Wow, 2020 has been quite the year, hasn’t it? It has been a doozy for parents to try and figure out what the best decision is for our children. Let me preface this post by saying – WHATEVER decision you have made, or end up making is a good one. There is not one right or wrong answer so please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This post is meant to help you if you are homeschooling or if you’ve chosen distance learning.
So this year we chose to homeschool Henry again and we are fortunate that a local Christian school is allowing at home distance learning so Finn can stay home as well. Finn will be able to fully homeschool once his adoption is complete, but we are thankful he can do distance until then. When I originally wrote out this blog post, both boys were going to be using Abeka..until I started going through the papers and learned Henry was academically ahead of most of the first grade curriculum. I went through the papers and everything except the last 12 weeks would have been review. We couldn’t justify paying $400+ dollars for only 12 weeks of the curriculum, so we returned it and are making the switch back to The Good and the Beautiful for Henry!
I actually feel a little relieved that Henry will be continuing with TGAB. I am already very familiar with it and loved how simple the layout was for school. TGAB is academically ahead of Abeka so we would have been putting him back almost an entire grade to make it work. I will still be using Abeka for Henry’s Social studies, Science, and History. For those subjects I will teach the boys together – possibly for Handwriting too, I have both Abeka and TGAB books so I’m still undecided which route I will take.
Ok, let’s talk about our schoolroom because that’s the fun part! Last year we chose our guest bedroom upstairs to transform into a schoolroom but if I’m honest, that didn’t work great for us. Having our schoolroom that was not close to our main living space did not work well because it felt isolating for the boys and myself. It seemed more like a chore to go upstairs for our learning time and even during their independent work time, I didn’t want to go too far just in case they needed help. Thankfully, we were able to do an easy switch and move Teddy (our 2 year old son) upstairs and give him that really nice room, meanwhile transforming his old bedroom into our new schoolroom!
Creating a calm and effective schoolroom
COLORS – I really wanted to create a bright but calming space for my boys to learn in this year. I chose the color Privilege Green by SW because it was a fun, but calming color. The creamy white walls also bring a brightness to the room which can help with clarity during learning.
OILS – I have a diffuser constantly running in our schoolroom to bring additional peace and calm. Our favorite diffuser blend is Grapefruit and Peace and Calm and it’s sort of become this room’s “signature scent”.
MUSIC – Another thing we enjoy in the school room is worship music. Many times I will catch them humming along quietly while they do their work. They look forward to choosing a station on our Alexa to quietly play during our school time.
NATURAL LIGHT – If possible, keep your shades/curtains open for any natural light to come in! Studies show that sunshine improves brain function and can encourage cognitive function so we keep our shades open in our schoolroom as much as possible!
ORGANIZATION – It’s important to keep your child’s learning space organized. You can encourage them to tidy up after each day of school or even reward them for keeping their desk tidy. Children will be more focused and diligent to pay attention to the work they have if they are not distracted by clutter.
KID’S WORKSPACE – I went back and forth about a hundred times until I landed on using the Gateleg table from Ikea. It is a table/desk combo and can easily be folded down for more room if needed. It’s a perfect fit for the boys because it has 3 built in drawers on both sides for their school supplies and there is plenty of room for projects or if I want to sit and teach at the desk. We’ve used the desk/table for over a month now and it was such a great choice! The boys and I love it and I highly recommend it for homeschooling!
STORAGE – This bedroom has a small closet so Curt added some simple wooden shelves to store learning games, printer, curriculum, and all extra educational supplies in. I also have one Ivar cabinet from Ikea that works great for daily use. This holds their workbooks, language/math supplies, and things they would need on a daily basis.
OFFICE – For my desk area, I chose this Room Essentials desk from Target, another killer piece of furniture for under $100! I found a comfy gray chair from the same line at Target and I’ve loved having an office inside of the schoolroom that allows me to get work done and be in the room while they work on school. So far the flow of the room has been functional and surprisingly relaxing.
READING NOOK – When designing this room, the reading nook was so important to me. I wanted a cozy space to encourage reading and I’ll go ahead and tell you – it has worked! Henry is my bookworm and even when were not doing school, I can find him in there with his nose in a book almost every day. Finn might not have a deep love for reading, but it has been really fun to see him reach for book after book since we finished the room. I’m really happy with the outcome of this space and so glad we chose to make it a priority for this room.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below and I’d be happy to answer them!
If you are feeling overwhelmed by this year and your child’s education – here’s your reminder, YOU GOT THIS MAMA!