Monday, October 22, 2012

Down Home Tour: Jill Talley

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

This past Saturday several parents attended our 2nd annual Down Home Tour, visiting three SLOCA family homes for a day of inspiration, encouragement, and suggestions on how to set up your home school space. This was followed by a delicious lunch catered by Urbane Cafe, during which the group shared ideas and engaged in a directed discussion of homeschooling topics. It was a wonderful time of community building, problem solving, laughing together, and supporting each other. 

The tour began at Jill and Todd Talley’s home. The Talleys are a Track A family in their 4th year at SLOCA, with three children: Karena (Intermediate), Violet (Primary) and Daniel (Kindergarten). Jill also serves on our Board of Directors.

Jill has a homeschool room, but also emphasizes her desire to have a rich home environment that encourages learning in many different ways, something that was modeled to her by her own mom. She encourages homeschool parents to “play to your strengths”, which in her case is communication and organization. She has set up systems throughout her homeschool space that clearly communicate to the kids what is to be done, how, where, for how long, etc, so that they know exactly what is expected and don’t need lots of talking or explanation from mom. 

Jill uses the workbox system to keep assignments organized for each child. All materials needed are included in the boxes, or labeled to show where the needed materials are. She also laminates 3x5 cards and then writes instructions (taken right from the grid) on them with a wet-erase marker, to include in each box that requires an explanation. 


(click to enlarge)

Pictured above:
1. File folder games and interactive posters are just a couple of the activities Jill uses to keep everyone learning together, in a purposeful, focused way.
2. Current books are displayed with the covers facing out, making them more accessible and desirable.
3. These are a few of the labels Jill uses with her workboxes to communicate the type of task assigned.
4. An example of a poster in her school room that gives clear instructions, in this case about “Independent Reading.” Note that she has added her own additional line at the end about how to time the reading with mom’s cell phone, which is kept in a basket near the poster.
5. Materials are clearly labeled and accessible. 
6. Jill uses home made signs for encouragement and reminders, and also allows her kids to make and post signs for each other to celebrate accomplishments and build each other up. 

We want to thank the Talleys for opening up their home to us, and thank you Jill, for your encouraging words and for graciously leading us through your homeschool space. Join us tomorrow for a look at the next home on the tour...


BONUS: Click here for a BWise coupon, for 50% off one item, good for the rest of October!


Let’s talk: Do you know your strengths? What are you good at, and how can that help you in setting up your homeschool space?


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had such a great time on Saturday! I was encouraged and inspired. I love those file folder "games" Jill has and am going to order some. An easy, fun learning activity that doesn't require more prep than setting it out. Thank you for opening up your lovely home, Jill!
Joy

Jenny Bischoff said...

I agree - it was a day full of great ideas, but also brought our community closer together, I felt. Jill, I didn't get a photo of it, but your idea to laminate 3x5 cards and write instructions on them with a wet-erase marker is genius! I think about it now every time I use a post-it for workbox instructions...

Now we all need a day to get together and work on some of these little projects and ideas, right?