Nine Months

It has been a long nine months since my last post.  Do you know how long that is?!  You could have had a baby without me ever knowing!  A lot can happen in nine months.  I am terribly sorry!  I guess that goes to show just how busy our family has been.  Let me catch you up…

  • The baby is now a 14 month old TODDLER!!!  Where did the time go?  We celebrated her big day with a Minnie Mouse party…she adores that bow wearing mouse.
  • I survived the school year…data and all!  Don’t tell anyone, but amidst all the crazy I love it!
  • Sassy showed 2nd grade who is boss…as if we ever questioned that!  Seriously, she blew it out of the water!
  • Our softball team set some school records.  We had a very successful season, and are very proud of our “adopted daughters”.
  • Over Thanksgiving break we went to Disney World.  Best vacation ever!
  • Our end of school/summer vacation was to Branson.  Not so fun….a virus began taking us out one by one the night we arrived.  It was certainly memorable, but not the way we imagined.

These are the main points of the year, and brings us to present day.  I am currently at a four day AP training.  While the training isn’t the most fun in the world, I am here with my ‘teaching BFF’ as I call her.  In all honesty, she has become a real BFF…she is me and I am her; it is freaky, but I love her.  I could not have survived the school year without her.  I’ve enjoyed her company immensely this week.  It is the first time I’ve left my baby for more than the day for work, and I couldn’t have done it without her.  I learned so many things from teaching this past year that I want to share, but that will have to wait for another day as sleep is calling my name.

I wish this post was more interesting, but I guess it comes with the territory when you go without posting so long.  My goal is to be much more active on here from this point on.  I missed out on sharing so much with you during the school year.  I hope I can recall some of those things over the next month to share with you.

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!!

School Update

Today begins our second week of homeschooling.  That also means, today began letter A week!  I decided that each week we would do 1 letter A-Z.  With that, each week we have alphabet books we read, like this week we will work on reading the A book, The Adventures of Abby Alligator.  We also do an end of the week craft with that letter of the alphabet, and each week we have a character quality that begins with that letter, and a bible verse to memorize.  So this week’s quality is accepting, and our bible verse is “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”  -Matthew 7:7   It’s fun stuff!  Of course we also do our typical lessons is math, history, science, reading, writing, and health.  So no everything is letter themed, but we try to letter theme as many lessons and activities as we can.

When I did a rough draft of lesson plans, I figured up that we would do a total of 40 weeks of school.  If all goes accordingly, Riley Grace should have all of her Kindergarten skills, plus what I’ve added, all done by week 33.  From there we can focus on any weak areas, and/or move onto 1st grade material.  And truthfully, she already has a lot of the K skills, we are just working more detailed, and I’ve added in things that usually aren’t taught in Kindergarten.  For example, last week she learned all about the American Flag–how many stars and why, how many stripes and why, etc.  This week she is learning all about her great state: Louisiana!  Today she learned about the state flag and state flower.  Each day we will add to our list, and at the end of the week she will construct a booklet with all of her information she learned.

It usually takes us from about 9:30 – 11:00/11:30 to finish all of our school work.  Then we have outside time, lunch time, nap time, and snack time.  Afterwards we do manipulatives to work on fine motor skills and phonics, and she gets computer time.  She spends computer time playing on starfall.com, which is fabulous for phonics practice!  If you get a chance, check it out!  This week we will be using some of that time to work on reading skills, sight words, consonant clusters, letter blends, etc.  I would love to have her independently reading by January!

God Bless!

P.S. – Sorry I haven’t been around much, our internet only works every now and then.  It is terrible!  Anyhow, I’m not even going to get into that.  Have a fabulous Monday!

 

Bible Printables, Crafts and More

I had to share this with ya’ll!  I found this new website where you can go and print of tons of great bible printables.  They have bible verses, activity sheets, color sheets, crafts, and much more!  I found this one idea for Christmas to make a Christmas Story Scroll Ornament.  It is so cute!  The printable has the story of Christmas (2 print to a sheet).  I’m going to have my little girl make these as her gifts to grandparents this year.  I’m very excited.  You can find it here.  I may be up all night printing at this rate…lol…no, really!