Friday, July 18, 2014

Setting Up!

I cant believe how fast the summer is flying by. I swear it seems like last week that we were seeing the boys off to their last day of school. Wow, so much has changed over the last couple of months!

Our biggest change being of course our decision to pull our kids out of traditional schools. There are SO many reasons that brought us to our decision.
*We wanted more time with our children. It was so hard to send the kids off to school each day knowing that they would spend a majority of their day in school. By the time the boys would get home, they were so tired and crabby that it was hard to spend quality time with them. The little bit of time we did have with them was spent doing homework, which sometimes took over an hour to complete.
*We want to make sure our childs education is tailored to meet their needs. One of our boys is on the Autism spectrum. He learns at a much slower pace compared to other kids his age. He needs one on one attention that he just wasnt getting in the traditional school setting. Our other child learns at a much faster pace than other kids his age, and he was often bored at school. We want to make sure that our kids are allowed to work at their own pace and that they are happy with their education.
Those are just a couple of the many, many reasons we have decided to school our children at home. While we are not completely "homeschooling", we are taking more control over our kids education. We don't know if Connections Academy will be right for us or not, but we are willing to give it a shot. We have decided to give it a year and decide then whether we will continue with Connections Academy, or if we will take our children out of Connections and go the homeschool route instead.

As it gets closer and closer to the first day of school, we are growing more and more excited as to what wonderful things will happen this year. The most exciting part of getting ready for our new adventure is setting up our home classroom! We are not going to go crazy and remodel a room quite yet. We want to first make sure that this is the right decision for all of us. We can always go bigger and better next year! For now we are simply taking half of our livingroom and turning it into our classroom. We have just enough supplies to get us through this first year. Of course, we will be adding to our supplies with our first shipment of school supplies from Connections Academy, but other than that we are pretty much set!

Here is a photo I took today while setting up our home classroom. We purchased a small T.V stand from Wal*Mart to use as a supply shelf (We chose a T.V stand instead of a shelf because we wanted something small enough that it wouldnt take over our whole livingroom. We also liked that it has wheels so we can move the shelf around if we need to). We also bought a very cheap coffee table for the boys to use for doing school work in the livingroom. (You will also notice some of our other purchases in the photo LOL)

Once I got the T.V stand set up, I got our school supplies organized, and our desk arranged the way I like it! 

We still need to add some fun decor to the wall, but for now we at least have the basics. 

This set up will have a lot more "fun" added to it before school starts, but for just getting started I think we are doing pretty good. :) 

Oh and I added a Sand and Water Station in the garage (which is an attached garage) for indoor play on rainy days! I made this with supplies we already had at home, no extra expense! Just an old shelf from the garage with drawers from an old plastic storage container we had! Add toys that we already owned, and like magic we have a station for the boys to play at! 

Our "Quiet Spot" upstairs. (The boys also have a tent set up in the playroom that they also use for a quiet spot)

Kept this very simple so far, we will add to it as needed. I included posters, a sensory basket, and a soft blanket. 

 Items in sensory basket:
Box of tissue
Shelf Liner (my son likes the feel of this)
sensory toys
Play Doh
Relaxation Music, CD Player
Small push button light. 
S.T.A.R, Drain, Balloon, and Pretzel Instruction cards. 

S.T.A.R, Drain, Balloon, Pretzel Reminder Poster

Suggestion Poster

Feelings Poster

Calm Down Checklist.

*While some of these might seem geared towards younger children, they still work great for my 7 year old who is on the Autism Spectrum. *

Thanks for peeking at our blog, stay tuned for lots more updates throughout this year! 

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