Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Homeschool Planning

Last year I planned out my school year for the most part for the whole year. Notice I said "for the most part". . . the things that didn't get planned out just didn't get done as well or as often as the things I had planned out ahead. I did the file crate system that I've read about on various blogs, the most popular of which, I believe, is By Sun and Candlelight. She goes all out with hers and takes full advantage of this system for all aspects of her life. I, on the other hand, am only using it for school.

So, I sat down at my dining room table and left all my stuff spread out so I could sit down and work on it whenever I had a small chunk of time. Here's what my dining room table looked like for weeks (there were several day stretches where I couldn't work on it - IDEALLY, I would send the kids off or take all my supplies including my printer to a
hotel and order room service for a couple of days, but you know how that goes. . . ) I actually did most of it on the evenings that the DairyKing was out planting crops and the kids were in bed.

The first thing that I did was to make labels for my folders. Instead of dating them, I numbered them. I have 2 very good reasons for this :) First of all, I can re-use the folders just like they are next year; and secondly, I am not tied to any dates. We never know when we will decide to take a week off, or a couple of days off. This way as long as I keep a pretty steady pace, I will never be behind! If we decide to take a couple of days off we can stretch our week out over 2 weeks, or decide which parts to make up and what to skip (math sheets will probably get skipped because we will be reviewing them in the next lesson anyway, grammar and spelling would just get an extra lesson thrown in for a day or two, I also have a "catch up" week or three scheduled in for good measure)

Then, I went subject by subject and did the whole year's plan for each one. I started with Bible. I pulled worksheets from the student book, printed visuals and other things I needed for each lesson, made anything I needed to make, and made a list of things I needed to gather that either wouldn't fit in the folder or that I would need to buy.

Now, I have my plan for the week written out, and everything I need in the folder. I even tore my math teacher's book apart! I didn't do that with all my teacher books though :)

I did a set of folders for each of the girls, though admittedly I didn't get all of Anna's planned out as well. It does help that she's only in Kindergarten and doesn't have as much ground to cover every day :)

Later I will show you how I organize Mary Helen's daily assignments that she does on her own.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back to School!

Well, we are back to school! One of the many things I love about homeschooling is being able to set our own schedule. We are doing sort of a year 'round schedule, and we have just begun our new year. We look forward to taking breaks along the way when the weather is nicer, or the Dairy King gets ready for a little mini-vacation. It's hot and humid in Georgia, and we might as well be doing something constructive in the air conditioning!

Mary Helen is starting second grade this year. I can't believe she's gotten so big! She has a sweet spirit, and has matured so much in the past year or so. She loves school and learning, and is enjoying the challenge of learning new things.
Anna is beginning Kindergarten. To know Anna is to love her. She has a personality that makes people smile all the time. She is our dramatic middle child for sure! When she is happy, she is squealing, giggling, dancing with delight; but when things aren't going her way, her head is drooped and it is very, very sad and just awful. She is still working on those letters and sounds, but she is showing such great improvement on them. We can see her starting to soak it all in, and we are so proud of that!

Daniel is almost 16 months old now, and he is my heart! I was so scared when I found out we were having a boy, because I just really don't know what to do with little boys! He is my little snuggler, and is always smiling. He sleeps and naps like a DREAM!

Here are a few more pictures from our first day!