Friday, August 6, 2010

There's no place like home

I wanted to share some photos of our current school room with you! Well, by "school room" I really mean dining area/coloring zone/school table/neighborhood hangout, as we currently don't have an actual room dedicated to school. That's all going to change in three weeks but for now, it is what it is!

This will be our fifth year either homeschooling or virtual schooling; Alexei did virtual school for 1st and 2nd grade. I have come a long way in learning what works for us - and what doesn't - and am feeling so relaxed this year. We aren't especially religious so we don't use any of the typical religious curriculums like Abeka. My husband actually works for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the textbook publisher, and we purchase the very best HMH has to offer and have been nothing but happy with our books. In fact I've turned quite a few diehard Abeka fans into HMH followers!

Here is our main school shelf. We have another big bookcase on our front porch that holds a TON of kids' books for pleasure reading, but I just packed most of that up for the impending move so you'll have to wait for photos of our new school room for that.

Here's the view of our little school corner in our dining area. I am SO looking forward to an actual dedicated room! It would be nice not to have syrup all over the backs of all the schoolbooks ;)

This is Alexei's 4th grade shelf, with Coral's pre-K stuff to the right. I'm still waiting on our workbook order for reading but in the meantime he'll "enjoy" an English textbook. From left to right we have: HSP Math, Harcourt Science 2006, Harcourt Social Studies: States and Regions and two workbooks for it, Harcourt's Storytown Winning Catch (waiting on the 4 workbooks for this), and Houghton Mifflin English as our temporary workbook fill-in. To the right of the blue supply box is Coral's Mead Preschool Workbook and some folders for her Alphabuddies crafts.

This is Ibis' 2nd grade shelf. From l to r we have: Harcourt Social Studies - People We Know, Harcourt Science 2006, HSP Math, Harcourt's Storytown workbooks (phonics, practice, spelling, grammar, writing) and 2 textbooks, and to the right of the supply bin, Harcourt's Art Everywhere. All three kids do art together.

Here's a look inside Ibis' daily planner. I like to plan out 6 weeks at a time in pencil and write down the pages we're covering and project ideas for that day. I have some review times blocked out on Fridays in case we have a sick day or a day where we decide to do something outside of the house. I like to have it all laid out in front of me so it's easy to know what we need to do for the day (especially with 3 kids now doing lessons and a baby underfoot) but we're pretty flexible with it. You'll notice if you click for the full-size photo that I don't date this, it's simply labeled with Week 1, Week 2, and so on. I don't ever know when we'll wind up needing time off, so it's nice to not be tied in with the calendar. We're required to school 180 days a year (be it bookwork, field trips, or whatever we consider educational) and I set the lesson plans up for 30 weeks. Reading will run a full 30 weeks but the other subjects will end a bit sooner. We work through all of the lessons in all of the books - this is one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling, that we have the time to do this. Public school teachers typically get through 60% of a textbook in a year (or so I've been told).

I'm hoping we can finish up all three weeks of school here before we move. Even though we're going to be busy packing, I think it will give us all something to focus on that isn't packing and moving. I want to at least get *two* weeks out of the way even if we take the last week in August off. We will for sure take the first week of September off to unpack and arrange our new house. I can't wait to set that up! 

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