Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Favorites: Homeschool Newbie Edition

So, this is my first Five Favorites post.  Thanks a bunch to Moxie Wife for hosting!

For those of you who have never met me, I have a Type A personality (I think). I like to feel in control.  I also want to homeschool my kids.  So far, hilarity has ensued as I try to get my beautiful darlings (ages 6, 4, 3, and 15 months) to fall in line with these goals.

But this week I found a system that works, you guys!

So here are five things that as a newbie homeschooler are making my week better.

Favorite 1.

A word spreadsheet.  I know, I know. It's a plain, 6 x 12 square grid.  But so far, I've been able to put everyone's (yes, the baby has a row) school stuff on there.  I've been modifying stuff in pencil as I go, so next week it's going to look different when I print it up (I know for sure I'm adding a row for notes, for example). I filled it in and saved it as a template and now it's waiting for me when I have to do lesson planning for next week.

Since my biggest challenge has been trying to figure out how to juggle work for all four kids at once, this is a big deal.  And my new favorite.

Favorite 2.

The Piano Guys.

Since one of the goals of a classically oriented education is getting kids to recognize the good, the true and the beautiful, I try to find good music to listen to during the school day.  On Monday the CD I had so carefully picked out refused to play on any of my machines, so, on a friend's recommendation, I put on these guys.  They cover all kinds of music, from classical to popular, but they are amazing to listen to.

Favorite 3.


Where else can I find print-outs and activities to incorporate into my school week that cover my entire range of students?  I'm an obsessive pinner.  And it makes my school week easier.

Favorite 4.
This book:

My six year old loves the format and the stories.  I love the fact that it's flexible and phonics-based.  Also the fact that the exercises are bite-sized, so when (not if!) we get interrupted, it's easy to get the train back on the track.  Also, each story is a bit different and comes with a picture, so my student eagerly works through the lessons to get to the "good part."  It's like dessert.  And who can argue with academic dessert?

Favorite 5.

Again, with dessert.  At the end of the school day, I'm reading a chapter from this:

I have fond memories of being read these stories as a child and now I get to pass them on to my kids.  This is one of the reasons I do what I do.

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