Thursday, March 29, 2012

Must haves in our classroom

The topic came up in one of the homeschool groups we are a member of, about what each person considers essential to their learning environment. 

I came up with a few.

A sense of humor.  When things don't go as you planned it really helps to be able to say "touche" and laugh about the antics your kiddos are doing in the meantime.  Maybe, like me, you are being serenaded by a wee girl who is making up songs all while shaking her tambourine, or maybe your spotless kitchen floor has become the best surface for that huge puzzle to be put together on.  You gotta really learn to let go of some things and just roll with it.  Laughter really does make things better.  :-)

Stamina.  Your day seems never ending because, well, it doesn't....  you seriously need good sturdy shoes, take those Donna Reed heels off right this minute!  LOL  Realize PB&J is ok for breakfast and lunch, heck even dinner if that works for you.  Trying to keep up with what everyone says they do is impossible.  The reality is they do maybe half of what they are posting they plan to do.  Trust me, if half the things I see some people talk about wanting to do actually got done, they wouldn't have time for facebook, or blogging, or cooking for that matter.  Do what works best for your family.  Always remember you do the best you can and it has to be enough. AND IT WILL BE.  We beat ourselves up enough the way it is.

Thick Skin.  You'll need it.  Everyone is gonna question the choices you make and there is no pleasing some people.  While we like to think we are all open to everyones choice, lets face it, deep down we all think we're better or rather that The XYZ family is just lazy and doing their children a terrible disservice in some fashion, maybe they homeschool too much or not enough or somewhere in between.  I know our choices will not be understood by many, unless they actually take the time to sit down and talk with us about the whys.  I have to learn it doesn't matter.  Very hard to do that when you were raised to never shake the can or rock the boat, but a thick skin has to be developed about some things.

So far those are the things that are a must.... oh... maybe you came here looking for a list of tangible items, you know, those items that you can put your fingers around and carry from room to room if need be.  LOL  Ok, I can show you that as well.....

My Homeschool List
These are things we consider essential to our education environment.  We will add to the list as needed.

·         Pencils
·         Crayons
·         Construction paper
·         Drawing paper
·         Twine/rope
·         Sand/rice/beans
·         Clear plastic bins—storage and work boxes
·         Tool Kit with real tools (hammer, flat head and philips screw driver, level, tape measurer, vise grips, pliers, goggles, etc.)
·         Pattern blocks
·         Music Instruments
·         Laminator/and extra laminating sheets
·         Wooden blocks
·         Water colors
·         Glue
·         Salad spinner
·         Plastic containers/small jars (available at craft stores)
·         Telescope and a good child and parent friendly astronomy book (We have the following: Everything Kids' Astronomy Book and a Celestron 21024-A FirstScope Telescope with Accessory Kit)
·         Magnifying glass
·         Small spiral bound notebooks for nature walks
·         Geo Shapes
·         Puzzles
·         Board games
·         Clay/dough
·         Library Card
·         Camera
·         Easel
·         Binoculars
·         Dirt pile
·         Nature book
·         Painters tape
·         Liquid water colors
·         Paint brushes
·         Scissors
·         Rolls of paper (Think IKEA, the rolls are about 2” wide and go for ever).
·        Pocket microscope (added)
·         Lincoln logs
·         Library card
·         Pastels

Felt/flannel board (Yes still planning it)
Bird Watching book

I know I will add to this as time goes on.  What do you consider a "MUST?"

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