{Not} Back to School Blog Hop - Student Photo Week



Miss J - 13
Mr. Lego - 11
Mr. Fix-It - 9
Miss Paya - 6
Little Bit - 3
Leo - school mascot

I have a great group of kiddo's that I am privileged to call mine.  Watching them each grow these years of homeschooling has been such a blessing!


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{Not} Back to School Blog Hop - School Room Week


Welcome to our School Room!  


I've removed a *ton* of stuff from the school area.  Toys have been purged and given away.  Books have been purged and sold, traded or given away.  I'm clearing out the office (again) and just trimming down on everything.  It is ri-dic-u-lous how much *stuff* manages to make its way into our home. Yuck.  I'm great at saying "No" when it comes to obligations, not so good at saying "No" when it comes to things being given to us.  I've added the 6 bin cubby to the right.  It holds all of our school supplies, my planner and teacher's manuals, CD's and printer paper.  The red milk crate is our library box.  I've moved the toy bins into the office and put the old fashioned school desk in that corner for the kids to use with their laptop (Thanks, Dad!)  There is more clear floor space for Little Bit and Miss Paya to spread out, play games and puzzles.  More clear table space for individual work as well.  The flat surface you see in the bottom right is our old TV cabinet (which is a 1970's office credenza) that now houses games, art supplies, and math manipulatives.  


These are the kid's cubbies.  They are color coded and have their pencil boxes, art supplies and all school books.  It is nice to have each child's materials in once place.  Especially since they each have their own syllabus that they will be using for their lessons each week.

We've painted and purged since I've last posted pictures, so it feels fresh and clean.  I've given away, thrown away and sold more things than I can count over the last 2 weeks getting the school area up to snuff to start our new year.  Peaceful surroundings make my heart smile and make it much easier for me to function throughout the school year.  You can see the transformation of our school room here.


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{Not} Back to School Blog Hop - Curriculum Week


The 2013/2014 School Year is nearly underway and that means homeschool moms everywhere are making the big decisions and hitting the "Buy Now" button on boxes of books, workbooks and curriculum!  I am no different and I am really, really looking forward to our school year.

Miss J is going into the 8th grade.  I let her make many of her own decisions about her classes this year and after looking at the options available, she has chosen Oak Meadow Seventh Grade as her curriculum this year.  She is going to forgo the OM Math and use Learn Math Fast instead.  We have been reviewing it for the last few months and she just needs to finish up the series.  Then I think she will be ready for OM Math 8.  Whew..we are making excellent progress with math, finally!  She found the World History and the Science in the 7th grade materials much more interesting than the 8th grade choices.  The literature selections are excellent and the assignments are going to be perfect for her.  I think she will have a much more successful year since she is taking so much ownership and made the decision herself.  It will be interesting to move into "facilitator" role, rather than so much hands-on with her this year.  It is exciting and bittersweet.  It seems like yesterday that we were starting 1st grade!



Mr. Lego is going into 6th grade this year.  Again, I can't believe I have two children in middle school! He has chosen Oak Meadow Sixth Grade materials for this year and is really looking forward to the studies of the Greek myths.  He has spent most of the summer building lego's and listening to the Percy Jackson series on audio book, so he feels like studying the ancients is exactly what he wants to do.  He is also going to forgo OM Math 6 for the Learn Math Fast series, hoping to catch up or perhaps even pass by his sister.  He is making great strides in his reading ability, so while he is finding independence in some areas, he and I will still be working closely on shoring up those skills using Spalding methods.

  

Mr. Fix-It is busy.  Busy, busy, busy.  He is going into the 3rd grade this year.  I'm hoping we can work on sitting still for more than 5.4 seconds.  We will see!  He is going to be using Oak Meadow Third Grade materials and Noble Knights of Knowledge Math materials, a Waldorf based math program.  He is also going to continue working on reading and spelling using some Spalding-type lessons, made by me.  I am *so* excited about what we will be learning about in OM 3.  He is going to love the hands-on and shorter lessons.  I love that it has built in narration, dictation and copy work in the lessons.  Excellent stuff, IMO.  


Miss Paya is going into 1st grade.  *sniff*  She was just a baby girl yesterday,  I swear.  She is going to be using Oak Meadow First Grade materials this year.  She is also going to be working through the Noble Knights of Knowledge math program with Mr. Fix-It.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the older two kids will get in on that action as well, as it is really cool.  I am going to teach reading using the OM methods for the first 6 weeks and then reevaluate.  They move much slower than I am accustomed to, but I feel like she will do well with the story form introducing letters and sounds.  If, after 6 weeks I'm not happy with where we are going, we will resume our Spalding-like lessons.  



Then there is Little Bit, who isn't actually little *at all* and is in fact, 3.5 years old.  He is smart, hilarious and into everything.  I am in the middle of reading the Oak Meadow Preschool materials and will be incorporating more of the rhythm and routines into our day.  I love the suggestions for circle time, having the children help bake and creating a more predictable routine for our family.  This very much coincides with the book "Simplicity Parenting" that I'm currently devouring.  Great stuff!  


After our rather abysmal year for 2012/2013 (burnout anyone?!) the kids and I are all excited to start this year!!  



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