Saturday, August 17, 2013

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013 - Week 2

It's the second week of the Not Back to School Blog Hop. This will get me back on track; late, but on track.  This week it's time to share where we do our schooling.  I'm blessed to have a room we like to call our classroom.  Of course,  that doesn't mean everything is completed in there; It's just where we get started.

This is what you see from the door.  The 4th and 6th graders will be occupying the desks.  As you can see in the left side of the picture,  there is a toy area for my 2 year old.  I have to keep an eye on him, keep him occupied, and out of trouble. Some days that is my biggest challenge!!
 Better picture of the desks with one of our many possible visitors during the day, our kitty Roxy.
 Looking left from the door,  you see the ornery little boy we have to entertain while doing school in our supply closet.  

 My little Mini-Me will be doing most of her school here at the computer desk.  

 The supply closet contains my very small bulletin board, extra books in the storage tub, notebooks on the shelf, and all the breakable science equipment is up on the top shelf.  Once again, you can see the little one getting into things.

The boys will be down stairs where we are planning to set up two new computers for them.  

While we do start our days in the classroom, the kids often end up stretched across their beds,  laying on the floor in the living room,  sitting at the dining room table,  or even sitting outside on the back porch.  

Pretty simple and not very fancy,  but it works for us.  Where do you get most of your school work done?  I'm linking up to the Not Back to School Blog Hop to get a peek at some other home school classrooms.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Not Back to School Blog Hop Curriculum

Due to technical difficulties, I'm a little late. However, the saying is - better late than never - right?  It's passed time to join the Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013


The first week was curriculum and since I have 5 students this year,  I have a variety.

Let's start with the easiest and the oldest. My 9th and 7th graders will be doing all their work on the computer. They enjoy the freedom of getting up, getting started, and getting finished without much interference from mom. I just log on, verify the work, and grade what I need to. This year they both will be using Switched on Schoolhouse. I used this last year for the oldest and  he did very well. 

The next two, 4th and 6th graders, will be doing a combination of computer work with traditional classroom type work. They will be using Teaching Textbooks for math. This is also a curriculum I tried last year and the kids really did well. This would be the favorite of all the math ones we have tried. It is on a CD-ROM so they get to work on the computer a little too. The program shows them step by step what to do then walks them through a couple sample problems. Once they get into the actual "worksheet" part of the lesson, they know immediately whether they got each problem right or wrong. If they missed it, it gives them the option to see exactly how it should have been done.  

We will be doing science and history together for the 4th and 6th graders. I will be using Christian Kids Explore Biology. I borrowed this from my sister-in-law a few years ago and went through it with the two oldest, but not the girls. So, we will be going through it this year together. We'll be doing the activity book this time and I'm hoping to get to do a lot more of the experiments and hands-on activities this time around.

 History will be from Answers in Genesis, America From the Beginning. I reserve the right to change this during the year, since it is the first year for this one. I have used Answers in Genesis in the past for simple Bible units, and have know people that use them for VBS themes with positive feedback. With that in mind, I found this while looking for our Bible curriculum and thought it looked very interesting and fairly simple. We shall see. That leads me to Bible - Answers for Kids Bible Curriculum. I'm hoping to be able to use this as a group Bible time for all of us. Since it still hasn't arrived, I haven't been able to look through it to make sure. 

One of the blessings of homeschooling is being able to be flexible!

Their English will be Easy Grammar. I have used this for the past couple years and find it one of the easiest for teaching English. Most curriculum I have used jump around too much getting my kiddos confused. It doesn't help that English is probably my LEAST favorite subject to attempt to teach. Along with their Easy Grammar, we will be using Soaring with Spelling. This is one my sister-in-law uses and likes really well. Spelling is an issue for both of my girls. I'm hoping that this will help them. There is nothing I dislike more than getting texts with an abundance of mis-spelled words. We're going to work on that this year. Their reading units will consist of grade appropriate books they will read through and do a book report on. One of my biggest challenges with the oldest girl is reading books; which I find difficult to deal with since I LOVE to read. 

That leaves the little one. She will be in K4. I'm going to start her out with the ABC Mouse program online. She loves being on the computer and this will keep her interested with their games and she will be learning as well. We also will be using BJU K4 Foundations for Learning on DVDs. 

I believe that covers everyone and everything. That only took me two hours to complete since my computer is still acting horribly!

I have enjoyed browsing through seeing what everyone uses. Check back to get a peak at our classroom.