Sunday, August 21, 2016

My School Room Is Ready

Well I finally got my schoolroom together and organized for the new year! It usually takes all summer. I go through every little thing to see what we still can use what we can't and all that. So standing in my doorway this is what you will see. I just walked around the room taking pictures of everything.

When you turn the corner after walking in you see all this nature type stuff. The majority of the things the kids have collected over the years except for the rocks. The rocks which grew to a BIG collection have found there new homes outside in the fairy gardens. Now if you look past that you see another room that looks kind of schoolish. It is an extra little room, I believe it is suppose to be a dining room maybe since there is a built in china cabinet but we use it for something else. More on that later. 

These are the planets Fox hung for me because apparently every school room needs planets hanging from the ceiling. And as always our Magic School Bus. That school bus has hung in every school room they have ever had. They are big lovers of The Magic School Bus and will still even watch the movies!

So a bit further in...

You will see this. I just realized how filthy my windows are but I cannot keep the kids from touching them so I gave up a long time ago! This area is more nature science type stuff. All about animals, space, the ocean, rocks, volcanoes and of course bugs. Fox will always be BUG BOY!!!! The pizza box in the window is actually a solar oven not a dirty did not throw away box!

Little close up. They still have Lakeshore Learnings boxes of bugs, frogs, lizards and many other things. These are things the kids will never let me get rid of. There are also rock and mineral sets.

This little cubby is ocean on top and space on the bottom! My kids love both!

On to the TV area. The shelves have various pieces of pottery Skyler has made over the years. I have had to actually pack some away because there was so much. I believe some of my older daughter Devlin has some of her pieces up there as well. There are music instruments, a basket of educational type movies too. 

Now moving on over you see mostly art and writing type items. There are books about art, artists, music and musicians. There are poetry books and writer help type books as well. Of course there is more pottery too! 

In the baskets there are different art prints and drawing type books too. 

Moving on over there are more science type things and math. Behind that big body book are bunches of math books.

Those drawers house bunches of math and science stuff!

My huge shelf!! Books books and more books!!! Yes many many many science kits as well. I may have an addiction....

A few years ago we did Magic School based all around Harry Potter. It took forever collecting these books and making others so they will most likely never leave either. 

The monster book is my favorite book! I printed the whole monster book from the Harry Potter yahoo group for this!

Moving on, we get to geography. It has well, all things geography! 

This cool little basket has books about games around the world,dancing and even fables. I really like this little basket!

I have many books about Christmas around the world. These however are Christmas in the U.S.A. books. All kinds of books based on different states. 

These are my once beautiful continent boxes. Sadly they became a cats scratching post and I have yet to replace them. They are packed with all kinds of odds and ends from other continents. We have collected this type of stuff for years since my oldest was tiny.

Now onto that other little room. My desk lives here as well as my computer. The coke box is my dogs toy box. 

The kids workboxes live here as well. 

Over to the side you have the little kid area. I no longer have little kids myself but my adopted daughter Hannah has a step-daughter who is here every other week. So of course she needs a spot of her own as well!!

Now remember that built in china cabinet I mentioned? Well we use it as an art/game cabinet! The top has all the art stuff and below are all the games!

This is the kiddos movie cabinet but the top are where all my Dr. Seuss characters live. I have collected these for a long time as well. 

This is my basket! It has all my books and my Thinking Tree Journals in it. My pens, markers and crayons stay in this basket and they are not to ever be used by anyone but me!! That is about it for my schoolroom. It is my favorite part of the house!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Back To School Party!!!

     Well, Monday is our first day of the new school year so we of course had to have a party! Nothing says party like tons of junk food. 

They also for sure needed that typical brown bagged lunch and pouch juice drink.

We didn't have any guests this year so my kiddos were not as goofy as usual but I still got some pictures to humiliate them in years to come. That is the moms job is it not?

The boys are about fed up with a camera stuck in their face every waking moment. I am not a photographer by any means but I love taking pictures of my kids!!

It is hard to believe that is my baby! Even harder to believe I got pictures with no cat ears on, for that is rare!

My baby boy, Fox. Some days he never stops smiling some days he fights me over smiling. 

My BIG boy! He actually attempted a smile for me so I cannot be too upset. His smiles are hard won. They happen whenever he feels the urge.

Then there were three..... I miss having more in this all together picture. My oldest girl is a big time college girl now and wouldn't come for pictures. That is all right though, because I still have a beautiful picture of her!!

She is in her second year of college!!!! I am just a tad bit proud!!!

Now for some party pictures....

These two scarfed down their lunch to get to their sweets, Damian rushed off to be on the Xbox so no pictures of him. 

Fox really is my junk food junkie so he goes all out when he is cut loose!

That sundae even scares me!

At least Skyler was willing to take a goofy picture for me!

My centerpiece. 

My totally awesome chalkboard find!!! Every year for our party I paint place mats with chalk paint they usually last the party then go in the trash because the paint peels. I was totally over the moon to find these chalk boards to use from now on!!! 

I wish they were a bit bigger but I am still happy! I also love my little trays I found this year as well. I am always on the hunt for stuff I can use as party decorations for my back to school!

Well that is about it for our party. I hope everyone has a great start to their school year!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Planning, planning and more planning!!! For Damian

      Well it is that time to plan for the kiddos back to school! Decided to start with Damian. 

Damian is not a mathy kiddo so I are going to use the Guest Hollow Chemistry in the Kitchen with him. Cooking is an important skill to have and not only will he be cooking he will be using math skills, life skills and even problem solving! 

I know you are thinking well if you bought the plan why not use it as is? The schedule is full of amazing books, projects, videos etc. and for one there is NO way we will get to do them all. Second if I handed him a schedule that full he would most likely get overloaded and do nothing, so it is way easier to write it out. 

Instead of endless worksheets and such he will be making use of the 12 subject portfolio by The Thinking Tree. I am also making him a planner to help with independence this year. I think this is a massive skill he needs some help with. I have always been way involved with their schooling so this year I am finally taking a step back. 

He is using the high school planner by The School House Teachers site. The coolest thing about this planner is that you can type into it and hit print! I got an awesome deal  last year and have kept the membership for this site. 

I also got him some science type kits to add along the way! I will forever be addicted to science kits I believe. 

I have to really spell it out for Damian on what he has to do. I LOVE The Thinking Tree products but sometimes I think he gets a little lost from having so many different choices. He is the kinda kid who does well with a routine and a schedule. I will be allowing him to pick whatever books he wants to read for history. He will still be picking out movies as well. I am not yet sure if he is going to use any of the journals to go along with everything else. 

It is very possible I may add one in. The portfolio is a BIG book and it seems to overwhelm him so I am dividing it into sections that he will use. But the journals offer so much practice on handwriting and many other things as well. 

For planning I basically look at how many lessons there are and divide them up. I also plan only nine weeks at a time. This allows me to see what is working and what is not working. Home school allows the kids a freedom to work with what best helps them. 

For math Damian is using Kahn Academy videos and practices as well as living books. In addition he will also be using Are You A Math Genius and The Money Journal by The Thinking Tree. He won't have an actual curriculum to work through. At this point I really am concentrating on math skills for life. I want him to have the necessary things he needs in the real world. 

For language arts Damian will be using English Grammar 101 online site. I like this site it is pretty straight forward and to the point. He also has several books he can read into as well such as Painless Grammar. For vocabulary and spelling he will be using Glencoes grade 12 books. I got them free and there is no reason not to use what I have if it works!

For writing he may use the IEW Level 10. My amazing bestie scored this and while she will use it she won't be using it this year so she is sending it to my boys to borrow. The post office loves the fact that I moved from Indiana since we are constantly sending stuff back and forth. 

He will be participating in a co-op as well for history, science and P.E. If I actually sit down and am left alone I can plan nine weeks within a day or two. I have really drug it out this year though with so many distractions! Well, that about wraps up Damians plan! Now to tackle the other two monkeys! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Planning For Fox

Well planning for Fox is happening this time around! He will be doing a mix up of stuff as well. He will be starting out the year using his Thinking Tree ADHD journal this year. Like the other kiddos his is only a nine week plan. So things will change up again. He will also use the planner from The Schoolhouse Teachers site.  

Like Skyler he is starting with Creative Writing Made Easy only he is using the Spies of the Revolutionary War set. This is just a nine or ten week thing so he will move onto something else after this. Most likely he will move into IEW Level 10. His journal covers many many things but I still added some stuff as well. Fox tends to get lazy if he is not prompted. It is not a matter of boredom but a matter of playing the X box is way more fun than reading a book. If he can do something fun he will rush through his work and that is never a good thing!

For his language arts he will be using the English 101 site just like his brother. I also have the Glenco spelling and vocabulary and since I have it again why not use it? Math will be a continuing on of Math U See as well as the Thinking Tree, "Are You a Math Genius"?

I picked physics for him to start off with. I didn't buy an actual curriculum just kind of picked a Real Science 4 Kids text and added a bunch of other books and of course science kits! I also got the entire set of Popular Mechanics for kids movies and while they seem to be amazing I may add in some Myth Busters!

As far as history goes he will pick that I am hoping he starts out with some time around The Revolutionary War since his writing will be based on that time period. I also may add some classes from The School House Teachers site as well.

Along with the other two monkeys he will be doing a co-op that is for history, science and P.E. And with this kiddo my planning this quarter is over!!!!!!!