|The newest Student in the house|
Today we started off the first of many school days in the 2010-2011 school year! Of course I stayed up way too late trying to make sure everything was ready, and it wasn't. But I wasn't disappointed, why? Because I have a new mantra....High goals, low expectations.
|My Class of 3 waiting for Mom to stop snappin pics and start teaching!|
With that being said, Today actually went unexpectedly well! We ate lunch 15 minutes late but ended 30 minutes earlier than scheduled! Don't ask how....I dunno. And even with Liora waking early and snack messes and phone calls.....the kids had a great time getting back into things....and in all honesty, so did I!
How we do it:
1. I use the workbox system by: Sue Patrick. It's amazing, I'll tell you why. All the student work is organized into workboxes (each subject having it's own box), this way materials for each subject are located in the box~you prepare them the day, night or morning before school. They help with scheduling, planning and organizing all your materials! You can use just about anything from shoeboxes on a shoe rack to what we are using this year~ plastic drawers purchased at Walmart (see photo below). In short, each child is given a schedule and (I call them "tickets") with clip art images of each subject. Each drawer has a number that corresponds with their schedule, in that drawer is everything they will need for Math, Spelling! It also helps the kids know what they have finished and what is coming up!
|Here is a close up of the boxes, full of supplies and finished for the day~you can see the kids have added their "tickets" to the box as a sign they have worked on that subject.|
2. We are including Gracia in Tot-school this year. Okay maybe that is a fun way of saying, I am trying to include Gracia and have some fun/educational activities for her to do so she'll be less of a distraction and be part of the fun! It's only fair, besides she's just-turned-two-going-on-four anyway!
|Lapbooks that add fun AND learning in one folder!|
3. I've written out a schedule for myself and all four kids (including potty breaks~okay I'm kidding about that) in order to make sure everything gets done around here. It may sound restrictive and totally un-fun, but it's actually kind of freeing. And along with my "low expectations"....I know we might not always make it everyday, but at least there is a plan!
4. I've written out a daily subject list. I won't do every subject everday (Bible, Lang Arts and Math are everyday)~ Thursdays are special Science Experiment Days, Tuesday and Thursdays are Art......That way I have a little leeway each day, and each day is a little different.
5. Sneak in the fun. Any subject can have hands on activities involved, and at these young ages I think that is a must. There are great websites and blogs out there to glean great ideas from! Like Confessions of a Homeschooler and Homeschool Creations. Include art projects or activities from Making Learning Fun. It does take time and effort to add a little pizzaz to your current curriculum if you aren't happy with what you've got or your child seems a little bored. But it's SO worth it. It really is.
|We are making Observation Journals here....colored cardstock, Nat Geo Mags, glue stick and I get to use my laminator AND my Binding machine to finish them off!|
6. I'm starting circle time with the kids this year. I've found some great printables from both Homeschool creations as well as 1+1+1. These are talented, dedicated homeschool Mom's that have made tons of free printables for you to download and use! From lapbooks, to filefolder games to great ideas all around! USE them!!! Our circle time will include Awana verse review time as well as "discussions" from Ellie's Calvert curriculum and some of the components of what I've found. I think it's a great way to start off the morning right!
|Our circle time and reading~aloud nook|
|The dark little area on the right hand side is our computer lab! All in one room making it easy for me to help both kids at once!|
I really do have high hopes for this school year. I am such a teacher at heart, I can't help but to jump right in and over do it......yup right in over my head as usual. But I'm also not afraid to let go of what doesn't work and try new things that just may work. Hopefully you'll find a few helpful hints in this post, Happy New School Year to YOU!!!
These are some happy faces (sorry they are dark, I don't have photoshop running 100% to lighten them up yet!)