Fall 2012 Sports

 

 

 

Finishing up sports for the fall and getting ready for winter.  We will only have one in a winter sport, thankfully, but this will likely be the last year we are so lucky.  As my kids get older, I have to come the reality that I will live some of the week in my van.  I do look forward to this, mostly because of all the treasured memories I have of that time growing up.  Some of the best times of my younger years was the hundreds of car rides anticipating a game, being with the people I loved most, and cheering for a sibling.

 

I was sad when we all grew up and there were no more games to watch, but now am realizing I get to live this all over again with my own children.

These little people make me so happy.

 

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Eagle School Pictures

 A couple of months into Pine Castle Christian Academy Eagle School, things are going wonderful and the kids are loving it.  Being a first year program, we are grateful for over 30 students from elementary to high school. Classes offered include history, writing, science, and math.  New friends are being made, learning is fun, and teachers are loved. My kids count the days until they get to go to Monday classes at Eagle School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organization

I love when people post organization ideas and what works for them.  The following post and pictures are what is working great for me and the 6 kids I am homeschooling.

This is our school room. The picture is too dark, but it doubles as our dining room. I dream of the day that I can have an actual school room.

Each child has their own notebook. The notebooks have six slots in them. I use one slot for a schedule and the others for each day of the week.

Each child decorated their folder at the beginning of the year. Each Sunday, I insert worksheets that they kids are able to do on their own, or worksheets that I don’t want to have to find later, in the appropriate day of the week.

I tear out pages and insert in the correct day. It saves SO much time. I schedule everything out (using homeschooltrackeronline.com), print out the schedules, and go through textbooks a week in advance to have everything ready each day. There are no missing books, or missing sheets, or forgotten work since it is all in the notebooks, on the specific day, every time.

The kids know which worksheets they can grab and do on their own, and I know that anything that needs to get done is there. If we happen to not get to something, I can just move the work to the next day and make note on my schedule if needed.

All of this may not be necessary for everyone, but attempting to homeschool 6 kids and keep everyone on track could be an organizational nightmare.  This structure has been my favorite change for the year.

So what happens when they finish the work?

Each child has their own color file folder. (I do not try to keep and organize my preschoolers work). These cheap file tubs are perfect for keeping everything together. Once the year is over, I can take out bits and pieces of work over the year for a portfolio and evaluation, or I can just bring the whole tub with me and let the evaluation teacher see what she wants. I will mark them with the year, and store in the attic for a couple of years.

Each file is a separate subject. This can serve as my portfolio down the road if necessary, or like I said above, I can just keep random examples from throughout the year. It is easier for me to just file everything away, in order, by subject, and keep the whole bin. After a couple years (which is how long the state of Florida requires you to keep work) I will most likely go through and create a portfolio, or have the kids help me make a fun binder, to keep for memories.

My friend had the brilliant idea of giving my oldest daughter her own space. This is my kitchen, but we carved out a corner for her. The desk is from Ikea and can fold down. She has slowly taken more and more space over. :-)
There is a significant gap between her and the younger kids, so this has worked out nicely.

Another favorite buy for this year were the organization wall hangers from Ikea. In this picture the backpacks are hanging from them. Ikea has cups (you can see them in a couple of the other pictures) that we use for pencils, pens etc., or you can buy hooks.

There were a few other ideas that have worked well for us, but perhaps I will share in another post.  I need to give a shout out to my dear friend who is much smarter and more creative than I am and who I regularly steal ideas from.  I forget which of these ideas were mine, and which were hers, so I will just say we work well together.

Six Weeks In

I haven’t blogged in weeks.  Or maybe it is months.  I can’t keep track, which is why I haven’t been around.

We are six weeks into our school year.  I am not only homeschooling my oldest three (and trying to do a little of something with my preschooler), but I am also helping homeschool my niece and nephew.  I was nervous about how I was going to do it all, but the reality is, it is going better than I could ever dream.  We are finding things that work, some that don’t, and learning what our priorities are. The kids bicker, they compete, they work together, and I am having a blast watching it all.  Sometimes I sit back and wonder why it is I get to do this.  I can’t imagine a more rewarding job.

Some things I have learned are:

The house does not stay clean.

Some boys can sit still and work and some can’t.  Come in my home and watch them. My 2nd grade nephew can sit and work and focus (with random comments thrown in about legos), but my 2nd grade son enjoys working while standing on his chair and turning in circles.  We are working on that.

Girls want to color.  A lot.

Sharpening pencils is everyone’s favorite activity.

I am becoming the queen of multi-tasking. Teaching 6th grade math and 2nd grade language arts and kindergarten science and preschool math.  Nooooooo problem.  As long as I can randomly stand up and say “ONE AT A TIME!” loud enough that I get 10 seconds of silence to clear my mind every once in a while.

Lunch is messy.

Kids are dirty.

Cousins feel like siblings.

God’s grace is here everyday.

We don’t have it all together.  I get irritated when days don’t run smoothly. The kids fight and don’t write capital letters at the beginning of sentences, but the most important thing I have learned six weeks in, is that I love my job.  I adore all my students and actually look forward to each day.  What will I hear today?  What will I learn from them today? How many times will I silently laugh at the child that thinks every continent is Asia?

Six weeks in I am more grateful than ever for my life, and more grateful than ever for new mercy and grace every morning.

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