Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What worked, what didnt and what I did about it...

Its one month in to the 2015/2016 school year and its been a rocky one! I've grown to expect poor attitudes, forgotten material and general chaos from the first few weeks of school but this one seems exceptionally difficult. I feel a bit of our coming unto our own this school week and found I can definitly cut out a few things to make my life easier.

Now before you think I have it all together I do not! I've defintily been dealing with some heart issues of my own! Coping with a longer school day, some learning challenges and a lack of free time has been very very hard on me. I like to put things in a positive perspective for myself and others..

What Worked...

1. School Planners. I have loved my older three childrens homeschool planners. They have worked very nicely at keeping us all on track. I've loved them enough that I added a student assignment sheet to my 2nd and 3rd graders binders to help us all keep on track.

2. My Fathers World! Of course! No really I've loved having everything laid out for me in advance and i can add or take away as needed.

3. Math Mammoth and Saxon math. I've loved this addition this school year as well. Its been awesome that all our math is contained in those little worksheets with no extra manipulatives or books needed. I love how colorful MM is and how simple to use. I also love the independence Im seeing with our Saxon math users.

4. Binders. I have a white binder for each of the kids with a weeks worth of worksheets, student sheets, extra paper, ect. I love how if we need to move locations we can just grab those book and be out the door fairly quickly. I also enjoy prepping them for the week and closing them out for the week. It shows me what we need to do ahead of time and helps me to see the progress we have made each week.

What hasnt worked...and what I did about it.
1. Just Write. This program for my 3rd grader is a little too hard. We are going to stick with copywork for "writing" for him for awhile. He just struggles a little with the concepts. Just Write ha been great for my 5th grader.

2. Schoolroom. We have really struggled having grades 9 thru K in one room! So the K thru 5th crowd moved to the dining room table and we gave the school room for quiet work space for the older two children. This works nicely because the bulk of our school things are downstairs and I check in on them often because of it.

3. Doing it all. That has definitely not worked! I've struggled with some of the titles in ECC this year and had to substitute with You Tube videos and internet activities for the younger ones. That hasnt been too difficult. ECC is a great backbone to what we are doing though and I wouldnt change it.

4. The Schedule! Everything is taking longer than Im used to so I've had to adjust my predetermined schedule quite a bit. Even our start date changed! But that's ok, Im learning to be flexible.

5. Workboxes.. They were terribly cumbersome and not everything fit properly. We ditched them for totes and binders :)

Over all we are having a very productive year and Im sure we will come out on top and get into a groove in the end.