Friday, March 15, 2013

No more table work...well, maybe sometimes

Options. That is one reason we chose to home school. Options. As a former public school teacher, I have a tendency toward "desks" but I have been very interested in alternative seating for students for a while. This week I had an epiphany: My kids had options and were utilizing them. I just needed to get the tables out of the way...but not too far out of the way. We are a family of book worms. Even my son who isn't a "reader" loves to curl up with a good book frequently. So, naturally I let my readers curl up to do their independent reading. Usually they choose to curl up in one of these great comfy chairs or on the couch...or in their beds...or in the get the idea. I have one child that often has a difficult time sitting still, so she has been allowed to stand while she works -as long as she can write her neatest. Before, a regular height table worked well. She could stand and the table height was just right. Then she grew and this adjustable computer table became a favorite. It is a bit tippy, so hopefully we'll find another alternative soon. She also has a tendency to find her way onto the floor. She sits, lays, curls up...whatever. My concern is whether or not she understands the work, so if she is writing neatly and showing appropriate comprehension, I say "whatever works". I also realized, she wasn't the only one. My other kiddos may not move around quite as much, but they enjoy the ability to get comfortable when getting their work done (even if that means a tutu). I even got them big clipboards they can use as lap desks. These boards are large enough to support a fully open workbook or notebook. The tables still get used, so we keep them to the sides so they can easily be utilized, but out of the way when they are not. We also have a laptop for some of their work, but it stays at the desk. The reason for this is for the protection of the laptop, and so I can oversee their computer usage. When I moved the tables out of the way and let them take full advantage of the options they had, I was delighted to see how naturally they shifted around the room to get into a comfortable but found appropriate places to do each task. I was also delighted to find that there was a lot less complaining about the work that had to be done. The didn't get things done any quicker, and there is still bouts of procrastination and day dreaming- no more than before, but no less either. They simply didn't seem as grouchy by the end of the day, and as a Mom to 4, I can say I'd move more than tables just to get that result right there.

Packing for vacation

Rolling outfits together! Why hadn't I done this before? I've packed their outfits in baggies but they are so slippery and then the baggies seem to litter every where and get lost, and I always feel like I'm just wasting the bags. I done other methods...but this one really worked. I rolled a complete outfit (including undergarments and socks) and packed them in their suitcases on our most recent trip. (We were traveling to a colder climate or the rolls would not have been so bulky) Extra layers and pajamas fit nicely on top. When it was time for showers or to get dressed, my kiddos could just pick out one roll and they had everything needed. I had the kids help me construct the roll before the trip began, but half way through the trip I had to do laudry. No problem, I just stacked the clothes and rolled up the outfits again. Suitcases stayed neat and tidy (this is BIG for me). My younger two have smaller bags, but the rolls still fit nicely with room for pajamas and an extra jacket. I was able to fit 7 rolls in each kid's luggage.