Monday, July 27, 2009

Gettng organized...or at least trying

So, is it me, or is all a homeschooling mom thinks about during the summer is how to organize, plan and strategize next year's school year???

We did do some school during the summer--we have our own schedule and don't follow the school district's schedule anyways. That's what I love about the freedom of educating at home! But gearing up for the new year--new books, a whole new curriculum, teaching a 1st grader and a 3rd grader while keeping our preschooler and the toddler we watch during the week busy is a bit of a challenge.

First we are switching Princess's math. Abeka 2 was just way too fast for her to keep up. The last 6 weeks, we just did review to maintain what she had learned. I didn't want what we had worked on so hard all year to leak out her brain during the summer, so we kept at it most of the summer. I'm switching her to MUS and have her in their Gamma level. She's already excited about it and can't wait to start her new book! YEAH!!!! Gotta enjoy it when your child is excited about math!

Superman will be in first grade and seems to be going with the flow. No new changes except that we're all doing Aventures in MFW together so he'll join in with us too. He's been reading through the summer and finished up his MUS Primer, so now it's on to Alpha.

Also, we're diving into My Father's World this year. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this program from many mom's who've used it. I scored an Adventures TM and some of the books on their swap group and the rest on ebay. For us it just makes sense to use a mulit-level curriculum like MFW and include all the kids in at their own level. I am excited about starting this new adventure and adding alot of hands on fun into our everyday learning. The Adventures program focuses on American history and fun science all from a Biblical perspective. It even includes Bible time so I won't have to come up with something new this year for that.

And then for keeping the little's busy...always a task since their attention span lasts about 5 seconds before they are into the next thing. I'm incorporating an idea that is similar to activity bags. I purchases a canvas shoe holder to hang in our school supply room (ahem--corner). Inside the pockets I am going to add activities for Roo to do when I can't be doing one-on-one with her. I started this towards the end of last year and didn't keep up on it as I fizzled out by the end. Some of the things I've already got together are:

Lacing buttons

watercolor paint and paper

various puzzles

magnet games

Fisher Price school desk

(obviously won't fit in the shoe holder, but I made index cards for those types of things)

Bingo markers and cardstock

stickers and paper

scissors and paper

bucket of beans and rice with cups


eye spy bottles


lanyard laces and plastic canvas for sewing

dot-to-dot book


stencils and pencils

dance dvd (a cute kids dvd that teaches a few simple steps)

I'll rotate a few things for her to do each day, plus we have a few bigger items like lego's and her doll house that we bring out during school time too. I've got index cards for those too. As for preschool, I'm planning on doing letter of the week with Roo, and am going to attempt to throw in FIAR once in a while too. I love FIAR and hope to add that gentle love of learning and reading to my baby. I snatched up a cute m&m counting book at the CHEF faire for her--in the freebie box, no less! Candy and counting...what could be better?
So, what are you doing new for school this year? What works? What doesn't? Tips, hints and stories to share are always exciting!


Glennda said...

I've been trying to get my organizing done too, but it's just too hot to think! Love the shoe organizer idea, I might do something like that for Peanut.


Stacey,momof 2 said...

I have a bloggy friend,Heather... with three loud monkeys...she is going to start homeschooling-- I was hoping to connect you with her... she is in Barboursville,Va.
could you visit her blog?

Heather said...

Hi Jasmine-

Thanks for stopping by and saying, "hi."

I know I'll be coming back to your spot often to get ideas and maybe ask some questions, as we start this wild ride.

By the way, loved your ideas for keeping your little one busy. I'm headed out this weekend to make some "entertaining" purchases for our Sweet Pea.:)