Sunday, September 9, 2018

Not-back-to-school 2018 Room tour

I'm going to give blogging another go this year! So to start off, a bit of a tour of our new schooling area. We decided that a dedicated homeschool room didn't work well for us. We always end up taking everything upstairs near the couch because we like to be comfortable for read-alouds. Slowly everything migrates there and the homeschool room gets forgotten. 

We also decided we wanted somewhere more organized for our games. We play a lot of games and they were stored in various locations all over the house. So we made the school room into the play room. And the large playroom was converted into a new family area. 

We started with getting all of our games into one organized place. 

I could look at this shelf all day! I love it! 

We added a futon couch so we can sit and read or play games, or we can lay it out for the girls to get comfortable when working on projects. Yay options. We got a new tv for upstairs so our old one will be coming down here soon. Against the wall is a folding card table and chairs. That's what we plan on using for games so we still have the option of having the space be open. 

Some cubbies for random stuff and the printer.

Drawers and desks. Two of the drawers are turned backwards because they have my kids' names on the front. Most of what we use every day will be stored here. We have plenty of space and the desks are light, so we plan on often pulling them away from the wall to use more comfortably wherever. 

A lot of cubbies and shelves for extra storage. The bookcase is mostly school stuff and the pink cubbies are mostly books. And yes, that's a chalkboard wall. :) 

We have lots of open space to work with!

I'm hoping with these options we can keep our school stuff contained and not migrate all over the house! I love doing school in various places, but we have a hard time getting all the stuff back home when we frequently use somewhere else. I'm sure we'll still take everything outside some days and often on the road, but hopefully we can keep it out of the main living areas upstairs! 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Weekly Wrap-up

This week went by so fast! Monday daddy had the day off and we didn't have co-op, so we spent the day cleaning and organizing and playing games with the kids. Nothing too exciting, but the house needed it! 

Bear has been working hard on her reading lessons but she still doesn't want to share progress with anyone. She recently switched to hooked on phonics instead of OPGTR. I prefer the latter but she wasn't a fan of it. 

Monkey has surprised me by really liking history this year. We've never been very consistent with history, she's much more a STEM kid. We've changed our plans at least once every year, trying to find something that she can find even a bit of interest in. She started with state history this year thinking she would like that, but she found it very dry. So once again, we switched up history plans. For the third time we gave ancients a go, this time using History Odyssey. She's loving it! Twice this week she asked for history before science!! I'm hoping to get through ancients in a little under a year so we can complete the 4-year cycle in three years. I have my sights on years 7 & 8 of Build Your Library, so I'd like to finish our world history tour by 7th. We'll see how it goes, I don't want to rush it if she's enjoying the rabbit trails and extra readings. 

Bear's favorite subject is math. She usually does at least two days worth of what I have planned every day. We're using Singapore Essentials and I've heard that A is closer to a review of preschool level but B picks up a lot in difficulty. So I'm fine with her going so quickly through book A; we can slow down when she gets to book B and spend more time there. 

Monkey is still really loving spelling. I'm going to adjust our schedule so we hit it twice a week instead of just once. She's doing level 3 right now since she wasn't home last year to do it and we didn't want to skip any levels with this program (AAS), but I think she'd be happier at a higher level.

Engineering fun! She loves using the engino's to build something new each week to go along with our engineering lesson. We're finishing up our unit on wheels, axels, and inclined planes. I think we're moving on to pulley's next. 

In science we're learning about Newton's laws. Here she is testing to see what happens to the lego guy when we push the car under him with and without support behind his back, and running it into a wall. 

The big blue ball has been getting a lot of attention this week! She bounced on it through her entire math worksheet and still wanted to roll around on it during science. 

Taking a break to play some Lazer Maze while I worked with Bear. We have a lot of these solo-play thinking games. They're great for a bit of a break from seat work without getting out of thinking mode for school. 

Bear likes to play them, too. This one is Rush Hour. I will do a post soon with some of our favorite thinking games.

Bear enjoys having some computer time after she's finished her work with me. She's doing either Hooked on Phonics or ABCmouse here, I'm not sure which. All the paper scattered about is because cutting up paper is her favorite thing to do while I'm working with Monkey. We're still working on picking the bits back up!

Monkey is enjoying her new theater class! This week the class learned a skit that they're going to perform for the other classes at the halloween party in a couple of weeks. They played games and practiced one of the songs for their year end play. 

We went on a field trip with our co-op. The girls learned about energy sources, leaves, solar power, and explored some pond water for life!

We went for a hike to check out all the awesome fall colors!

And I'll end with this picture that demonstrates the difficulty I have getting Monkey to sit still for lessons! She really is my monkey :) 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Our schedule

We don't worry about keeping to exact times, what we do is more of a routine. But I do like to have a schedule mapped out with times just to help me know about where we should be and to help me be realistic with time expectations.

Monkey's Schedule

Co-op day! Co-op is a pretty full day, so at most Monkey does some Beast Academy in the car on the way to or from.

Tuesday - Thursday:

9:00 - Morning time: memory work, ASL, and read alouds
10:00 - Math
10:45 - Language arts: T/Th - Writing, word roots, dictation W - Writing, spelling, cursive
11:45 - educational sites on computer
12:00 - Lunch break
1:00 - Science: T/Th - Physics W - Engineering
1:30 - History
2:00 - Quiet/read time

9:00 - read alouds
9:30 - math
10:00 - writing
10:30 - art
12:00 - lunch
1:00 - cooking, games, or whatever else they're wanting to do

OR - Friday field trip with math and writing at some point.

Bear's Schedule:

Monday: Co-op

Tuesday - Thursday:
9:00 - Morning Time with Monkey
10:00 - Free play in school room
10:30 - Math, phonics, Kumon
11:15 - Free play in school room or on abcmouse
12:00 - Lunch
1:00 - Tags along with Monkey for science and history or free play
2:00 - K read alouds

9:00 - listens in to read aloud
9:30 - free play in school room
10:00 - math and phonics
10:30 - art
12:00 - lunch
1:00 - cooking, games, etc....

OR field trip

I aim for one field trip a month. We tend to leave afternoon stuff for after lunch even if we finish morning work early. That just means a longer lunch break! The most likely part of the schedule to get skipped is the first half of morning time. I really like to be starting seat work by 10 so if we have a slow morning, we skip whatever we need to of morning time. I consider 10 to be one of my "anchor points" in our schedule. Seat work starts at 10, lunch stop at 12, the rest is flexible.

Weekly Wrap-up

Wrapping up from last week because I totally dropped the ball on posting Friday. :)

Monkey is moving right along in math. She's loving Singapore and we're glad we switched. She had wanted to try Math Mammoth this year, but we quickly realized it wasn't a good fit for her. (Great program, just not for her!) She's still doing Beast Academy, too, just on the side.

Physics this year for science has been a good choice. It fits in well with doing engineering for her tech class. She's also in an animal studies class at co-op and that has been a lot of fun for her. Every week a child spin the globe and touches a spot. Over the next week they each choose an animal from that region and prepare a short presentation on it. They spend most of the class on the presentations before choosing the next. So far Monkey has reported on the Giant Panda, the NW Moose, and the Giraffe Weevil of Madagascar.

History Odyssey is a new addition over the last week. Before that Monkey was going to do Studies Weekly to do a state study. But she found it very dull and it wasn't what I really wanted to focus on anyway, so we let it go. She's enjoying studying the ancients much more than on our previous attempts at it (once in 1st and for a short bit last year when we were afterschooling). Bear is following along just without Monkey's required output.

Bear took a bit of a break from learning to read. She was getting a bit overwhelmed with it, so I let her take a small step back. We'll slowly get back to it. In the meantime she's doing great with math. I'm guessing she'll be on to 1st grade with it well before the end of the year.

Bear is enjoying tumbling but Monkey decided to take a break from it. She's now doing a theater class. She's only been once so far but she liked it. It's all singing and being dramatic, I'm sure she'll do great!!

No pictures this week, I just got a new phone and haven't yet messed with getting my pics off the old one :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our curriculum this year

Our curriculum 2017-2018

Monkey is 9 and in 4th grade this year.

Singapore Primary Math 4 US ed.
Supplementing with Beast Academy 3

Language Arts:
Spelling: All About Spelling 3 (She was in PS last year and we didn't want to skip a level. She'll be to 4 before the end of the year.)
Writing & Grammar: Essentials in Writing 4
Cursive: Zaner Bloser 4
Vocabulary: Word Roots Beginning
Reading: I read aloud daily and she reads to herself at least 30 min. I honestly don't time her reading anymore as she reads plenty on her own. As of now I'm not assigning specific books.

REAL Science Odyssey Physics
Engineering with Engino

History Odyssey Ancients

Critical Thinking:
Think Analogies
Mind Benders

Fine Arts:
Home Art Studio
Local theater class

Bear is 4 and in K this year.

Math: Singapore Essentials

Language arts:
Reading/Phonics: Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading
Writing: Zaner Bloser K

Social Studies/Science/Lit:
Build Your Library K
She also tags along for Monkey's science and history.

Motor Skills/Just because she likes them ;) 
Kumon maze books
Kumon Logic, Spatial Reasoning, and Critical Thinking books
Any K level all-in-one style workbook she can get

Home Art Studio


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Weekly Wrap-Up

We had a great week here! I feel like we are getting into a good homeschooling rhythm much easier than prior years.

We had our first day of co-op! The girls loved their classes. Monkey is taking a lego class, acting, history with American Girl, and animal studies. Bear is doing stories, crafts, and games in a few different K classes. 

The weather was excellent so we spent a lot of time doing school outside! 

 Bear loves workbooks. This is one she's been doing just for fun. She's only had it a week and she's about two-thirds through it already!

 Monkey is doing great building up her writing endurance. This took a while, but she finished it!

Monkey is loving engineering. We're using Engino and she's learning a lot! The instruction booklets are very thorough. We first read about the simple machine we're working with, then we do a build, and then we do 'experiments' using what we've built. Right now we're working on wheels, axels, and inclined planes. 

We spent some time baking this week. I only gave instructions, Monkey did most of the work with a bit of help from Bear. 

 Their favorite part of baking!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Our School Room!

Our School Room

We are so excited about our school room this year! The kids helped pick out the theme and put it all up. Let me take you on a little tour!

Coming up to our room.

Surprise, surprise, a monkey theme! I wonder whose idea that was?!

View from the door. The black desk is where I keep my stuff. I have printer paper and binders for finished work stored here. Also all the sorted work for the rest of this semester. In the white cubbies by my desk is a lot of the stuff I use daily like teacher guides, pens, markers, stickers.... We also have our Dalek speaker for playing music!

Coming around the room this is from the corner straight on from the door. In the corner is our paper trays for construction and other paper. Under that is a lot of our art supplies. 

Continuing around the room, this is from my desk. You can see the rest of my Expedit shelving where I keep most of our things we've collected over the last few years. The green drawers are puzzles. The bookshelf you can just see off to the left is for Bear's activities that I can change out daily or weekly to keep her occupied while I work with Monkey. She usually finds things to do on her own, though!

View from the art corner. The white cubbies in the corner hold some math manipulatives, flash cards, a few puzzles, and some other odds and ends. On top is a carousel with scissors, markers, pens, and index cards. The drawers between those and Bear's shelves are Monkey's. We keep some of her workbooks in there and there is also a drawer for her to keep her projects that she works on during down time. The bottom drawer holds her weighted lap pad and a robe in case she gets cold! 

A closer look at our white board area. We use All About Spelling so the board is always kept set up for that. We still have plenty of space to use it for other things as well. The corkboard beneath is just for various things to keep pinned up. I do have a schedule in the pocket chart, but it's just a rough one that we may or may not follow! Also a space heater because this room is in the basement and it does tend to get cold in the winter. 

A better view of my expedit shelves. 
Top row: extra notebooks and folders; easy readers and other books; HoP, Rosetta Stone, and Bob books; bins holding manipulatives, small containers, and glitter; sensory bin stuff.
2nd row: Some of our books for reading this year; bin with random office supplies; the books for our evolution unit; bin with extra crafting supplies; art stuff
3rd row: Bear's stuff for this year; Monkey's stuff for this year; extra science stuff; extra math and art and some things Bear is not quite ready for; more art and craft supplies.
4th row: Math and LA; geopuzzles; science; random hands-on stuff; file folder games, anatomy game, and phonics helps.
5th row; 1st bin is mostly a junk drawer right now! 2nd has 'busy bags'; 3rd has science kits (mostly MSB); 4th has seasonal activities that I buy a year in advance when they go clearance; 5th has big containers and other random stuff we end up needing (craft stick, cotton balls, sand...)
On top is mostly art and science supplies. 

And that's our room! We like having the kids' desks in the middle. It gives us more wall space for stuff and room to move around them, but they are easy to slide off to the side if we need a lot of floor space for anything. 

Thanks for visiting!