Classroom Set-Up: Back to Relaxed Mormon Homeschool

It is that time of year again. School teachers and Homeschool moms are very busy right now. It is time to plan for the upcoming academic year of 2017-18. It will be another new and exciting academic year for all of us. It is a very exciting time of year. It is a time to start fresh and look forward to newness and think of how things will be different this year. There is always a hope that each year will be better, easier. There is a great aspiration to have a better set-up which will make finding things easier, which will make us able to do things we do repeatedly and often, more efficiently, and which will make everyone feel in the mood to enjoy togetherness, make friends (or become closer as a family), learn and do school work.

I am well aware that public school and charter school teachers are getting ready as well as homeschool moms like me. My parents were public school teachers until they retired, and I know they were starting to prepare for the new academic year at this time. In my local school district, the first teacher contract day is in a week and a day. Generally, my mom and dad worked at least 3-4 days not on their contract, before the school year began. It is likely that this coming Monday, many Weber County School District teachers will show up at their school, unlock their classroom which has rested from teacher eyes all summer, and will sigh, stare at the walls and cabinets and wonder where they will start in setting up their classrooms.

I remember all those years helping my mom and dad set up. Even for me, as a child and as an adult, it was exciting. I loved making sure all the new pencils were sharpened, and that every desk had a name label, a spelling book, a math book, a science book, a language arts book and a social studies book, along with a new pencil, a new ruler and a new box of pencils. Now I am a homeschool mom teaching my large family of children preschool through tenth this year. I have purchased many school supplies. I have yet to purchase more needed supplies, but for the most part, I have the supplies. We have one table in the homsechool room, so I do not set books there or put name labels on for the kids. I put books and supplies in the homeschool cabinets, lined up and organized nicely, ready for what we will be studying this year.

I have switched out the science focus. Although I hired out for science, I have science books in the homeschool room for when I say that today, I want them to pick a non-fiction science, geography or history book and read it, or when, for language arts, I want them to use non-fiction books to do a research report.

When my public school teacher parents were getting ready for the new year, there was much de-junking and organizing. There wasn’t recycling. They only had garbage cans, but much went into the trash. My homeschool room has to be newly de-junked and papers filed and put away or recycled. I have one full box of school papers my mom gave me and one full blue bin of papers I put in the bin from all the years of homeschooling combined. I have to go through them. Don Aslett called it “the paper tiger” in his book about de-cluttering the office. A homeschool room is very much like an office, but we do have a separate room for the office.  It is needed for my homeschool file cabinet, homeschool workbooks I photocopy, my computer and pur 4-in-1 machine which photocopies, scans and prints. 

I am also making plans for creating more for other teachers to use in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. All of you who are reading this and who have created any tool for a teacher to use (public school teachers, charter school teachers and homeschool teachers) may wish to open a Teachers Pay Teachers store and sell the tools they have made. You can sign up here. It is free to start, (although you will make more money per item if you have a paid annual plan).

Teachers pay teachers referral link

Kayse Morris: Teachers Pay Teachers, for beginners (How to make it look good so it will 

Just make what you need for your own family or classroom 

Suggested Blogposts:

Whole House Home Ed Organization

Homeschool Dailies
LDS Homeschooling
Transgenderism and Homosexuality in Utah Schools Starting with 2017-18
Humanism is a Religion


EVERYONE Helping EVERYONE with the Housekeeping by Each Doing their Parts they Can

In my humble opinion, giving kids extra duties as punishments, is bound to make them associate housework with having done something wrong, and, is, therefore, going to make them feel as if it is a method of your “picking on” them. For this reason, I do not punish kids by giving them chores.

In addition, Don Aslett books suggest not saying simple things most moms say, which I still catch myself saying, such as, “please help me to clean…” Even having your husband refrain from saying, “We all need to help mom more,” suggests it is mom’s job and everyone in the family has to help her, since she is incapable or lazy about doing her own job. Our culture needs to change phrase by phrase.

Instead, you can replace it with something like, “Let’s all do our parts in keeping the home livable.” Your husband can even use the same phrase. “Everyone helps the family to be happy by everyone pitching in to help EVERYONE.” Just try not to say, “Help mom.”

It is not mom’s job to clean the house. It is not mom’s job to do laundry. It is not mom’s job to do yard care. It is not mom’s job to do child care (unless everyone else in house is too young). It is not mom’s job to do the grocery or clothes or any kind of shopping. It is not mom’s job to cook. It is not mom’s job to get ready to go places. Everyone pitches in with everything they can. Assigned or owned jobs, by mom or by dad, are bad ideas.

Homeschooling & De-Junking the books (or de-cluttering the bookshelves)

Some people believe that all books should be kept. Especially if the household home educates. I am not sure where I fit in.

On one hand, books are a necessary part of educating myself and the kids, so they have to be around. On the other hand, I am a Don Aslett De-Junker, who loves to create more space. Space is amazing, and it is something we pay good money for. If you go to a real estate site and look at how much more valuable, houses with more square footage, including the garage, are, you’ll agree. Space is valuable, and houses are listed for $1,000 more, over time, with interest, for 5 more square feet of home.

So call me crazy, but, this home educating mom is prepping for the next local curriculum sale not by saving money, but by gathering books to sell. This is a mom who is fed up with the lack of space.

Truth be told, it is space I’ve had for the past 3 months, when these books have been in taped up boxes, while we’ve been trying to sell this house, so that we can pay $70,000 more than what ours would sell for, to get another 500 to 1,000 square feet to put more books into.

I loved not having as many books to sift through these past 3 months. Now that I have opened the boxes, I am thinking “AHHHHH! I can’t do this! Free me from the prison of junky books!” Because of this, I am rethinking this. Which books will we really use in the next 5 years? Which do I dream the kids will use, but know in my heart, they won’t? Which do I know we won’t use within 5 years?

Some, I will not use in the coming year. I will use them the following year or in some future year. We focused on biology this year. That means I can put away the biology books and get out the books for next year’s science focus: Space, Earth and Physical Science. This sounds  crazy to some home ed moms, who would rather I left all science out. However, I am me, and this is MY HOUSE, and I will do what I want. Not a great argument? Well, it has to be good enough and I have to stop fretting over what the other home ed moms think and be myself.

For me, it will be liberating. I have to eat lunch, though. I have been sifting books a lot today and I am shaky. I need nutrition. I have fresh broccoli and fresh mushrooms upstairs, calling to me.