Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting Ready For School.

We've been taking it pretty easy this summer but it's getting close to time to start school again.  Georgie is going on vacation next week with Granny Franny and I'm hoping to start when he gets back.  We mostly played around with school last year, trying out different things and seeing what worked well and what didn't work at all.  Georgie is technically kindergarten age this year (although the public schools have expressed the preference that he not come to kindergarten until he was 6) so we are going to get a little more structured now.  He is actually doing a mix of kindergarten and first grade work.

I have all my core lessons filed for the year.  There was an extremely long thread on TWTM forums outlining a crate filing plan.  I modified it slightly since we are doing History and Science in a block schedule, rather than doing both daily or weekly.   My Core crate includes 35 hanging file folders, each containing two manila folders - one for Georgie and one for Vicki.   Each week a folder will be taken out and the contents distributed among our magazine holder workboxes.  I do weekly workboxes since I know better than to think I will set them up every night.   Only the Language Arts (reading/phonics, spelling, writing) and Math are in these folders.  The entire years curriculum was divided up into these folders. For things like AAS and RS that I didn't want to take apart the book, I made a check-list of lessons that will be moved from week to week.

For Language Arts:
Georgie will be finishing up Explode the Code book 1 (probably very quickly judging by past performance) and starting Explode the Code book 2.   We're also starting All About Spelling 1.  Georgie always asks how to spell words so I think he will enjoy this.  It will also help reinforce the Phonics/Reading we're doing. We will continue to use emergent readers from Hubbards Cupboard.  I've also added a checklist of literature selections I want to do as Read-Alouds this year. 

Vicki will be starting Get Ready for the Code. She already knows most of her letter sounds thanks to Leapfrog videos but she doesn't seem ready for putting sounds together into words so Get Ready seems a good place to start. She wants a workbook just like Georgie's, so this should satisfy her.   She also has a variety of letter activities including collage pages, dabber pages and coloring pages.  I'm sure she'll be observing Georgie's AAS lessons as well (hopefully we'll be able to keep her hands off the tiles).

We are continuing with MEP Year 1 for Math.  This worked well and Georgie usually enjoyed it.  We are adding in some exercises with the RS Abacus and lessons on Time and Money since these are two topics Georgie is fascinated with.

I thought about starting MEP Reception with Vicki but decided to not press my luck for this year.  I did print off a variety of activity sheets, coloring pages and dabber pages on numbers for her to do.

As always, we will continue to play lots of games together.

For History and Science, we will do these in a block schedule.  We will do one or the other every afternoon (core subjects will be done in the morning).  The kids will do these together since a lot of it will be fun activities, experiments and read-alouds.   I have a second file crate for History and Science (and will at some point add Art/Music and Language).  Each hanging file folder is for a specific topic and contains all printouts, activity descriptions and a supply list and book list.   I have four large plastic drawers that I will use as workboxes for these topics.  At the beginning of each week I will divide the books and activities into the four drawers - one for each day and add all the non-perishable supplies that are needed for that day.  I'm hoping not having to search for stuff will keep us on track.

Once the weather starts cooling off (it has been a brutally hot and humid summer) I hope to integrate more Nature walks (which will also count as PE) into our days.  Georgie will be starting soccer in a couple weeks and both kids will be taking a homeschool gymnastics class.

I'm looking forward to our first full structured school year.

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