Monday, June 13, 2011

Our School Year 2011-2012

Some major changes are in store for us this year. Through much prayer and careful consideration I have decided to change everything we are doing over to My Father's World.  I wrote something for a board I belong to detailing why I switched and I think I will just copy and paste.

I was doing a full out classical curriculum. I had hand selected every single thing we were doing and loved every piece of it. The only problem was.... at the end of the day it wasn't getting done :'( We had too much fabulous, wonderful curriculum. It was too teacher intensive and too time consuming. I prayed about it and decided to switch exclusively to MFW.

Let me tell you this was an excruciating decision for me. I really loved what we had and letting it go was hard. I put away all of my old curriculum and cleared space for the new. Then I placed my order. I felt anxious about it and was unsure..... until it arrived.

Let me tell you it is wonderful. It is so simple to follow and well planned I am giddy. I have no more reservations because it is truly a complete curriculum. I have found no holes to fill or needs that are not going to be met. I can follow their plan with ease and confidence and know that my kids are learning what they need to learn. Even better is that they weave in character building throughout every day teaching our children to be the best they can be. 

Another thing I love is that everything flows together so nicely. Before it felt awkward to switch from one subject to the next. Like the change was abrupt, but they make sure everything flows smoothly and your day goes nicely. I also truly feel that they have taken great care to not over-teach things or teach unnecessary things. There is no busywork or silliness. They teach what needs to be taught in the simplest way possible eliminating time wasted. 
Really honestly I cannot be happier and my kids are ecstatic with it all. They are begging me to not take a summer break and just start school now. :-[

I truly think this was the best move our family could make. Teaching 6 kids is a real challenge but having it all laid out for me and planned in the simplest way possible will be the difference between getting it done and not.

That said I would love to share some tips and tricks with you a dear friend was kind enough to share with me and show you what our year is looking like so far. 

Here's our pretty shelf with everything we need on it for the year. Each grade level gets a shelf which works out perfectly.

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First up is Annabelle's PreK I don't usually advocate doing school this young but honestly it's do school with her or pay the price ;) She loves to be involved and won't have it any other way.

I bought the MFW PreK Package and put it all on the top shelf in clear pull out drawers. That way it stays cool and forbidden. Something she can only do when we are doing school. I love their little  activities and the cards they provide for ideas ( in the box on the right) What I love best is it's all hands on activities at that age. No worksheets or formal schooling. Just something to help them feel a part and work on fine motor skills. 

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Next up is Kindergarten. This is where MFW really shines to me. It is SO simple and just what Kindergarten should be. It should take about an hour a day and by the end of the year my little one will know her letters and their sounds, how to read 3 letter words and the numbers to 100. The rest of the time she will spend playing and exploring. There is no heavy work at this age. I am in love!!

I purchased the Deluxe Kindergarten set and the literature pack. 

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Here are where my friend's fabulous ideas start. First she recommended I put all of the stuff she will need daily in a box, bucket or some type of container. The puzzle is a bit large so that wasn't the easiest feat but I found the perfect container at Office Depot. 
Here it is all inside...
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And here's whats in the box... everything has been run through my laminator since I plan on using this for more than one year. What this box means is she can grab her stuff and we can do her school anywhere, anytime. What a blessing it will be to have some of our day be so easy. I have a tendency to focus on the big kids and not get the little kids school done. This should solve that and eliminate their hurt feelings. 
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Another great idea was using these great Nestle quick containers for the number work everyday. I added magnets to the back so they sit on the whiteboard.
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Here are her Number box and picture box and Audrey's money container for 1st
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Next up is First Grade. I purchased the deluxe first grade set as well.
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Here's another fabulous idea. Instead of hole punching all of the sheets to put in the binder she puts a sheet protector for each week of school in their binder. Then slides a week's worth of work in each page. Ingeniousness I tell you, no more messy binders. 
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I also had my own good idea this year.... yes I come up with some all by myself. 
We have a membership to audible and right now they have a summer reading sale. A lot of the picture book titles are less than a dollar right now! That said I went through and bought a lot of titles I already own and burned them to CD. I then placed them in the backs of their books and set them next to the CD player. That way while listening to the CD my beginning reader can follow along!
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I also had to share this adorable little book I found that teaches kids to tie their shoes.
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OK moving on to 3rd grade and Adventures in My Father's world. 
I purchased the deluxe package and all of their recommended resources. Singapore Math, Spelling Power, and Primary Language Lessons. We will also continue to use Song School Latin. 

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The only extras I bought were to reinforce the states a bit
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Last is year one of High School Ancient History and Literature. I bought the deluxe package, Apologia Biology with the MFW Schedule, Saxon Algebra 2 with the MFW Schedule, and logic. He will also be doing a free foreign language program through the library called Mango. Oh and we can't forget Seminary through church.... that worked out beautifully as they will be studying the Old Testament. 

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Oh and one last helpful tip from my friend...
Slide all of your worksheets for the year into a file so it is easy to grab when needed. 
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  1. I am truly amazed at your efforts!! :) YOu make home schooling seem so easy! Good luck with the next school year!

  2. Beautiful Angel! I'm an in awe of your organization. Hope you guys have a great year!


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