I have long put off writing about what we did this year for homeschool. It’s actually on my list of topics to blog about, all 50 of them, that I have yet to do! But, when I got a super sweet tweet asking me about organization/homeschooling, I decided it was now or never. Um, but yeah, that tweet was over two weeks ago, so it’s now (or two weeks later…) or never. Same, same.
Last year (2010-2011 school year) went great, I couldn’t have been happier. But, my kids were charging through their curriculum, and by the end of the year, our school days were super short because we stinkin’ ran out of curriculum! Since both Jude & Zara are in school this year, and because I will have another one in school in August, I wanted to get some “independent” study type programs so I could share my time with the kids better, and to insure we wouldn’t run out of materials. Unfortunately, I am not going to be able tell you that I love the online programs, they are basic state standards and don’t think outside the box at all, but they get the basics done, track the grading, and advance by mastery. Most importantly they give me more time to work with each child separately.
Curriculum for Jude (Grade 2):
-Mathematics: Saxon, Xtra Math (online), Symphony Math (online)
-Language Arts: Spelling Workout, First Language Lessons, Reading Plus (online)
Curriculum for Zara (Kindergarten):
-Mathematics: Saxon, Xtra Math (online)
-Launguage Arts: Tatras, Lexia (online), First Language Lessons
The kids do the following together:
Social Studies: Story of the World
Science: Astronomy – I have to mention that we have book by creation something or another and while it is pretty good as far as giving me basic astronomy curriculum for 2nd & K, which is hard to find, I just get bummed out when they want to throw in Bible verse in just for the sake of putting a verse in. Is it really more Christian to study planets just because there is a verse on each page? Really? BUT, I do like that I found an Astronomy book for my kids at their ages because we’ve really enjoyed doing a “Classical” method of studies, and this helps me stay more organized to have a complete curriculum. (As opposed to using an older grade and editing it myself.)
Physical Education: Just following the state guidelines + anything else we can add in! My kids are super active so this is never a problem for us.
I think that’s it, it sounds so simple when I write it out – but it takes up our lives! haha! If you have any questions feel free to ask.
As far as organization, I am able to stay more organized by getting switching stuff out all the time. I don’t keep curriculum unless someone is going to be in that same stuff in the next year. (We just don’t have room, and since we are in a Charter program right now, it works out well that they can use that curriculum for another student!) I also have limited myself to two storage areas, so anything that doesn’t fit, I can’t keep, and I pass on AND I also don’t buy more then I have room for.
Here’s the closet. You can see the curriculum we use daily all on that one shelf. The baskets all hold different categories of activities. One is all the math manipulatives. One all the Language Arts, spelling cards/games/activities. One science projects, etc… This makes them easy to get out, use, put away, and the kids understand the organization method so this is good and they can help me clean up. (I added another basket in place of that stack of cards, I don’t know if these baskets are still available anywhere, but they are John Derian for Target and I am IN LOVE!)
This is the credenza/buffet. I only have a few things stored in here, but the drawers are so super helpful for art supplies! One drawer is crayons, one watercolors, one coloring books, etc…
I know some people have an entire room dedicated to homeschool, but obviously we don’t have that kind of space right now, and I’m guessing most people don’t either. But, this has all worked out perfectly as far as organization, and even though it’s not a lot of space, I am forced to stay organized and get rid of things I would otherwise try to get pack-rat with.
If you want more info on homeschool, and what we did for the past grades you can read those posts here!