Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Making Mini-Offices

This year we switched from using school desks to working at the kitchen table. I know a lot of homeschoolers never think of using school desks, but it was helpful at first to have a chair that fit the child. If we tried using the table, Peanut would sprawl and slump and just generally be uncomfortable. But the desks were an eyesore, there was no out-of-the-way place to put them, and they tended to catch all the clutter that the kids didn’t want to put away. So we gave them to another family, and now we are at the kitchen table. We have some storage bins that will turn upside down for footrests for both kids. I use the rubber-y shelf liner for a non-slip surface so they don’t kick them around. Too much.

The other problem I had to solve was that we were able to use number lines and alphabet strips on the desks, and we can’t really use those on the kitchen table.

While searching the Internet, I found some ideas that classroom teachers are using to help their students. They call them “mini-offices,” and they are simply a little study corral with the needed information posted inside. They are made out of 2 or 3 file folders.You can put just about anything on these corrals. I decided to put a number line, a small handwriting chart, a 100s chart, a chart showing different coins, and a chart that illustrates how to tell time. I tried to make a chart listing some common words that my kids might use in their writing, but it was too cumbersome.

The kids like having these. We personalized them by letting them pick some of the contents, as well as the color. We had three color choices in the package of file folders we had purchased. Kids could also decorate the outside of their folders.

The best websites we found for mini-offices are at Busy Teacher’s CafĂ© and at Teaching Heart. Both have instructions and printables that you can choose and print out for your mini-office.


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