We don’t have one of these giant homes you see on Pinterest with rooms dedicated specifically for crafts or school time, so I made a make-shift school area in a nook of our office. Here is a photo of our office. The nook is just to the right, around the corner from the doors. I like this also for visual appeal so the big kids’ posters aren’t the first thing you see when you walk in.
I got all my supplies for the school nook at the Dollar Store, just after my oldest turned 2. I purchased a calendar, days of the week, weather, alphabet, numbers, shapes, and a bunch of sets of flash cards and quiz cards. I keep all my supplies in the bins of this IKEA shelf: I think all my supplies cost about $20!
We have special “mats” we each sit on for school time (they are just old placemats!) and the kids love it! We sing a song that goes like this “come on over and sit right down” repeated with lots of fun gestures like “come on over and stomp your feet” or “clap your hands” to start school. The kids love being crazy with it “come on over and bark like a dog or pat your cheeks” etc.
We try to do the basic things each day (month, day, weather, alphabet, counting) and then we focus on one learning activity for the day. Sometimes we learn about a unit theme like animals or the ocean, sometimes we learn how to mail letters, and sometimes we just color! And really it lasts about 15-20 minutes. I am going for repetition here not length! While Emerson works on his coloring or Hot Dots, I work on simpler concepts like the alphabet with Genevieve.
// Just a quick shout-out about Hot Dots – my kids LOVE them. a while ago my mom bought us a ton of these off Zulily (like enough to teach concepts from age 3 to age 11 – about 50 boxes!) They teach quickly and easily and the pens are so fun for the kids, plus they can generally do them on their own once you get them going! I highly recommend them. //