Do you remember that part in Sister Act 2 when Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) quotes Rainer Maria Wilke from " Letters to a Young Poet" to Rita (played by Lauryn Hill):
"If, when you wake up in the morning, you can think of nothing but writing... then you are a writer. I'm going to say the same thing to you. When you wake up in the morning and you can't think of anything but singing first, then you're supposed to be a singer girl."
I think of this part of this nostalgic movie and quote all the time because I have been dreaming & thinking of something for the longest time and not giving it enough weight to spring into action for it.
What have you been dreaming about, or had in your heart, or been waking up to the thought of most if not every.single,day?
I'll let you in on mine.
I've been thinking of homeschooling my kids since my daughter, who is 6 years old now, was born. For one reason or another, I didn't have the confidence in myself to follow through with it, but it has never left me.
Enter Covid-19, quarantine/social distancing, zoom classroom life. We took this time in which we were forced to change our ways and instead of lamenting how much our life changed over night, we chose to look at it as a blessing to finally do all the things we've always wanted to, but never "had the time for" or "didn't have the energy for", etc.
The first step to this was sorting through all the toys in our home that just weren't serving us anymore; putting some toys away to rotate in & out of the room, gifting some and donating others.
Then I found all my boxes of old school supplies and brought them out, sorted books, rearranged furniture... did what I could with what we have on hand right now.
You know what we found out? We had a lot to launch us into learning-at-home during this Coronavirus quarantine.
Check out what we did:
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Top tips to start converting your playroom today:
1. Get Inspired!
Reading articles like this and watching great YouTube tutorials are a great way to start getting inspired for your big project. In January 2019 there was a Netflix special that came out with Marie Kondo, the Japanese organization guru. It seemed like everyone who saw the episodes was instantly inspired to organize. Before starting your own organization in your one day homeschool room, it's a great idea to get inspired first. Watching some episodes of "Tidying Up With Marie Kondo" specifically the episodes that highlight organizing kids items, reading one of the several books Marie Kondo has written or even just browsing Pinterest for some ideas is a great way to get the creative organization juices flowing.
2. Start small
Seriously, just start with one cubbie, shelf, box, etc. I can't tell you how accomplished you will feel once you tackle the overflowing box of crayons, markers, colored pencils and pencils! I loved it so much that I took it a step further and color sorted the color pencils ala Montessori style. Even the kids loved the color sorting. This sort of organizer or the like invites you and your kiddos to draw more and keep the colors sorted and organized rather than placing them all together in a box. Plus it's a nice visual in your homeschool room.
3. Get the family involved
Something clicks within a child when they help organize the space they're going to be using and enjoying. Practically, they'll know where everything is, why it is organized in a certain way, how to put things away properly after using, and most of all pride in themselves that they know how to keep their space clean.
Incorporating kids can be pretty stressful for the parent though, so keep that in mind when you start. Take deep breaths, give them a work area, and allot extra time with the small ones who will inevitably turn organization time into play time. Redirect their efforts after they've played a bit and get them started again.
Also, it's not only ok to start small with kids too, but most probably the best way to get them involved. Every day have a small task or area that is their responsibility to tackle and show them how you would like it to be and explain why. Then you have to let them do it. Giving kids small goals and allowing them to accomplish them is a great lesson for them and for us parents in independence, self-accomplishment, and leadership.
3. Move furniture around
Moving furniture around always seems to breathe new life into a room making it feel like a completely different room. Also, practically speaking, it helps you vacuum out all the corners of the room that need some TLC.
Sometimes, after moving furniture around, you might feel like the furniture you currently have fits the room best where it was already. That's ok! Put it right back where it was knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that this room has the best flow possible. That is a great accomplishment!
Can I just say, I love seeing space on the shelves. Seeing space feels like there's room to breathe, room to savor, room to grow. The minute that the kids realized that I was changing things around they joined in and one of the things Chiara, my 6 yr old, said to me was, "Wow mama, this room feels lighter!" Yes, yes it does sweet girl.
Since we filmed the above YouTube video, the room has actually continued to grow with more supplies, our chosen homeschool curriculum, books and learning tools. I'll post the next stage to this evolution soon once all our curriculum is in for next year. I hope that our constant growth and organization helps inspire you to tackle your own special home learning areas.
So, tell me.... are you dying for kids to be allowed back in schools again to send your kiddos back to their amazing teachers or are you jumping head first into homeschooling and becoming a teacher yourself?
Edited to add:
We made further improvements to our homeschool space! Follow the journey as we organize our homeschool with the latest Ambleside Online Charlotte Mason Curriculum.
Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!