Ultimately I want my kids to be independent learners and for me to be a facilitator of their learning. At 8 and 6 years old the culmination of this is a few years off still. Right now I am very much in the middle of their learning with lots of reading textbooks, answering questions, helping them figure out the hows and whys of it.
That’s why I’m creating an independent learning homeschool room.
Think of it as a variation of some of the Montessori principles, setting it up so they are responsible for their activities, and putting away and finding things.
I am consolidating down to two main learning areas, our calendar/reading time area, and the room we do more formal schoolwork and crafts in.
First here’s our calendar/reading area:
I thought it could be helpful to see a video of our calendar/reading area. I just finished moving a few more things around so our reading is now done here as well, and they will be able to do independent work while I read with their brother or sister.
I go into excruciating detail of the area in my Organizing Calendar Time post.
Here is the area I changed since then:
I added a few things over here. On the second shelf I added in our reading curriculum, because I’ve consolidated down to using that area now. Up above I’ve added the Magic School Bus anatomy poster I mentioned yesterday. Oh, and you can’t see it, but there are now 3 dry erase boards with the clipboards for our grammar (saves paper). This has been working great for the past week, AND I’ve kept it clean. The kids have been able to get their stuff without my telling them where it is, or having to help them.
Our independent learning homeschool room
As you can see from the video, we are still working on cleaning this area. I’ve made significant progress, but it still needs work.
These are desks Jeff’s Dad built for him, his sister, and his Mom when Jeff was a kid. We have since inherited them. Right now the desks are a mess. This week, my goal is to get the desks completely cleaned out and only having what they need for school. Princess will also be allowed to store some art supplies.
This shelf, with the exception of where they can’t reach is designed for the kids to get into without needing permissions, provided they clean up after themselves. It houses most of the supplies they will need for their craft projects or models for school.
This is my bookshelf, it also has supplies they can use, but most they need to ask about, either for safety reasons (hot glue gun, paper cutter), or because they have not proven themselves ready to use them correctly (cardmaking supplies).
My goal: as they become more responsible, to move more of these supplies over to their bookshelf, and move more of my sewing stuff onto this bookshelf. Right now it’s an amalgam of several different purposes, much like this room.
This is the final HUGE project left in this room. The rest are mostly done, and I think the kids’ desks will be a 30 minute each day one. This remaining project is to organize the mess that is my sewing area, and that will take forever! My first big goal is to consolidate it all down to one bookshelf, which should be doable.