Hi! Thank you for stopping by today! My name is Bronwyn. I am a follower of Jesus, wife of a Marine, and mother of 2 autistic boys. We have been a homeschooling family for going on 7 years now and loving it! I also love to read, cook, bake, and walk.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Room to Learn

Hi everyone!  We are still here. :)  I have had an awful cold for almost two weeks now and have been trying desperately to get over it.  I am starting to feel a little better so I thought I would actually post something here.  Nobody fainted  I hope!
We had an off week last week between Tim being off two days and me being sick we didn't accomplish a whole lot of school.  I feel really cheated that there are no substitute teachers here at our little homeschool.  We are back to work kicking and screaming with a bit of transitioning this week. 
We did accomplish one very exciting thing last week even though I was sick.  We decided to transform our walk-in closet into a schoolroom.  Well, at least sort of a schoolroom.  Before I go any farther here and someone thinks I am making my kids sit in a closet all day let me explain that we aren't in there all day and it is a nice size closet with a window that allows for lots of sunshine.  The boys are thrilled by the space as well.  
I will be honest I have long since coveted a homeschool room.  I look at all the pictures on the blogs and weep.  Military housing is not very spacious but we are blessed by what we have and so we have always done our learning at the table or on the couch.  In our last house we were able to divide the living room up so that we could have a separate space but this house isn't set up the same way so it has been more difficult.
Tyler really needs somewhere to do his independent work that he isn't distracted by what I am doing with Christian.  Christian needs a small space that is quiet where he can work with me.  He simply can't focus in a large space and just runs back and forth.
Fortunately when they remodeled this house they put in a nice walk-in closet off of our bedroom.  Thankfully they also left the original closet in there as well.  When we moved in I took the smaller closet over for all of our homeschool supplies.  This last week we decided to do a switch and the small closet is now Tim's and I pushed my clothes to one side of the walk-in closet and made the rest into a homeschool area.  It really isn't fancy and there is a lot crammed in there but it is working nicely so far.  Tyler thinks it is his office.  I have to remind him that we are all sharing the space.  I did have to leave his workboxes out in the dining room because there isn't enough room in the closet but that is okay because he still does all his work with mom stuff out here.  Christian is just thrilled with the space and is even sitting at the table in there without any prompting from me.

This our desk area and whiteboard. 

It's amazing just how much we have fit in there!

 And seeing Christian content to sit and look at books makes for a very happy mom!


Recovering Noah said...

Looks great!!

We turned our walk-in closet into a bedroom for our daughter. Hey, you have to get creative when you're short on space. :-)


Mrs. C said...

It is beautiful, Bronwyn. You are hardly TRAPPING your children in the closet, so I wouldn't worry about what other people think. :)

And YES, you have a lot of stuff, but so much of it seems like it's art and games. Our stuff is mostly textbooks and we have boxes and boxes of these downstairs waiting for Woodjie. The trick is, I'm not sure how to teach someone non-verbal to read, and haven't seen much on how to do that. We are still working with "first... then" sorts of things. I found a build-a-bear at the thrift store and he is perfect for those giant cards you sent on getting bear up and dressed. :)

Jim said...

You loved your walk-in closet when you were around 7. It looks great. I had no idea you had so much stuff. Makes a Grandma proud to know they get a top-notch mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and all the supplies and material they need to learn and such a loving teacher to teach them. I hope you get better soon, Bronwyn. Love, Mom

Bronwyn said...

Mrs. C,
We have tons of books too. They are all out in the living room on bookcases. They don't look as bad as the big plastic drawers full of art stuff.
I used to save a lot of stuff for Christian also but I have come to realize now that he is 12 that even if we get to that place. He is going to need to be taught in a different way. Christian is non-verbal and a non-reader but I know that isn't always the case. I think sight words work a lot better than phonics for lower functioning kids. I have a friend who has been teaching her son that way and has been making a lot of progress. Tyler was reading at three by sight words but I have gone back and taught him phonics. I think it does confuse some kids.
There is a great computer program called Writing With Symbols that works great for making reading easier for non-readers. It is very expensive though. If you get to that point with Woodjie you might want to check if any local resources have it available to at least borrow.
We used a Build a Bear for Christian with the cards too. :)
Thanks for stopping by my friend!

Mrs. C said...

Ah! I taught my children to read with flash cards and basal readers and heard all about how that is WRONG. LOL, you're the first to tell me that sight words work better! It's something I have suspected all along!

I'm not sure if Woodjie will ever use the books, either, but I am saving them for now. Giving them up would be like giving up on my dreams for him. But eventually I may need to do that because it's not about my dreams... it's about who he really is and how he needs to be taught. :)

Bronwyn said...

Mrs. C,
It took me a long time to give away certain things. Last year when we were moving and he was already 11 I finally took a long look at certain things and decided that we just weren't going to use them again.
I think you should hang on to your hopes and dreams for Woodjie. He is still really little.
You are a really great mom! I think you are going to teach him a bunch.

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