Monday, August 3, 2009

The First Day

was a success.

School was done by 2:36 p.m. Piano practice and all =]

I need to work on Bradley though. He needs more one on one time and I can't give it to him while I'm doing botany, history, math, and phonics with the other ones. So he got bored and made messes and got into things. He did his workbox but he still needs lots of help doing the things I put in there. I think I am going to have to start a special "school time" with just him for when I'm done with the others. I don't know. Still thinking this one through.

Kyle didn't like school at all LOL. He spent most of the morning sitting under the table at Haley's feet fussing/crying. After lunch I was able to get him occupied in a few things. And once Ally was done with her school she helped a lot and played with him. So we need to work on that too =]

All in all I think it wasn't too bad. There were just a few times when Tyler had to wait maybe 5 minutes for me to be done with someone else. So I had him get out his "extra" folder with things to pass the time. Science (botany) took longer than I thought. For them to write/illustrate in their notebooks, but how can you rush creativity? lol

Lunch worked out great because I packed each of them a lunch the night before. Lunch time came and they all got their bags and ate and then got right back to work. YAY! Works much better than our old way- that took up to 45 mins. Ugh.

I already have the workboxes filled for tomorrow. I worked on that while Haley was finishing up her last folder and Ally and Ty were already done.

I think this is going to work for us =] Everyone liked that they knew what they needed to do and knew when they were done. They also saw that it didn't take us all day and when they realized they were done by 2 (except Haley who went to 2:36) they were thrilled so I think this will keep them motivated.

That's all the update I have time for right now because I do need to get dinner started and cloth diapers in the wash =]

btw I LOVED the little "chores" card I added to their workboxes. It helped keep me sane =] lol When they get to that they ask me what I want them to do. When it was Ally's turn I had her clean up the floor from Kyle's mess. (It was nice to not see that mess anymore and not have to think about it lol). Tyler's turn I had him straighten up his room. And Haley's turn was to straighten up her room.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make your own Countdown Clocks

A Look Inside the Boxes...

I am not too concerned with filling up all 12 folders/boxes for now. We are going to see how it goes and I'm sure there will be a little adjusting as we go.

We do botany all together and I plan on doing that 3 days a week (right now) and the other 2 days will be journal writing. If they choose to write in their journals everyday that's fine but I won't have it in the boxes as a requirement (at least not yet).

I have an extra folder for each child (it's in the "papers to be checked by mom" holder) so if there is a time when I am working with someone else still they can either move to the next folder in their workboxes or go to the extra folder and get out something to do until I'm done. This was the principals aka dads idea and I like it!

He also came up with an idea for "bad behavior" or just the general "I don't want to do something" attitude (which thankfully doesn't happen all that often ;)) I made red X cards and if you have one on the outside of your workbox when the principal gets home then you have to see him LOL

For the first day of school:
#1- Botany
#2- Piano Practice 30 mins
#3- History with mom
#4- Saxon Math
#5- Growing with Grammar
#6- Wordly Wise
#7- Health Quest
#8- Chores

#1- Botany
#2- History with mom
#3- Piano Practice 30 mins
#4- Saxon Math with mom
#5- U.S. Map puzzle
#6- Growing with Grammar
#7- Wordly Wise
#8- Chores
#9- Computer Time 30mins

#1- Botany
#2- History with mom
#3- Saxon Phonics with mom
#4- Computer Time 30 mins
#5- Saxon Math with mom
#6- addition practice on wipe off mat
#7- Chores
#8- Color

I haven't decided about Bradley yet. I did make him a workbox but he doesn't seem interested in them yet. I think he might when he actually sees the other ones using it. I only have 3 folders for it now. I'll probably fill it with a few fun things incase he does want to participate but I have more of a "wait and see what happens" attitude for his.

So that will be our first day. I'm hoping for very few distractions but that's kinda silly with a 3 year old and almost 1 year old. So I'm just going in it with no expectations! I don't know how long it will take them to finish their boxes but I'm curious to find out. It used to take ALL DAY LONG and still not get finished. Just for all the distractions and waiting to see what's next etc. I'm really thinking/hoping the workboxes will help all that.

Let the countdown begin....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Been busy working on the homeschool stuff

*the pictures aren't showing up the whole width of them =( click on them to see what you are missing. still learning blogger.

I have been busy organizing and getting things ready for school.  Official start date has been set for August 3rd!  

Here are just some pics to show you how we have things set up.  We have very (VERY) little room and we homeschool in the dining room (mostly) so this is how it has to be for now.  Don't mind the fishing poles in the first photo lol they are there temporarily until daddy puts new line on them.

Teacher manuals, workbooks, etc.  supply caddy to the right. posters, maps, and white board on the wall.

I made some more workbox cards.  I searched for free clipart and made these in Word.  I needed to change my color ink but didn't until after I printed a few out.  Oh well!  lol

A few of our drawer carts.  Not pictured are two extra tall ones on a separate wall.

Home to the workboxes.  We found out real quick we need to turn the outside two boxes around because Kyle likes to take the numbers off!

Bought one of these file holders and put it up myself- love those 3M hooks.  Right now it's holding the kids journals.  I ended up making journal jars for the older 3- they all wanted to do it.  This will be for their finished work that I need to look at/grade/file.

I have them filled up and ready to go for the first day!

There own school supply bags!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More workbox goodies

I started organizing the homeschool stuff yesterday and today I have been making a few things for the workboxes.

Haley's Journal Jar.  I printed out journal prompts and she will be able to pick one out and write in her journal. Found this here

I printed out a hundred number chart and laminated it.  They can use it for skip counting or finding even and odd numbers.  They can color in the numbers with a dry erase marker and write the answers on the next page.  On the front I can write it what ever number I want them to skip count by.  I got this idea from here.  It's a lot fancier than mine ;)

I printed out timer cards to go on their folders for when something needs to be timed, obviously lol.  They all have a time for their boxes as well.  These are from

I also printed out these cute little guys to make lacing cards out of them.  I need to get a hole punch first though.  I only have a 3 hole punch and it's just not working that well for these.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Teaching Home

Our Teaching Home

The Father has blessed me with many things,
And one of the dearest to me
Is the gift of helping His children
To be all that God wants them to be.

Our family may seem a bit different
When compared to the norms of today,
But in looking at Jesus' example,
I believe that it should be that way.

Our children are really just children,
Not unlike many others you know,
With laughter and tears, good times and bad,
Just living and learning to grow.

Their schoolroom is often our kitchen,
And we don't own a big yellow bus.
There are no goodbyes every morning at eight
For our home brings the teaching to us.

Indeed, our Lord has commanded
That we teach His children His way,
And so we are striving to impress upon them
His statutes and precepts each day.

For I want what they learn to stay with them
Wherever they one day might roam.
That's why, my friend, you will find me
Teaching my children at home.

I have friends who have made other choices
For the very same reasons I've shared.
And the love that they feel for their children
Is truly no less when compared.

For the task of parents is choosing
The way that is best for their own,
And it surely will be our devotion
Shining through when our children are grown.

Lisa Easterling

2009-2010 Curriculum

Our Curriculum:

Haley (age 11 1/2) starting 6th grade
Saxon Math 7/6- we like it- it's working- why mess with a good thing.
Growing With Grammar
Writing Strands
Spectrum Reading workbook
Wordly Wise, for vocabulary- it's our first year with this so we'll see
Bob Jones History gr 6- we just started BJ History this last year and we really like it!
Apologia- starting with Botany- did Astronomy last year- 2 thumbs up for Apologia =]
LifePacs Electives- Health Quest
A Reason for Handwriting/Copy Work
Rosetta Stone Spanish

Tyler (age almost 8) starting 3rd grade
Saxon Math 3
Growing With Grammar
Wordly Wise
Spectrum Reading workbook
Bob Jones History gr 2 - I am doing history with Ty and Ally together so last year they finished grade 1.
Apologia Botany
A Reason for Handwriting/Copy Work
Rosetta Stone Spanish

Allyson (age 6) starting 1st grade and a half LOL
Saxon Math 1
Saxon Phonics 1
Bob Jones History
Apologia Botany
A Reason for handwriting/Copy Work
Rosetta Stone Spanish- we'll see how it goes

I feel like I'm forgetting something....

Oh Haley and Tyler also take piano lessons. Allyson will start when she's 7.

I'll have various other resources/workbooks for each of them with spelling, vocabulary, writing, reading, map skills, and health etc.

That's the plan for now. I'm always on the look out for new/different/better stuff.

In the past we've tried Alpha Omega Lifepacs which I really liked BUT if you don't have a child that likes to do workbooks all day then it's probably not going to work. Haley liked them for a while but got bored with them.

I may decide to try some of their electives in the future, specifically the Health as I have yet to find anything good for Health. Suggestions anyone? *edited- I did buy the Health Quest LifePacs, I just forgot lol

I hear lots of moms say they like to plan their own things and for me personally I like the curriculum that has most of it laid out for me. I tried making my own things for Haley when we first started and it was short of a disaster. I think that's why I like Bob Jones the way I do...if I could afford it or maybe if I only had one kid...I would buy the whole grade kit. Hmmm on second thought maybe I wouldn't because I'd still want Saxon Math and Apologia Science haha =]

Target Goodies

I found some cool stuff at Target in their $1 bins to go in our workboxes.

These are wipe off boards. I got addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The presidents, U.S., Insects, cursive handwriting, Printing and alphabet.

I love those little dry erase boards and the kids love them too for working on math or handwriting or whatever! Also math and alphabet bingo games. A few workbooks.

lift the flap books, U.S. Animal flashcards with facts on the back, and a math set (compass/ruler/protractor) that Tyler really wanted ;)

Workboxes Idea List

Here's a brainstorm list of my workbox activities so far.... as I think of more I add to it

*dot to dot
*Bible reading
*memory verse
*poem memorization
*skip counting
*music study
*pattern blocks
*water color
*mad libs (grammar)
*super sentences
*write a letter/make a card
*piano practice
*lacing cards
*alphabetical order
*number order
*math practice
*flash cards
*Rosetta Stone Spanish
*Computer Time
*Scouts (work on badges)
*Turbo Extreme
*Turbo spelling
*game with mom
*math bingo game
*alphabet bingo game
*wipe off boards (presidents, insects, U.S., cursive writing, printing/alphabet, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
*watch one of the educational shows we have DVR-ed

Making our workboxes

DSC_0053 DSC_0052

How it should look before school, all the number tags will be on the folders- of course the folders would be full of work to do not empty like now lol

DSC_0053 DSC_0056
As she is done she'll take the number tags and put them back on the front
When she is all done her box will look like this =]