Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Official Room of Learning

Many homeschoolers have their own "classroom" set aside at home, others have desks in a corner, or the ubiquitous kitchen table. Here at Chez BlueSkies, we have the bathroom. Yep, apparently, that's our official room of learning. I find the darndest things in there. Of course, there has always been DH's magazine rack and lately stacks of books, my daughter's plastic horses with their brushes and accoutrements, occasionally a tupperware bowl full of water with some bits of nature, sponges, shells, tinfoil boats, or other flotsam in it, and a Spiderman comic book or two. But this week, I've been finding ever-more-interesting items every time I use the bathroom. A globe, propped in front of the toilet after my daughter disappeared in there for half an hour or so ("I was bored while I was going potty and just wanted to look at some places"); a metronome and a kitchen timer; a stack of grid paper, filled in with numbers and strange symbols, obviously some coded device of my son's; and a large magnifying glass (I won't ask exactly what it was being used to examine, perhaps I don't want to know).

So in our household, you won't find children sitting neatly at the dining room table filling in their workbooks. But if the bathroom door is closed, that's where the real learning action is apparently to be found.

8 comments:

heymom said...

That is so funny! We have a bathroom quite the same!

Laurie said...

Speaking of cluttered bathrooms, how does your family handle the wanting-to-encourage-exploration while wanting-a-somewhat-tidy-house? I'm not a clean freak by any means but it seems that when I do get the chance to clean, everything is cluttered with 'science experiments' or books that are propped face down to hold the current page or a new half made Lego construction. I find that when I try to clean around these things, I get easily frustrated. I'd love to hear another unschooler's thoughts on the subject.

Robin said...

That's a really good question/discussion topic. I want a sign for my house that says "People live here. Children learn here. Excuse the ongoing construction." or something like that, LOL. It can be really hard, especially since my husband is a bit of a neat freak and clutter drives him crazy. Trying to keep a balance between supporting exploration, and a need to not be walking over science and art experiments to eat at the dining room table can be tough!

In general, we try to keep the living/dining area relatively clean on a regular basis - pick up any projects that aren't ongoing, etc. We have a lot of portable bins and such for the Legos, so they can easily be transported back to rooms with construction intact. At the same time, if there is interest in keeping something out for awhile, we accomodate that too (like my son had the dining room table covered with an electronics experiment for quite a few days).

Chris Moonbeams said...

Hi there, I was surfing the internet and I found your blog. I like the way how this all works. I'll come by again.

Many thanks,

binoculars for birding

threekidsthreedogs said...

Heehee....
I'll try to remember this the next time I find sand in the sink! (Ongoing occurence at our house, lately)
Thanks, Stephanie

Christi said...

Nice story. We have a "school room" It has never been used for that and I keep saying "craftroom" instead. But really it is just a giant closet for all our supplies. Time to think of a new crazy interesting - get it to stick room name.

~DanaB~ said...

So refreshing to meet other folks with a bathroom like ours LOL! We've even had the globe in there as well!! Wonderful to find you out here in blogland!

~~

bacwoodz said...

I love this post! Our bathroom is filled as well. Right now we have a plastic basket filled with cars, rubber seas animals, "experiments" of various mixtures of body glitter, bath soap and lotion & toothpaste. Try that out one morning! Yuck! Mad libs books! Apparently Lex and Brianna do these while one is in the tub -

It is fun to observe all this!