Sunday, August 12, 2007

School Supplies: I Hung A Few Things

Since one of my goals this school year is to be a little more multisensory, and since I have a whole schoolroom to decorate now, and full ink cartridges in the printer, I spent the weekend making and hanging maps, charts, little blurb-like biographies, a timeline, and the State Song of Texas. (In between coughing and naps. I am recovering from a cold.)

Please bear with me while I give minute and painful details as to what went up. I have been without a dedicated space for school, lo! this many (okay, only this past) year. (Will you put up with me if I provide some links?)

Triss is doing Year 7 this year, and since that is a lot of British geography and history, I hung maps of England, Wales, Scotland, and even Northern Ireland/Ireland.

I never feel like we know enough about our adopted state of Texas, so I hung several maps of Texas, including this one, and this one, and this one, and this one-- all conveniently marked with You Are Here dots. One map I am not linking to is the one of our specific city area, so the girls can see where we our home is in relation to the places we go regularly. I also put up the names of the different regions of TX, the state song, and the state flag.

Flushed with success, I took this timeline of Texas history and copied it into Word, reformatting it with clip art for each date. I hung that outside of the girls' bath. (They spend a lot of time there staring at the walls, waiting for one of their sisters to give up the bathroom. We have two Doorposts posters in the same hall for their reading enjoyment, the Go To The Ant Chart and the Brother Offended Checklist. These have had the same places on the wall for the past four years. I wonder how much the girls notice them nowadays. I nearly took them down, but then recalled that Cornflower has only recently begun that insatiable reading of anything posted phase-- she only just burst into reading this year-- so I will leave them up a little longer.)

Inside the girls' bath we have a map of the United States, showing state capitals, and a map-of-the-world shower curtain.

I relocated three large posters that help us identify trees by their bark, leaves and trees (order these for free), and moved a poster of our national anthem as well.

I redid our art study frame in the entry, and put the first painting of the term into it.

S4023932 Rotated

Not my best job of cropping and matting, but it'll do. We generally use the painting as wallpaper on the computer too. I put up Leonardo da Vinci's self-portrait and a portion of text from Sister Wendy's Story of Painting in the schoolroom, as well as the list of his works we will be studying this term. And maps of Italy (where he was born) and France (where he died).

I have a stack of biographical blurbs, pictures and lists of musical pieces to hang as soon as we get Mariel's room sign off the door to the schoolroom. Yes, The Mighty Handful will have a place of distinction, and I have Mrs. Happy Housewife to thank, as I used her composer study lesson plan to find resources.

I posted an official Policy for Unplanned Activity on the pantry door, in order to circumvent arguments when I must become the Cruel Queen and insist that rooms be clean, zones be presentable and schoolwork be finished before they take advantage of last-minute invitations anywhere. I also simplified the zone chore sheets and added clip art. I'm really having fun with the clip art.

We sit at the computer to read Plutarch (which for me is often like walking blind through an unknown land). On the computer armoire door we have a map of Roman Dominions in the Late Republic, and a map of Greek Political Alliances-- this is actually a better map than the one we have. These two maps have hung here for a year. Our current Greek map has the alliances of Sparta and Athens crossed and we have to remind ourselves not to look at the key to keep from getting mixed up.

To these I added a diagram of the Government of the United States-- a little small and hard to read, but better than nothing. I wanted to hang the list of Roman government offices, but decided our own government was more important. Instead, we will read them aloud and refer to the online list as needed..

Tonight I printed out pictures and definitions of geography terms, and am trying to think where I should hang them. (I printed my chart from Enchanted Learning, as we have a membership, but I cannot locate it outside the members' site. I think this will be a good resource for us when I need something "schoolish" to keep Cornflower occupied, or to reemphasize a skill or concept with Mariel. They have a very cool pirate map activity that I will be printing when Mariel reads about pirates this year.) I have a nifty idea for a special "Bird of the Week" display, since Cornflower and I will be reading the Burgess Bird Book this year. And I want to hang the children's recitation assignments in several prominent places as well, once I decide on them.

Can you say hyperfocus?


Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

Great post. Thanks so much for the link to the tree posters and booklet. We're going to spend the whole year studying trees for nature study and this will be very helpful. I love all your maps. Maps are so much fun. I'm glad you found the composer lessons useful. Hope you feel better soon.

Mother Auma said...

Well, I'm glad I was able to help you a little as well! I saw that you had your songs for the year up at your website, and I am going to go over there a little later and check out your links. I sure appreciate it when you detail your Internet finds for us!

Javamom said...


I posted more info about Jane Austen's infatuations/interests in men, based on a bio hubby had in our library.

Speaking of the hyperfocus in my life today, LOL.

Mother Auma said...

Thanks for letting me know, Javamom! I went over and read it. I am a little surprised to realize that I have never in my life read a Jane Austen biography. Except the little ones that appear in the fronts of her novels. Once I have conquered the Year 7 reading list, I will have to scope one out!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You must have a wonderful space!
Thanks for all the great links to check out. I'm definitely going to check out the trees posters.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know more about the wildflowers of the great state of Texas, you can get a nice poster and some activities free from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. They have some activities on-line also.
The Alamo also has some free things for educators (or did several years ago)as does the State Capitol in Austin.
Good Luck!
A Fellow Texan

JoAnn said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing all the links.

Have a blessed day!

Mother Auma said...

Thanks for the tip, Anonymous! I went over to the Ladybird Johnson site right away, and they have plenty of pdfs for those of us studying flowers:

I decided to print some out then and there... but my black ink cartridge is dry. Too much printing this week, I guess. I printed Plutarch lesson plans and an entire ebook as well as my maps and things. Time to go shopping for ink cartridges!

JacciM said...

Enjoyed your blog tonight :) We're a CM family, too - getting started with my oldest daughter in AO Year One. We have 3 others little blessings. Thanks for the fun (and detailed) post! Hope you have some great days this fall :)

Elizabeth B said...

Do you have any bare wall left anywhere?

Mother Auma said...

jaccim, my youngest is doing Year 1 this year too!

elizabeth b, I actually do have bare wall still, amazingly enough! Since I have been putting up printouts from the computer, nothing is bigger than 8 1/2 by 11 (the exceptions are the few posters). Several of these things have gone on closet or room doors also.

(And the only things up in the main room of my house are the things on the doors of the computer armoire-- everything else is in the school room, a hall, a couple things in the kitchen, and the girls' bathroom. Our living/dining room still look like regular living areas, thankfully.)

Christina said...

I'd love to see the text for your Unplanned Activity Policy!

Mother Auma said...

Well, it's nothing very impressive, and hasn't yet been tried in the fire, if you know what I mean. I am hoping having something up in writing will help me be strong when the kids really want to do something and I really want to let them but they have been neglecting things.

(Honestly, I would rather just give in.)

Here it is:

"IF you would like to do something unplanned, such as have a friend over or go to a friend's house, the following must first be reasonably completed:

1. Bedroom clean
2. Your zone presentable
3. Schoolwork of the day completed.
4. Musical instrument practice completed

And the following must have been consistently observed during the day:

1. Loving attitude toward others
2. Respectful and obedient to parents."

We'll see how it works this year.

Javamom said...

I like the unplanned activity policy, my friend! It's simple, yet effective! I'm very proud of you trying to balance your life. It shows!

Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

The tree posters arrived today. They're great! Thanks again for posting the link.