Hey there! Welcome! I am so excited today because it’s my first homeschool post!
As we are all aware of, it’s that time of year again! Back to School! Well, here in our home, it’s back to homeschool as well. Yup! We are pretty much following the traditional school calendar, although we take a lot of breaks along the way too. 😉 We do the 6 weeks on and 1 week off schedule plus 3 weeks off for Christmas vacation, so it works out to a full year of traditional school. Right now, it works for our family and we enjoy those mini breaks we get.
We have finished our 1st week of homeschool last week. We did the full week to just kind of get a feel of how things will be for us. Because, 1) we are using a lot of new curriculum this year and 2) we have a little learner joining us, my 13 months old daughter. 🙂 I’m excited and nervous at the same time! We’ll see what the year holds for us.
But before I share with you what we did for our first week of homeschool. I just want to talk a little bit about the preparations I did this year in case you are considering to homeschool your kid/s too. Or just want to get an idea about how others do their planning. This is big for me because I have never been great at planning or organizing. I’m working on it though. 😉
Okay, I have to be honest here and tell you that I have spent the last whole month of prepping for our new homeschool year. I don’t know if I’m the only one that takes that long to prepare, but yeah that’s how long it took me. And I’m not even finished with everything yet! But then again I’m not sure if my to do lists will ever be done at all. Lol!
So, before I started the actual planning, I sat down and spent some time re-reading Homeschooling 101 By Erica. I’ve purchased this book, a couple of years ago now I think. If you are thinking of homeschooling or are new to homeschooling, I highly recommend her book. She gives you the details of homeschooling how to’s. Her blog, Confessions of a Homeschooler is one of my favorite homeschooling blogs. I have used a lot of resources from her website when we were just starting out. It was a really big help to someone who is just starting out especially if you do not have a degree in teaching like myself.
Are you wondering how I do my lesson planning? If you have read the book I suggested above you will understand what I’m talking about here. If not that’s ok too. Mainly, there are two ways you can do this, either do it manually on a paper planner or use a computer program and I use the latter. I use Homeschool Tracker. It’s a paid subscription but it’s all worth it to me because it saves me tons of time writing down lesson plans. It can become even helpful if I have to make any changes along the way. The only thing though is that you have to put the time initially to enter all the lessons for the curriculum you are going to use. But then after you’ve done that everything else should be easy. Check it over some more if you are interested.
Another thing, I did which I have never done in the past years was create a schedule for my 2 boys. I know, I know! You’re shaking your head at me. I never call myself organized, although my husband will probably disagree. He and I have different definition of being organized. But I am learning and will continue to do so! I will share with you next time our daily routine and schedule if that is something you will be interested to see. Let me know!
And lastly, to try to motivate the boys to do their best with homeschool this year, we took a trip to a Lego store and had them checked out all the goodies. Okay that wasn’t intentional but we do celebrate and reward our boys at the end of our homeschool year. And yes our boys are crazy over Legos, so that was a great unexpected visit to the store.
Now, I know it’s not for every family but it is something that works for us. So we do it. Anyways, the boys picked out which one they liked the most and we made note of it not buy it. I then printed them a picture of the Lego set they liked. We displayed it on our board where they can see it everyday. And we figured out how many points they needed to earn from doing school and chores to get it by the end of our homeschool year. So far I have gotten this comment already from our oldest son. “Mom, I will do my best with school this year so I can get that Lego!” Now isn’t that something? I say we’re off to a good start.
So what have we managed to accomplished in our first week of homeschool?
Like I mentioned above, we are using several new curriculum this year. One of those is our history. This year we are trying History Odyssey – Level 1 for Middle Ages. And I’m actually quite excited about it! Haha! Considering the fact that history is not one of my favorite subjects. That is why when Dad is home, he does the history with the boys. 😉
What is the difference between our old history and History Odyssey?
Well, they both use great books for resources and I love that. But this time, we are also adding in some hands on work aside from reading. We will be doing some notebooking and crafts which I think just kind of add a little bit of excitement to the subject. So we won’t be too heavy on just reading history facts. 😉
Down below you will see, we did our first medieval outfit called Poulaine using construction paper and yarn thread. Pretty easy, right? (FYI, Poulaines were shoes with very long, pointy toes worn in the medieval period.)
We are also doing lapbooking this year for our science. And this is the first time we’ll be doing that. I’m quite excited! We are using The Sassafras Science Adventure Volume 1 – Zoology and The Sassafras Science Adventure Volume 2 – Anatomy by Elemental Science. In the bottom right corner below, you can see the boys working on their lapbooking.
What else did we do this week?
We did pretty much a full load this week except on our first day and the last day which is our light day. We do our arts on Fridays and quizzes and tests if we have any.
I will be posting next time our curriculum choices with links to them just in case you are interested to check them out.
If you notice in the pictures below, the boys were bouncing back and forth from our dining table to their school table. It’s because, we have a curious little learner in the house who wants to get a hold of everything and put them in her mouth. So the pictures with the boys on their school table were the times the baby girl was napping.
What do we do then when little baby is awake?
You can see the activities I set up for her in the top left corner.
For her object to explore, I pulled out our large beads. We did shape sorting with it, threading using a wooden spoon, and in and out with a plastic container. She loved them!
We also did farm animals puzzle, See and Say with animal farms and some board books. I didn’t get a picture of those since I was busy playing with her but she enjoyed it all too!
So do I have specific lesson plans for her?
In the moment, not yet but I’m hoping so down the road. It will mostly be fun learning to keep her involved and busy during our school hours. And nope! I am not drilling her like a sergeant! Lol!
In case you are curious to know where I get my ideas for tot learning. I mostly use the ideas from Carisa at 1+1+1=1. She has an entire collection of learning ideas for tots by age! She even have a free ebook for tot schooling available now so make sure you check it out!
That’s all for our first week of homeschool! Next up will be a field trip to a Kangaroo Zoo! Yup! We are taking our first week off of school already! Lol! The beauty of homeschooling! It will be our last hurrah for the summer. We are going to visit my husband’s family in BC and we found out that there is a Kangaroo Zoo close to where we are going. So we decided that we’ll go see some kangaroos as well while we’re down there. It should be interesting! We shall see!
I hope you enjoy this post. If you have any questions or comments, send me an email or let me know in the comments below. I always love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time!
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