While I adore my darling little cottage, built in 1920, I will be the first to admit that it's small for a family of six. Generally, I think this is a positive thing. It teaches us to use manners, and to share. Sometimes, though, it makes it difficult to find space to do the things we want to do, particularly with a curious, marauding baby on the loose.
Curly chose a beginner's needlepoint kit as one of the projects to learn to do this fall. Secretly, I was thrilled, since I love to sew and do creative projects. She quickly found that she needed to work on it where Bean couldn't grab the yarn and eat it; for instance, she was found crouching on a table here.
We also decided to create a school room. The only space available was in my bedroom, which is a little unfortunate, but I was willing to donate the space for a good cause. We wanted a place for the kids to be able to work on their art projects or workbook pages when they so chose. I also voted for using this space, because it has more daylight than other parts of the house, and there is an intuitive part of me that loves having daylight when a person is learning.
We also wanted the computers to be upstairs again. We had them in the basement playroom all year last year. The problem with this was that the kids did not get enough support with doing things like logging into pages or updating Flash.
Our learning will still be unscheduled and mostly child-led, and we'll still involve a lot of hands-on outdoor learning. This school area is not intended to be limiting to the kids, but merely to be another resource and place for them to be. So far, they are wild with excitement about it, and they go in there whenever they have the chance. Little Mister, in particular, eats up workbooks like candy, and is on page 16 of his new Grade 1 Complete book that features reading, spelling, math etc. Several times, I have found him in there busily working away on it.