Friday, January 26, 2007

Getting back into the swing of things...

Remember this post? Well, things went even more slowly than I had originally planned. Some minor illnesses, and J1's 10th birthday a few days ago all combined together to delay our return to our school routine. We officially took a month off! My state law requires me to send in attendence reports, and to provide 180 days of instruction to my children. I looked at my records so far, and consulted my calendar, and this is going to work out really well. I have always preferred to school on a more year-round basis, but by the 4th of July I really am ready to be done. So, this year, after working hard all fall, then taking a month off around Christmas, we will be "officially" done by July 4th, with 10 days to spare, so we've got some wiggle room. I think I really like this schedule, and just might have to make it the "official" school year schedule here at Aquinas Academy. I keep saying "official" because I have a deep belief that education is happening all the time - but I will keep "official" records if that's what I need to do.

Remember our school room? The pictures here show how incredibly disorganized and cluttered it had become. Today I finally finished cleaning and reorganizing that room. It's not completely how I want it, the bookcases are still a bit haphazzard - but it's much better, and much more condusive to learning. What do you think?

These low shelves are just the thing to organize our games and puzzles, utilizing some formerly wasted space under the window.

We added one more bookshelf, which helped a ton with re-organizing everything. I've got our math manipulatives in a nice drawer caddy on the center shelf, and all of J1's books for this year are here, ready for easy access from the desk he uses.

Finally, the other bookcases in the room are cleaner, a little bit more organized, and a lot less cluttered.

I feel so very blessed to have a whole room to devote to our schooling. Even though nowhere near all of our schooling occurs here (in the same way that nowhere near all of our education fits nicely into the state-required 4.5 hours a day for 180 days), it is nice to have a place to keep most of our educational materials, and a quiet place for the kids to work when they need it. It's not done, not by a long shot. It probably never will be, lol! It sure would be nice if everything matched, but the budget says to make due with inexpensive and what we already have. I'd sure like to paint over this funky blue left by the previous owners - we might do that next fall, actually. I'd like more pictures/art work sort of things on the walls, and someday soon I'm going to have to fit more desk space in here since my younger kids will be requiring a place for independant work before I know it.

But for now - I'm pleased, my own visual spatial tendencies are somewhat soothed, the kids were awed and amazed at the transformation, and we're ready for some "high-tide" schooling.

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