Monday, August 11, 2014

Lemonade Stand & Life Skills

This weekend the kids decided they wanted to set up a lemonade stand.  As a child I loved selling lemonade to the neighbors so with fond memories and a smile I readily agreed.

Old Crow immediately began by making a list of all the things we would need.  (He is definitely his mother's child!!)  We created a plan and made it happen.  

The cash register was filled with change.  The sign was created.  The lemonade and cookies were prepared to be served.  Smiles were ready to be shared.

During all of the preparation and during our sale, I noticed just how much learning could take place with a simple lemonade stand.

Money skills:  coin recognition, counting money, making change
Organizational skills: list making, gathering supplies
Advertising and promotion:  creating signs, balloons to draw attention
Manners & etiquette:  please, thank you, pleasant voices and tone, eye contact  
Character traits: patience (especially on a hot day and between customers), helpfulness
Work ethic: setting up, cleaning up, not leaving the job
Basic economics: earning a profit, pricing to sell

It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and totally worth it!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Schoolroom: Where Life Happens

Being a former public school teacher, I began homeschooling over 3 years ago with the mentality that I would do school at home.  I had a room designated for school with bulletin boards, a calendar, tons of manipulatives, ABCs mounted on the name it and I had it.  I had EVERYTHING that one would find in a classroom for 20+ children.

Each year I found myself using less and less and spending less and less time in that school room. I realized that we were using our entire house to learn because that is where life happens.  In the kitchen.  In the living room. On the screened porch.  Not in a tiny school room shut off from the rest of the house.  Many people find that necessary, and it works for their family.  For my family and this season of life, it just wasn't working.

The majority of last year we used the kitchen counter and bar stools.  We enjoyed the kitchen and being in the main "hub" of the house.  So this summer, an idea came to me and the husband was on board.  We brought down the child-sized table and chairs from the upstairs schoolroom and plopped them in the sitting area next to the kitchen.  Now the kids can work comfortably without sitting on their knees.  The bookshelf, chairs, birdcage, and wood table were already there.  Books already filled the cabinets around the television.  It seems like the perfect plan.  One can hope! ;)  

The basket on the wooden table was also already in this area.  It holds our library books.

The bookshelf offers the perfect place to house the few things we do need daily.  A basket organizer for pencils, scissors, glue, etc.  I brought over the pencil sharpener and CD player as well.  The large baskets hold the kids' school books.

This year I did away with the rolling carts we had been using as workboxes.  I love the workbox idea, but this just simplifies our materials especially since this year I will use more of a block schedule.
Here is a look inside Crazy Horse's basket:  

Block 1: Math
Block 2: Listen to Mom Read
Block 3: Handwriting
Block 4: Reading & Piano
Block 5: CC Memory Work
*Once we begin Classical Conversations his CC notebook will be added.

Here is Old Crow's basket:
Block 1: Math
Block 2: Listen to Mom Read
Block 3: Writing & Grammar
Block 4: Piano & Reading
Block 5: CC Memory Work
*Once we begin Classical Conversations his CC notebook will be added.

I also added a basket with fun games and activities that correlate with our CC studies.  The kids will be free to grab anything that interests them. 

Books can also be found in the cabinets.

Here's a look in the kitchen where I keep my important materials.

In a corner of the kitchen I keep my teacher's guides, read alouds, calendar, lesson plans, etc.
Everything is easily accessible and right in the middle of where the action happens.  A drawer below holds CC materials and a few math manipulatives we use frequently.  A nearby closet holds our art/craft supplies and things we don't use daily.

Let's continue on with life and learning (wherever that may be).  :)