Friday, August 10, 2012

Our School Room

With less than a week before school starts I'm trying to get everything ready . . . the curriculum, the schedule, the school room . . . the teacher chocolate stash . . . 

I was on my way to Ikea to look for some sort of table that would work well for homeschooling, when my husband texted me this link from The Pioneer Woman . . . perfect! (No, my husband doesn't read The Pioneer Woman's blog . . . not that he would be any less manly if he did. ;) He found this when he googled "homeschool desk" . . . Pinterest also had a bunch of great ideas if you are looking.)

I was able to pick the four "bases" that I wanted. I got two with drawers like you can see, and two with more of a storage feel with one shelf inside of a cupboard. I ended up getting the longest table tops (I got two to make it wider like she did) since we will eventually . . . if I survive this . . . have four kids needing to sit at it. Her review of this table has totally convinced me that it will hold up well. And like her I plan on getting a piece of glass to cover the top so that I won't have to worry about paint or markers or anything else damaging the table top. I also decided to go with dining room chairs instead of office chairs. I want to eliminate rolling around the room or spinning . . . and these chairs looked a little nicer. I have yet to find cushions that I like that aren't going to break the bank. Still on the lookout.

The whole room isn't done yet, but we have everything put together and ready to go when school starts next week. I have a couple of projects I want to do to decorate . . . a sign made out of an old pallet, something like these, with a quote something like this, and some pictures to make it feel more comfy. Until then, this will be great.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Free Geography Printables

I've been looking forward to helping my girls better learn geography. I definitely want them to know the United States & Capitals (as well as special things about each one), and of course as we're studying history (they're both learning about ancient civilization this year) and current events we'll master those places as well. I was NOT a good student when it came to geography. At all. I am certainly not the person to come to if you need to know where anything is. Pitiful really, so I'm really excited to learn alongside them as they learn. 

I have been searching the internet and found a couple of websites that offer free map printables if you're interested:

Super Teacher Worksheets was the best one I could find for printable maps, games, etc. (and not only do they have geography but they have a lot of other subjects as well.) They have some free printables but to fully enjoy their website they charge $20. I'm seriously considering it.

EL Civics for ESL Students has a bunch of worksheets free to print as well. All are free as far as I can tell on this website.

**I'll add to the list as I find more! 

I'm Overwhelmed. Help!!

Wow . . . I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. School starts in a week. Yep . . . seven. short. days . . . eeek! When we decided to homeschool and got everyone registered it was forEVER away. Back then I thought, "I've got this! Bring it!!" Right now . . . panic has found it's way to my gut. This morning I decided to kick it out; the panic feeling I mean. So . . . 

{{deep breath}} here we go.

Okay, so I have yet to solidify my "plan" which is where my panic is coming from. I have the curriculum planned (ish). I have the text books and consumable workbooks etc. that I feel will work for us, but as far as a schedule goes . . . nothing. I have the "must-be-totally-planned-out" personality. I really wanted to be totally organized and planned out before school started so that I wouldn't feel overwhelmed when the time came. But I'm new to this and not quite sure how things should be. In my head it would be fanTAStic to have the entire year, down on paper, in pen. But what also sounds great is being able to repeat a week of math, or any other subject, if they didn't understand something . . . which then tosses out my plan of writing everything out. (By the way, I know that is completely unrealistic.)

So what do YOU do?? How far in advance do you plan things out? Do you look at each week as it comes, or more of a semester plan in pencil so you can modify?

Any advice would be GREAT! I have been doing a lot of research and finding some great tools online which have taken so. much. weight off my shoulders which has been wonderful! What ways to you find work best for your lesson planning? What websites do you find useful that you use often? Do you often find yourself curled in a ball in the corner singing Twinkle Twinkle? 

Okay, sort of kidding. Thanks in advance for your advice!!