Our school year just started this week. Prior to enrollment, my husband and I were “mapping out” where our homeschooling area would be. Since our apartment now is bigger than our previous one, I feel more excited to teach the kids. I follow other homeschooling mom bloggers and got ideas from their own homeschooling set up. I would just drool at how these families created a homeschooling room for their kids. Since we have a limited space, we are confined to having just an area instead of a room. Lots of great ideas at organizing, de-cluttering (believe me, there will be A LOT of clutter) in our own school at home and just creative ways of using ordinary house items. I realized that we really don’t need to buy anything new. For weeks my husband would frequent ACE Hardware, furniture stores and even thought of doing our own bookshelves ourselves but we calculated the cost…. ah, maybe next time.
But when we came home one afternoon after enrolling the kids, we just decided to move things around. Put this here, put that there. We had saved a used biscuit container and turned it into a mini pen organizer. You see, every time we start school, my first question would be, “where is your pencil?” Usually, it would take minutes before they find a decent one. Though I gave each of them their own pencil case, somehow the pencils don’t end up there. So with the pen organizer, all the pencils, markers, erasers, scissors are put together in one container and every time they need it, they just take the whole container and put it on the table. I just have to remind them to put them back in the same container so we could easily find them again the next day. So far, this idea is working, thank God!
The first consumable item that runs out easily is the scotch tape. Why? Well, our eldest is not only into drawing and painting, he is also into recycling and crafting. When he sits down and creates something out of nothing, our dear old scotch tape would be the “victim”. Soon after completing his craft projects, it would lying somewhere around the house. Jianne, our little girl, on the other hand, would create mini books for herself and would use up our colored paper, construction paper, bond paper and even scratch papers. She would be busy on the floor drawing and creating her own story books. And these too would be scattered all over the house. So hubby and decided to get a mini filing cabinet for their projects, and also our supplies. Mind you, this was the only thing we purchased, every thing else is reused and recycled from our existing stuff. The mini cabinet houses our all our supplies, from tape to papers and they each have their own drawers to keep their projects, their drawings and whatever crafts they make. Organized cabinet, working fine.
Encouraging kids to read at a very young age, is for me, one of the best influence any parent can give to his or her child. Reading and love of books would definitely take them anywhere, figuratively and literally. The kids have lots of books at home but are kept in a cabinet upstairs. I was encouraged by one blogger because she made it a point to have a reading nook in their homeschool room. So I decided to take out all the books from the cabinet and take them to our area and create a small nook where they can just pick up a book and read. To make it more comfortable, I got an old rug and placed it strategically in front of the books to get them to reading. When we called the kids to show our completed homeschool area, the first place they checked out was the reading nook. They got a book, sat on the rug and read until it was time to eat!
I pray to God that this year would really be different from the rest of our homeschooling years. I was not afraid to try a new curriculum which I know would help my son. It may be more expensive than the previous one I know that it would create a different attitude in him. I believe he would be more confident to do his Math with the Singapore Math, My Pals are Here. In fact, when he opened the textbook, he got so excited because of the visuals seen on the pages. And when his Papa began to teach him the first day, both of them enjoyed. The curriculum even has games to encourage retention and practice for the child. Why didn’t I heard of this before????
For the little one, as soon as we came home with the books, she wanted to start school right away. After doing the dishes that night, she came to me and said that she wanted to do school that moment. I told her that she can check out her books and do school the following week. I told her I have to “study” her lessons too. She agreed but kept bugging me to start every day since then.
With a new mindset, a new set of goals, a more directed homeschooling plan, our family is so hyped with school. I had learned from my mistakes in the past and admittedly I had to learn them the hard way. But we have a gracious God who will equip, encourage and inspire us to do great things not only for our kids but for Him as well. All that we are now is not because of our own doing, but because of our Lord who strengthens us and connects us with the right people. Everything is all for His glory.
4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-8