We have experienced a lot of change in our homeschool this year, mainly with curriculum. They are all good changes and have stirred some excitement in our household. For this curriculum junky it has been a wild ride!
Other than new curriculum, I have added 3 new things to our school room this year. One is practical and the other two are fun. Actually my kids and I think the practical one is fun too.
Last year I found myself on an endless search for pencils in our house only to find them “lost” in the dark holes of my oldest sons’ room. Once I would find them they were always dull. I cannot stand dull pencils. I know, horrible problem, right? This year I decided that not only did I need to get a lot more pencils so if Corbin wanted to stash (or forget about) pencils in the depths of his room, it would be ok because we would have others. Then, I needed to solve the problem of our constantly dull pencils. Last year we tried to sharpen them with the little rinky dink handheld sharpeners only to break the lead off and have to sit there for five more minutes trying again! For a type A driven person like me wasting time sharpening pencils and breaking lead did not fit into my box.
Enter the Electric Pencil sharpener! Cue the Angels singing. I never thought I would write paragraphs about sharpening pencils but let me tell you, this addition to our schoolroom has been well used and so much fun. I know, I am a dork (do they even say that word anymore?) Sometimes just for fun I sharpen all our colored pencils just to see all the sharp tips. Again, I know I am a dork. My kids love the sharpener too except when I interrupt Corbin’s computer math lesson because he can’t hear due to all the sharpening going on. It has been a great addition to our homeschool.
The second and third things I added this year are Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty and blue and yellow Skwooshi. I have one very kinisthetic and visual learner and another who is a deep thinker but likes to be moving. These have become the perfect addition to our everyday school here. I found them at a homeschool conference my husband and I went to. The Thinking Putty is similar in texture to what silly putty is but the cool part of this putty is that it is hypercolor. It changes color with heat. I have even used it with my Kindergartner to create letters on the table and work on sounds with him. They make several other kinds of this putty too that all have different effects. We all really love having something in our hands we can fiddle with while we are thinking.
The Skwooshi has a feeling like no other. It is almost like soft sand and when you stretch it Skwooshi has a fuzzy texture. Then when you squish it back together again or put it on a flat surface it feels really smooth. I can’t stop playing with this one. It is fun to roll around in my hands and pull apart and squish. I don’t know who likes these toys more, me or my kiddos! We play with these daily in our classroom and they have been a great addition rather than a distraction. I have noticed a lot of creativity going on while playing with these new toys.
Do you have any fun items you have in your schoolroom or that you use in your school days? I would love to hear about the things you do. I get excited to hear new ideas!