From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


7/19/2012 11:46:39 AM
Vicki Bentley--HSLDA
Toddlers to Tweens--Organizing Your Home for Success

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter
July 2012--Organizing Your Home for Success

---[ Character Concepts Curriculum -- Training That Really Works! ]---

Because your child can't implement character in their life without
understanding what it is, the goal with each book is to teach your
child the definition of the character qualities and what God says
about them in Scripture.


Summertime re-organizing means a fresh start--not only for the
children, but for mom, too! Think "outside the box" (pun intended) for
homeschool storage and learning centers as you organize your home for
a learning lifestyle.

A Place for Everything...

It is helpful for each child to have a space for his personal school
belongings. A plastic snap-shut pencil box, an inexpensive lidded
plastic shoe box, or a zippered pouch can hold pencils, pens, glue
sticks, erasers, and more; your children may like to decorate their
own pencil boxes before the school year began, using paint markers. If
the children all share these supplies, you'll want the items to be
easily accessible, such as in a compartmentalized drawer or standing
in a mug or other container near where they will be used.

Do your kids waste or "lose" school supplies? Color-coding all supplies for
each child made life easier in our household: child No. 1 had a blue
binder, blue tape on her pencils and pens, blue scissors, a blue
pencil box, etc.; child No. 2 had all purple accessories, and so on.

So where will they keep their pencil boxes, their reading material,
notebooks, and plan books? A few suggestions include:
> Milk crates
> Dishpans
> Rolling carts
> Plastic drawer units
> Filing cabinet
> Bookcase shelf
> Kitchen cupboard
> Binders
> Under-bed boxes with wheels
> Lower section of china cabinet
> Dresser (not mixed in with their clothes)
> Backpacks (If space is at a premium, these can hang on bed posts!)

It Doesn't Have to "Look" Like School

If you don't have a dedicated school room, you can retrofit everyday
furniture to accommodate school needs and still look like a "regular"
room. Instead of school desks, you might incorporate a slipcovered
(translation: spillproof!) sofa, lap desks, and a large coffee table
with a shelf or cubbies below for games or work in progress. A rolling
microwave cart or file drawer cart can hold daily supplies and be
wheeled from a closet to the work area, then back out of sight in the
afternoon. An end table with drawers can hold educational games,
manipulatives, and thinking skills activities. Vintage linens on a
tension rod can serve as a decorative curtain to conceal science
center supplies on a bookshelf in the living room. Or skip the curtain
and simply stash the supplies in decorative baskets.

Learning Centers Promote Independent Exploration

Grouping resources and supplies into learning stations or learning
centers can make educational activities more attractive to a student.
These can be year-round assortments, or temporary collections to
reflect (or inspire!) changing interests. Learning centers can simply
be baskets on shelves in various locations or drawers in a
corner--anything that can entice a child to pick up an activity and
explore on his own, so learning simply becomes part of his lifestyle.
Here are a few ideas:

Reading center
> Good lighting
> Cozy (sofa, chair, tent, nook)
> Books--easy to select/put away
> Bookcase, basket, dishpan to store books
> Magazines for children
> Books on tape or CD
> Reading games or flashcards

Writing center
> Desk or table with good lighting
> Paper/notebooks (including some "pretty" paper)
> Note cards
> Story starters (in a jar)
> Thesaurus and dictionary
> Colored pencils, pens, calligraphy markers
> Stickers
> Stamps, addresses, envelopes
> Computer with printer
> Desktop publishing software

Art center--You may want to keep parts of this one up higher!
> Colored pencils and drawing pencils (good quality)
> Paints, papers, canvas
> How-to-draw books or DVDs
> Calligraphy supplies
> Color books, tracing paper, construction paper, markers, white board
> Blank note cards or folded cardstock
> Clay
> Craft books (Laurie Carlson, Williamson Press)--many historical
> Art postcards/posters
> Magazines, glue, leftover photos
> Stickers and scrapbooking supplies
> Other craft supplies (on a rotation basis, to conserve space)
> Smocks and vinyl tablecloths
> Frames, mats, clothespins, magnets (to display artwork)

Science and nature center
> Field guides
> Binoculars
> Magnifying glass
> Bug jar/net
> Nature notebooks
> Experiment books, access to supplies
> Coloring books, such as Dover

Math center
> Games (anything with money or points)
> Blocks, rods, other manipulatives
> Brain teaser books
> Graph paper
> Measuring cups, rulers, scale
> Measuring medium; for example, a bucket of dried corn can be cleaned
up easily
> Legos or blocks
> Classical music
> Family math or puzzle books
> Calculator

Drama, home living, and others:
> Dress-up box with shoes, hats, baby dolls, jewelry, disguises, etc.
> Junior kitchen with cookbooks, cooking storybooks
> Puppet theater (tension rod with sheet tossed across; dollar-store
> Building center--Legos, blocks, Lincoln logs, CAD, cars and trucks
> Sewing center--handcrafts
> Music center--instruments, CDs, rhythm band, sheet music/hymnal,
tape recorder

Encourage independent study

Have educational "while you wait for Mom" materials on hand for those
times that a student needs to wait a few moments for help. Consider
using the computer for drills, research, and educational software.
Make it easy for him to correct his own work in skills areas such as
math. You might give him his own planner with his assignments listed
so he can move forward at his own pace, or try Sue Patrick's workbox
system . Categorize
materials into "learning stations" to make self-study more
user-friendly. Have a specific in-box and out-box: spaces for work to
be checked and work that mom has already evaluated. Most of all,
remember that they do what you inspect, not necessarily what you
expect, so do stay nearby and available.

For more ideas, visit the Organization section of the Toddlers to
Tweens website at !


Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens consultant

"Let all things be done decently and in order."
--I Corinthians 14:40

Home organization is about being able to find what you need so you can
function efficiently and effectively. You can probably function best
in your home when it isn't cluttered with things you don't use or
enjoy. Your mother may have told you, "A place for everything, and
everything in its place." Turns out she was right! Did you realize
that if you spend just ten minutes a day looking for misplaced things
in the clutter, you spend over 60 hours a year hunting for stuff in
your house? Even more reason to ask the Lord to free us from bondage
to things, and to find a place for our learning tools!

A few home organization resources:

HSLDA's Toddlers to Tweens "Organization" tab

"Organize for Success in Home Management Training"

"Organizing Your Home for a Learning Lifestyle" (webinar)

"Burnout Busters for Busy Moms"
-> Remember the last time you wrote a term paper?

Research can be grueling-digging through archives, wading through
articles, conducting interviews. But if it's related to
homeschooling, you can relax a little. There's a good chance that
you'll find what you're looking for in HSLDA's bimonthly
Home School Court Report. Providing in-depth, insightful articles
on much of what affects the world of homeschoolers, the
Court Report is a must-read for the serious homeschooler. This
publication is provided free to each HSLDA member.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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