long time center around a school year not a year as many see it. For me, the year doesn't really begin in January but rather August. The feeling of a new start totally doesn't hit me in January. Nope it comes with the first day of classes. To me that is the real start of a  year. New students. New syllabus. Another chance to perfect the class. I suspect that our children are infected by this spirit as well.

Plus I have ironed out a plan with which H and I feel comfortable. Neither of us want do school at home but we're not entire comfortable for unschooling for various reasons that I won't even start on here (although maybe some day I'll feel up a good debate on it). We do feel strongly that children should have a big say in their education and their education should be centered around their interest while encouraging them to explore also beyond their comfort zone. Basically what I did is sit with each kid and come up with a list of things they and I felt they should/want to learn this year. We also came up with various ways they could go about that learning. Each week I make a chart with the subjects listed, and a loose guideline of what they need to do. They then go about doing the list when and how they choose. I'll update with how it goes.

I also cleaned up our supply area to make it more accessible to the beasties.
I am totally loving my Ikea shelves. The ability to use different size bins rocks. The big white bin for example has a bunch of puppets. And our poor underused easel. I only have it up because if I put it away someone has a fit.
This is where I store all our "creation material." Here you will find paints, glitter, magazines, bits of yarn and other fun creation stuff.
My lovely model, Camille, is posing by her bin. Each of the beasties has their own bin where they store their binders, special books, etc.

The tall shelf in the corner is a mixed lot of books.

I love how it looks but am not sure how long I can maintain the neatness and organization.

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