Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our new work (or is it play) rooms

I'm not calling it a homeschooling room. That's the unschooler side of me; it's the kids' workroom. The other room is the kids' playroom. But, that doesn't really make sense because I'm a firm believer that play is a child's work so perhaps they should collectively be called the workrooms. Oh, but then there's the issue that the whole world is a child's classroom and since I believe children learn best through play, I suppose we should call them, what, classrooms? Learning rooms? Playrooms? Just another room in the world of a child's learning and play? See, naming a room is not as easy as it seems. To ease this confusion, I have settled on "workroom" and "playroom," though the distinction is vague.

You can click on a picture in the slide show to view captions that describe the layout.

The workroom used to be a formal dining room and was then converted to a messy art/playroom with navy walls. It was dark and cluttered and difficult for the children to get the materials independently. It is now used well and often, especially by The Duckling who spends a lot of time at the green table drawing mermaids. The Monkey sits at the big worktable and writes me secret notes that he delivers in scroll form. The hanging shoe rack makes clean-up easy. My hope is that Monkey will enjoy working in there on sit-down work (the classical education side of me) while the Duck plays at the table. There is a rolling chair at the computer and I plan to roll back and forth between them.

The playroom was the formal living room and was rarely used. We moved a lot of the children's toys into the room and put the older furniture in there, perfect for fort building (actually, they build "nests" for themselves). They kids are enjoying it very much. It makes end of the day clean-up easier, though the Legos seem to find their way into every room of the house.

We still have some work to do. I need to hang a wire in the workroom to hang their artwork. As we start diving into our homeschool projects, we'll tweak the room as needed. I am already seeing a need for a nature center/corner/table. I think we'll also hang an art wire in the playroom. The playroom still has formal prints on the walls that need to be moved and there is still organization to be done.

This did not cost us much. We bought paint and paintbrushes. We bought the big worktable and two small bookcases in the playroom from Craigslist. The shoe rack and hanging workbook holder were bought new from The Container Store. Everything else was here or found in our garage. I literally had to clean out some critter homes from the white bins that now hold our paper.

My Profile Pics

I have tried and tried to get one of these images posted as my Profile Picture with no success. If anyone has some suggestions for me, please share them.

The children each drew a portrait of me. The Monkey drew the top picture and The Duckling drew the bottom. For those that know me, you can see the striking resemblance in both pictures, both showing a different, but equally significant, side of me.

On a positive note, this was the first time I've attempted to use the scanner on our printer and, as you can see, it worked, with surprising ease. Up until now, this printer has never done anything with ease. This is the printer that pulls 5 pieces of paper every time it prints, it jams, it tears the paper, it blinks at me for no reason, it leaves strange blank strips across the page, and it sometimes prints things when no one has asked it to. Perhaps the scans are a peace offering, a gesture of good will, the first step toward healing our battered relationship. I will accept it with caution.

ETA: Yes, I noticed that the Duck's drawing of me looks a lot like George W. Bush.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And so it begins...

A good place to begin, as today is what is known in the blog world as "Wordless Wednesday." From what I gather, this means I am supposed to post only pictures but no words. However, my blog research (conducted during the past 15 minutes) reveals that many people do not adhere to the "Wordless" part of the event. I, of course, will follow the lemmings.

My house has been taken over by legos. The Monkey has been working on creating lego sets to market to other children. He builds them, builds companion pieces, defines an age range (this one was part of a 7 and up set, though he's only 6), and then sets his price.

And there's The Duckling, modeling her new silk dress-up that she received for her 3rd birthday from Grandma and Grandpa. Thankfully, she got a pair of pink high-heels and a pink glitter purse at her birthday party to complete the outfit.