Monday, April 30, 2012

Season of Soul Searching

I am entering a season of soul searching and discovering who I am again.  I have lost contact with me and I want me back!  I plan to continue working from home and homeschooling but I also plan to do more for me!  I am lacking in that department.  What do you do to focus on you?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Calendar Notebook

If you know me, you know I love to PLAN!  I love to get things ready and in order more than I enjoy the actual event.  I am spending some time in the classroom this week working on getting our notebooks in order and ready for next fall.  I plan to do a lot of notebooking with the kids this upcoming school year.  I love that kind of learning.  Right now I am working on our calendar notebook and want to share things with you that I am using to put in it!

THIS is a link to a website where you can get a FULL August 2012-July 2013 calendar all ready to go.  Just enter in your school name at the top and print!  Super simple!  This will serve as a static sheet in each of the kids calendar notebooks.

I used the 2012 Simple Monthly Calendar for our month to month calendar.  I changed the dates and created it all the way through May 2013!  This will be where both kids fill in the appropriate day of the month.  There is a notes section to the side so we can fill in any important info if we need to.

It will also contain...

  • Daily Routine - This will be static in both folders
  • Attendance
  • Today Tomorrow Yesterday - Just a simple table that S will fill in the days of the week in the blanks in the right spot.
  • Crack the Code - For S to do the code date *0/0/0000*
  • Date Sentence - For S to do the date all the way out Sunday *May 1, 2012*
  • Birthday Calendar- Where they can fill in who has a birthday for that month and then have running tally's at the bottom.
  • 100 Days of School - sticker sheet
  • Weather Graph
  • T-shirt Color Graph
  • Cheat Sheet
Here is how our notebooks looked last year...  We used a folder.  This year we will use a binder.

I have created most of these files.  If you want copies leave your email below and I will email them to you for your personal use!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What We Are Up To...

This week we are slowing our pace down a LOT and getting the house in better order.  I am going to be working on getting out the old and clearing out for the new.  I want to get the classroom better organized and ready so that when we start back school in the fall it will be a safe haven we want to go to instead of a dreaded full of clutter room.

This week I am reading The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman.  So far it is making me stop and think about my children and how we all interact.  I checked the book out from our local library but I am linking it to Amazon here just in case you want to purchase a copy for yourself.  
I will be spending most of the week waiting on more of our school books to arrive in the mail.  So far I have our math manipulatives and our Science books came today.  I am SO beyond impressed with Apologia!  I got S a Jr. Notebooking journal to complete as we go along.  I plan to make N one with some copies of the coloring pages since he can't really write yet.  I am looking forward to seeing what all God has in store for us this upcoming school year.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Schoolhouse Teachers

I joined a great online community!  It is only $5.95/month and includes so many extras.  I am VERY excited to be a part of this community and to take advantage of all that they offer.  Coming in June - 2012-2013 Planners with your subscription!!!  You can pay your entire year at one time or you can pay monthly.  They even accept PayPal.  Enjoy!

End of the Year!

Here we are at the end of our school year.  We have wrapped up most all of our work and are gearing into our summer break mode!  I have really enjoyed this school year.  It came with MANY UPS and MANY DOWNS!  There were days I would hide in the bathroom and cry and there were days that I went to bed almost singing because the day was great.  I plan to make a lot of changes starting now and carrying them over through next year.  Starting today we have quiet time after lunch.  The kids get to chose a movie and then they have to lay on the couch and be still and quiet from beginning til end.  They can go to sleep if they want but I need that little bit of quiet for myself to recharge.  We will also have more structured days.  I plan to start a chore board (I'll blog about that as soon as I create it) and a school board.  I want the kids to be held accountable for the things that must get done in a day.  I want them to see their progress and know that they are making a difference.  I hope that those changes starting now will help throughout the next several months to prepare us for 1st grade and PreK!  I cannot believe my babies are growing so much so fast!  I will leave you with 2 new pics of them at a local theme park from last weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Curriculum Addition

That is right!  I have a new addition to my curriculum list.  I am planning to purchase All About Spelling Level 1 for Miss S to use next year.  I am excited to have something fun, hands on and with great reviews.  S learns much better when she puts things into action.

We are also going to be using the Junior Notebooking Journal for our science.

Copywork IS fun?

Who knew that copying something that someone else wrote would be fun?  I didn't have a clue.  I was planning to do copywork for Bible next year so I have been digging and researching.  While looking around I found a GREAT website.  Sheri Graham does great work making her copywork interesting enough for the youngest copiers.  I purchased her Horse Copywork from her affiliated site, Currclick.  I printed it off, placed it and a pencil pouch in a binder and let S pick out her cover sheet.  Here is how she set it up...

Sorry for the upside down image.  Blogger wouldn't cooperate. 

Not to be outdone by big sister, N decided he needed a Copywork book too.  So mommy got busy making one for him as well.  He is working on ABC's and practicing his name.  Right now I am only interested in keeping him interested.  I am not too concerned with letter structure, or memorization.  I am confident that it will come soon enough.  Here is his book...

He and I worked together to color the pictures for the outside.  He went with Great Whites while S went with horses.  I love how different my children are and how much alike they are.  Tonight, my heart is happy!
Did I mention that S tested in 2nd grade math?  She completely skipped 1st grade!  To God be the glory!  She sure didn't get it from me.  I am so excited to see where this road He placed us on takes us.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 - 2013 Curriculum Choices

I *think* I have finally decided on our curriculum for next year! YAY!!!  I have been researching and praying about our choices since the first of the year.  I am pleased with the things I have selected and pray that they work out for us.  S will be in 1st and N will still be doing PreK work as he wont be 5 until the end of August.  I don't want to push him into school work too much.  I can tell that he is picking up tons going through the day with S and I.  He will sit in on Science and History.  So here are my choices...

Bible - Copywork!  I plan to start going through and finding some easy short verses that S can read and copy.  She will work on writing those and memorizing them.

Reading - Reading Eggs S and N have both been working on this site for some time now and we love it.  They will continue with this until the program ends and then we will see where we should head next.

Math - Saxon Math 1 After bombing with Horizons (don't get me wrong their approach is solid) we want to go with something much more hands on and that will make her think through the problem more.  I have read some great reviews and have a friend who really enjoyed the K program this year.

Science - Land Animals of the Sixth Day, Apologia These books are outstanding.  I am so excited to get started with them.  We are starting with the land animals because that is what my children show the most interest in and lets face it, they learn better when they are learning about something that interests them.

History - History for Little Pilgrims This just looks cute and sounds great!  I think it will be a great day time cuddle session book.  I think we will also get the coloring book.  My kids love to color (who doesn't?!).

Writing/Art - Draw Write Now S LOVES to draw, I mean LOVES it!  She would rather be drawing than most anything else, so this is a no brainer for me.  She will learn how to draw the characters that are in the book and then she will do the copywork that goes along with the drawing.  I am the most excited about this part of the year!!

So, there it is!  If you have used any of this curricula please leave me a review, good or bad.  I am excited about the year ahead and cannot wait to start ordering our supplies!

God Bless,

Monday, April 2, 2012

What We Have Been Up To...

Not a lot has been going around here.  We have been going through our days in the same simple fashion for the past several weeks.  The kids are still working with the Reading Eggs Program (and LOVING IT!).  We haven't been doing a ton of math or other subjects right now as we are trying to really focus on getting S's reading skills built up.  She can already add, subtract, tell basic time and those kinds of things, so I am not worried too much about math.  We have had lots of science opportunities outside since spring decided to come very early here in ETN.  We have been outside a lot.  The kids watched a black caterpillar lay an egg, watched birds come and go at the feeders, watched trees bud, bloom and sprout leaves.  Spring is such an exciting time of year.  Everything seems so fresh and new.  These are just a few of the things that have been going on lately.  We have lots more planned for the rest of the year, we are currently working on an Easter Lapbook!  :)