Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - New School Year Excitement

Linking up to: Top Ten Tuesdays

 Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings
  1. Anticipation: We start a new school year the second week in August.  The kids have been seeing all of the new changes around here and that is building excitement.   I keep hearing, “Can I start my copywork now?” or “Can I learn the new timeline?”  Aaahhh---music to my ears. 
  2. Getting back into a routine: This summer has been a good mix of ‘go with the flow days’ and planned play dates, outings and trips.  It will be nice to get back to a normal day to day routine.  At this stage, having a predictable routine really helps the flow of our days.  It prevents burn out and boredom. 
  3. New Room: No, we didn’t add on or convert the garage.  Although that is a dream.  We switched rooms.  We have a pretty small house and we decided to make the family room the school room and the formal dining room the family/tv room.  I’ll post pics of our new space in the Not Back to School Blog Hop soon.  (Here’s a link to pics of our set up last year and the year before) This change grew out of frustration with a lack of space for books and such.  So we made a late in the year switch.  We’ve added some new pieces of furniture during the summer…all relatively cheap (under $30) and rearranged furniture.
  4. Organization: The beginning of the school year, typically means that I’ve spent the majority of the summer organizing.  I’ve organized books, rooms, files and materials, learning toys, etc.  I’m not quite done…but, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the unorganized tunnel.
  5. MFW K: Sis will be starting My Father’s World Kindergarten!  Yay!  This is a repeat for us—a first.  Bud used this for his pre-k 4 year.  We really enjoyed it and he still refers back to the ‘words to remember’.  However, I did not like the layout of the teacher’s manual.  But, MFW came out with an updated edition of the TM and it is wonderful!  Because I had the old TM, I was able to trade it in for the new one for a lower fee.  I can’t wait to get started!!  Lil Bear will also join in with Sis!! It’s going to be a great year!  
  6. Memoria Press:  Bud is going to be using Memoria Press 1st Grade!  I’ve looked over the site and got a chance to read it at our local Mardel store.  I also took DH to see it and he really liked it, too.  I love that it focuses on the core: Language Arts, Math and recitation/memory work.  Everything else Is gravy.   I’ll add our ‘everything else’ in another post.  But, we’ll be following this pretty close to the TM. 
  7. Classical Conversations:  This will be our 2nd year of CC and Sis will be joining in this year, too!  Woo Hoo!  Classical Conversations was a great framework for us last year.  It gave the much needed overall structure to our days and year.  We made great friendships last year and we can’t wait to get back to CC in September.  
  8. Tutoring: Speaking of CC, I have agreed to tutor this year.  Aaahh!  Because I tend to hyper plan I am putting off printing and planning for this until all of our core homeschool materials are organized, printed, filed and ready to go.   I’ll be posting some things that have helped me get started planning as a tutor even though I don’t know what students or classroom I’ll have. 
  9. New curriculum and new levels of favorites: In addition to Memoria Press, we will also be trying the following materials for the first time: Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, Saxon K, Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space (We are only going to use the Earth portion.), Christian Kids Explore Biology (We are not using the Anatomy portion this year.), and First Language Lessons.  It will also be great to continue with CLE Math and All About Spelling with Bud this year.  I always find it exciting getting
  10. Extra Hands on history with friends: Why in the world do I have so many CC Cycle 1 Pinterest pins anyway?  Well, the answer to that question is to find some great hands on activities that correlate with our history, science or geography sentences for the week.  Some of our friends, which also go to our CC campus, are planning to get together for some of those projects that are more fun to do with a group.  So for instance, we may be learning about the Egyptians at CC and later that week, some of us get together for a History ‘play/learn-date’ and build a lego pyramid or try our hand at decoding hieroglyphics.  Sounds fun, huh?  We’ll see how this turns out—but we’re really looking forward to it. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

What we've been up to.....

I just wanted to post what we've been up to this Summer.

- I've been working on my 20 year highschool reunion committee.  Wow!  It's hard to believe it's been that long--it sure doesn't feel like it.  Any other 1992 grads out there?
- Narrowing down curriculum choices and extra charts, printables, learning supplies, etc.  I have all the curriculum purchased and ready to go...it's all those little extras now: magnet tiles, index boxes, making binders, printing out all of those lovely resources I've found on Pinterest, etc, etc.
- Organizing, de-cluttering and setting up for the start of our new school year.
- I'm working on a Nursery Rhyme activity schedule for Lil Bear.  I'm matching it up to go along with MFW K since Sissy will be doing that in the Fall and Lil Bear will be 'tagging along'.  Anyone else using MFW K this Fall?
- I'm working with DH on thoughts, ideas and structure for our Bible focus this year.  So, I've gathered supplies, narrowing down choices and trying to 'flesh it out' on paper.
- I was really busy before the summer on Pinterest.  I pinned a gazillion---not quite--but a lot of ideas to correlate with History, Science and other Cycle 1 subjects.  Now, I'm trying to narrow those down to just one History and Science idea per week to do along with a few other CC families as just additional enrichment.

- Listening and enjoying John Phillip Sousa and creating instruments and pulling out their instruments to play along.
- Working on 'projects': Sis found a bunch of random stickers, pipe cleaners and other craft supplies and has been making 'Christmas decorations'...you can never start too early.  Bud has been using cardstock and scissors and cutting numbers freehand...he's in the 30's now.  Hmmmm....he's going to have great scissor skills.  Lil Bear has been 'copying' big brother and is 'cutting' something really 'pecial....it's precious;)
- Swimming and sprinkler parks: Swim lessons are finished for the summer and now they get to go with Dad to the pool when he gets home.  We try to go as often as possible.  We've also been to different sprinkler parks in our area.....it's almost a necessity around here.
- Making up games,  playing together and reading....that pretty much sums up the summer.
- We have a few more 'big' things to do and go to before we start back up in August.  But for the most part they are just 'taking it easy'.  This is really helping to add anticipation for school---they can't wait to get started and using and reading all of the new books.

 I hope your Summer is going well, too!

Linking up to: Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers