John Paul II Academy
(Just a corner in our home? Or is it?)
Over these many years homeschooling we have lived in 15 houses.
One word will have to suffice for this explanation... military.
I have had entire rooms to create a classroom. I've had a classroom in the basement, a dining room classroom, a spare bedroom classroom. I've also had zero extra space and no room to create a separate classroom. The full on classrooms were fun, more fun for me than even the kids at times. I loved creating the space. Do not discount your preferences in how your space looks. You have to be there too! So long as it is not in direct opposition to what works for your child.
This is my son's desk, located in his room. So much learning happens in this space! He is an inventor (note the toolbox) He is an artist. He spends 9/10 of his day making stop animation movies, building inventions, writing comics, creating art, and working in robotics. He has a Lego EV3 robot and it was the best investment! He's 13. This is how I imagine Steve Jobs or Bill Gates worked at this age.
Yes, his desk is painted in a Minecraft design. Perks of having a mom who does this work! I have never once had to tell this child to go create something or build something. More often than not, I have to tell him to STOP and come eat dinner. Or shower, which you may not realize is the bane of a 13 year old boys' existence.
One entire wall of his room is chalkboard paint. Probably, next to his Minecraft desk, one of his favorite elements of his room. It's his design wall. You can see a design he working on right now. You might well note that on the wall he has spelled 'gear' wrong, he has 'gere' - spelling is rather low on his list of priorities when he is working. It's not his strength, so you will notice the spelling power book on his bookshelf pictured below :/ Interestingly, his father is a field engineer, brilliant, talented... I am his personal spellchecker :) Our boy is a chip off the ol' block.
Now, THIS is my favorite classroom.
I designed this outdoor space so that we could work one on one.
Would you like this as your office?
A significant portion of our reading, documentary watching, talking and interacting happens here. Usually with our dog, who is quite the conversationalist. In the winter, there is a fire in the fireplace and the space is warm and cozy and amazing. In the summer, it's cool, and relaxing.
Welcome to my workshop, it's actually spacious and organized but stuff is sort of piled in, because finished pieces need to go to our warehouse for the big show in September. William loves to work out here with me. We spend a lot of time together in here working. It's temperature controlled, it has cable, and a dvd, a fridge. It's fairly awesome, and in the process of being painted and made even more awesome.
Our Culinary Classroom - lol. All people must know how to cook, I refuse to burden my future daughters-in-law with men who cannot help out in the kitchen. So we spend some time in here together. My daughter uses this kitchen for her bakery business and it is another classroom in our home.
And, in the interest of full disclosure. This is how my homeschool son spent his morning. Playing an old Nintendo with Anthony. I call this "old school". Spending time with people you love is an integral piece of our puzzle. You might think this is goofing off. But he and Anthony are discussing all kinds of things as they sit here. He's building a relationship as men do, faced forward, focused on something outside themselves. One lesson learned here - the elders get the comfy chair!
You have just been given a partial tour of John Paul II Academy. For the rest of the tour, you'll need to come experience the bike trails of Madison County with us. You'll have to go on the road to all the National Monuments, Museums and Historical Landmarks. You will have to tour the city with us, and cheer our Cardinals on in Busch Stadium. You'll have to worship with us at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis each week. The experience is a beautiful adventure. One I wouldn't miss for anything in the whole world.