Our Homeschool Room

Here it is!  Our homeschool room.  We still have some changes to make (not the least of which is taking better pictures!), but it has come a long way since it was a nursery just over a month ago!  It’s funny, but I don’t think No. 2 even remembers it was her bedroom!  Now, it’s just the room where she goes in and pulls things off of the shelves and dumps them on the floor!  Oh joy!

I love this room!  The rocking chair was part of the nursery, and we didn’t have another spot for it, so it stayed out of necessity.  But, I LOVE having it in there!  We read LOTS of books there and I like to sit and just look around at everything (and smell the pencils, of course!)

Maybe it’s because I’m a crafter, but I tend to flit from one project to the next.  One day I’m all about making beads out of clay and the next I’m sick of that and I’ve moved on to Mod Podge-ing everything in sight!  So, even though I’m a teacher to the core, I was still a bit afraid that I would set up this room, organize the life out of it, plan out the whole school year and get one week in and decide I was tired of it.  Thankfully, it’s just the opposite!  Yes, I have days when I’d rather plunk myself on the couch to enjoy the quiet during No. 2’s naptime.  But, we’re plugging along happily and I tell Mr. Pencil almost everyday (he’s infinitely patient!) how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching my girl!

This is the shelf that Mr. Pencil built for me.  It will eventually get painted some super exciting, fancy color like white!  In the back of my head where the rebel lives, I imagine painting it apple green or turquoise, but the boring person in the front of my head will probably win out and go with white.  And that’s fine because I do love me some glossy white painted furniture!  It makes my boring self’s skirt fly up!  Anyway, this shelf does need a little more somethin’ somthin’, but I’m not sure what exactly.  Maybe some sort of larger drawers on the top for all that random little stuff.  The basket on the floor holds our library books.  We get new ones every week to match the letter we’re learning, and the basket makes it very easy to just grab them, plunk them in our library bag and take them back!

I’ll have a separate post about that dreamy drawer thing that you can barely make out due to the blurriness.  It’s one of my favorite things.  EVER.  Besides the crazy pencils that live with me, of course!  On the right side of the shelf is my red hanging pocket organizer.  It has 8 pockets, I think.  I only use 5 that hold file folders for each day of the week.  I put all of the worksheets we’ll be working on and just pull out the folder when we’re ready to begin!  The bottom two shelves are children’s books.  I’d love to tell you that’s our entire collection, but then the entire shelf full in the girls’ room would feel unloved!  (Is it a problem if I’m addicted to children’s books??)

This is our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree.  We read the book on Friday and hang up the letter we just finished learning.  Next to that are the letter crafts we’ve done.  The Alligator has teeth that are hard to see because of the light color of the wall (I would love to paint the walls, but now that everything is all set up, I break out into hives just thinking about moving everything to paint!)  The elephant was named Sophie and given a flower by her ear because No. 1 just can’t handle the thought of something being a BOY!  *gasp!*  Under that is our USA map.  It’s actually a vinyl cling map with individual vinyl cling states on top.  It’s colorful and happy.This picture just shows our word wall that I named Wise Words since our “theme” is owls.  I need to make more owls to drive the theme home, but you’ll see them here and there in our room.  In that little space at the bottom of the word wall is a push pin.  Although it isn’t there right now, I have a little flannel washcloth hanging from a binder clip that No. 1 uses to wipe off her dry erase markers.

Next is No. 1’s little desk and chair that I got from Craig and his list.  I love them!  The rebel in my head will probably win this battle and paint them something exciting!  To the left of that is our 100’s chart, then Mr. Pencil and No. 1 doing something on the computer, though I don’t remember what!  Looks like youtube, maybe.  The computer sits on a rolling cart that holds, well stuff.  The top drawer has my pens, scissors, etc.  (I have a piece of masking tape holding it shut because No. 2 thinks it’s the best thing ever to open it up and dig around in there for treasure!)  The next drawer hold current projects – things I need to laminate, cut out, etc.  The bottom drawer holds note pads, post-its, etc.  I have too many of those!

On the wall above that is our morning board.  I’ll do a separate post about that.

Owl themed cheezy phrase that makes me smile!  This spot may end up being a whiteboard eventually.  Under that is the shelf of supplies that No. 1 can access.  There are math manipulatives GALORE, paper, crayons, pencil sharpener, clock, etc.  To the right is where we hang our collages for each letter and other things that No. 1 deems hang-worthy.

Oh – between the last picture and this I somehow forgot to take a picture of the closet door.  Not too exciting.  It just has owls of every color that I laminated and hung there.  No. 1 obviously knows her colors, but they’re pretty adorable and No. 2 is learning her colors now!

Close-up of this shelf with all it’s colorful manipulative-y goodness!That’s it!  I hereby do solemnly swear to take better pictures and make more detailed posts about the things I promised and yada yada yada.


Apple Pie Crockpot Oatmeal

A friend of mine shared this recipe on facebook recently.  It was really good, but I’m not too much of a pumpkin pie fan.  Horror of horrors, I know.  I don’t like coffee either.  Feel free to unfriend me at any time!

So, I tried the pumpkin pie recipe and the girls really liked it!  Me?  Notsomuch.  It was tolerable, which is better than loathing, so maybe it was a success?  But as I was eating it, I thought, “I really just like apple pie better!  Why can’t I make an apple pie version?!”  So I did!

Here’s what I did.  Everything besides the oats and water are optional so pick and choose what you want to add.  I added raisins because they’re a fan favorite in my house and it’s a perfect way to use up raisins that have crossed over to the crunchy side.  (Side note: If raisins are dried up grapes, then what are dried up raisins?  How is that even possible?)

Apple Pie Crockpot Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water*
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
pinch salt

*(most recipes say 3 cups for 1 cup of oats, but my crockpot must be extra hot because 3 dries it up.  Experiment with this!)

Nutmeg would also be nice, if you’re into that sort of thing.


Letter E

We had so much fun learning about the letter E this week!

This week we read Ella the Elegant Elephant (very cute!), My Elephant (loved it!), When an Elephant Comes to School (also very cute) and You Can’t Lay an Egg If You’re an Elephant (this one was okay; too much information, so we just read parts of it).

We started learning the states last week.  We don’t do it everyday, but so far No. 2 knows 17 of them!  We place a Cheerio or treat on the state and she says the name or I ask “where is California?” and she points to it.

The E Elephant was named after Cousin Sophie who is somewhat of a baby celebrity around here!  My girls just adore her!!

The last picture shows our salt box.  It really helped today learning how to properly write the number eight.

As always, most of the worksheets are from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  Go to her site ASAP.  You will not regret it!

Unhealthy Healthy (yummy) Pancakes

I was at a loss what to make for dinner since Old Mother Hubbard (that’s ME) had bare cupboards.  I had a box of Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix that I figured I could take from unhealthy to *fairly* healthy.

I added some wheat germ because that seemed like a healthy thing to do and it makes everything taste nutty and delicious.  I also added some maple syrup (the real thing) to sweeten it up a bit and reduce the need to slather them later!  I mixed it all up and allowed No. 2 to make a mess of my counter.  She’s a great helper!  Once they were on the griddle, we sprinkled frozen blueberries and raspberries on each one.  We love them frozen because they warm up just enough for little mouths and don’t become a soggy mess in the pancakes.

Verdict?  We loved them!!  It was a great unhealthy healthy weeknight meal!

Letter A

Last week’s letter of the week was A since it was our first week.  I only have a few pics of the things No. 1 did, but she really loved everything we did and begged for more and more and more!

We practiced cutting with scissors, prewriting, fun with power magnets, a collage, a scavenger hunt, pattern blocks, and so many more things.  Hopefully I’ll be more on top of the pictures for Letter E this week.  (We’re doing all of the vowels first and then we’ll move on to consonants.)

This is our Letter A Alligator.  Each week we will make a similar craft and hang them on our wall. Image

This is our Letter A collage!Image

This is just an apple I cut out at No. 1’s request.  She really wanted a rainbow apple on the wall!Image

Man-Pleasing Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it.  You know, to please my man.  Thankfully, Mr. Pencil really loved it!

All you need is chicken thighs, dijon mustard, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper, and 45 minutes of your time!

Pop it in the oven and do some homeschooling while you wait!  =)

Man-Pleasing Chicken.  Visit Witty in the City and find more yummy recipes you will love!


Day to Day and Dot a Dot

Today we did one of No. 1’s favorite things – Dot a Dot markers.  She loves those things!  There’s a picture of her filling in the dots on her Letter A page (I haven’t learned how to separate the pictures).  You can see the little flannel washcloth I hung on the shelf next to her desk that she can use when she makes a mistake with her Dot a Dot markers or dry erase markers.  It was one of those spur-of-the-moment ideas that has worked really well for us!

She also did a few pattern pages using her Pattern Blocks.  (I’m pretty sure we called these Tangrams in my Teaching Math class in college?  Maybe they went through an identity crisis or I’m remembering the wrong thing.  Both scenarios are very likely.

After we do our Morning Board, we fill in her Daily Learning Notebook.  This is also from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I put each sheet in a clear page protecter and have her use a dry erase marker so we can reuse the sheet each week.  There’s a picture of No. 1 working on her notebook.

We have a Jump Start workbook that I picked up somewhere along the way, so I planned on have No. 1 do a page or two each day so we can use it all year long.  Well, after three days she’s on page 21 since she loves it so much, so I don’t think that plan will work!  It doesn’t bother me that she loves to do school work!

No. 1 also did a few puzzles, pre-writing practice, and counting the apple seed matching.

One more day of school this week and then I’m taking a personal day on Friday!  =)  Mr. Pencil will be teaching while I’m away at a Ladies Retreat with our church.