Category Archives: Homeschool Tips

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

Precisely the response that I get when my seven year old sees an entire page of math problems. She knows them, but she gets tripped up when there are too many on one page. It is definitely not her favorite thing.

Today we experienced the new font size and quantity of 2nd grade math worksheets. I knew I was in for a parenting moment. Before the full scale meltdown occurred, I said, “O.k. we are doing the first thee rows orally”. Off I went asking for answers that I know she knows the answer to. She stepped up her game and got through it o.k.

With the superpower given to all women as they become mother’s for the first time, I multitasked my way through the first three lines of math facts while plotting a way to make this a bit more fun today.

Last problem, line three, an idea arrived. It was just in the nick of time, as they often are.

“O.K. now get ready Emma because we are doing the rest as a race. Each row will be done in a new location in the house. We are racing the clock so you gotta be quick. We gotta go to the place that I yell out, do a row, and move on. Got it?”

Eyes beaming she jumped to the start line.

Ready.

Go.

We visited my closet, my bed, Greyson’s room, her bed, my husband’s office, our learning closet, and finished in record time. Being that this was the first time we had done this, it was in fact the record.

All smiles.

No tears.

Math done.

I started thinking about this. I often find that homeschooling is an intricate dance between presenting material in a way that is engaging for my children, but also not wanting them to become accustomed to everything being explained to them and presented to them on a big fat silver platter. The platter that is called in your exact learning style, on your terms.

This is one of the biggest advantages and potential detriments that homeschool offers, in my opinion. If my children are never gently nudged, (or some days shoved off a small cliff), then how will they be equipped to handle real life after school, or say a job? What happens the first time their boss asks them to do something they don’t like or don’t understand? Are they going to look him and the eye, ” I am sorry you didn’t teach me that in my preferred learning style?”

I dance this dance daily. Minute by minute, in fact. It is the same dance of a parent in general that is specifically heightened in the life of a homeschooling family.

But today.

Today my girl needed someone to show her life could be fun. Hard things can be accomplished in record time with a new perspective and a new tactic. Impossible things become opportunities every single day and the opportunities are the lessons that are waiting to be learned.

I know we will reference this morning the next time math brings us so many addition problems crammed onto one page that my seven year old feels like she wants to pull her own hair out strand by strand. I will remind her as many times as it takes that it is mostly all about perspective. I will remind her that she holds the record in the first ever math facts around the house race. Anything is possible.

She rocked it.

and

I needed to be reminded myself of those lessons today. All of them. Sometimes we just need someone to hold our hand, run, and laugh with us. Sometimes that is all it takes. Who can I be that for today?

I can hardly believe we are already wrapping up week two of school. We have been to the library to secure books for our first book reports. My girl was over the moon to get a book list and some guidelines and have to find a book that fit those requirements. I love her.

I discovered my baby says QUACK about as cute as can be.

Practicing spelling words is more fun when stamped.

The night night game is fun even in libraries.

Our history curriculum is awesome. Have you ever wondered how Bible history intersects with actual history and why we keep them separate? I had not. This year I started a four year long series titled Mystery of History. It teaches Bible and history together. For example, did you know that Jonah was swallowed by the whale at approximately the same time that the first Olympic games took place in Greece? Yeah, me neither. Am I a total nerd that I find that fascinating? I read it in the introduction of our curriculum and I have to admit I am pretty excited about learning this along with my kids.

Today we are studying the Ice Age. There are suggested activities to enhance the lesson. I chose the one where I have the kids place an ice cube on their bare stomach and see who could leave it there the longest. It sounded fun. It was. Red tummies later they both survived and tied. Neither gave up.

Tomorrow I will be back to show you my shiny new business logo. I Love it.

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

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Where Our Stuff Is

If you noticed in our school room there is no “stuff” out. No centers, no fish tanks, no nature shelves, no books, no stuff. We do have it all, but I just moved it out this year. It seems natural to surround ourselves with all of these things in plain sight. However, while we are blessed to have space in our home dedicated just to our school days, it isn’t super big and I needed to tone down the overstimulation that I had going on in there. Over the last three years, there has been a mass exodus of extra things moving out of the classroom and this year, it is official, anything potentially cluttery has moved to other places. I have tried to have everything in one room and it just doesn’t work.

Now we just go get what we need to bring in the classroom. OR go in the closet to review the seven continents. It works.

Just around the corner from our school room, we have a pretty good size under the stairs closet. It became mini romper room. It’s fantastic. I frequently take my 2nd grader in there for hands on things and a little quiet learning time with just here and I. It’s just fun. Who doesn’t like a fort? At 4 or 40, it still rocks to be in a fort and it is also very difficult to get decent pictures in tight spaces, just so you know.

We have learning posters, magnet boards, magnet maps of the US, and more detailed map posters as we are focusing on states and geography this year.

We also have sciencey boards and the continuation of our animal study with our Expedition Earth curriculum as shown in these pathetically horrible pictures.

The closet makes a turn and in the very back and we have our Hoo Are You Board? The title is courtesy of my 7th grader. So cute. This year as part of our 2nd grade Bible curriculum, we are focusing on a different character trait every week. Each week we will put our character trait on an owl and add it to the board. We kinda heart owls around here.

My daughter loves it.

Changes of pace, getting moving, big bright colors, big visuals, and secret spaces. They help bring learning to life for my girl.

 

Right on top of the closet, just half way up the stairs on our landing, I put a bookshelf. All of our kids books in the house are on this shelf, all in one place. The kids just run up there to grab their books and my toddler hangs out on the step to read.

Back downstairs and next to my romper room cave, there are some built in cupboards right outside of the bathroom. They really were kind of  useless to me and being in a rental, I can’t rip them out. However, last year homeschool teaching helps and art supplies took up residence here.

It’s all in one place now and I can just hang out to find what I need, but I don’t have to look at it all the live long day. Perfect! On the shelf lives our tadpole, or whatever other creature we are observing, resourcey type books, and pencils. I also found a way to sneak a bit more chicken wire back onto a wall. I’m obsessed.

I absolutely love the way things are laid out this year. It’s more spacious for everybody. It is definitely worth the effort it took. The kids actually have commented on liking it as well.

Win-Win!

I bought and planted some flowers in the boxes right outside our school room windows. They are too pretty and probably will die by the week’s end as my thumbs are any shade but green. However, for the week, I will enjoy.

Gearing up for the second week of school. The weekend came and went all too quickly as usual!

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Back To School

I am having the end of the summer everything has to be done in the next seven days before we start school anxiety attack. I know I am not alone. I read it on Facebook, see it on blog topics, and hear it from my friends. I am determined to enjoy this last week of summer break with a good mix of playing, late night preparations, and saying NO to stress.

As I have grown to love homeschooling more and more with each passing year, the one thing I have loved from the very first day is that I don’t have to send these guys off for 8 hours a day.

We get to be together.

Which is all kinds of good, cuz I kinda love their little faces.

* Emma  ~ 2nd grade

 * Taylor ~ 7th grade

* Cameron ~ 8th grade

{In the spirit of keeping it real, yes there are moments that I would consider selling them to the first gypsy that came a knocking and I am quite certain the feeling is mutual. Just in case you wondered.}

Last week we were able to get our back to school photos done.

C H E C K.

Ready to hang on their file box for the upcoming year.

Happy last days of summer.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

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11:04 p.m.

In April, just 24 months ago, I was just pregnant with my little man. I didn’t even know he was a little man yet. I was finishing up my first year of homeschooling and realizing that I would not be putting my kids back into the private school we had recently pulled them out of. I went to my first and not my last, homeschool convention with a great friend. We had a great time.

This year, we decided to go again. We also hijacked another friend, originally from the bay area to come along. She doesn’t homeschool, but does have four kids and needed a girls trip!

We found a marvelous, funky, and CHEAP little hotel down the street from our convention. It is adorned with strange and wacky things. It is fantastic. Oddly, we stayed next door to the room we had stayed in two years prior.

The weekend was full of lots of curriculum shopping, workshops, and learning. It is always settling to be around hundreds of other families who have chosen to homeschool. It is great to meet others that are in the same boat you are in. It is especially encouraging to see their kids, who have grown up and have thrived. We are not doing this alone. There are tons of other people doing this too. If you homeschool and haven’t been to a convention, consider it. It has helped me so very much. I would highly recommend bringing a friend and making a girl’s weekend out of it. Thinking becomes much easier with no little people around.

Conveniently, this whole thing takes place just minutes from where two of us on the trip, grew up. We were able to visit a bunch of our old favorite places, reminisce a bit, and pretend we were going to stay forever and send for our families to join us.

There is no place like home.

Our first stop was to acquire a birthday cake for our recently turned forty side kick, Gina.

This bakery has been here since the dawn of time, or 65 years, in reality. It is oh so amazing. They make a burnt almond cake like no other. After a not so secret purchase and some proper embelishments, we “surprised” our sweet friend with an overdue mini birthday party at a local one of a kind restaurant. It was complete with Zebra decor and public singing.

 In order to properly celebrate this momentous occasion, we had a second birthday song on day two of our trip. I mean can a girl be sung to too many times? Especially on her 40th? I think not.

 We slept in, we laughed until there were tears, we shopped, we planned, we bought planners, we bought school books, we discussed over and over what would be best for our families and individual children, we had midnight parking lot of donut shop parties, we ran, we ate fabulous food, and we didn’t make our beds, and ate cake for breakfast. We battled some car issues, checked radiator fluid, oil levels, and put air in tires. We got lost, we got found, and we visited childhood homes.

While away, my more than capable husband showered my kids with fun and held down the fort. He took all four to the dentist for check ups, handled youth events, choir practice, attended a church sponsored community work day, took walks, and went to the park. All while handling all the cooking to keep us all eating REAL FOODS. Yeah, he wins hubby of the year for sure.

 We squeezed every last bit out of our get away possible.

I pulled in at 11:04pm Sunday night.

Curriculum plans for 2012-2013 coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fighting The Stereotype

I was horrified at the stereotype of homeschooling. I was. I wasn’t someone who was born and knew that I wanted to grow up, have more than an average amount of children, and homeschool them. I wasn’t.

The fact of the matter is, that is exactly who I became and I couldn’t be happier. I spent the first year of homeschooling embarrassed of it. I hated the looks I got. I hated the questions. I hated being viewed with pity, with judgement, or with disapproval. It sucked, quite frankly, but then I got over it. Sometimes, I think the tendency when put on the defensive, is to get all girl powered up over it and defend. I don’t want to take that route either. Education is not a right or wrong situation. Most parents have the same goals for their children. How we get there is often different…

…which makes sense because people are different. Families are different. Education can be different as well. There are faults in each system, there are bad apples in each bunch. The more we grow and understand each other, the better. I never really understood homeschooling prior to doing it. Yet, I made judgements about it. Looking back now, I’m not really sure why. It’s hard and quite shameful to judge something that you don’t even know. I’m guilty.

I love knowing that every single day before he leaves for work, my husband will turn on the light by his bed. I can count on it as sure as the sun will rise. As soon as he leaves, I turn it off. I like to sleep with a fan on. Husband doesn’t. I like to stay up until 1 am. Husband, not so much. My husband has chap stick at all times, I hate the stuff. The list goes on and on. We all have our quirks and routines, as well.  You can be sure that every night, after my things are done, I will cover my husband’s chair with my favorite blue blanket and sit and read, blog, and watch t.v. You can also be sure that if my baby can find a way to cross his legs when sitting or sleeping, he’s gonna. Differences make us unique. Life would be so boring without them. I recognize that these differences are of much less significance than education choices, but the point is still the same.

Differences should be accepted. Differences should be understood and celebrated all the way around. Homeschooling has reminded me  of another brilliant life lesson. We should be super understanding of differences in each other. In addition, when we find ourselves on that road less traveled, we should travel our road with our eyes straight up and not looking around for others approval. When we are looking around, I am convinced that we are missing the glorious view He gives us from above. With my eyes focused on what others think, I am probably going to find myself bitter and unsatisfied. Even more devastating, I will probably end up questioning what it is that I am doing in the first place.

I am going to do everything I can to fight the stereotype that is homeschooling and I am going to do it NOT because I want to fit in, but because it is what God has called me to do for my children. I want to do the best job I can. That is the testimony that I want to live. Lord willing, our children are going to grow up happy, well adjusted, socialized, and intelligent humans beings. They are going to learn to read and write and spell and do it W E L L. They will learn how to become awesome friends who love others with the heart of Jesus. These things are values to my husband and I and with God’s help, they will be accomplished. They are also going to learn that every individual has differences in abilities and choices. We will embrace and accept them for who they are. We will recognize that the differences we all have are expressions of the ultimate plan and creativity of our savior. They are not ours to defend, grow angry over, or resent.

Whew, parenting is a big job.

My kids play in thunderstorms at recess, they practice getting interaction with adults when their mom sends the older ones in for a couple grocery items, and sometimes, they even learn math by the fireplace. In. Their. Pj’s. It’s o.k. It’s more than o.k. I am going to embrace them and the plan that God has for all of our lives and live it to its fullest.

and…if they happen to choose to wanna make their own jam, wear denim jumpers, or carry canvas totes, then so be it. I will celebrate that too.

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Week 21. Love, Goodbyes, and Mars.

Oh, this week was C R A Z Y. Three doctor appointments and Valentines Day, put us in a challenging place of getting everything completed. It is amazing how even one dr. appointment can wreak so much havoc on completing a school day. I talked last week about our system of breaking down our studies, one week at a time. This week is a perfect example of why. We have a little bit left to finish in the morning. However, it will get done. For me, if I didn’t have this system it could be dangerously easy to let life take priority over school. Just today, and then just today, and then just today….you get the idea.

On a side note…do you know about these magical little relatives of the Post It note family? Oh how they make Teacher’s Guides user friendly in no time flat.

I gotta admit that school wasn’t too overly exciting this week.

We did begin Emma’s health book. It will take us just three weeks to get through. She loves the A Beka readers. They have written some of their textbooks at first grade reading level and Emma LOVES being the one who can read these subjects. It goes a long way in the I’m a big girl now thing.

She read something super profound to me. Yes, yet again the teacher learned something during school. A HABIT IS SOMETHING I DO WITHOUT THINKING. It goes on to say…I CAN FORM GOOD HABITS BY DOING RIGHT THINGS OVER AND OVER. I love that. Put that in the perspective of my quest for health. Its reframing my goals. Grabbing veggies, grabbing water, exercising. Do them over and over until you do them without even thinking about it. You can change.

Taylor wrapped up her study on Mars this week with a project. She created a Mars Community. This may look simple, but she has quite the story (including a lot of  information about Mars) that determined her choices for these items. She is learning a TON.

I broke down and finally allowed us to leave Italy today during our Expedition Earth studies. Passports are stamped and we are gone. Kinda sad. The Expedition Earth curriculum is great and it comes with some additional recommended books to enhance your studies. These books have been some of our favorites during the year.

Next week we are off to Greece!

I have to admit another challenging part of school is getting regular household stuff done like grocery shopping. Last week as I was innocently scrolling through Facebook I find that my husband ratted me out about the condition of our fridge. He posted this on Facebook and said guess we need some food. BUSTED.

We live on the cash only system around here. I plan all of our meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to help keep on a tight budget. I buy only what we need to make those meals. At the end of my week, my fridge typically looks like this. Its not a bad thing really, do not be alarmed.

Today we had lunch recess at Costco. The food court and some groceries and another week of school completed.

Looking forward to the weekend!

Enjoy yours!

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Week 20. Hearts, Binders, and Gelato.

We started off this school week with our class store. I started this when I began homeschooling and we have done it ever since. I have tweaked it a bit, but the concept is the same. Throughout our school days the kids have chances to earn sticks. I give 3 sticks for a 100% paper, 2 sticks for an A, and 1 stick for a B. I will also give sticks for good behavior, random games, etc. For Emma, my 1st grader, she earns sticks for neatness, books read, etc. Once a month the kids go shopping in the class store. They can spend their sticks or keep them. There are categories to purchase from for 1, 3, 5 ,10, 15 or like this past month we had a surprise 50 point item, and a couple of 30 point items. It’s like a mini Chuck E Cheese redemption counter.

I stock the class store with clearance deals. Grandma helps a ton. I am always on the look out for things throughout the year. It is amazing what you find when you start looking. Even the $1 spot at Target goes 75% off.  It’s a magnificent system that has worked really well for us.

Another system that I began just last year, but has worked incredibly well, is how I organize our work.

I have 2 planners from Lakeshore that cost $5.99 a piece. It is still not the perfect planner because I don’t think that illusive thing actually exists. This one is pretty good and the price is right. I have to have the subjects down the side and the days of the week across the top. This limits my choices. However, it is a must for me.

Everything in my planning world is broken down into weeks for our school year….36 of them.

(I use pencil for everything, because things DO change…and its o.k.)

I sit down at the beginning of the year and pencil in the vacations, holidays, field trips, etc. Then I take each subject and break it down and pencil in the lessons for each week. The older two are in one planner and my younger daughter is in another.

Then I take everything that can be ripped out, copied ahead of time, etc and hole punch it and put it behind the appropriate week number in my binders. I have 2 giant binders. One for week 1-18 and one for week 19-36.

Obviously, this is a lot of time upfront. However on Sunday nights, it is super simple to just pull out the papers for that week and place them on a clipboard, ready to use.

At that time, I review in detail and prepare for the upcoming week.

The most important thing about this system is that we do not progress on from the week until the previous week is done. Despite my best efforts to keep our studies priority through out the week, we have four children and things come up. Doctors, dentists, errands, sickness, and other random things. This system allows me to manage my overall workload for the year and not get off track. If its Sat morning and for some reason the work is not done for that week, we will finish it. Every Monday is a brand new week and the week before WILL be completed.

Having this system has helped me relax a LOT. I feel like I can chill with the ebb and flow of our days and know that things are on track to finish by June. I am sure there are countless ways to achieve this, but this has worked for my head…

We have been busy, as usual, around here. With Love day fast approaching we have added hearts…

hearts…

and more hearts.

The kids tracked their food intake all week and plotted it into blank grids of the food pyramid. It’s been great to see them really begin to understand their health and nutrition. I’ve loved it. We’ve completed the Pyramid Cafe unit and next week will begin a unit on The Giver with the older two. My youngest will continue on with Health.

My older two have both been doing Apologia Science and there is a TON of hands on projects which they adore.

These little feet are everywhere during my day. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Speaking of little….little mister had his first official tantrum today. I was sharing my cheerios with him, giving him bites out of the bowl. He wanted the bowl and the spoon. I did not agree. The result was big tears and MAD BABY! So of course, I grabbed my camera.

Today we ended the week with Expedition Earth. We are still in Italy. I refuse to leave. I am enjoying our study more than the kids. The Trevi Fountain, Sistine Chapel, amazing art, museums, music, and pizza? Oh gosh. Smitten. Today we made Gelato from scratch. It was De-Lish.

Boil 4 cups of water and 2.5 cups of sugar for 5 minutes. Let cool and add 2 cups of orange juice. Then freeze for 5 hours. Voila.

(Ignore the sugar content. Seriously, just pretend I said 2 teaspoons.)

It was, again ridiculously warm for Feburary, so we decided to take our Italy studies to the park.

Even though I desperately am missing some California rain…

…spending the afternoon drenched in sunshine with toes in the sand, ain’t so bad either.

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

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What’s in the box? First Grade

I am a HUGE fan of the workbox system. We found it the first year we home schooled and have never looked back. We tweaked it a bit this year. Instead of putting all of my first grader’s core curriculum in her boxes, I use her boxes for independent work. Her day goes like this.

8:15-10:30 Work with me.

10:30-11:00 Snack/ break/ outside time

11:00-12:30 Workboxes ~independently

12:30-1:00 Lunch/break/outside time

1:00-2:30 Work with me.

We follow along through our day governed more by following the project order, rather then sticking exactly to the clock. However, it usually ends up pretty close to the same.

During workbox time for Emma, I try to stick to only things that she can do independently or with just a question or two. I love seeing her create an independence with her schoolwork and really grab a hold of following instructions and processes. Two things that sometimes I fear may be lost while homeschooling.

In each box you will see a colored popsicle stick. We have a class store. Sometimes I go crazy with passing out sticks. Not very often, but tomorrow there will be a very happy little girl. They never know when sticks pop up out of no where. At the end of the month they get to spend their sticks from our class store.

Box #1

Pattern blocks from Lakershore Learning.

Box #2

Box #3

I found this from a fabulous teacher’s blog somewhere. I can’t remember where! If this is yours let me know so I can give you a shout out 🙂 But seriously….how cute is it?

Box #4

Box #5

Box #6

All About Me Poster found at the Dollar Store.

Box #7

Box #8

A page from Telling Time with Judy Clocks.

Box #9

Box #10

Time to practice her memory verses for the week.

Again her workboxes vary GREATLY from day to day. Sometimes they are more relaxed fun projects. Sometimes they directly supplement what we have learned that morning. I care more about her being successful in completing these boxes on her own, following all of the directions of how to do each box, etc. rather then necessarily how “difficult” each box can be. It has been working great this year! This little girl tends to be the one that wants me at her beck and call ALL day, so this has been a major improvement for us so far.

Happy Monday!

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I Had Better…

As I have learned more about this ginormous undertaking we call homeschool, I have become increasingly burdened. Not burdened in a I need to have this burden removed because I can’t breathe kind of way, but rather an oh my gosh I think I understand the enormity of what it is I am actually doing kind of a way.

In essence when you send your kids to school, you thoughtfully choose a school, or sometimes prayerfully endure the one in your own neighborhood. In both of those situations you are trusting your child’s education to others. Most of the time there is a wonderful outcome. Schools are full of wonderful caring people who have devoted their lives to educating children. After almost three years of homeschool, I have a new found appreciation for them. Not that I didn’t before, I just honestly really didn’t think too much about it. Teachers don’t become teachers for the paycheck, right? I think it is safe to say that a high majority have a passion for educating children. Yay teachers!!!

Then I think about homeschooling. It is easy to get caught up in the cute factor. The stuff, the curriculum, the planning, the blogging, the pictures, and all the rest. It is easy to get caught up in the I AM GOING TO DECIDE WHAT TO TEACH MY CHILD. There are many methods, many viewpoints, many reasons for homeschooling, and many many many choices. Then on top of that there is a household to run, errands to do, sinks to clean, meals to cook, children to clothe, doctors to visit, teeth to be cleaned, and soooo much more. Then there is that inner voice that some days is screaming I NEED A BREAK. What to do about that????

Prayer, prespective, self discipline, and a huge amount of self sacrifice must be ever present in my day. For I am responsible for my child’s education. Their EDUCATION. It is going to shape them as an adult and hinder their lives or move it forward. It is not something that can be shoved in or caught up. It must be the focus of our school days. It is not something to be taken lightly. It is an incredible responsibility that I pray I understand and never give less then my all. I am thankful that I have God to direct my path, a husband who supports me, and friends who understand and encourage me. May the thing that we embarked on as an adventure to help them never become something that ended up hindering them.

The decision to homeschool is the beginning of the journey, not the end. It is where the hard work BEGINS.

I had better take it seriously, prayerfully, and whole heartedly. My children deserve it and are worth my best.

It’s a wonderful life.

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Week Three.

School is going incredibly well this year, so far. My 12 year old son informed me that he still hates school “no offense”, but it is SO much better this year. That’s a complement from an incredibly tough critic. I’ll take it.

I love most of our curriculum this year. The only thing I do not like is our Monarch history curriculum from Alpha Omega. It is non returnable and so we are stuck with it….for the year only. Then I will switch. We have had horrible customer service and it is a very unfriendly program to both set up and manage. That is our only nightmare, so far. Not too shabby.

Everything else has been great. The teacher’s handbooks all make sense to my brain this year. BIG PLUS. They all have a lot of extra ideas included to make things more engaging. It works.

A lot of what we are doing is pretty hands on stuff which has been great too.

{We take small breaks during math to build giant towers. No, that is not in the lesson plan.}

One of my favorite changes we made this year is switching to Explode the Code. It’s funny. Read these sentences. Look at the pictures. I like to be entertained while reviewing phonics.

Not to mention this inevitably sparks super important conversations such as how Jim can manage to actually sit on a pan. Does he have a tiny rear or an overly large pan? We can only speculate….

This year, I began making lunches the night before. It has been something that I have thought about for a couple years, but never done. Primarily because at night I’m too tired. However, kids love eating out of lunch boxes. It’s fun. Now my crew is no longer deprived of the fun of opening a lunch box and finding their surprise lunch inside. More importantly, it is an incredible time saver. When lunchtime arrives, the kids all go grab their boxes out of the fridge and usually head outside. I can clean up from the morning, feed the baby, and get ready for any afternoon activities without having to stop and feed the masses.

Anything that can get done ahead of time makes for a smoother day. Along those lines, I discovered this year that someone became crazy brilliant and created lab kits of popular curriculums. Homeschooling becomes very challenging, financially speaking, when you dive into the world of science and art. You may need a bottle cap, a drop of green food coloring, a 6 inch string, and a pink balloon. Seems easy until you realize you can’t buy those things in those quantities. Enter the brilliant person. I purchased lab kits for all three of my kids to use for Apologia science.

The supplies come in baggies for each lesson…LABELED! Pinch me I’m dreaming.

I have tried to set up any system that will make life easier. For example, we are using a lot of library books this year. A basket has been put in the classroom for all library books.

I put a folder inside that I use simply to clip my checkout receipt to. This way I can keep track of which books need to go back to the library! I hate library fines.

The addition of Emma entering a full day of first grade curriculum and my little one being mobile has brought about a lot more work this year for me, but it’s working…

…and it’s all worth it in the end.

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