Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gearing up for School (again)

The past few weeks have been heavy on the experiences (camping, rafting, nature walks) but light on the school work.  With all the packing and clean-up from camping trips, paperwork to prepare for the new house and some changes to our curriculum, things have been pretty loose. 

But, all that is going to change (sort of - I'm never all that strict).   I’ve finished setting up a modified workbox system to keep organized, set up creativity boxes for free times and prepared our plans for the next few months.  We are schooling year round because of the pretty random weeks we take off here and there.  If we took three months off for the summer in addition to the 2-3 weeks at Christmas, the random weeks when Georgie vacations with Granny Franny, weeks for family vacations, weeks with a lot of outside activities, and doing 4 day weeks we’d never get anything done.

I always liked the idea of workboxes but knew I didn’t have the time to fill them every night.  We don’t have a lot of space for bins or drawers so I decided to do a combination of magazine holders and drawers and organize a week’s worth of work at a time.

Our core subjects are in magazine holders.   Except for Math, most of these we just proceed to the next pages in the book so only one holder was needed for each subject. Georgie’s Explode the Code book stands up on the shelf next to the magazine holders. 

The holders contain:

-Handwriting Worksheets (although I may change this since we will be doing a lot of this using our Crayola Dry-Erase Activity Center).
-Phonetic/Emergent Readers
-All About Spelling
-Letter and Number dabber/sticker pages for Vicki to do while Georgie’s doing his work if she doesn't want to do her Tot Trays. (these are from Confessions of a Homeschooler, Making Learning Fun and itsy bitsy learners. They are usually called magnet pages).
-Fine Motor Skills – Kumon Cutting book and books of Mazes.
-Monday’s Math – we are going to alternate doing Time (using a Leap Frog wipe off book and geared clock) and Money (using workbooks and real money).
-Tuesday’s Math – MEP.  All supplies needed to do a lesson – teacher pages, student pages and accessories will be in the holder.
-Wednesday’s Math – RS Abacus and Activity book.
-Thursday’s Math – MEP.
The magazine holders sit on a shelf out of reach of little hands.  I know this kind of defeats the original purpose of workboxes which is to promote independent work, but with Vicki around it’s necessary.  Very little of Georgie’s work is truly independent at this point anyway.

Our History and Science activities are in three drawers of a plastic drawer system.  I’m planning/gathering materials for three topics at a time.  Each drawer contains the printouts, craft/activity supplies and lesson plan for a topic.

I plan to do the core subjects in the morning with Georgie doing his Reading, Writing and Math while Vicki plays with her Tot trays or does dabber pages.  This would probably take an hour or two at most.  Once we are done the kids will get a chance to do the Tot trays together (since I don’t think Georgie will be able to resist them), have creative time, outside play or we’ll play games until lunch.  After lunch we will do our History or Science lesson.  I plan to spend an entire week (or however long it takes) doing a History or Science lesson and alternating between them, rather than trying to do both in the same week.  I think completing a topic will make more sense to the kids and provide continuity.

Coming up:

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Lesson D-1 – Gravity and Horizontal/Vertical

BFSU – Lesson D-2 – Day, Night and the Earth’s Rotation

BFSU – Lesson D-3 – Reading and Drawing Maps, Lesson D-3a – North, East, South and West, and Evan Moor Beginning Geography

A brief overview of US History

To see what others are doing, visit Preschool Corner & 5K too at Homeschool Creations.

preschool corner

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