Saturday, February 26, 2011

Summer School

I've been thinking about breaks. I started the year off planning to stick as close as possible to the public school schedule. I've changed my mind. Drastically.
One of the perks of HS is that it doesn't have to be done like public school. I've learned that in more way than one. Certainly, HS provides opportunities to take a break whenever you want. We can take a family vacation in the middle of October or February if we want. Thankfully, the HS laws for our state are pretty lenient as long as we get in 180 school days a year.
I decided that we will be schooling year around. This gives us more days throughout the year to play with for breaks. We also won't be wasting any time with review for a typical new school year. As we finish one curriculum we'll move right into the next level instead having to wait until August. We'll break when we feel like we need it. Hopefully that will prevent the dreaded burn out that I hear about.
I like the routine that schooling for a few hours provides for us. It seems to keep our day "neater." I don't want to lose that during the summer.

Our "classroom"

No, we do not have a room dedicated to school time. Most homeschoolers do not. It would be nice to have a space dedicated to school time but that's just not the case for us. So we make the space that we do have work for us.
We started with a small desk and a bookcase in my husband's man cave (den). #1 is very social and hated being alone. She even balks at being sent to her room to read for 15 minutes. So I moved her to the kitchen table. That worked for a while but for some reason we started doing everything at the kitchen bar. We've settled here and it works well for us. My kitchen/dining area is becoming very educational!

This is the laundry room where I keep the art supplies.

A few books scattered here and there

 A broom closet that needs some serious help

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Spelling Program

We got so tired of the typical spelling program of say-spell-say and write write write. It was boring and hard and #1 wasn't retaining anything. As is typical for me, I read about spelling programs until I was blue in the face. I was looking for a few things in whatever program we chose: 1)Worksheets. I wanted more than a list of words. 2)Friendly to the kinesthetic learner. In other words, worksheets PLUS hands on activites. 3)Christian based (though not completely necessary).
I looked at several programs and narrowed it down over a few days. I finally settled on A Reason For Spelling. It met all 3 of my requirements. We've only used it for one school week but didn't use all the worksheets for that week. So far, #1 and I both LOVE it!
It comes with the student workbook and teacher's manual. After using the placement test on the A Beginning Advantage website, we chose Level C to start with.
We haven't had a full school week to use it yet. It came in the mail on a Tuesday and I was too excited to wait until the next week. It is easy enough to use that I didn't have to study the teacher's manual and make out a plan sheet. I want to spend the next day or so getting more familiar with the materials and use the program at it's maximum. With that being said, one could see that it can be a user friendly (mama friendly) program.
I'll update more when we've had more experience.

Oh, I bought it from because it was cheaper to order from there.

Valentine's Day

My girls have been working so hard at school. That means Mama has been working hard too! My house is a total disaster (no, really). We had a busy weekend. So we took the day off from school today. I desperately needed to get some house work done.
It's quite amazing how horrible the house can get. But there are THREE kids here all the time. So it makes sense that my house is a wreck! Sometimes I feel so guilty at how bad the house gets. Let's just say that I'm not the super organized type (though I'd like to be). I want my house to be clean, or at least picked up, but not so clean that we all feel stifled. That balance has been a difficult one for me to find. Clean but not too clean......

When I laid #3 down for her nap, the big girls and I did a Valentine art project. Nothing fancy, just fun. I also started an idea sheet (my attempt at being organized!) of projects/toys for #3 to play with when I'm schooling the big girls. For some reason #3 just does not like it when she not getting all the attention! Go figure.
I'd add my idea sheet here but I'm too computer illiterate for that :-/
Here's the blog website I get most of my ideas from for tot school.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baby schools too!

I had one of those mommy moments and had to snap a pic. The baby hates being left out of school time. She loves it when I pull up a chair for her to stand in while I work with the big girls. So I've started incorporating tot trays. Here she is hard at work.

I love this intense concentration!

And a picture of all 3 of them. My babies.

I got the tot trays idea from another homeschool blog mama. She has alot of really great ideas.