Homeschool Learning Center


We have four people living in a tiny house. Very tiny. The house has an open floorplan, which basically means that the living room and dining room are all one big area, except that one has carpet and the other linoleum.

Absolutely everything happens in these two rooms; homeschool, paying bills, computer, tv, toys and games, etc. DD is the only one that actually USES her bedroom to hang out. DS refuses to play in his room unless someone is with him. So basically 16 hours of our day are spent in a 25 x 14 foot room. (Gee…and I wonder why I feel cramped?)

Since we have so much going on in one area, I try hard to create “areas” for activities. This doesn’t always work because 1) the kids are messy, 2) I am messy, and 3) I usually start out with great intentions but get sidetracked, leaving a mess behind me as I go through my day. This time though, I came up with something that works!

DD *needs* the kitchen table for school. As a Senior, she needs the large space to spread out her books and binders. DS and I usually do “couch school,” which consists of a lot of reading, sometimes working on lapbook projects, and the occasional workbook page. Thanks to a dear friend, DS has a small chair with attached desk (like the kind you had in high school) that he and I use when we need a place to work/color/etc.

Part of our “school” day also involves using a learning poster from Letter of the Week Prep Level. I needed a convenient place to post the posters each week, plus I wanted to start teaching him the days of the week and familiarize himself with calendars. I studied the bulletin board at the preschool I sub for, and came up with my own homeschool version:

I’m so proud of how it came out! It’s rather small actually, 17″x24″ I think. I have it hanging on the front door using a special hook magnet I found a few years ago at StuffMart. It’s right at DS’s eye level, so it’s easy for easy for us to refer to it throughout the day.

(That long paper chain hanging down the side is our “countdown calendar” that we’ve been using to keep track of how many days are left until Grammy comes to visit. It’s been a very effective way for DS to “see” how many days are left. Every day we tear off another ring. We started out at over 40 days, and are down to almost less than a week. Every day he says “We’re getting closer to Grammy!”)

On the top I have our learning poster for the week in a page protector. The tacks are holding the protector, so I can slip the page in and out when I need to change weeks. I also have flashcards that relate to the number and letter of the week.

On the bottom I have a monthly calendar (in another page protector) and the days of the week. I made a little post-it-note arrow for the days, and move it to the current day every morning. For the calendar, I colored a big red patch on a transparency and punched out a square using a scrapbooking paper punch. I used some repositional dots so that I can move it each day too. Since I used a transparency, we can still see the date and anything written in the square.

Every day we go over the days and the calendar. We sing a short song to help DS learn the days in order:

There Are Seven Days
Tune: Clementine

There are seven days
There are seven days
There are seven days in a week

Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

There are seven days
There are seven days
There are seven days in a week

Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

When we discuss the calendar, I point out the month, the date, and anything special for that day. Then we sing another song:

Calendar Song
Tune: “Frere Jacques”

Today is (day of the week) (Today is Monday)
Today is (day of the week) (Today is Monday)
Month and date (November 12th)
Month and date (November 12th)
Today is (day of the week) (Today is Monday)
Today is (day of the week) (Today is Monday)
Month and date (November 12th)
Month and date (November 12th)

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8 thoughts on “Homeschool Learning Center

  1. Dorothy

    That looks REALLY good, Jen.

    It almosts makes me wish I had another little one in the house. But mine is small too, so I’d really have nowhere to put him/her! {g}

  2. You seem a lot like me from the sights of this! This is right up my alley and very similar to what I did with my son last year in school (PreK and early K). I love creative ways to use small spaces and feel organized amongst much chaos!
    🙂

  3. I have plenty of room, but have trouble organizing it. This is wonderful. I didn’t know how to hang things that I didn’t want to be up permenantly, I am going to snag this idea and run with it. I also love the calendar and songs. I don’t know how I homeschool without clever blogs to help me. Thanks. Maybe one day I’ll think of something clever to post to my blog and bless you the way you’ve blessed me.

  4. Pingback: Homeschool Report « Ancora Imparo

  5. Oh I just love this! We have been using some letter of the week stuff and this goes right along with it : ) I really like your blog. I’ll be back to read some more.
    Blessings,
    BChsMamaof3

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