Since I initiated this co-op, and it’s going strong, I think it’d be appropriate for it to have a name, so I am working on a name for the co-op. I think that, after thinking and researching quite a bit, we’ll end up with Dunamis Ivy Academy.
Dunamis ( δύναμις ) is Greek for strength, power, ability, inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing; moral power and excellence of soul; power and resources arising from numbers; power consisting in or resting upon armies.
Some adjectives connected with this word are changing, productive, progressive, charismatic, vigorous, compelling, activating, effective, driving, energetic, electric, forceful, energizing, influential, go-ahead, lively, go-getter, potent.
Dunamis actually and literally means “dynamite” in Greek! POWER!!!! BOOM!!!! haha
Ivy is the plant. I liked the description here: The juvenile and adult shoots differ, the former being slender, flexible and scrambling or climbing with small aerial roots to affix the shoot to the substrate (rock or tree bark), the latter thicker, self-supporting and without roots.
It gives me the image of the young ivy needing support, but still climbs high and everywhere and when it’s adult, it’s strong and self-sufficient. So, in other words, Dunamis Ivy is a really great description of how we want our little ones to be! Very appropriate and fitting, I think.
Now, I have to think about designing a logo for it, although I love this one (see above) that I found online. I might ask an artist friend or two to help.
Well, this post is, like the title suggests, about our new homeschool room setup.
We live in a 3-bedroom home. Originally, we had one for us, one for K and one for A. But now that A is 1.5 years old and can kind of fend for herself, we figured that the kids could share a room. Yes, I said it, SHARE a room! Whoa!
Before you give up on this post, let me tell you that it is working really well for our family, so keep on reading!
The spare room is now a homeschool / guest room. Wonderful! We spent an entire week moving furniture, rearranging rooms, and slowly but surely, everything fell into place. The kids’ room looks half girly (purple with butterflies) and half is boyish (red, navy blue and Lightning McQueen).
I moved several things around. Some of the furniture and educational materials that were in the play room got moved to the homeschool room and some things that were in the kids’ rooms got moved to the play room, since we had to consolidate two rooms in one. It all worked out really well.
The biggest part of the organization went into the homeschool room and the kids’ closet. But it is all looking great. Did I mention that I also reorganized the laundry room and the entryway closet? All of our Art is done in the kitchen, so I had our Art shelves in the laundry room (next to the kitchen), but I moved them to the entryway closet. Now, I have all of our Art, Languages, and Bible materials in there. Since I put some cute cushions and pillows on the bench in the play room, we will continue having our devotions there. It is nice and quiet and bright in the mornings. Perfect for devotional times!
So, even though I will show pictures of the new play room setup, I will focus on the homeschool room setup and my planning materials (lesson plan book, schedules, chores, reading log, field trip planner, assessments, etc).
It was important to me that we have as much as possible out and accessible (easy to get to). Before, everything was so crammed in two closets that, even though everything was sorted by subject, it was hard to keep things orderly. I was happy to get a free wardrobe from a neighbor. It was perfect for all of K’s Montessori materials.
|This is a great resource for those moms who like or need guidance on scheduling.
Like with any book, I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the book, but I did get a lot of good info out of it. Definitely worth the buy, if you ask me. www.titus2.com
Planner for Lessons, Schedule, Attendance, etc
|I use a binder to keep all of my schedules, lesson plans, rules, etc. The binder I purchased has the clear sleeves on the front and back. I like slipping our schedule in the front sleeve. It is great because I can easily see it and refer to it (especially when it’s a new schedule and we’re not used to it yet). The schedule is a simple Excel spreadsheet that I made and printed blank. That way, I can change it around as much as I need.
|This is our attendance sheet. At first, I started just checking the days, but I found that writing down the hours of the homeschool day is a lot better for me to keep track. I got this from the free planner that Confessions of a Homeschooler posted on her page. It is called Arrows (in case you were interested and go on her site). As of 30 August 2013, this is still free. Take advantage. It has some awesome pages in it! And no, I don’t earn or make any money from anything I recommend on my blog (my blog isn’t for personal profit, but to help fellow homeschooling moms.
|Reading Log (also from the Arrows Planner from Confessions of a Homeschooler).
|Field Trip Planner (also from the Arrows Planner from Confessions of a Homeschooler)
|This is one of the best features of this free planner (Arrows from Confessions of a Homeschooler)
This is what my planner looks like. I printed the monthly sheets from the free planner (mentioned above) and put them in sheet protectors (fyi, you can purchase 200 sheet protectors for $9.95 at Sam’s Club). If you know of a better deal than that, please share!
The reason why I like to use sheet protectors is because there are always unforeseen things happening or changes in schedule. I was going through erasers like crazy, not to mention me wasting so much time on my planner. Now, I use dry erase crayons (they last longer than markers and don’t erase as easily) and I also use cut-up post-it notes to move my lessons around much more easily.
It is our first official homeschooling week, so I am taking it extra easy and that’s why I don’t have any post-its in that week yet.
|The two afternoon chore charts are hanging in our laundry room.
|MORNING CHART (MANDATORY)
This is a great quote from inspiring Moms on Facebook:
“Before you jump to “do” for your kids, ask yourself if you are doing something that they could be doing for themselves. If you “do” it all, how are your kids going to learn to become self-sufficient, hard-working, and responsible? One of the best things you can do for your kids–and yourself is to let them do for themselves. Your job is to provide encouragement and praise to motivate them to do more and more and more. Before you know it, your kids will be leading you. They can absolutely do anything, yet they will never know what they are capable of doing until you let them try, try, and try again. Step back and watch them go. They will soar!”
1. I bought 12 soft plastic 3-ring binders (one for each month of the year) and labeled them.
2. I found a list online on all celebrations, holidays and observances that occur every month, put it in a Word document and printed each month separately. Email me if you would like for me to email you these lists; they’re great!
3. I put them in sheet protectors so I can add things that come up with dry erase crayons. I also printed a list of all the family’s and extended family members’ birthdays.
4. I got my Celebrate book and readers and put the readers inside a sheet protector that matches with the month it is celebrated in. This is a great resource. It has 12 readers about different holidays (Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc). I included the info in case you were interested.
|This is the Montessori Practical Life section (my daughter’s current favorite), our storage closet to the left and the entrance to the room on the right.
|K’s desk is wonderful! He feels so grown up and always prefers the desk over the table. I always let him pick, unless we need more room; then we move to the table.
Our Circle Time area is in that corner, with calendar, memory verse, character definitions, family birthday, etc.
Below our Circle Time area, you can see some light green bins. In those, I keep Desk Work. Desk Work consists of five sturdy plastic folders that hold a lot. Inside each plastic folder, is a manila folder with each day of the week written on the tab. Inside, each folder has:
1) a Pre-school multi-subject activity book (paper and pencil activities)
2) a list of Dolch sight words
3) readers in 3 levels of difficulty (easy, medium, hard, up to 3rd grade right now)
4) a surprise activity (number flash cards, fabric marker -I’ll explain later-, a
pop-up book, a small musical instrument, etc).
In the bin, I make sure to include a sheet of stickers to reward him when he completes an activity successfully.
I use two bins (Monday-Wednesday and Thursday-Friday) because, after putting all of these materials in, I can’t fit them all in one, plus, they are easier to carry in and out. I found these bins (very nice and sturdy) at Babies r Us. I think that each cost me $6.50 or so. Desk Work can take us as little as 15 minutes or as long as 45 minutes. It all depends on how much he wants to do. This is strictly up to him.
This room will also be a guest bedroom if we have guests, so the nightstand will be there for guests to use the drawers. The playpen is for baby girl to stay “contained if need be, but I am going to homeschool mostly while she’s napping. The playpen is where the guest bed would go if we had to set it up. The glider used to be in baby girl’s bedroom, but since she and brother are sharing a room, there wasn’t enough space for it there, but I still use it and don’t want to get rid of it yet.