Friday, 27 May 2016

How I use a Checklist In My Homeschool

Since it's homeschool planning and curriculum purchasing season, I thought I would share how we use a checklist system to keep the boys and me on track. I did a full post on how I plan my week so, if you would like to check that out you can go here. 

I use this checklist system for two main reasons:
  1. To help the boys stay on track
  2. To let them know when school is over.
It has helped to greatly reduce the "mom, when is school over?" or "how much more?" The questions I am sure we homeschool mom's are familiar with.

I use a simple spiral notebook and some colorful highlighters just to make it more fun.

What goes in the notebook
Inside the notebook I have two sections one for independent work and one for what I teach I call it "mommy teaches." Their independent work is work that they can do on their own with little to no help from me. Things like grammar, handwriting, math, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and independent reading. This does not mean that they cannot come to me with questions or help. The second section is what I teach them. Things like Spelling, Phonics, Science, Geography, History, etc. 
Since I teach both boys and have to divide up my time, having the two sections separated allows me to say "go do your independent work, well I teach your brother spelling." Without having to list you can do this or this or this. They know exactly what they can do.

Once they complete one thing they cross it off and move on to the next thing. At the beginning of the year I allow them to pick out their notebooks and what color highlighters they want. This just allows them to have a say in their schooling and allows them to look forward to using their notebooks. 

Where I keep their notebooks

I keep their notebooks in the same spot so that we don't ever misplace them. This also helps to set a routine for using the notebooks. When we are ready to start school they know to go straight to their notebooks and everything they need to know is in there.

This has simplified my planning and our homeschool daily routine. Don't get me wrong my kids still complain and ask what are we doing next. But instead of telling them go do this, I can simply say go get your notebook and you'll know what to do. 

I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions let me know. 

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Until next time :)

Thursday, 26 May 2016

DIY Scratch Paper Art

Hi guys! Today I wanted to share with you a really fun and colorful project the boys and I worked on. I've seen different types of scratch paper art and I knew it was something the boys would enjoy. This project is really simple and fun. The only down side is the waiting for the paint to dry but, all good things are worth waiting for right?

Supplies you will need:
  1. Cardstock
  2. Oil pastel
  3. black paint
  4.  Soap
  5. and something to scratch the paper with. We used a toothpick but you can use anything a pencil, toothpick, fork,etc.
I give the boys each a piece of card stock. I cut them to the size of an index card just so that it would be easy to color. You can use any size you would like. The boys colored the card stock with oil pastels making sure to fill the entire page.

 I mixed together a small amount of soap and black paint. The soap just helps the paint go on a lot smoother. The boys painted their paper and we let it dry and covered it with a second coat of paint.

We set a timer for the paint to dry.

 After patiently waiting the paint finally dried. Now for the fun part of the project SCRATCH!

I didn't give them any instruction on what to draw I just left it up to them and they had a blast scratching away.

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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Who's the Greatest? Place Value Card Game

We've been doing a lot of math review with both boys. We have about a week left of school and we are so excited!!!! This morning we reviewed place value with a fun game called "Who's the Greatest?"

We practiced the thousands place but this game can be easily modified by using more or less cards to practice hundreds or tens place.

I've included a pdf of instructions on how to play the game and a recording sheet. I used the recording sheet to give them practice on how to write the standard, expanded and word form of each number. You can download worksheet at the end of this post.

This was a really fun game and gave the boys lots of hands on practice with this skill. I hope you enjoy the game :).
Click on the image to download.

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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

2016-2017 Read Aloud List

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Hi guys! Today I wanted to share with you our homeschool read aloud list for the 2016-2017 school year. These books aren't the only ones we will be reading, we will read lots of picture books and what ever else interest my kids. But having a list just gives me a starting point.

I put together a list of 13 books that I love and can't wait to share with my boys. I hope that you find this list helpful and please let me know if there are any books you've enjoyed reading.

1.Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

4. Poppy by Avi

5. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo 

6.Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

7.The Last of the Whangdoodles by Julie Andrew

8.Ida B by Kathrine Hannigan

9. Capyboppy By Bill Peet

10.The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren

11.The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

12. Nim's Island by Wendy Orr

That's it for our read aloud list. I can't wait to read these books to the boys! Do you have any books you and your kids love, please share with us :).

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Monday, 16 May 2016

Homeschool-Preschool Organization

Preschool and Kindergarten are my favorite years to teach. My son will be starting preschool this up coming school year and my goal was to be as organized as possible. I've looked at how other people have organized their preschool material and decided on using containers to store all our material.

We will be doing a letter of the week style of preschool using different material from many wonderful bloggers. I purchased these clear containers from Walmart, and the labels on the front of the box are from here.

Each box contains everything for that letter theme except large items like puzzles. Worksheets, fine motor, cognitive, math, science, life skills, books, etc. I also placed my schedule inside each box so that I know what we will be doing for each letter. I keep all our preschool related items inside a large cabinet in our kitchen.

what the boxes look like up close.

For the items that can be used for any letter I purchased large photo boxes from Michael's and stored all our wooden puzzles, lacing cards, blocks, stamps, etc.

These large boxes hold a lot of items. Which is nice to organize all the little things that seems to take up a lot of space.

The very top of the cabinet I placed our sensory bin items, craft supplies, and art supplies. The things I did not want him getting into easily. Next to those boxes I keep all our work trays and extra boxes.

I hang up his art smock on the door of the cabinet using a command hook.

All our large floor puzzles I placed inside photo boxes I purchased from Michael's. They're similar to the large boxes above but smaller.

These puzzles are also for my older boys but since my preschooler will be using them I thought to keep them all in the same place. I put a label on the front so they know what puzzle is what. I cut out the picture on the front of the box for each puzzle so the boys will know how to put the puzzle together.

This container will house all his pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, markers, etc. 

I will be sharing whats inside each letter box and where I got the printables once we start our school year. 

How do you organize your homeschool?
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