The Early Bird.

I am currently cleaning out the classroom cupboards. In week 23 of school, it’s overdue! Getting re~organized is energizing!

I am also planning for next year. It’s early I know, but we use part of our tax refund to purchase our homeschool curriculum, so curriculum shopping happens in the spring. This way I can also try to take the summer completely off. I try to be {mostly} ready for the following year by the end of the current year. I am currently in shopping mode. I love to plan and organize. It’s fabulous.

Some of my favorite school related finds {some new and some tried and true}

1. CHICKEN WIRE WALL ~ are you kidding me? I am extremely disappointed that I did not think of this a long time ago! I have multiple frames with chicken wire adorning my house. FORGET THE FRAMES…let’s cover the whole dang wall! Check it out here.  Ashley~ you may just be my new hero. My school classroom thanks you. I am still trying to recover from the fact I can’t do a chalkboard wall due to my overly textured walls. This may truly help ease the pain. I can smather the wall with yummy art projects, project helps, and anything else I want to at the pinch of a clothes pin.

2. DROPS IN THE BUCKET ~ still checkin’ this out. Looks great.

3. SUPER TEACHER ~ This website is crazy amazing for FREE and I’m in love. I use the workbox method so I am always always looking for fun extras or just different from the curriculum extras to add to the kids boxes.

4. CONFESSIONS OF A HOMESCHOOLER ~ This glorious woman must have a closet full of capes that she wears daily. I love her ideas. If you want inspiration in one place…do not walk, run here. I had heard of the workboxes before, but when I read her post on it, it became tangible to do. She has a new geography curriculum out that I am going to jump on board with next year.

5. IKR DESIGNS ~ This is a shameless plug for my sissy’s Etsy store. I received this candle for Christmas and I tell ya, I read it multiple times a day. It’s a must for my school room. Thankfully it’s battery operated and on a timer, so I won’t be practicing any STOP DROP and ROLL drills in the near future.

5. DOWNLOAD N GO~ These are just plain fun and educational too. We are just starting our second one. I picked chocolate! They are purchased, printed, and ready to go. I will be posting on this when we are through! These are such fun supplements to our curriculum. The kids LOVE. We did a pizza one last year.

6. PROJECTS TO TRY~ I want to do this and this.

7. MAKE YOUR OWN ~ I love that you can go here to the free resources section and make up your own word finds, writing practice sheets, awards, and more. I made a word search for my six year old with the names of all her friends. She was quite amazed at my teacher skills.

8. TEACHING TEXTBOOKS ~ I am so glad I found them last year. They have saved my children from having to purchase a math for dummies book when they are grown.

9. EXPLODE THE CODE ~ I am swayed by great covers of books. I admit it. These are really cute books. In addition to being educationally sound and all of that other stuff. blah, blah, blah. I had my kinder do the demos last night for the online option of this curriculum and I couldn’t get her off the computer! I plan to use this for our phonics next year.

10. MY MASTER PLAN ~ I purchased Sonlight last year. It is a great curriculum, just not for us. It went back to them in a pretty little mail truck after about 12 weeks of using it. I am bummed because I was super excited about it. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. No big deal! I could not wrap my head around all of it. Thankfully they have a learning to love guarantee and I was refunded 100%. What I did learn from them is absolutely invaluable and it is very simple. A method for organizing.

I have a giant binder with dividers labeled 1-36. This is for 36 weeks of school. Last year I was trying to bite off the whole year with no real way to break it down. This simple mind shift has been a great way to function this year. Every single thing that I am doing for the week of school has been ripped out, printed out, or hole punched and placed in the binder accordingly. At the beginning of the week I take out the whole section for the week and put it on my handy dandy {and ridiculously cute} clipboard. It just works.

I swore I would never homeschool with an eclectic mix of curriculum. It seemed so overwhelming at the time. With input from teacher friends, checking of state standards, and many conversations with other homeschool mom’s, I am happy to report that I am wading my way through the endless oceans of curriculum options and finding ones that truly work and inspire not only my littles, but me as well.

Happy School planning to all and to all a good night.

 

 

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3 Responses to The Early Bird.
  1. Rikki
    March 9, 2011 | 6:23 pm

    I love your blog! This post is well timed and I’m trying to soak it all up. I am going to homeschool for the 1st time next school year and we’re using our tax refund so I’ve been looking and checking things out. Thanks for the list to look into!

  2. Vikie Cole
    March 10, 2011 | 4:49 am

    Elijah’s teacher uses Drops in the Bucket and I think it’s a great tool to use. The kids are forced to remember things they learned, especially math. It helps us identify areas where he needs review.

  3. Rose
    March 10, 2011 | 9:54 am

    Thanks for stopping by Tips for Saving. I’m now following you 🙂

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