A Few New Favorites

I know I have linked to this blog a lot. If you haven’t been there, go. She has great ideas and a great preschool curriculum!! Plus, she has a great curriculum for family Bible time. It is so appropriate for families with children a variety of ages!! Carissa also has a new “Member’s Only” section to her website. It is only $10 – that’s it, ever! It is great – there are power point shows that fit perfectly with the Raising Rock Stars Preschool. Lucy loves it!

Also, Carissa blogged about this site. It isn’t only multiplication – so it is perfect for Norah!! The first time she took one of the timed addition tests, she was a little stressed. Now, however, she loves trying to beat her previous time!!

Tot School Planning

Tot School will look a little different for us this year because we are babysitting a little boy 3 days a week. Using the planning sheets from here, I have started putting together some ideas for our Tot School “adventures.” Since Daphne is only 18 months and Baby C is only 1 – we won’t be working on letters or numbers. I will just be introducing them to a variety of themes: farm animals, ocean animals, body parts, transportation, etc.

I love how little ones learn so much through play and I am excited to see both Daphne and Baby C. learning together. I know Norah and Lucy will be big helpers and will probably enjoy Tot School as much as the little ones!!
One thing I am working of putting together is theme boxes. I have a body parts theme box almost finished. I created this as my planning sheet so I don’t forget anything. A couple of friends are also putting together some theme boxes so we will be able to share our boxes!! I am hoping having these boxes to work with will make it easier to have more intentional playtime with Daphne.
I am also making a list of all the things in the house that can be used for Tot School. I will just run down the list each week as I am prepping for Daphne and Baby C. Once I get through the list, we will go back and repeat.
I just have to figure out how to display our tot school activities. We do most of our school stuff in the basement where our playroom is. This has worked well because the little ones can play while we are doing school. I am just not sure how to make Tot school stuff separate from our normal – everyday toys.

Pre-K Planning

Now that most of Norah’s school stuff is planned out (actually, I only plan about 8 weeks at a time – about 6 weeks in, I will work on the second 8 weeks), I am working on plans for Lucy.

I am using My Father’s World for most of Lucy’s stuff, but I am adding in a handful of ideas from 1+1+1=1 Raising Rock Stars Preschool.
I decided to use this for art for Norah and am going to use the kindergarten ideas so Lucy can do it with us. I think it should work for both of them – since it is right between where they actually are in school. I am really excited about this curriculum. Once we work through the first several lessons that she suggests starting with, we will use some of the other kindergarten art lesson ideas. I think the girls will love it and I love that it walks me through the lesson! In addition, we will be browsing through this book and some others in the series.
Lucy will also participate in science with us. Even if she isn’t that interested in the books we read with each topic – I think she will really like the hands-on lessons.
I will also throw in some math games and manipulatives for her – I put together this scope and sequence for Norah last year and she was able to do everything rather quickly, so I will probably start using it with Lucy a little this year.
Oh, I also bought this book for our PE lessons – I should get it in the mail today and I am very excited to look through it!!
Lucy will also hang out with us while we do our read-alouds, Bible reading, and character study.
I am going to be pretty flexible with Lucy – she won’t have school everyday. She will do school a couple of days a week and then on the other days she can join us as she wants to.
Next up: Tot school ideas for Daphne and Baby C.

School Planning on the Brain

Wow. After blogging every day in June – I have really slacked off in July. Oops. We have had a lot going on – playing with friends, painting, swim lessons, gymnastics, curriculum ordering and planning. Planning for first grade seems much more time consuming than kindergarten – more subjects, more time on each subject, etc. Plus, I am homeschooling Lucy for pre-k this year – so that is planning for an extra child. AND, I am taking over for Heather babysitting baby C (although, part time for me) so I would like to have some Tot School plans put in place for him and Daphne. I feel like all I am thinking about right now is school stuff.

Here is a quick overview of my curriculum choices for Norah:
History/Georgraphy – Sonlight Core 1
Spelling/LA – Sonlight
Readers – Sonlight
Math – Singapore Level 1A (we actually started this in late summer – so we will be finished with it about 8 weeks into our new school year)
Handwriting – Rod and Staff (Rod and Staff is a curriculum written by Mennonites – therefore, they do not have a website)
Character Training and Life Skills – Little Keepers at Home and a little bit of this.
I also have to decide on art and music, and I need to have Norah decide whether she wants to do gymnastics, soccer, or dance.
Hmm. Looking at my list typed out – this looks like a lot! The good thing is that we won’t do every subject every day – so maybe it won’t seem so bad.
Oh, I should also add that I am doing my planning and record keeping online this year. I am excited to try it – not sure how it will go because I am so used to having my paper plans in front of my.

Almost Embarrassing

I am trying to tackle several organizational projects this summer. The biggest one by far was my laundry room. It was SCARY (and a little embarrassing) – seriously. My mom has said that it was an accident waiting to happen. It was so bad that when our babysitter came over, I would tell her that after she changes Daphne’s cloth diaper to put it outside the laundry room door.

This week I tackled the laundry room. Here are the before pictures:

Notice that there isn’t much of a path for walking. I literally had to step over things (often tripping) to get to the washer and dryer.

Things on the floor just piled up higher and higher!

Things also just piled up on the shelves. Looking for something could be quite catastrophic! Things usually fell to the floor and I usually never ended up finding what I was looking for.
And after pictures:

Now I can actually see what is on the shelves. Novel idea, I know.

I can walk to my washer and dryer without tripping!! I can do laundry without standing on things!!

I don’t think the floor has been this clear since we moved in!!

Hopefully I can keep it clean!!