Tuesday, August 21, 2012

back to school

We have started our home school year and so far it is going SO well. This is the first year I've felt pretty confident with my plans and the books I chose. I guess that just comes with time. I tried to really pinpoint some problems we had last year and come up with ways avoid those same problems before ever starting this year. And it's working :) Also, Kelby is a little less disruptive to the school effort too now, which helps immensely. Natalie's reading has come a loooooooong way over the summer--once the pressure was off, she totally ran with it. Her reading willingness is obviously helping too.

We use our formal dining room and living room for our school space. And this year, since I moved my sewing downstairs to the basement (reasons for that in a forthcoming post), I get my own "teacher desk" in our space too, which is nice for me. Everyone needs their own "spot", according to Mary Engelbreit. This is now mine:

 I managed to frame some of the art I got from my trip to Mongolia! These are my two favorites, so it made sense to hang them here:

 We went with Five in a Row curriculum this year. It's book-based and we are all really loving it. It's super inexpensive, it allows for a lot of creativity, which is right up our alley and has a great guide while still allowing for a lot of personalization of the program. Even though I supplement every week's subjects with library books, homeschoolers just have a lot of books! No way around it. I did try to weed out a lot over the Summer and organized the ones I kept by subject on the school bookshelf. Books for that we're not using now, but will use in the future went in a bin downstairs. This makes it much easier to find books related to what we're learning for the week. I keep the week's books in the larger tub near the bottom.
 Each child decorated their own work box (below), in which we keep their own little supply box, plus the books they use daily. This makes finding glue, scissors, pencils, etc... easy because they each have their own. Each child also has a magazine holder (above) with their name on it with other workbooks for extra practice. These include random workbooks we've collected or been given, word search books, 1-100 dot-to-dots, etc... For every extra practice page they do, they get a Mom Buck. These have been nice because while I'm working with Layla on her reading, for example, Natalie still has something to do that does not require help from me.
So there ya have it! Things are going great so far, even better than expected. I'm sure I'll have more posts about homeschooling in the coming weeks. I always like reading about what works for other homeschool families, so hopefully my ideas might be useful to someone too!


  1. I totally applaud you on homeschooling your children. What a great way for them, and you, to learn. I do not think I would have been able to do this with my boys when they were young many years ago.
    Here's to an awesome school year!

  2. I only have one to homeschool, though I've always thought it would be more fun to homeschool a couple of kids. My daughter really wished for siblings to homeschool with when she was younger. Now that she is older, it's not as big a deal to her.

    We never have enough book shelves in our house. You are so right about homeschoolers having lots of books.

    Best wishes to you this year.

    My Attempt at Blogging
    Quaint Scribbles and 3 D Learners
    Welcome to Homeschooling