Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Week and Learning Spaces

What happens when I only have two kids for the week?  Not much!  
The girls were gone to Michigan for the week and are due home tonight, so it was just the boys and I for five days.  It's been pretty quiet around here, but we managed to have some fun anyway.

We did a little school, and lot's of playing.  Owen has been busy taking care of his hermit crab.  These are the perfect pet for our "no pets" family.  They are easy and fun, allergy and stink free!

Owen is a very attentive crab owner.

I had a little time to re-think the formal dining room layout.   We are not formal dining room people, and knew this space would be a dedicated office/learning space instead.  It's open on two sides, so it's been a challenge to get it right.  

If I knew we were going to stay here forever, I would close it in and hang these beauties on both sides!  But this is not likely to be our forever home.  We could have Carrie Underwood sing "This is Our Temporary Home" here, but I won't do that to you!  

I've been learning a little about how to integrate some Montessori principles into our education plan for Ben.  He is beginning to get to the "I want to do it myself" stage, and I want to support and empower him to do things for himself.  It's not always easy for me to do this.  I like a clean space.  I am hoping to show him how to do things himself, with self control and good habits.  i.e. do one thing at a time, clean up after yourself as you go.

We shall see!  He is a tornado! 

So, anyway, I tweaked a few things and hopefully made a more child friendly "can do" space, using things we already had on hand.   The three cheap Walmart rolling kitchen carts I bought 5 years ago have served us well, in many different capacities over the years.

I took the doors off my desk, and moved Owen's desk next to mine.  I eliminated all the loud toys from Ben's space, in hopes that we can all "work" together with fewer distractions.

I've been on a purge the plastic and electronics kick.  Back to basics here.

There are a couple storage closets off this room, they help control the clutter that comes along with homeschooling.  This house has turned out to be such a blessing for our family in this season of life.  It is so live-able, and fits our needs perfectly.  Really an answer to our prayers, right down to the smallest details.  We are grateful.

Speaking of obnoxious things, I wanted to get a Ben sized chair.  Walmart to the rescue again!  I don't usually care for character themed things, but the price was right!

He loves it!  Big stuff!

While we missed the girls very much, it was a nice change of pace for a few days.  I felt like I could finally take a deep breath and enjoy a slower pace, and I know the girls had a great time visiting in Michigan.   

I am working on some fun plans for Beyond Five in a Row for January.  We will be rowing Thomas Edison Young Inventor by Sue Guthridge.  I will be posting weekly wrap ups for that, including resources used.  Can't wait!

Also in the January plans are working on the girls learning space upstairs, I will post picks after that is done.   Have a great weekend!


  1. How fun for your girls!! I love your living space. A "no pet" rule- I wonder if it is too late for me to implement that one. I feel like I live in a zoo. We even have friends who come over to visit our animals! I am with you on character themed things, but that chair is adorable (and so is your little guy in it).

  2. Thanks for stopping by Laurie! I wish we were a pet family, we have tried, but it just never works out. How fun for your kids to grow up with lots them and lots of fun visits from friends!

  3. Great ideas you shared, Jill! Had to laugh, we are a non-pet family as well except for fish and some aquarium frogs (the teensy tiny water ones). How wonderful that the girls could extend their visit another week!

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  5. Oh! We are hoping to do Thomas Edison in the Spring. I am glad you had a bit of time to rethink and organize things. I love doing that now and again.

  6. Love Ben and his new couch!! The house and your learning space look awesome! I absolutely despise all of the plastic crap in my house, and hope to God I can get rid of it at some point,but unfortunately Shelly loves her plastic stuff!

  7. Patty- Glad I'm not alone on the pet thing! Dawn- I can't wait for Thomas Edison, hopefully the kids will be as excited as I am:) Emily- It's tough when they are attached to things we would rather not have around, Marney has a blanket that needs to go in the burn pile! Don't leave FB, Em! I would miss you more than I already do!

  8. Aww, Jill :( I decided to stay, too many people I would miss.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new blog header! What a beautiful family you have!!

    I hope to see you at Christmas, even if it's for a quick lunch or something!! :) Miss you :(