Welcome to Our Family’s Homeschool Schoolroom

Our homeschool schoolroom took shape early in our homeschool journey and can be summed up in this little poem.

It’s odd- you know what you know, until
You know you don’t know- when you spill
Only then, you know, that you know
Changing your mindset helps you grow

-written by an aging homeschool mother blogging way past her bedtime
-okay, I admit it. I wrote this.

It’s odd- you know what you know, until

Twenty-plus years ago, my only paradigm of education was a room with tidy desks all in a row, filled with the scent of fresh crayons and glue paste, a scratchy chalkboard hanging on the wall, and a teacher directing a student’s every move. That was until I was handed a book by my mother entitled, The Christian Homeschool By Gregg Harris. She heard about this new thing called “homeschooling” on Christian radio and said, “This is what I want for my grandkids.” And so our homeschooling adventure began. In the beginning, our schoolroom looked like (surprise, surprise), a room with tidy desks all in a row, filled with the scent of fresh crayons and glue paste, a scratchy chalkboard hanging on the wall, and me as teacher directing my students, I mean, my children’s every move.

You know you don’t know- when you spill

Then there was THAT day. I said something that shifted my narrow vision of education. The unsustainable restricted schedule of learning between the hours of 9-3 came to a screeching halt when I said, “Sit down, I will not dismiss you until it’s quiet.”

I watched my two sons lower their eyes, droop in posture, and their natural love of learning fade into obedient, yet mechanical voices that quietly murmured, “Yes, mom.”

To this day, their deflated responses haunt me and has set me on a mission to foster a love of learning in my children and students. My journey led me to Charlotte Mason, Dorothy and Raymond Moore, John Holt , Jessica Hulcy and so many others who shaped present day homeschooling educational theories. I gleaned from their ideas and applied what worked for our family and left unused ideas for others. I was delighted to discover educational paths that provided gentler ways to pass on knowledge to the next generation. My former models of education tipped, spilled over, and slowly dribbled down the drain.

Only then, you know, that you know

After a few short weeks, we abandoned the schoolroom with tidy desks all in a row for the kitchen table and couch, the scratchy chalkboard for a notebook, and the teacher directing every move for a mentoring mom. I kept the fresh crayons and glue paste.

Changing your mindset helps you grow

Over the years, I can use one word to describe our schoolroom-mobile. Our children’s school books and school supplies needed to be “self-contained” and ready to be transported anywhere our learning or life would take us.

Each child had:
One bookbag/box (containing all core subjects)
One box of school supplies (containing scissors, tape, markers, fresh crayons, and glue paste, etc.)

For many years, this set-up worked well: a sturdy milk crate for all core subject books and a fishing tackle box for school supplies. It was simple and mobile.

Homeschool schoolroom

Our adaptable schoolroom worked well in various situations:

*Small living quarters (10 people living in a 1700 square foot home)
*Mom on strict bedrest for two months while incubating our sixth child
*Living with another homeschool family of five while our home was being built
*Mom working at our church’s cafe when we needed to pay a few extra bills
*Library research days-which is where we would camp out at our local library for the day.
*Most recently, attending homeschool conventions and film shoots for Here To Help Learning

BusyGirl is the last of eight children, and we have yet to change our mobile schoolroom. Although I will admit, we changed it up by adding a little style (a polka-dot fabric school bag instead of the milk crate) and by advancing with the tech generation (a laptop is a necessary part of our school supplies).

Our new additions make our schoolroom even more portable, especially for those 18,000-mile (nope…not a typo) car rides.

homeschool schoolroom

What’s in BusyGirl’s school bag?

homeschool schoolroom

She uses a zippered make-up case for her school supplies. It hangs nicely on the back of a car seat or chair.
Williamsburg Colonial Magazine (pleasure reading)
Johnny Tremain (At least one book of choice for her free reading time)
One composition book for each subject

homeschool schoolroom
I love composition notebooks for our notebooking activities. They’re small enough to fit a pile of them in her bag. The paper is stitched together which prevents papers from escaping. When she reaches the end of the notebook, she simply adds another one.

Assignment Notebook (with puppy cover-her choice)

homeschool schoolroom

Assignments: The first section of her assignment book is where I place her daily assignment sheet. I always make my own on a computer document. Alpha Omega SOS (See my curriculum post) has pre-programmed assignments that work well. You can even add other subjects to their program. However, I prefer to add her projects and daily activities to her assignment notebook. She also logs in how much time she spends on each subject. These checklists also provide additional accountability so I can quickly see how she spends her time.

homeschool schoolroom

Quick Reference Language Charts: The second section is where I place a copy of Here to Help Learning’s Quick Reference Language Charts Guide. Even though she has graduated from Here to Help Learning’s Writing Program, she still uses the 26 page guide to look up her quick questions about punctuation or grammar. You can get your free copy here.

homeschool schoolroom

Writing Tips: The third section of her assignment book is her writer’s notebook. Great writers keep a notebook. This is her place to jot down ideas, unusual ways of describing things, beautifully worded sentences, or any other writing tidbits. A writer’s notebook helps BusyGirl grow as a writer. Each week she has to add to this section and we often share our “knowledge nuggets“.

Family: The fourth section is all about family. She keeps a list of birthdays and other family celebrations. And in the very back of her assignment notebook, she has a time zone chart of the United States, which comes in very handy when your a student zigzagging across the United States.

I need to be mobile too! What’s in my school bag?

homeschool schoolroom

In my school box, I keep answer keys, computer screen cleaner, my Bible, and my pleasure reading book. As you can see I am a history/science nerd. I also have an iPad for additional pleasure reading and for connecting with Here to Help Learning homeschool moms via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Tucked into my mobile schoolroom is also my journal that includes my writer’s notebook and my written goals.

The red folder is my HSLDA– What to do in case a government official challenges our right to homeschool” emergency folder. In the pockets, I keep all the documents that California (our home state) requires. Years ago, I taped HSLDA’s printout, Just in Case to the front of the folder. It gives me quick instructions on how to respond if an official calls or knocks at our door. I also staple a copy of our membership to the inside of the folder. I am grateful we have never had to use their service. Prayer, HSLDA, and my red folder give me peace of mind to homeschool.
Protect your family! Join HSLDA today!

Thanks for visiting our schoolroom.

It’s fun to share homeschooling ideas, and I thank you for letting me share ours.

Blessed are the adaptable homeschool schoolrooms for they shall learn more!

I’m going to keep blog hopping and visit some other homeschool moms on the iHomeschool Network .Why don’t you join me?

From Our Home to Yours,



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