Next week, I will begin planning my 2014/2015 school year.
A lot of you have asked me questions about my curriculum,
so I thought I'd give you a front row seat to my choices this year.
The most common question I'm asked is,
"Do you have to buy your own curriculum?"
The answer to that is, yes.
I have to buy everything, and nothing is reimbursed.
And, because I don't teach the same grade every year,
each year is a new (relatively large) financial investment.
But it's totally worth it because I am able to teach, train and love on my boys.
I have a few other things to share, too-
my big desk makeover projects,
some thrifty treasures
and maybe a random photo or two along the way.
Have ya'll been having a nice summer?
I hope so.
I'd love to know your favorite summer memory so far...
Leave me a comment and let me know.
My summer has been unusually busy.
I'm not a busy person, so it's been a new challenge for me.
Of course, my favorite memories so far have been time spent with my family.
We recently drove to a park in a nearby city to watch airplanes fly at EAA.
Check out the back drop, eek!
Restored Treasures- "New" Desks!
I think they're kinda fun, and show the boy's personalities.
Here is The Fantastic Okapi's fancy new desk:
("Before" photo missing!)
The boys picked out their favorite color spray paints, and I got busy...
Hand sanding, spray painting, and "antiquing"
(aka: making the desks "dirty.")
The neighborhood boys found that part especially cool!
We let the boys pick a few "fancy" drawer knobs at Hobby Lobby
(thank you, 50% off sale!!)
The rest of the handles were like, 10 cent thrift store finds! Not too shabby!
And, all of the desk bling = thrift store treasures, too!
Oh, and I almost forgot- here's the Fantastic Okapi's thrifty-fun desk chair-
a vintage chair from Chicago, $1.99.
I painted the legs to add some color.
You know me- I've gotta have color!
Paris wanted to make her modeling debut, so, here you go!
Our Curriculum Choices 2014-2015
Second Grade / Kindergarten
I had a pretty easy time making my curriculum choices this year.
This will be my first year "piecing together" my own curriculum...
I won't have a teacher handbook telling me what to do each day.
This will take more time and planning on my part,
but I am very happy to have a hand picked curriculum
that fits my boys interests unbelievably well...
The added work will be worth it, I'm sure!
This will also be my first year with two students.
The Fantstic Okapi will be in 2nd grade and
the Green Owl will be in Kindergarten.
Alright, enough chatter- let's get to the fun part!
Drum roll please...
After much research, I decided to go with this spelling program for 2 reasons:
it's progressive and challenging.
I like how the words build off of one another.
I also like that there are 25 spelling words each day.
Yep, twenty. five. words. A day.
I'm stickler for spelling, and actually think it's fun.
I believe this will be a definite upgrade from last year's spelling program.
I am excited about this!
Last year's history was a... (snooze!)
Bob Jones looks fun, engaging and super educational, too.
It's going to require quite a bit of prep on my part,
but I'm ready for it!
I know it will be worth it.
I LOVE how it's laid out and...
it has COLOR!
I strongly believe a kid's text book (elementary) should have pictures.
It should be "fun." Educationally fun.
We struggled through the lack of photos with last year's curriculum.
It's very in depth and looks to be a lot of fun!
Here's a peek at the text book, notebook and science kit:
and the Fantastic Okapi will continue using Singapore:
Along with this, we'll continue sending mail to family,
friends and adopted soldiers.
(Green Owls' book not pictured)
and am SUPER excited about this book.
Even though our school year hasn't officially started yet,
I already recommend this book!
Very Very Vocabulary.
We're bringing it back for both boys this year, yay!
The Green Owl will start with book 1- not pictured.
I'm excited about each one of them!
First up, Draw Through the Psalms.
It may be difficult to see,
but the page pictured says:
Many are the wonders that the Lord has done.
Read Psalm 40.
Think of a wonder the Lord has done and draw it here."
Perfect for my little artists!
Each day has a special event, like July 12- "National Picnic Month."
Each day starts with a little reading,
"Think back to your last picnic.
How many people attended the picnic?
Have you ever been to a picnic with over 4 thousand people?
What if you were the one in charge of feeding that many people?
Read about the miraculous way Jesus feeds the multitude in Matthew 15:29-39."
Then there are questions to discuss.
There's also a related activity, curriculum connection, and prayer suggestion. We really enjoy everything about this book.
Excuse my smudgy picture.
It's filled with little love letters written to boys, from God.
Each letter also includes a scripture and prayer.
We always discuss the letters too.
We use this book before bed time.
There's a girl version and (many) versions for women too.
I have some of the women's versions,
and have found them to be
helpful reminders of just how amazing my Savior is.
Here's what we'll be using:
It's pretty super, and I know my boys will enjoy it!
I'll probably order more later in the school year.
I have two other things to share with you before you go.
Stick around a bit longer, will you?
Support our Troops- Soldier Mail!
If you'd like to adopt, please visit their site and sign up.
Receiving soldier doesn't take very long,
and your support is sure to boost their morale.
If you are unable to commit to adopting a soldier by sending weekly mail,
you can send random mail through "Any Soldier."
Simply browse through the ads,
request an address and send a package or letter.
It has flexibility and can be a one time commitment.
The mail you send will be given to "any soldier-"
most likely someone who doesn't receive much mail.
We recently received some surprise mail from our adopted soldier
and someone from Any Soldier...
Take a peek:
As much as we need the soldiers, they need us, too.
Adopt a US Soldier: http://www.adoptaussoldier.org/
Any Soldier: http://www.anysoldier.com/index.cfm
Thrifty School Finds!
I found some awesome resources for homeschooling at my favorite thrift store.
In case I haven't told you, I pretty much love thrift stores.
I paid about $1.00 for all the awesomeness pictured below.
It was nice catching up with you!
Hope you've been enjoying the warmth of the warm summer sun!