Friday, July 23, 2010

Homeschool Friday (Yes, I'm going to try to make this a thing)

Sometimes I wonder if I chose to homeschool simply to indulge in my love of school supplies.

I love school supplies.

Clean reams of white paper, freshly sharpened pencils, stacks of folders and binders, and there is just not much better than a box of Crayola crayons (no Rose Art for me, thankyouverymuch. Only the good stuff that doesn't wipe wax everywhere.). And flashcards. Have I mentioned the stash of flashcards Dave's mom got the Tot? Awesome doesn't even begin to describe them. Shapes, Colors, Adding, Subtracting, Division, Phonics, Presidents, Landmarks, Insects, Dinosaurs....and the list goes on. We have close to twenty boxes of flashcards, all with the most awesome pictures on them. Currently, Tot is already digging through the Insect one telling me all about "God's Nature", as she calls it.

Anyway, I've spent the last week or two trolling the school supply shelves for all the goodies I could find and everything we're going to need to start school on August 2nd. We'll be doing 36 weeks of school starting August 2nd and ending on May 20th. I'm giving us a little wiggle room here, so that that if for some reason we need an extra week or a day here or there, then we have the last week or so of May to get caught up without creeping in on our Summer. But that means that school starts in a week. A WEEK. I've got lots to do, my friends. Thankfully, I've already had one good morning dedicated to getting everything in order - thanks (again) to Dave's mom watching the kids :).

My project for the morning the kids were gone was gathering all of our materials and separating them by week. I did this so that all I will have to do each week to get ready will be to get out a folder. All our work will be in one spot (save our hardback books) and I won't have to hunt and gather every day. So, I made a folder for each week, labeled them (Week 1, Week 2, etc) and put them all in a crate.

Then, I got out all of our workbooks and notebook pages and ripped them all out of their binding. It was both exhilarating and terrifying. I took each subject and separated them by week (most were already done that way) and then put them in the corresponding folder. So, for example, I took our Math book and tore out all the pages. We will be doing 1 page a day, so I put five pages in each folder. Then I took our Science book out. We will be doing one unit of Science a week, taking about three days each week to complete the work - with some taking four. So, I took each unit out of the book and all the corresponding lab sheets and materials lists, etc. and filed them by week. Bonus Find? I realized that there is a Bill Nye the Science Guy DVD for almost all of our units! Score! Then on my master Science unit list, I wrote a note on each week reminding me what video to reserve at the library. I found the library also has videos on each country, so I may do a little reserving for that as well :)

And that is my major accomplishment to date. I've filled our folders with all of Tot's subjects, and now I just need to add a few enrichment activities, make a master list of books/videos to reserve, field trip list, get the last few science materials, and hang up my fancy whiteboard and I'll be ready to go.

But will I be ready to have a 1st grader, a Pre-K-er, and a small thing learning to walk?

That is whole 'nother story.


Daisha said...

That is exactly how I envision being organized. Now... actually being that on top of things is another story. I do have a pretty awesome planner that I intend to rock out.

Thanks for sharing your strategy. It motivates me to get crakin'.

A Fancher said...

Man, I love that someone else out there is like me. Jarrod would swear that I'm the only one that does stuff like that =). I just wish in our house that it would stick. I start out with something like that and then in a few weeks, it flies out the window. How do you get and keep everybody on board?

Unsinkable Kristen said...

Well, this is really my first year with this particular way of organizing. Last year Tot was the only one doing school, and she really didn't have much stuff. This year, it feels like we have three times as many things to be doing (and we almost do), so we have a much greater NEED to be organized. Regardless, it's really just for me to keep all the papers in one spot. I'm hoping that by getting all the work done on the front end, that I won't really have to do anything to keep it going for the rest of the year. Fingers crossed.

Tiffany said...

So. Jealous.

Jennifer said...

You amaze me. And if I decide to homeschool, you're the person I'll be coming to, hands down. You rock.