28 August 2009

Weekly Report - Week #1

We had a fairly productive week. Today was lighter than the rest of the week, but that was because, as a family, we had a lot of things to accomplish. K was still able to get her math, writing, and spelling assignments done before we left to run errands. So, here's what we were able to accomplish this week:

K
Math - Worked on dividing sets and shapes into halves and quarters; Practiced reading minutes on a clock
Writing - First two copywork assignments and first two narration assignments
Spelling - Worked on words with the consonant blends of sm, tw, sw, and ft
Bible - Started a unit about the many ways that God loves his children

H
Math - Worked on one-to-one correspondence, tallest/shortest, longest/shortest, and continuing patterns
Language Arts - Worked on short-vowel a words; Practiced sight words

Both Girls
Science - Learned about cells and characteristics of living things
History - Reviewed chapters 0-4

25 August 2009

The First Day of School

I'll save most of the details for the weekly update on Friday. For now I'll post a few pictures and say that, for the most part, school ran very smoothly today. We still have science and music to do this afternoon, but those should not be a problem at all.

Here are both girls before we journeyed into the school room.






























Last night I put some pencils, erasers, and a school money sheet into their new school boxes. I even gave them each a 5-sticker start towards their first school dollar!

23 August 2009

Before Pictures...

Here is what our walls looked like a couple weeks ago. You can see the remnants of last year's school work and the absence of a few posters on the walls. After pictures are to follow. I am still trying to figure out what wall will be used for what subject, and I still have to get that darn world map hung back up.







I don't know if I have any pictures of what we were using last year for books and cubbies, but we we had a metal cube storage set up and there were two cubes for my books, one for coloring books, one for each of the girls cubbies, and one for miscellaneous items. On the top we kept our paper. We had to get rid of that to make room for the workboxes, so we've doing quite a bit of shuffling around of our books and paper. Fortunately, I was able to relocate the books into a different room on a bookshelf. I decided the cubbies were no longer necessary, since I'll be putting the girls needed supplies into their workboxes each night. Their desks will only contain their supply boxes, Daddy folders, and music and art supplies.

19 August 2009

The Workboxes

Well, the workboxes are just about complete. I just have a few more squares of Velcro to put on the drawers of K's workboxes and on the help cards.

For those of you who are not already familiar with the workbox organizational method, here is the link where it originally started. And it has taken off like wild fire! I kept seeing posts about workboxes and how everyone had customized them to make them their own. I was finally intrigued enough to do a bit of research. That research led me to what I think is going to be the best system for our school.

Here's how it's going to work for us: Each girl will have 12 workboxes (or drawers, in our case). Each drawer will contain something that needs to be completed for the day's schoolwork. (Contents of the drawers for Day 1 next Tuesday will follow this post.) As each drawer is completed, the numbered ladybug card will be removed and placed on the colored strips. The yellow ones are K's and the pink ones are H's. The cards with the ladybug on the flower, which are on a couple of the drawers in the picture, are Mom cards, and they indicate that my help will be needed for that particular task. The will let me know they are starting that drawer and I will teach them the lesson for that drawer. Each child will also have 3 help cards, which are to be used if they need help with one of the tasks that does not have a Mom card. (The purpose of this is to teach them that they should try really hard to complete something on their own before seeking out help. I'm hoping this helps my sanity a bit!) Once they have completed all 12 workboxes, they are done for the morning session. We will be doing science and history in the afternoons as a group, alternating days between the subjects. Music and art will also fall into the afternoons, but we will not be starting them quite yet.

Now that you know what the heck workboxes are, here's a list of what each girl will have in theirs on Day 1 next week:

K
#1 Math worksheet
#2 Writing assignment (with Mom card)
#3 Reading (with Mom card)
#4 Puzzle
#5 Bible lesson (with Mom card)
#6 Craft items

H
#1 Language Arts (with Mom card)
#2 Pattern blocks
#3 Kumon worksheet
#4 Bible story (with Mom card)
#5 Handwriting
#6 Craft items

We are going to ease into this year, so we will only be using 6 workboxes to begin with. (Notice spelling and grammar are missing from K's workboxes and math from H's?) Other items that I plan on adding to the workboxes are snacks, games, Hot Dots, fun activities, and anything else I can think of adding.

18 August 2009

What's Left?

Well, I'm starting to feel the crunch. Today marks the 1-week mark. I still have lesson plans for K's bible course to plan out (which I swear I did back in June, but I don't know what notebook I used to write them all down in), workboxes to finish getting ready, posters to hang, desks to clean out. We still need to purchase H's math, but in the meantime, I'm going to gather some things we have around here for her to work on and some workbooks from Dollar Tree.

Since I got rid of our metal cube rack, the girls lost their cubbies, so I still have two piles of books and folders that don't have a home. I keep coming back to their desks, but I just see that as a disaster. They like to put their coloring pages and craft things that they make in their desks, and I can already see us trying to find a certain workbook or folder and not being able to find it. So I need a cubby alternative. That, for now, is the only missing link for our school room. (Well, that and the map that won't stay up, but my next step is to try those 3M Command strips. The poster putty and the StikkiClips have seriously let me down!)

These are the things that I will be concentrating on this week. I'm sure I'm leaving something out, as I have not made my cup of coffee yet. At any rate, I'll be posting again very soon!

11 August 2009

Sneak Peek of the Workboxes


We're out of town all this week, and our workboxes are not done, but here's a little sneak peek of our cards and strips. The yellow strips belong to K and the pink strips are H's. They don't quite get the whole workbox system, but K, at least, seems really excited to get started.

09 August 2009

Welcome!

Welcome to the new site of our blog! I have decided to switch things up for several reasons, one of them being that the other site was not sending updates to the people who wanted to receive email updates. Therefore, I have decided to try out something new. Hopefully, all will work out well and this will be the permanent home for our documented journey. I hope you enjoy!