Friday, August 8, 2014

Week One in Pictures: 2014/2015

I won't be updating weekly. I will have a ton of enthusiasm for a few weeks as the new year starts and by January I will have forgotten I have a blog. That's just the way it is. Hopefully, I will do better at journaling the more interesting things we do throughout the year.

We've had a fun week though. Here are a few of the highlights.

Our first day of school! Christian appears happy, right?
Anna is doing some preschool work. This is making our days go much smoother. We work in a Rod & Staff workbook, About Three, and read a book or work a puzzle. She gets my time first and this seems to make things smoother.

JJ is blowing through Math-U-See Primer. We're already on Lesson 3 and everyday he wants to do more math problems!

Our current read-alouds

I love this wooden crate I found at Wal-Mart to keep our current curriculum, books, and field guides in.

I've been so excited about Paddle-to-the Sea!

We're labeling a blank map as we go through the book one chapter a week.
Lily and JJ made canoes this week. Lily named her canoe "Paddle-to-America" and JJ's is "Tennessee."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Crafty Things and Loop Scheduling

Our first week of 2014/2015 is off to the exact start I expected! Both my "students" are doing great...and my non-students like to give me alternating cries, but I think they're getting it.
Something new I'm trying this year is loop scheduling. It helps my Type-A, scheduling personality, but is flexible enough for having young kids in the home. This year I didn't schedule specific school dates and decided to just do 180 days. I was worried if I had specific subjects on specific days some subjects may get skipped more. I came up with the index-binder ring idea below. (My sweet friend actually found these already made at the Dollar Tree! When she told me about them I was so excited since was exactly what I had been thinking. And I didn't have to make them!) I have two loops going right now: 1) Science-History-Science-History-Geography and 2) Poetry-Picture Study-Poetry-Composer Study-Hymn Study. I've actually completed poetry every day so far, but just in case I added it in to the "loop." I just turn the card when we complete a subject and I know the next day we do school we move to the next subject. It's easier to keep track of what to do in situations like when we do school on Wednesday and not again until Monday. Loop scheduling is nothing new. It's just new to us.
My next idea was that I needed somewhere to hang my loops. I found this dry erase board combo on Amazon, but felt it was a bit pricey. I ended up making my own. I bought a much cheaper dry erase board with a cork border. My loops are hung by these cute, decorative clothespins I made with crafting tape. I glued a thumbtack to the back and...Voila!

I use the white board to keep track of our artist, composer, and hymn studies. So far I'm loving it and am very happy with loop scheduling. Our general school day has a few kinks to be ironed out, but is otherwise right on track.