I am very excited about our next school year and I thought I would share some of that excitement with yall :-)!!!!
First I thought I would show you, through pictures, some of the things that I have done for this next school year.
Probably one of the biggest things I have done is gone through our huge library of books and color coded them according to reading level. (Suprisingly I only have a small stack of books that I could not find a reading level for anywhere...). I rearranged all our bookshelves in the school room and the boys room so all books are shelved by reading level.
As you can see from the picture below I also put a laminated key of what grade level each color means on each of the bookcases.
I also labeled each of the desks. I am not assigning desks to a kid because we will be moving around during the day. Instead I got three different colors of the new colored/patterned duct tape that is out. I put a strip across the top of each desk. Then I put a strip across each pencil box that will live in the desks. I also put strips on glue, scissors, pencils, etc that will stay in each box. Supplies are assigned to the desk, not the child. We will see how long we can keep this organized. :-)
I have made daily schedule sheets for Seth and Aaron this year. I laminated the sheet so we can wipe off and reuse each day and got a clipboard for each to keep their sheet on. This sheet will have their daily schedule for the day that they can check off as they go along. I will write in page numbers, or other specific information. Seth will be doing a lot more independent work this year so he will be able to follow this sheet to know what he needs to do next. I am also giving Aron some independent work as well.
This sheet also includes their morning and afternoon chores. I am really excited about this and am hoping that this works well for us.
This is a view of the back - it lists his chores (with space for me to put extra chores) - also on Seth's there is space to write in his current spelling words that he is working on.
I also put a whiteboard above my desk that has everyone's schedule listed. The hardest thing about planning this school year has been figuring out how to fit in the one on one time that each child needs - and what the other two will be doing while I am having one on one with one. I think I have a schedule that will work for us. The good thing about using a whiteboard though - you can easily erase and redo if need be.
I got different colored magazine holders to hold each of the kids' books. Each color represents a kid - it is where they can come and easily get the book they need (as they follow their schedule). The black empty one on top of the other little dresser will be where they will put their work that I need to look at when they are done.
You will see on the shelf underneath the magazine holders are their notebooks - they each have a notebook for science, geography, and literature read-alouds.
For each story I printed off a title page - a picture from a cover of the book.
I then printed off coloring pages that they can color.
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
- Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
- Stuart Little by E.B. White
And yes we do plan on watching the movie for each of these after we finish the book :-) I also have a sheet in the notebook for each book that is a compare and contrast the book to the movie. (just forgot to get a picture of it).
For Science we are doing Apologia's Exploring Creation Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day. The kids requested doing animals for science this year. I was originally going to put my own stuff together. I was borrowing a friend's copy of the Apologia book that I was going to use as a reference but once I got to reading it I found that I was SUPER impressed with it and decided to purchase my own copy and just go with it for our science, but I made our own notebooks for it. :-)
The notebooks have coloring pages for the kids to color during the readings of the lessons. I bought Dover coloring books (LOVE LOVE LOVE the detail in those books) and made copies for each of the kids notebooks. The animals they will be coloring correspond with the animals discussed in the lessons.
I printed off some of the notebook pages from Apologia that I want us to use.
We are also doing US Geography this year and I have made the kids notebooks for that as well.
As you can see I put some extra workbooks in the front inside pocket - these are fun workbooks that have dot-to-dot, mazes and word searches for each state. These are just for filler the kids want to do them.
I also put a US Map in the front.
We are "loosely" following the primary trail from Geography Matters Trail Guide to US Geography. We are following the state order that is in the book and we will be doing a few of the activities in the book.
For each state I have a print out of the state map - we will be putting the capital city, rivers, mountains, etc on this map.
We will also be learning basic map skills. I got several Scholastic e-books on map skills that I printed out and put in the books for us to work on along the way (we will be doing 2 days of state study and 2 days of map study each week).
For bible we are doing 'Adventures in the Bible Lands' from Ornament Publications. I thought that it would go well with our "map study" year. We will be going through the new testament stories as we map out where the events happened on our bible lands maps.
Other subjects that we will be doing:
Reading - boys will still be doing Pathways!!! (there is nothing better in my opinion). Aaron will be completing the 2nd half of 1st grade and then starting 2nd grade. Seth will be doing 3rd Grade.
Math - We will still be doing Singapore Math - we love it! It works for us! In fact Alyssa will be doing Singapore Kindergarten.
Handwriting - we are doing Simply Charlotte Mason this year! YEA!! Seth will be doing the Print to Cursive and Aaron will be doing the Child's Copybook Readers.
Spelling - Seth will be doing Simply Charlotte Mason's Spelling Wisdom!! I really love the concept they use and really think it will work well with Seth!
English - we are doing Queen's Homeschool Language Lessons. Alyss and Aaron will be doing Language Lessons for Little Ones (Alyssa will be level 1 and Aaron will be level 2) and Seth will be doing Language Lessons for the Very Young.
Alyssa will also be working on Christian Liberty Press's k workbooks as she will be learning her letter sounds and how to write letters and numbers, and by the end of the year working on sounding out short words!
I think that pretty much covers everything. We will be sticking in nature study where we can. Kids will be getting their art through the Learn to Draw Proverbs, along with the drawing during science and watercolor and paper cutting during read aloud time.
Oh - wanted to show you my planner I made for this year!! Here it is set up by my desk (using the Pinterest idea of using a recipe holder to stand it up!)
Oh - and I thought I would also throw in a picture of our big maps we got!! We have a US Map (that we will use as we do US Geography) and world map (that we will use this year to show where the different animals that we are talking about live in the world).
Well I think that is all I have to share for now!!! I am so excited to get this school year started!! We are looking at starting Monday August 19th!!! YAY!!!!
Until next time,