Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting the show on the road

It's that time of year again, time to get things going with a new school year. We do school year round, but we go lighter in the summer, not as formal as we do during the rest of the year. I usually spend the summer having the boys work on the basics (math, reading, writing, etc) while I  spend the time researching curriculum, making purchases, making lesson plans and getting the school room organized. Since we are taking a different direction with our teaching methods this year (switching to the Charlotte Mason style), that demanded some projects on my part. Well....okay, I'll be honest, I WANTED to do some projects. ;)

Since we will be doing lots of notebooking/journaling this year, I got the idea to create a notebook for the boys for geography and nature study. Sure, I could've just purchased a binder and filled it with paper. But what's the fun in that? No, I had to go dig through the craft stores for travel and nature related scrapbooking paper and stickers. I had the idea to cut out rectangles of cardboard then glue on the paper and stickers to make covers, followed by punching holes in the covers and using binder rings to make "books". My mom had done this a long time ago when she was a nursery director for church, she had made a story book for the children and they loved it.

I just completed the projects today after spending all day Tuesday printing up piles of free notebooking pages, cutting and gluing and getting pretty irritated with the whole process. It didn't turn out just how I wanted, but the boys love their books and I guess that's all that matters in the end. I'll post some pictures when I get a chance to take them.

I'm really looking forward to using the nature study books. I found some nature scavenger hunts that I printed up and included in their notebooks, they are looking foward to doing those. I was hoping to find some gardening related pages as the boys had planted a late season garden at their grandparents' house, but couldn't find any free pages. Someday I'll have to find the time to sit down and create my own pages. I did find some pages for weather watching, bird watching, sky watching, nature walks, leaf/tree/flower identification and just general notebooking pages. Fall, winter and spring are so wonderful to see in our area, I know the kids will get lots of use out of their notebooks.

Probably the single most exciting aspect of our new school year is that our daughter will be joining her brothers in school and start doing some preschool activities. She'll be 3 on the 14th of August and can't wait to "do school" with the boys. What makes this exciting is our daughter will be the first of our children to be homeschooled from the beginning. Both her brothers had gone through a few grades of public school before we had found out that we could homeschool them despite their disabilities. The boys are very excited to have their little sister join them. We'll see how long that really lasts, lol!

I will end this entry on that note and get myself back to the task of completing lesson plans, chore charts and getting the school room organized. I have a beautiful stack of brand new school supplies just waiting to be put in their proper places. Once I get everything set up and ready to go...I give it a full week before the place is trashed. ;)

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