Sunday, August 28, 2011

Time to Get Organized!

It's been a crazy week around here this past week. First, our thoughts and prayers are with my father-in-law (AKA "Papaw Racecar") who started radiation treatments for cancer this week. We know this will not be easy for him but with his positive outlook and faith in God, we know he will make it through it okay.

While my oldest son is in his second week of 1st grade at public school, the little brother and I officially started home school Preschool this week. I was so excited to find some great Christian written curriculum at Confessions of a Homeschooler blog called Letter of the Week. It's great curriculum but I must confess we are off to a bit of a rocky start. The little boy would much rather sit in front of the TV or play video games than play school with mommy, yes, even at age 3. So I have already learned my first lesson - I have to get organized!

I'm using the file folder system I used over the summer with both kids.  I have folders labeled Monday - Friday and each contains their lessons for that day. I load them up before the week starts then there's no scrambling for lesson plans or worksheets each day. In case you're wondering, it's only about 1 hour of actual work time per day for my 3 year old. That's about as long as he can tolerate right now. We also do other "learning" activities as he helps with the housework, cooking, playing, like counting the towels we fold or measuring ingredients, etc.. 

So my problem came in that our school supplies were everywhere! We were trying to play school at the kitchen table and some of our art supplies were there, some were in the office, still others were in the kids rooms. I found every time I needed something to complete a lesson I was running to get it while my son was loosing interest and getting distracted by my searching for things. I needed a dedicated area for our school time and all the stuff that goes with it! Solution......(drum roll please) move it all to brothers room! I know, I know, its ironic that the preschoolers school is going to be in big brother's room but that's just the way it worked out for now. Big brother LOVES art, science, and building things (future engineer?) so he wanted all the supplies in his room. Also there was the small detail that we couldn't get the big bookshelf around the tight corner to fit in his room so it had to go to little brother's room. So for now.....
Toys in little brother's room.
 At first it bothered me that the toys were all on this tall shelves where about half of them are out of reach for him. Then I realized that he doesn't really play with them all that often and it is kinda fun that I can switch them out from time to time and he finds things he forgot he had and it's like Christmas for him. He likes that they are off the floor and organized in bins. So do I!

School Supplies in big brother's room.
These white cube shelves are actually 2 units that used to be one in each boys room full of toys. The tall shelf, previously used in another area, was brought in for toys and the 2 white cube shelves were stacked to hold all the books and school/art supplies. These were assemble yourself shelves from Target that we bought about 5 years ago and have held up extremely well. The white boxes on the top row are inexpensive photo storage boxes from Hobby Lobby.  I love them because they have the silver label holder on the front where I can label with a simple sheet of paper and not have a sticky label mess when I need to change the contents as they grow (this is totally going to be my craft storage when my kids outgrow it!). The key lesson in organization here is this: USE VERTICAL SPACE! The boys room are not huge and their beds take up a chunk of the floor space so it's critical to take advantage of their 10 ft ceilings and store things taller.
Notice how after we got everything all in it's place it was older brother who wanted to build a project with the craft supplies and he wanted to use the floor instead of the table I put in his room for this purpose. Go figure. I'm not giving up on little brother though. I'm praying that this week the new space will inspire him to want to learn as we "play school". 

1 comment:

  1. I will definitely be keeping your father in law in my prayers. We need some organization around our house. I feel like boy toys are taking over. I can't wait to hear more about preschool homeschooling.