Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Schooling 2014-2015

We started schooling last week! Week #1 went  well, and the basic plans I came up with in June finally have the details in them.
First of all--our school room had to change a bit to fit in three new students.
One thing that I've wanted for years was a chalk board. We could use one even bigger, but this one does pretty well.
It came from a salvage store nearby and cost an inexpensive $15. Sometimes the oldest uses it to leave little messages for the rest of us. : )
We definitely needed more space at our table, and thankfully, Ikea had the Jokkmokk table and four chairs on sale (for $99.99!) this summer, so I purchased another one of them. 

I ran across the idea of covering school tables with dry erase contact paper, so I purchased some of that from Amazon and covered the two tables with that. I use it all the time and LOVE it.

I bought a some pails from Ikea (I think they were $.75 a piece.) and found an old lazy susan in the garage--this is our centerpiece and craft caddy.

We are using the reading comprehension sheets that I designed for any reading done throughout the year. The two big kids are the only ones using them so far, and they get a prize out of this prize jar if they fill out three sheets a week. They can use any school reading and any outside reading to fill them  out.

We have notebooks! Lots of notebooks! 
Each child has a notebook for
filled with this Fruits of the Spirit curriculum plus some extra coloring pages
Daily Sheets
Just a notebook for the older two and 6yo girl and printed copy work for the other two
This is where we write our "Today is..." sentences. The older two also list everything we're going to do in the day and write a sentence or two using a writing prompt.
We're studying the United States. I used several different sets of states worksheets and coloring pages, systematically printing them off for each kiddo. We're using Kathy Troxel's geography songs for learning the states, and the big kids are also learning capitals and postal abbreviations. Each week we're covering two states--talking about state flags, state birds, etc, exports, when they joined the union and a little bit of history.
I'm roughly following this living history unit from Guest Hollow. I've added lots of activities and coloring pages, but it's nice to have all the reading suggestions. We studied the Seminole Indians last week and this week we're covering the Iroquois. My goal is to make it to George Washington by Christmas. And in the spring I want to visit a friend who lives near D.C. Hooray for homeschooling!
Seminole dancing with handmade head dresses.
We're following the big kids' tutorial with their science, so we're using 
and the notebooks that go with it.

For math we're using Saxon 1 with the two 6yos and Saxon 6/5 for the 8 and 10 yo (soon to be 9 and 11yo!)

I usually do all of the notebook work with everyone, but usually the 3yo leaves the table to go play blocks sometime during history. After the big kids do their math lesson, I send them off with their tutorial homework and their math while I teach the math lesson to the 6yos. The 3yo has been joining us for math. The fact that we use the dry erase table and blocks and stuffed animals and lots of other manipulatives is just too attractive. I love it! 
After math, the 6yos do writing from these fun writing books:
(the boy 6yo is using the one that is just letters right now.)

After writing we eat some lunch and then I do reading with the 6yos individually. It's worked out to make the front porch our reading spot for now. We are using 
The boy 6yo is right at the beginning and loving his "ma, me, mi, mo, mu"s. I've started the reading 6yo with digraphs and it seems to be right where she needed to pick up. The boy is reading the beginning BOB books and the girl is doing some easy reading human body non-fiction reading after she reads a few pages from Phonics Pathways.

That's all there is right now. It's simple, but when you add in soccer for the two 6yos and the older boy, horse back for the oldest, and Wednesday night clubs at church, you get a plenty full and enriching schedule. AND we still have time for afternoon rest.
That makes the teacher happy.

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