Today is our first official day of school.
I originally planned on starting on September 9th (next Monday)
but made a last minute decision- seriously. last. minute. decision.
at 10pm on Saturday night, and decided I'd like to start today.
Am I crazy?
Maybe a little bit, but hey! I'm not the planning/list making type,
so just diving right in is what works for me.
It's how we roll 'round here!
And, I'm happy to report our first day of school was a success.
The boys loved it!
I know a few of you have been curious about my curriculum,
my homeschool space and what homeschooling "looks like."
Today, I'd like to take you on a tour.
There's a $5.00 fee at the door, though, just so you know.
(I kid. It's free, so come on in to our little homeschool!)
But! Before we get started, I must tell you two things.
You do not need a castle in order to homeschool
(our house was built in 1900 and only has 1028 square feet)
You do not need a magic want, either!
If you want to homeschool- you can!
It's as simple as that.
If you have questions,
are "unsure" but "really want to homeschool"
or are just in need of encouragement,
please contact me!
I used my point and shoot camera for these photos,
so they aren't the best quality, and
I'm totally wishing I would have used my fancypants DSLR,
but perhaps my blog reading friends won't mind.
You don't mind, do you? :)
This is our "school space."
Our house is tiny and definitely lacks storage,
but we make the most out of what we have.
We're blessed to have a very large dining room,
which transforms nicely into a school room.
Someday I will have a fancier floor rug, hah.
The bulletin boards are covered with fabric-
thanks to pinterest for the fabulous idea.
The bins on the far left are our workboxes-
you can read more about those in a bit.
The white storage shelf is mostly for themed activities...
for example, next week we will field trip to the apple orchard,
so I will fill the bins and shelves with appley crafts, small muscle activities, etc.
The shelf is a wee bit empty right now,
due to my spur of the moment decision to start school a week early.
The boys art supplies are also stored here.
Our white board- it's a bit simple!
We typically use it for 4 things:
1. a calendar
2. our Bible verse
3. studying a person from the Bible
(I will be adding this later today)
4. a fun countdown
This will be our timeline.
Ashton will add a small doodle, and a caption under the correct time frame.
These are our work boxes.
I fill each bin with the supplies needed to finish each day's lesson.
After the lesson is finished,
the boys are able to "velcro" a big "X" onto the right side.
I. love. work boxes!!!
They are so nifty, and help an unorganized person like me stay organized!
A closer peek!
This is where we store our library books.
YES! That's a U.S. Postal Service bin = sweet!
(I have two! Shshsh hehe... I found them at thrift stores!)
Space in the dining room, behind my bathroom door.
(We make every inch count!)
I have a few posters here,
along with quiet time activities and other little things...
(like my other USPS bin... this one holds my mailart supplies!)
Er, what a blurry picture!
This is the last "bit" of homeschooling space.
Confession: some of the items pictured here are not related to homeschooling.
The square shelves on the left hold homeschooling supplies:
additional curriculum books, easy readers,
science experiments, math cubes, flash cards, etc.
The top shelf and the squares on the right are.... mail art/letter writing supplies.
But hey! At least it's organized, right?
I used Heart of Dakota's curriculum for Kindergarten last year
and I was very happy with it.
So happy, in fact, that there wasn't a doubt in my mind about the curriculum
I'd go with this year... and so, here it is!
Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory by Carrie Austin- first grade.
This is what our day of school looked like today.
Every subject is laid out easily in a nice grid format which I LOVE.
It makes planning extremely easy!
A close up of Unit 1, Day 1's Language Arts and Reading.
We're using this mini white board for spelling. ($1.25 at Walmart!)
HOD (Heart of Dakota) uses God's Wonderful Works
by Eric D. Bristley and Edward J. Shewan for science and we love it!
The inside is colorful, challenging and filled with good stuff!
Another part of our HOD curriculum is poetry.
Today, I read a poem to The Fantastic Okapi.
He had to guess the title of it, and then write the first part in his journal.
What a wicked storm!
Journal writing is something we did throughout summer.
Here is a photo from last week.
The Fantastic Okapi wrote about Matthew being a tax collector.
Did you know that Matthew also wrote the first book in the Bible about Jesus?
(The small photo card is part of a huge collection of Bible cards I found at...
you guessed it-
a thrift store!)
Can you believe he will learn multiplication in 1st grade?
Crazy! (But exciting, too!)
One of our three social studies books.
This is the book we used today- American Pioneers and Patriots;
it's part of Christian Liberty Press.
A peek inside!
One of the pages we read today is pictured on the left.
Right now, our story time focus is biographies.
I decided to read the boys a biography about Johnny Appleseed
by Gwenyth Swain.
The Fantastic Okapi is currently reading Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel.
I purchased a separate Bible curriculum,
but after reading through HOD and looking at some devotion books,
I was content with the quality of HOD and the devo books pictured above.
I will not be using the additional curriculum I purchased.
We will alternate between the Read and Share Devotional by Gwen Ellis
and 365 Days of Celebration and Praise by Julie Lavender.
Both of these books are AWESOME and I highly recommend them.
The Read and Share Devo has colorful illustrations,
awesome Bible stories, super fun activities and prayers.
I originally purchased this book for The Green Owl,
but have found it to be useful for both boys.
365 Days is also a super awesome book for all families,
even families who aren't homeschooling.
Each day has something new to celebrate!
It encourages you to look up/read Bible stories in your Bible,
has questions to discuss, really neat activities,
"curriculum connection," a verse to memorize, and a prayer suggestion.
As you can see, these books are busting with awesomeness!
We used the Read & Share devo today, and created these fancy collages.
"God made them all." Genesis 1-2.
We are also doing an online reward/chore/behavior chart.
Today is our first day trying this and the boys LOVE it!
What can I say, I love it too!
I was able to choose the behaviors/chores I wanted on my charts.
I could even create my own chores/behaviors!
When the boys finish a task, or receive my approval,
they are able to pick a sticker.
You can see some of the Fantastic Okapi's stickers pictured above.
I was able to give each behavior/chore a point value,
and then I was able to create a reward chart.
My reward chart is pictured above.
I need to add a few more things.
Any creative ideas? Share with me!
If the boys complete every task for an entire week, they can receive 94 points.
As you can see, it will take awhile of saving to receive the "top" prizes...
but I'm excited to show them how important it is to work hard
and prioritize, too.
If you'd like to set up a reward chart like this, I suggest visiting:
Well, friends- that completes your tour of my mini casa
and our homeschooling goodies!
Feel free to comment below or contact me above!