Back To School

Kees Academy is back in session!!  We started school Monday, so we officially have one whole week under our belts.  And let me tell you…it was a great week!  It was so wonderful to be back on our schedule and back to work.  Sassy had a great week and learned a lot!  She her first two ‘real’ tests Friday and did great on both.  She loves to learn and flies through her work way faster than I thought she would, so school time isn’t taking us too terribly long at this point.  Of course we haven’t implemented everything I have planned for the year just yet due to two reasons:
1. We hope to be able to make another move to a new home soon.
2. Most of the curriculum will not last her all year anyhow.
So with both of those things in mind, I decided to take the pace a little slower for now and go along with her pace and what’s happening in life at the moment.  Such a blessing of homeschooling.  No, she will not be behind because she does more than schools do anyhow, and we will be going all year long, basically.
 
I was honestly a little nervous about this year because it’s first grade.  She isn’t a baby anymore, and the work is a bit more than what we are use to, but this week really settled my nerves.  I’m more than happy with first grade and our curriculum choices thus far.  I’ll be posting some photos of some of our projects soon, so stay tuned.
 
God Bless!!
 
Kees Family Prayer Requests:
  • New School Year
  • Search/Purchase of a New Home
  • Fertility Stuff
  • Coach’s New Year (1st day was quite eventful)
  • All the teachers/school workers/students

Gearing Up & Breaking Down

As I was looking through my homeschool binder earlier I decided to go ahead and rotate my calendar to display August.  My eyes widened….I was stunned!  We are a mere 17 days away from starting our new year!  How can that be??  I mean…I’ve been doing some prep work and planning, getting geared up for a new year, but I am so not ready.  No, seriously…NOT ready!!!  I still have some curriculum to order!  So yes…guess what I get to do next week.  When I realized August 12th was looming very near, I did have a bit of break down inside.  Unfortunately I fear it will not be my last.  I have a lot of work to get done.  A LOT!!  I am thankful that I will not be braving the back to school crowds for supplies again this year, though.  Definitely a perk of homeschooling!  We go get all of our supplies about a two weeks after the public schools start.  Yes, many things are gone by then, but we only need the basics…crayons, markers, glue, etc., and we are able to get them on clearance.  You just can’t beat that!  So the back to school shopping will not cause this mama a break down.  But…the curriculum ordering last minute, and super last minute lesson planning very well may.  I promise I did not intentionally wait this long to get everything done!  Summer just flew by me and August surprised me.  My understanding is that this has happened to many other homeschool families, so…at least we aren’t alone…
 
 
God Bless!! 
 
P.S. – Pray for me!  🙂

Summer School Schedule

I’ve worked out our summer school schedule, so here is what it will look like:

[Orange represents days of no school/School days are blocked in yellow]

June School Schedule

July School Schedule

August School Schedule

Once I get all my lessons laid out for the summer I will go in and field trips and library days.  You will notice after the first full week of August I stopped blocking out days in yellow.  This is because this will begin our ‘regular’ school year.  So from August 12th forward only holidays and special days will be noted.  

First Order

I am so excited to be able to tell y’all that I am making my first curriculum order today!  Yay for me!  I’m so excited…if ya can’t already tell.  Today I am ordering our History curriculum, as well as a small Science curriculum that we will do this summer.  The Science I am ordering is called My Body, for grades 1-4.  Basically kids make a life-size paper replica of themselves, and the book goes through each part of the body (in a general, yet informative manner) teaching them what it is and its function.  They then create a diagram and place it on their [paper] body.  By the end they have a full scale body with all of its working parts in order.  In case you are interested, you can find both of these items on christianbook.com.  I’m not sharing my full curriculum plans just yet, but once I have completely settled on them, I will fill you in.  I will tell you that my summer curriculum is different from my regular school year curriculum.  We wanted to school year around, but we wanted to do it in a way that would burn any of us out.  Therefore, from now until the end of July we will be focusing on building skills in certain areas and doing some fun electives.  In August we start back on our ‘normal’ curriculum.  I hope to be able to share my summer curriculum with you very soon!!
 
Happy Tuesday!!

Let the Preparations Begin!

Can you believe our first homeschool year is coming to an end within a couple months!?!  It’s bittersweet really.  We have had a fun year of learning, but a chaotic year as well.  We’ve had one great week of school, followed by one no existent week.  However, we somehow managed to hold it together throughout everything and keep moving forward.  It really is amazing to see how much Sassy has learned and improved this year.  One of the reasons I’ve come to love homeschooling is because we get to run on our schedule and end up finishing “school” early in the year.  Now this doesn’t mean we take off until August.  We are going year around, baby!  So by the end of April Kindergarten will be gone and we will take a short break and get back to work with brand new first grade material.  Isn’t that exciting?!  It is….yet it is quite daunting as well.  That means that over the next few weeks I will be doing major prep for the new phase of schooling.  It means lots of research into curriculum, lots of organizing, tons of printing, and cleaning up and clearing out.  If you’ve ever been a new homeschool family, you know how scary it can be trying to choose between hundreds of great looking curriculum.  I can honestly say I’ve been very overwhelmed with it, but after hours of work this afternoon, I feel better.  I was able to narrow it down and organize my thoughts, and even put together my rough draft of the curriculum I’m interested in purchasing.  Hopefully within a week I will have my mind made up so I can share with you what I plan on doing for first grade.  (I keep wanting to say ‘next year’, but it hasn’t been a year yet.)  Most people would tell me I’m no longer a rookie at this homeschooling stuff, but really I am.  It has only been seven months.  Not to mention is was Kindergarten and a curriculum I designed myself.  But now that we are in first grade and I’ve seen how much time away from my family my planning takes, I’m buying the curriculum this year.  At first I thought I’d just pick one and do a big boxed curriculum and viola it would all be there for me.  However, once I started looking into the curriculum a little more I found that I liked this programs ELA materials, another programs Math and History, and a totally different one for Science.  Thus began my many lists and endless research to piece together the “perfect” curriculum for Sassy.  Over the last year or so I had heard of many families doing this ‘piecing together’ of their curriculum.  I didn’t understand why they would do that when you could just buy the boxed ones and have to do virtually no work.  Well…boy was I wrong!  The biggest perk to homeschooling is that you can teach to your child’s specifications…literally.  If in five months Sassy needs 2nd grade math and science, but is still working on 1st grade reading and history, that’s fine.  I can order our materials accordingly from as many different publishers as I so choose.  There is just so much flexibility in it.  And of course you want to pick things that will work best for your child.  You wan them to succeed.  So, needless to say…I need prayer!  Prayer for guidance in choosing our materials, in setting our schedule for next year, in getting it all organized and together, and for the strength and wisdom to be the best first grade teacher to my baby.

If you have any suggestions/advice…I’m open!!

Our Homeschool Week 2/25 – 3/1

I figured it was about time I get back to sharing our homeschool adventures, lesson, and projects with you.  So…here is sort of what our lesson plans look like this week:

Monday: ELA – little book, discuss parts of a book & play simon says book parts, review nouns, singular/plural, rhyming words; Math – addition, subtraction, shape review, first & second; Science – What are physical features?; History – define scarcity

Tuesday: ELA – little book, review parts of a book & make/construct your own w/ all parts, singular/plural; Math – # writing practice, counting by 5’s & 10’s; Science – list physical features; History – copy definition of scarcity and use it in a sentence

Wednesday: ELA – little book, identify parts of a book, singular/plural, punctuation; Math – counting by 5’s; Bonus Work – sound patterns       (*Wednesdays are our short days or off days!*)

Thursday: ELA – little book, rhyming words, syllables, punctuation; Math – Time; Science – draw yourself based on physical features listed on Tuesday; Health – Recycling

Friday: ELA – little book, opposites, punctuation, review singular/plural; Math – opposites, time; Science – Use any craft supplies to create yourself based on your list of physical features; History – review scarcity

 

On Tuesday we will be starting a new character study: arguing.  I’m excited to start on this study with my daughter because she has reached the age of ‘I know it all’.  She hasn’t gotten to the teenager level, but I’m sure you know what I mean.  I really want to instill in her early that arguing is not okay and there is right way to talk to people and get your ideas across.  I also want her to understand that we don’t always know it all and we don’t always have to be right.  Our key verse this week is 2 Timothy 3:15-17

We also have a library day scheduled for Friday.  We love to visit the library!  Later in the week I will be preparing for Dr. Seuss week.  I should have lots of fun stuff to share from that week!

 

Happy Monday!