Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Day Of School

Click here to view this photo book larger

First week of school 2011/2012 school year

We started our 2011/2012 school year on Monday August 15,2011. This week and next week we won't be doing our actual curriculum that I've chosen for this year (because we haven't received it in the mail yet...due to me procrastinating ordering it). I am just kinda giving them review stuff just to get them in the hang of actually sitting down and doing school. Since we homeschool, our home has been just "our home" for the past few months and now it's also our it takes a little bit of adjustment for them to get into the routine of it all. It takes ME some adjustment time as well. I'm trying to balance all my other duties around the house and trying to not do too much of that other stuff (cleaning, laundry, etc) while its school time. If i take my focus off..even for a moment my kids seem to loose focus as well. (something we are going to be working on the next couple of months though, not to get so distracted and lose focus on their school work. Even if there is lots going on around them).

This is the first year that each of my kids have their own desks. And I must didn't realize how much that is going to make school easier this year. Each child has their own space and they have really taken ownership of "their desk". So it really helps them leave each other alone when they are trying to get something done. Usually when the big kids are working on something, the little ones would try to climb on the table and be right in the middle of it. Now they don't really pay much attention to what the big kids are working on which enables the big kids to focus better. Also, this is our first year we actually have a REAL school room (okay, so we had one a few years ago when we first moved to TN in our temporary house..but that turned out to be a flop...since we had to go outside to get to the school room. IT just didn't work for us and we ended up doing most of school in the main house at the kitchen table.) I had fun making the school room look like a school room and the kids really liked that as well. I still have some work to do on it. I have to get a book shelf and some other things but for now I just used what I had around the house.

I know it's only Thursday but I would say our first week of school was a success! I accomplished all what I wanted to do. Just have fun and start to get into the swing of things. I am really excited to get their new curriculum in the mail and get our school year really rolling. I hope my kids are as excited as I am!

A few changes I've made is that we have decided to NOT have the kids participate in a co-op here. We had actually signed them up for their classes and everything. BUT after much thought and prayer about it. I just didn't feel it was something my kids needed right now. They are involved in many other activities and church and by using our whole day on Friday for these classes we would be using a whole day that was really needed to be spent at home. I'm not worried about my kids needing that for social reasons. They get plenty of that elsewhere. So I felt it was best to skip that for now. Right now we have Jordan in fall baseball, Mason in fall T-ball. Mya is in 2 dance classes. We also have church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I think we are good as far as "activities" go. Sometimes I just want to stay at home and never leave. I don't like making our schedules so busy that we are just running from activity to activity. I like spending time at home as a family and not feeling rushed from place to place every day of the week.

Here's a summary of what we did so far this week:
Jordan -reviewed his math facts; took his English diagnostic test (so I knew exactly what English level to order), worked on some 2nd grade Social studies A.C.E paces. (little workbooks that are used in our new curriculum. I had ordered those awhile back to just see what they were like)
Mya -reviewed writing her alphabet, reviewed phonics, worked on some math bookbooks, took a 1st grade math test that was left over from jordan's 1st grade math curriculum. she got all of the answers correct by the way.
Mason -reviewed his shapes, practiced writing his name, did a lot of playing with gracie with playdough and some learning toys.
Gracie -ate crayons, ate playdough, colored the table, played with toys. But I must add..she did all this sitting at her little table...a step up from her climbing all over the big kids work like she did last school year! :)

All 4 kids are also working on memorizing Psalm 1. We are up to verse 3 now. We have a month for them to learn the whole thing. I'm sure they can do it! They are coming up with all sorts of creative actions to help them memorize it! They will be memorizing a new passage of scripture every month. Some months it's a whole chapter and other months it's just part of a chapter. It goes along with their new curriculum.

So there you have it. What we have been working on. Here are some pictures of our school room.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer break in a nutshell....

Wow....once again. I'm SO behind on blogging. If you were to look at my blog and see all the blogs I have started but aren't quite ready to be published you'd be amazed! I think I probably have about 35. I have LOTS on my mind and I jot down ideas and quickly type things in my blog and save for later but finding the time to actually sit down and proof read them and make sure they make sense to my readers and add pictures is a whole different story.

We've been on summer break. With moving at the end of June (to read blog post about moving CLICK HERE) and a few of our summer birthdays we have been quite busy. We were also able to get away to Gatlinburg and Dollywood for one weekend. A much needed time away. The house is JUST about completely unpacked and in order. There are a few boxes left in our bedroom...i'll get to those someday.

I have been working ALL week on getting our homeschool room ready. I'm So excited to have a school room and I think the kids are excited too. They love having their own desks and their own work space that NO ONE else can use. But they also enjoy having a table that they can all sit at together and work on something together. This week we have done a little bit of school here and there. Just kinda getting our toes wet. Starting Monday we are starting FULL FORCE. We will have a schedule. We will have weekly goals, we will have RULES (my kids just LOVE that one), and we will most importantly have FUN!!!! School will be in session. I have a few little added surprises for my kids. You know...teachery (I honestly don't think that is a word...but i like the way it sounds if you read this outloud.) type stuff. That's the teacher inside me. I did go to college to be a teacher although I've never actually taught children besides my very own. An example. I have name tags for their desks. Now really...we don't need them, do we? I know my kids' names, they know each others names. But it's just SO fun...I just like that type of stuff. And I know my kids will LOVE that as well.
Now lets talk business now. Their curriculum. Once again I've changed the curriculum choice for this year. (i know I know...I thought using bob jones last year was the PERFECT curriculum that I'd stick with forever). It was a nice curriculum choice...but I'm learning what we really need/want for our homeschool. This year we chose to go with A.C.E curriculum.(click here for the website) IT's much simpler but I'm excited because I think it will be easier to get thru and give us more time to do added things to the lesson. I was bombarded with so much information with other types of curriculum that there was NO possible way to do it all that I think I ended up leaving out things that would have been benefitcial to do. I also need something that I can hand my kids (well, mainly Jordan) and ask him to complete a task on his own and then I will go over it with him. THere is just no possible way to do an extensive curriculum (that is really set up for classroom use) with 4 kids at one time and doing 4 different grades at one time. It was almost impossible to get thru it all with only 2. It won't be long and I'll have 3 then 4 kids all working on lessons every day. So I need something that they can work independantly from time to time. I think this will be a good one. I may find something new for next year but for now this is what we chose to go with.

So this is what has been going on in the Beers household for now. Stay tuned...I"m hoping next week to have a blog post with pictures about our first week of school. But for's a few of our summer pictures.