Our curriculum plans and link to more

Not Back to School Blog Hop

The new year!
We have a couple weeks yet before we begin. August 22 is our official start date at this point, but at least we know where we are headed.

I made myself a master list like the following but just with the generic subjects listed and then a box for each day of the week. Then I won’t forget what they should be doing each day. And, I can use it to record their grades for each assignment in each subject which will make record keeping so much easier.

In the past I would pull out their individual notebooks and pull their grades off the top of each graded assignment. Now, I will just record it all onto my master sheet throughout the week and just have one paper of info to put into the computer on the weekend. That will make my weekend job a 15 minute one rather than an hour long one.

Lots of the same. We know what works for us and what we love, but some new stuff, too. Of course, since we don’t really follow the regular school calendar, many of these books and subjects they are already in the midst of.

I am streamlining a bit this year and doing history all together. Obviously their homework and their interaction with the material will be quite different over the 8 year age span, but we will all be in the same time period and it will tie into our Bible time as well. Science for all 2-8th will be the same as well. My 8th grader already finished Physical science and General Science so she gets to have fun with us this year as she isn’t really ready for high school science yet.

I am mixing up grammar this year. We love Rod & Staff, but it gets a little repetitive year after year. So, I am going to switch every other year and pepper in Shurley and Easy Grammar. We gave both of these an introductory run during our summer school and they seem to fill the need well.

High School continues to stretch us, but mostly in a good way. This year we will tackle Spanish and Advanced Mathematics (including pre-calc) together.

Nathan — 2nd grade
First Language Lessons (mostly oral)
Saxon Math 3 (already half way through)
Handwriting without tears — big focus!! Trying to improve his pencil grip and penmanship this year
All About Spelling level 3 (almost done)
Truth quest History (Beginnings — ties into Bible)
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE — baseball, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Brooke – 3rd grade
Rod & Staff English 3 (half way through)
Saxon Math 5/4 (half way through)
All About Spelling level 3 (almost done)
Truth quest History
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
A Reason for Handwriting T (half way through)
PE — soccer, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Faith – 6th grade
Easy Grammar Level 1
Saxon Math 8/7 (half way through)
All About Spelling level 4
Truth quest History
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE — soccer, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Paige – 8th grade
Shurley English 7
Algebra 1 (half way through)
Puppetry (Co-op)
IEW Level B (Co-op, I’m teaching)
All About Spelling level 4
Truth quest History
Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
PE — soccer, gym and swim
Blake – 10th grade
Apologia Chemistry (Co-op)
PE — baseball, gym and swim, PE at co-op
Spanish 1
Advance Mathematics (Saxon)
IEW Level C (Co-op, I’m teaching)
Truth quest History
Full days, but wonderfully full. I look forward to another year of exploring life and our amazing world with my kids. In between it all we continue to enjoy the antics of a two year old who breathes new life into everything. Thankful to God for another opportunity to live life in the midst of my family each day.

Works For Me Wednesday: Paper clips and post-it notes

A blog that I have gained quite a bit of useful information from pertaining to homeschooling, home organization, and other responsibilities of motherhood is We Are THAT Family. Each Wednesday she hosts a gathering of ideas that “work.”

The theme for this week’s Works for Me Wednesday is organization, probably an area in which even the most organized among us can benefit from some fresh ideas.

Another great pool of information is at Five J’s Thirsty Thursday posting. You can find a handful of great tips and inspiration to help in the enriching of our kids’ minds.  Today Joy starts out with some great ideas about how to handle a student who is feeling overwhelmed.

Two items my homeschool organization depends on regularly are paperclips and post-it notes. These simple objects have saved my sanity more than once.

Here are just a sampling of places you will find them in my homeschool room:

Marking pages in the text book. Rather than have to flip back and forth to find the current lesson, we mark it with a paper clip and we quickly jump to the right page. And, they stay put a lot better than most book marks.

Marking individual lessons in one multi-use book. When I have many kids at different places in one book (like Spelling Power), I use color coded paperclips to mark each child’s lesson. They each have their own color for these types of things (folders, paperclips, binders, etc.) Blake is red, Paige is pink, etc. We all just know these things since they have been in place for so long now.

Highlighting questions or topics that we don’t want to skip over. A strategically placed post-it note jogs my memory when we read through a lesson or book together.

Post it notes divide up their binders like file tabs. They are so much easier to move around, relabel and personalize than other purchased notebook tabs

Do you have any other simple organizational tools that you depend on in your homeschool? Please share!

Free E-books and reader

Barnes & Noble.com

Barnes and Noble has a free ebook reader available right now. Also, when you download it and create an account you also get six free ebooks including Little Women and Pride and Prejudice.

Just looking over the E-Reader quickly, I am excited about using this tool to read and organize the many ebooks that I have come to acquire. The program gives you a way to organize your books on various “bookshelves” and while reading you may jump to certain pages and chapters as you desire. Also, you can take notes as you read for future reference.

For free, there is not much to complain about in this handy device which you can download to your phone or computer. And, since Little Women was on our list to read this year, that comes as an added bonus.

The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner

Summer tends to be planning season in homeschooling households, and just in time for the formulating frenzy, The Old Schoolhouse has released its brand new 2009 Schoolhouse Planner.

E-Book: The 2009 Schoolhouse Planner

This planner offers far more than stability and structure for your homeschool days. As we all know, the role of mother, home manager, teacher, negotiator, etc. overlap throughout each day. And, likewise, the parameters of the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner stretch into these roles as well.

A sampling of what you will enjoy with this tool:

Calendars — including ideas appropriate for each month from July (starting in just a couple weeks!) through June 2010; yearly calendars up to 2012; along with recipes and resources appropriate for each month

Inspiration — from well known homeschool authors (including Jay Wile and Amanda Bennett), addressing topics pertinent to homeschool families.

Must-know lists and compiled charts — from presidents to cloud types to geographical terms, the periodical table as well as miracles and parables.

Record Keeping — fill in schedules (for two, three, four, and five children), grade tracking, field trip planning, activity managers, inventory sheets, goals, etc. This book offers 120 pages of homeschool related forms and schedules!

Household help — they don’t send a person, but all of these resources can help everything run more smoothly. This also gives you a place and format to compile essential information. They help you organize chores, medical information, schedules, menus, gardening, pets, parties, and budgets. Over 60 pages of these useful tools.

Each of the forms is made to either print and write on, or type right onto and print out filled in, whatever you prefer. You can save your changes for further modification, or to build on, or print and save the hard copy.

The only downside I have found is that if you want to keep more than one computer based copy of one of the forms, you would need to save the whole planner more than once on your computer. Since I plan on storing hard copies of the record sheets, this did not diminish its usefulness for me, but it was something I had to consider when printing out the various copies for each of my kids. However, if you own a copy of Adobe Acrobat (not Acrobat Reader, the free download, but a rather expensive software), it has the capability of saving individual pages in modified format.

I have big plans for organizing this summer and pulling together all the information and strategies that I need for the year ahead. This wonderful planner has given me the framework and tools to make it all a reality. I had already started before receiving the planner, but the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner has done a lot of the work for me, and now I don’t need to go searching all over the internet to get it done, making my precious planning time even more efficient.

And, since it is all in an ebook format you can print and reprint the various pages as you need to keep them visible around your home and keep your family all on the same page.

All of these resources, 375 overflowing pages, are packed into this one e-book for $39.00. You would want to purchase it soon to take full advantage of the planning and ideas available even to enrich your celebration and study of the Fourth of July, and to have all the information in place for the new school year.

Purchase the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner.

Read more reviews of the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner.