Harder Family

Harder Family

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Organizing for Another Year of School...

This year we will have a 4th grader, a 3rd grader, a 2nd grader, and a Kindergarten student. On top of that, I will have a 22 month old and a 2 month old. I started organizing for our next school year in May.

The main "curriculum" that we will be using for our history and science is Classical Conversations. Our family is doing Classical Conversations again this year based on our experience with the program last year. I love how the kids learn a history timeline, history, science, geography, math, English, art, do weekly speeches, etc. It is a wonderful program!! One of the best parts of the program is that it enables me to do history and science with everyone that is on the same subject matter. I will have all four students in the Foundations class and this year A(9) will start Essentials. I have to be honest that Essentials is scaring me. As I was organizing everything, I was looking through her curriculum for the year. Let's just say that the teacher will be learning along side the student. :) The different parts of speech and diagramming sentences is just one facet of the class, one that was not my favorite subject in school (I hated diagramming sentences). She'll also be doing weekly essays along with many other things. Her classes will keep us both busy.

This year due to our situation (i.e. a 22 month old and a 2 month old), we decided to do Bob Jones Distance learning for G(7) and N(6). The girls will watch a DVD daily that has a teacher instructing them on that day's lesson. The length of the class is anywhere from 15-30 minutes. They will be doing English, math, Bible, and Spelling using the curriculum. They then do the book work on their own after watching the instructor. This will enable me to help them while also having the flexibility to deal with the little ones if I have to. A(9) is doing math using the distance learning program. S(4) will be doing Classical Conversations, Chinese, and learning the basic kindergarten subjects (letters, sounds, numbers, etc). Technically she wouldn't be starting in traditional school since her birthday falls after the cutoff by 13 days. We have opted to allow her to start since she has requested it. The nice thing about starting her "early" is that we have flexibility in the next year to adjust her level if we need to.

So how did I organize? Well, the Bob Jones material came in about 10 boxes...which was a little intimidating! I organized their material into binders and the dvds in to dvd containers. I may have to adjust some things as we begin to see if everything is working right. Each one has their own school bin in their given color...A(9) is orange, G(7) is yellow, N(6) is red, and S(4) is blue. We assigned each kid a color so that we can color coordinate things. For example, as they get older if they each have the same hair brush, we can color tag them so that they know which one belongs to them. Each day they will take their bin out and begin their work. I try to have a daily "to do" list for each of them. This allows them to know what they need to do each day.

The next thing that I organized (which I just finished this week) is their supply bins. The lady at the Bob Jones booth has 5 kids. She gave this great idea to mark each supply piece so that if you find something around the house, you know who it belongs to. I thought this was a great idea and I'm even taking it one step further. I will charge the girls $.05 per thing that I find. I want them to learn to clean up after themselves and keep things organized. Since we are involved in numerous classes both at home and outside the home, I created different bins. We have a Classical Conversations supply bin (in a metal lunch box), a Chinese supply bin (small plastic pencil box), and a homeschool supply bin. Each pencil, eraser, sharpener, crayon, etc is marked with their color tape. Below are some pictures of just how I have organized them. I don't know how long these will last or look nice, but at least we start the year out on a good foot. :) If you have any additional ideas that you think will help us out, just let me know.

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