Up until this point I have resisted the idea of a “classroom” in our home, preferring instead to utilize the kitchen table or other areas in our house.  The challenge I have had is that as the kids get older they tend to take on projects that last for multiple days or even weeks.  These inevitably end up taking up valuable real-estate in key areas of the house, often ending up in my craft room.  There are days when I really need my creative outlet to keep my sanity, so I have re-worked things for the coming “school year”.  With the kids now requiring less play space I figured it was time to designate a special learning zone.  It is not intended to be used exclusively for homeschooling, as learning can obviously happen anywhere and the area can be used for playing games, etc. too.

After moving our Tomas the Tank Engine Train Table we re-purposed and moved in a couple of small folding tables from other areas in our house and before long the space was really starting to take shape.  A white board and easel from upstairs, a basket to store books we are currently using, a timer (The kids often like to do things for a set amount of time thanks to “The Fly Lady“), combined with the existing book shelves and we were off to the races!  The best part is it hasn’t cost me a dime….at least not so far.  Resisting the temptation to call this area our “classroom” the kids and I came up with our very own alternative name, the “Cranium Corner”.  I’m hoping the space will be well utilized in the coming year and that over time we can tweak things a bit to maximize the potential it has.

One fun new addition we have added is our “treat basket”  I filled small mason jars with small candies and with suggestions from the kids I  labeled each jar with a subject.  When the kids have completed a task they get a candy.  It isn’t that they require bribery to do their work, but it does help “sweeten” the deal and keeps thing fun.