Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Preparing for Next Year

Last week I read this post on Jolanthe’s blog and thought hmmmm?  How am I going to do that for 8 children?  (Lexi does her own work and will be in 11th grade in the Fall)  How can I manage that many folders etc? I even went as far as inviting Jolanthe over for a swim date to help me figure it all out.  She of course is considering the swim date and is so sweet to offer time to help me. 
But then I got to thinking.  Watch out!  I took the day off yesterday to myself and went to *Staples.   I took a full hour going up and down each isle thinking and thinking of ways to make this work for me.
A light bulb literally almost burned out above me because I was thinking too hard…he he he!
Then it hit me and I was off to the races around the store.  Grabbing graph paper, binders, folders, 3 hole paper for writing and I grabbed some fun things along the way to the register.  The woman at the register looked at me like I had three heads…”what on earth are you doing with this many binders and folders?”  She so sweetly said with her eyes bulging out of her head. You know how much they all hate having someone come to their isle with loads of stuff. I get this same look at the grocery store and from customers behind me.  Sorry I have a large family – where is the love people? 
“I am a homeschooling mom of 9 and next year I will be teaching 6 of them and need a system to do this as organized and as easy as possible.  So here I am getting all that I need to make this work and I think it might even help other homeschool families that are big like us.  I can only imagine how it will help smaller families too.”
Oh here we go – that number almost caused her to leap over the counter at me.  I smiled and quickly stopped her in her tracks. Yes, we are a large family blessed by God with children from around the world.  With that she smiled and simply said, “God bless you.”  Ahh the old familiar words when they really don’t know what else to say.  How little do they all know - how blessed we really are! 
Now back to what you all want to know about – my idea that was spurred on by Jolanthe.
First, we are getting quotes to build a schoolroom in our basement.  YEAH!!!!  Pray that the quotes come in at a fair price we can afford!
Second, did I mention we are going to build a schoolroom????
Ahhhh, much better now.
Here is what I did so far and my plan:
  1. Each child is assigned a specific color. (They only make the kind I bought in 6 colors so I will have to figure something out once Noah and Naomi join in two years from now).  They will be doing Pre-school and I don’t need this kind of system for their work.  I will use many tools from Carisa’s blog 1+1+1=1
  2. Each child will get three binders – one for math/science, history/bible and grammar/spelling.
  3. Each child will get 4 folders to match their binder colors.
  4. Then I will tear out all the pages in the workbooks for each subject and put them into sheet protectors. (So I can reuse them for the younger children – love this idea)
  5. Then I bought stick it note tabs that I will put throughout each binder with week 1 thru to December. 
  6. The children will know what work is required for each week and will stop at the tab for the next week.  They of course can work ahead when they are done all their work for the current week.
  7. I will supplement each subject with projects throughout the year and add printables into the current week that matches holidays, etc that we are currently studying.
  8. Then when the winter break comes I will take each child’s work and put it all into one large binder that will be filled by the end of the year with all work they completed in each core subject.  It will also hold all art projects, etc. Which will make it very easy for me to keep track of their completed work, progress and then hand it all in neatly to the evaluator at the end of the year.  Nice – right?
  9. I am placing my order for all workbooks I want the children to use and our grammar program (Rod n Staff) for next year.  Then I will set aside a few days or how ever long it will take me to stuff each binder with the first four months of school work with the tabs for each week.  I’m so excited!  During Christmas break I will refill each binder with the rest of our studies for the year!
  10. Ahhhh are you feeling the peace, joy and rest in my voice yet?
Then to top this all off a dear friend of mine sent me to an awesome new homeschool program that is done all on line!  It does all the planning for you, give the children a schedule that must be followed and even grades their work!!!!  How cool is that?  We are going to use it for a few of our children next year – but only for one subject.  Go here to check it out!   I’m so excited to have found this awesome resource!!!!!  Click on grades to see what is offered for each grade level. I love that it is all from a biblical viewpoint.
I am so excited to incorporate all of the lapbooks I made this year into the new school year.  I will also be using many of the Classical Conversation resources that we have from the Fall as well.  They have great geography, math and science fact resources. 
I promise to share photos as I put this all together and might even do a video tutorial once the schoolroom is built – it will be in plenty of time for you to do this in your home if you think this might help you too!
Much love and respect for all of you who have chosen to homeschool your children.  I am in awe of the heart change that takes place here weekly in me as I train up our children in the way they should go!

PS – One other thing I really love about Monarch (Alpha Omega Publications) is that they have a donation page to help less fortunate families with Operation Homeschool Gift of Hope.

4 comments:

  1. I love this post - I can really sense your excitement! I'm so excited WITH you that you are getting a schoolroom! That will be wonderful!

    What a great system you have planned. I clicked on the link to Jolanthe's blog (which I hadn't visited before) and I really like her method too.

    I am possibly the most disorganised woman on the planet and often feel rather despairing over it, especially when it comes to raising many children and homeschooling them! Organisation feels like the necessary thread to hold everything together, and if it unravels then I am not sure what will happen!

    My eldest is only 5 but he has 3 younger brothers (aged nearly 4, 2, and 9 months) and I am expecting another baby in December. We are part-way through our first year of homeschooling, and it is going slowly and in fits and starts due to me being terribly disorganised, the house being too messy to teach in, and now morning sickness. The train them up thing is not going too well either, which impacts on school, because they are not learning to obey as I want them to (we have not been good at this from the start). I need all the helpful tips I can find on getting organised with school, and I had been looking forward to you sharing yours! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  2. So excited to hear about your school room! Sweet friend, I am still creating my own stuff and loving it. I looked and looked and looked for a curriculum, but then I just realized that I love making it. I definitely feel confident until 3rd, and in 4th I may start looking for math material. And oh your lapbooks, it will make it so much more fun and the youngest can start to use them.

    Sweet hugs my friend,
    Sara

    PS. I need to take some pics and send to you of my homeschool room. You would squeal for joy just like I will when I see yours.

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  3. Can't wait to see it all in action!!! :) You know how I love color coding!

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  4. My Word! You have such beautiful children and awesome blogs! I look forward to reading more of all of them when I get a chance, but for now I am going to just join so I won't lose your site addresses!

    Have a blessed weekend!

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