A New School Room Shelf

Little things make a difference, right?

School room cubbies


We purchased a cubby system for our school room to house all the kids’ games, art supplies, and school books.  Beyond Cocoa taking every opportunity that first week to empty all the board game boxes onto the floor, this has been WONDERFUL.  Everything has a proper place, and it’s easy for the kids to get their stuff out AND put it away.

The shelf fits nicely under a counter that was meant to be bar-height but was always a bit too tall to sit at, a bit too narrow to put anything on, and a bit too damp from dishes waiting to be washed or loaded into the dishwasher.

So far, school is wonderful this year.  Mimi has kindergarten with her cousin and grandma twice a week in the afternoons, Ernie and I do her school work while the toddler sleeps after lunch, and everyone is calm and happy.  I’ve been careful with our schedule this year to only plan things that we need or REALLY want.  I laid out a list of goals for each child, and then struck out whatever didn’t meet those goals.  The local co-op classes were cut, as was the afternoon drop-off gym class at our YMCA, but we’re keeping a bi-monthly group music class, bi-monthly church activities for Ernie, and weekly trips to the gym where the young kids get a pre-schoolish setting upstairs, and Ernie and I go zumba.  We’ve left time for field trips and errands in the morning, kept Cocoa’s nap time secure, and everyone wins.


Planning Next Year’s Curriculum

Even though we purchase our curriculum as a package deal, and I’ve been doing formal school for two years now, AND I am swarmed by offers of help, next year is freaking me out. Third grade, it’s like we’re actually getting serious about this! Ernie turns 8 this month, so I sent in our declaration of intent this morning- I think I’m a month or two early, but I wanted to make sure it got done right away.

We’ll use Calvert curriculum again next year, which will cover all the bases. I’ll do lesson swaps with a friend next year-I’ll teach rhythm and percussion and note reading, and she’ll teach Spanish. Ernie will also have art lessons and appreciation in her curriculum and will be doing weekly piano lessons. So art and music is covered. Spanish will cover our language requirements. History and health I haven’t decided what we’ll do yet.

I want to sign both girls up for a PE class at the YMCA, but we’ve tried it once for three months last year and Ernie still looks like she’s going to puke at the thought. She really, really, really doesn’t like putting her head under water, and “bobs” are one of the skills the teachers ask the kids to do. I’ve spoken to all the teachers, looking for ideas to help her, and all of them said bobs weren’t that important, and they had no clue she didn’t like them. We’ll do it for a few months, and then see what we do after that.