In the beginning of this journey, I would feel a sense of panic as a new school year approached. I can remember sitting down to plan and feeling totally overwhelmed even though I had experience teaching in a regular classroom. But a few years under my belt have given me more confidence, and I've figured out some ways to streamline the planning process.
I started this school year feeling more prepared and organized than ever before, mostly because I was very intentional in August about doing everything I could to plan out our year ahead of time. My temperament is such that the more my ducks are in a row to start, the more comfortable I am being flexible and changing things up a bit as we go. Can anyone else relate to that?
This is the second time I have created detailed lesson plans for the whole year before the start of school. It's also the second year I've made copies I know I'll need (strictly legal ones!) ahead of time. This year I actually filed them within monthly hanging file folders by week, with an extra folder each month for seasonal stuff. This is going to make things so much easier on Sunday nights when I pull all our books and papers for the week.
Here's what we're doing this year:
- Big Truths for Young Hearts; Lord, Teach Me to Pray (for Kids)
- Veritas Press History: New Testament, Greece & Rome
- Real Science-4-Kids: Pre-Level 1 Chemistry, Biology & Physics
- SmallWorld's Wordsmithery Creative Writing
- Hymns for a Kid's Heart (learning the hymns as well as the history behind their writing)
- Classical Kids (Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Mr. Bach Comes to Call, Tchaikovsky Discovers America, Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery, Song of the Unicorn, Hallelujah Handel!)
- Mark Kistler's Online Art Lessons (discount available through Homeschool Buyers Co-op--$39.60 for a three-year family subscription)
- Saxon Math 54
- Primary Language Lessons
- All About Spelling
- A Reason for Handwriting Level C (first part of book)
I'm pretty excited about what's on the menu!
I was also inspired last week when I saw the sewing corner that Lindsey of The Pleated Poppy has in their playroom/schoolroom. I already had a table in ours for sewing (since I enjoy it much more where there's decent natural light), but so many of my supplies were still in my basement craft area. I decided to bring up my fabric and as many of the basics as I could without overwhelming the space. Now I have most everything I need in one spot and can putz around here and there, pulling and grouping fabrics and planning for my next project while the boys are working independently. And when I sew in the evening or on the weekend, I won't have to be running up and down the stairs for what I need!
John the nice carpenter had cut something else for me? Well, it was dividers for my fabric organizer. I found this chippy piece for $8 at a yard sale and was told that it had been used for storage at a stained glass business. It had six long compartments which resulted in my fabric being rather piled. But there were six more sets of slots, so I slipped in the newly cut pieces of hardboard and now have 12 compartments. That, of course, called for a reorganization of my fabric. (I'll use anything as an excuse.) I used to do it by designer & line, but now it's kinda/sorta/for the most part by color.
You can see more photos (from last year) of our school room here.