Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So Many Things!!

There have been so many things going on just this past month! Birthdays, co-op events, Easter and 1st communion. Even the day to day seems to be full of noteworthy activity. So perhaps this week I'll just be updating with pictures for everyone to enjoy! We've had a great year so far!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Preparing, Purchasing, Planning.

So it's the time of year where most homeschool families start making lists and checking them twice. I'm not talking about Christmas (although for some of us, it almost seems like it)!! It's the time of year when homeschoolers get geared up for purchasing new materials for their upcoming school year. I know it. I've made the lists. I'm starting to get that planning itch. This year I'll be teaching a 4th grader, 2nd grader, K/1st grader, and a preschooler. On top of that I'll have a toddler and a newborn. No pressure. Nothing to worry about. I'm just keeping it cool.

6 KIDS!!! Really, people. I'm starting to get worried. Am I losing my mind? How can all of this possibly get done?? Ok....I'm keeping my cool again.

So for the past couple of weeks, I've worked on creating book lists for each of the kids. We are using Angelicum Academy, so it's nice to not have to make too many decisions on what curriculum to use. For the most part, we are using their recommendations and switching a few things with what's been working for us (mainly language arts and science). It's nice to be able to reuse so much of our curriculum and only have to purchase the worksheets or tests.

But I am starting a new wish list that doesn't include books or curricula. It's a schoolroom/supply wish list. And having it has meant keeping my eyes open for great deals and snatching them up when I can. As homeschoolers, I'm sure that you all realize how much it can take to get stocked up for school and how nice it is to have a fully functional and well supplied school room. Here are some of my wish list items.

PrismaColor Pencils Set of 120

My kids (mainly Isabella) are drawing and coloring fanatics. They go through crayons like there is no tomorrow. And colored pencils? Well, that's their favorite. I'm a big fan of PrismaColor and have used them since we began on this homeschool journey. I've been through quite a few sets and my kids have become quite snobbish because of them. "But these aren't the good pencils, Mami." Drives me nuts. But then I saw this pretty! I figure we need them since they tend to last us a while. Just don't look at the price tag!!!! Lucky for me, I bought them for 50% off the retail price. Still a little steep, but well worth it!

Binding Machine
The amount I've spent at Kinko's getting books bound would have already paid for 2 of these machines. This year, I decided that my binding needs aren't going to decrease any time soon so purchasing a binding machine would probably be a smart choice! I'm actually super-excited about getting it (should arrive tomorrow!)!! I already have a bunch of stuff ready and lined up to be bound! The particular one I ordered will actually bind up to 500 pages!! Awesome!

Ikea Trofast System this one is a big more difficult to convince my hubby of letting me get. The system is actually not that expensive, but I think that sometimes I tend to go a little overboard in buying furniture to "outfit" our schoolroom.'s on my wish list and I foresee me making a trip to Ikea by the end of the summer! Why do I need this awesome little organizing system? Because I've been inspired to use it for the kids' school and possibly start implementing a workbox system. I've been loosely doing it for a little bit and it's awesome! Here is a picture on how I would like to use them. I would love to tell you from whose blog this is, but I can't find it! If you know, please post a comment so I can credit them.

Apple MacPro Computer this one is really pushing the limits. But you must understand that I have computer envy due to my hubby's awesome MacBook Pro. I don't need a laptop, but I do need a new desktop. My computer is older than most of my kids!!! It still works, although pretty slow, so I can't complain completely. But eventually I will need to get it replaced. I'm just holding out until my computer blows up...which it is on the verge of doing. I'm surprised I can even post all these pictures. I have a caveman computer (although I got the screen replaced, so at first glance it looks newer).

I'll stop there for my wish list. It seems like every item keeps getting more and more expensive. Next thing I'll post for my wish list is a Porsche....what mom doesn't need an awesome little car from keeping her from feeling like she's turning into one of those homeschoolers. Wait....isn't being in your early 30's too soon for a mid-life crisis?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Elementary Planner.

How has your organization been going this year so far? I know many homeschoolers are coming to the end of their year. In our home, we homeschool year-round with our new school year beginning usually in early August. We've been doing this since the beginning and I love it. It just works for us. Taking weeks off as we need them and having a longer break in July. I find that it keeps the kids sharper and my house less chaotic. Does that make sense?

Anyways. I am a big believer is having a daily schedule. We use Managers of Their Homes to help us manage our day to day activity. It works wonderfully! I tend to be flexible with it, however, as I find that you kind of have to be when you have a lot of little ones running around. But things usually get done in the same order every day, whether we start at 8:30am or 9am. If you want to check out my post on my schedule, click here! It's been tweaked a bit since we have added and taken activities away, but the basics are the same.

Now this year, I had decided to give my kids their own planners to help build responsibility and good habits. I ordered some cute student planners from Pflaum especially for the primary grades. We used them quite a bit, but stopped about half year. Although great planners, they were too busy. A place for notes, spelling words, and all sorts of extra activities were causing havoc in my mind as I would write down their assignments for the day. And since they was little space for all their subjects (the planner is in a weekly format), I was getting frustrated.

So I began using my own lesson/assignment planner and the kids had been checking off everything in that. But it got old with the kids fighting over who my planner and I was ready to let them each have their own planner again. After searching high and low for a daily assignment planner that met our needs and always coming up short, I decided to make our own.

So if you need an elementary planner for your kids, feel free to use mine! Or easily create your own using mine as a template. I don't mind!

The subjects on our planners reflect our use of Angelicum Academy. If you want me to email you an editable copy, just leave a comment and I can send a Word document. I had our student planner bound, so the kids each have their own books.

That's my homeschool help for today! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Looking for a New School? Check us Out!!

Is your school year coming to an end? Well, we here at Holy Family Classical Academy pride ourselves in providing continual education to all our students! A year full of rigorous academics, extra curricular activities, and character formation are the basis for our success. Class sizes ranging from 1-5 kids guarantees one on one instruction. We focus on developing the best curricula for every child depending on their learning style and approach. We offer classical montessori based activities, art and nature based learning, and a traditional classical education approach. We offer a wide range of cultural experiences for every child including (but not limited to) foreign language study in Latin and Spanish. All this intertwined with a constant formation in the beautiful Catholic faith!

I love our homeschool. I don't think I could ever find any school, public or private, that offers what we do at home!!! Being able to homeschool is a blessing and I'm forever grateful for it!!!!

New School Room Tour.

It's back to school time and it seems like everywhere in the homeschool blogosphere, people are giving tours of their learning spaces.  ...