Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Our School Room

Our schoolroom. Above Pauline's head is our condensed timeline, from Adam and Eve to the present day in just one long line.
(Timeline available from Rod & Staff Publishers, 606-522-4348; they are not online).
We used to have the school room in the basement by a fireplace, but not enough light gets in down there, and, it's just cozier upstairs. Upstairs we can smell the good smells coming from the kitchen, hear the dryer buzzer, and answer the door if someone comes knocking. (Don't want to miss that UPS delivery -- big excitement for us homeschoolers!)
We purchased four old-fashioned school desks very cheaply from our old Mennonite school. They said to just give a donation -- I think it was about $10 a desk, maybe $15.

Above the picture starts our "countdown line" Pauline and I made of our days in school, starting at Day 1 and ending with graduation on Day 180. (We got this idea from the old Mennonite school the children were enrolled in one year -- it was like one of those one-room Amish schools -- very sweet). You can see we've had 10 days of school so far. We take down a sticker for each school day completed. We have books for September and autumn leaves for October.
Here it continues with pumpkins for November. The countdown helps us to stay on track in our homeschool, and doesn't let us get too far behind. Also helps us to visualize the goal, and how much work we've already done.
Here begin the gingerbread men for December and into January with snowmen (Drew snuck in a Stormtrooper in disguise amongst the snowmen that you can notice only if you look closely - he was a Star Wars geek when he was little, and, well, he always has a little science-fictioney thing going on in his grown-up head).
In the corner begins the tulips and daffodils for February (they come up early here in the south), kites for March, crosses for April (Easter, you know), with raindrops for May.
And lastly, butterflies for June, and then, Day 180 -- graduation (that's a diploma). They actually argue over who's going to be the lucky one to take the number for the day. What fun.
Here's our serious timeline. :) I designed this one to show 1,000 years a strip, ending with modern times at the top, so we could grasp the bigger scheme of history. What a sobering thought to think how small our little bit of time is compared to the great scheme of things! Not to mention eternity -- reminds me of these words to a hymn, a prayer to God taken from Psalm 90, that touch my heart deeply every time I hear, read, or pray them:

"Teach me, O Lord, to number my days,
That I may apply unto wisdom my heart;
I am but a man, my years are but a day:
Short will be my stand, and brief will be my stay,
And I will not again, e'er pass along this way.

Teach me, O Lord, to number my days,
And let me be wholly devoted to Thee,
To daily increase Thy praise.
Life is like the sand, soon trickled through the glass:
Flowers we appear, to perish as the grass;
A thousand years with Thee, as yesterday is past.

Teach me, O Lord, to number my days,
And satisfy early my deep yearning heart,
That I may rejoice always.
Three-score years and ten are all our lives may hold:
Fleeting years we spend, a tale so quickly told;
And judgment meets us then our Maker we behold."

Teach us, O Lord, to number our days.


Whenever we study a person or historical event, we put them or it up on the timeline. We have a lot that we've studied already but haven't put up on the timeline yet -- hopefully we'll get to that in the next few weeks.
Close-up of timeline (that's Ghandi there wearing blue, sitting beside India).

Another close-up. (Great Wall of China and Eratosthenes calculating the earth's circumference).

And that's the Path of Life schoolroom, complete with bug collections. Of course, our learning extends much farther than just our little schoolroom -- with maps and a globe in the living room, little libraries throughout the house, ongoing experiments and projects extending to the outdoors, and -- a lifetime of learning and adventure waiting to be discovered throughout God's whole earth! Education knows no bounds. Thanks for visiting! I'd love to hear your comments, and see what ideas you have for organizing school!


Gina said...

I love the countdown you have-what a great (and fun) idea to keep you focused on how far you have come.

Anonymous said...

Very neat classroom. I love the idea of a countdown. Where do your children store their school books? It all looks very organized. Nice job.


Anonymous said...

I found your blog from The Nester. Thanks for the schoolroom pics. I love to peek inside to other houses to gain inspiration. I had a question, would you be willing to share your timeline file with me? I have been looking for something EXACTLY like you have. If you want to me email me, my address is

Thanks much,

Vane Family said...

We store our daily/current schoolbooks in the desks. Each desk has a handy little storage box hanging down the left side, as well as the storage underneath. As for books not currently in use, but still for this year, we store in a built-in shelving unit which was intended for china and linens! I'll post some pics of them soon. :) Jimi Ann

Vane Family said...

To Kim, my husband had the timelines plotted at his office (he's an engineer). I definitely would be willing if I knew how! I'll see what we can do. :) JA

Karen said...

I love your schoolroom! It is so neat and organized...and I really like your countdown line--what a neat idea!

Samantha said...

I want a timeline that big!!

Marcy McSwain said...

Hi Jimi Ann, Marcy McSwain from good ol' Lincolnton, NC. Been thinking about u lately. Decided to do a search and found ur blog. Hope all is well. Sure do miss u guys. Love ur timeline, but especially ur schoolroom. You always were so creative. Tell Drew I said hello and ask the kids if they remember us. GOD BLESS, Marcy