Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Latin Program: Song School Latin


As part of TOS Homeschool Crew, I was given the chance to review Song School Latin, a Latin curriculum for K-3 put out by Classical Academic Press. I was sent the student workbook with CD, the teacher's edition, and a sampling of their Monkey Match game. Here's a peek at the teacher's edition. It contains the full student workbook with answers, teacher hints and ideas:

In the back of the teacher's edition, is a section that has activity pages for the student that can be copied and distributed. In my opinion, while the teacher's manual is nice, if you are doing the lessons alongside your child, you don't really need it for the answer key or additional tips. But the extra activity pages are great for enrichment. If your student needs more practice than the workbook gives, these enrichment pages will be a huge help. If it weren't for these, I would not consider the teacher's edition a necessary part of Song School Latin. Here are a couple shots of the student workbook. The activities are pretty varied, which is nice. Here, the student puts the cookie with the correct Latin word in the corresponding English jar. Here, Little Bean traced new Latin vocabulary words, matched them to a picture and then drew a picture of his own family and labeled the people in Latin. Other unique features of this Latin program include:

--Connections between English words and their Latin roots

--Online games as well as printable coloring pages for each vocabulary word

--A companion CD that includes songs for every vocabulary word your student will learn. The CD is really well done. We enjoy listening to it all the time, even when we are not doing a Latin lesson. Also, I have found that the song CD is crucial to understanding, pronunciation and retention for my kids.

Thoughts: We are really loving Song School Latin! Both of my kids look forward to the lessons, which we do twice a week. Little Bean is retaining close to 100% of the vocabulary so far and has not complained even once about the workbook or lessons. Miss O is retaining about 80% of the vocabulary, mainly through memorization of the songs (she is not using the workbook). We will definitely see Song School Latin through to completion this year. I have not decided if I want to do it over again next year, purchasing a new workbook for Miss O and giving Little Bean the enrichment pages in the teacher's edition, or move along to Latin For Children A, also put out by Classical Academic Press. There is talk of a second Song School Latin, and if that were to come to fruition, I would most likely get that.

The Song School Latin Teacher's Edition sells for $22.95, the student workbook is also $22.95, and the Monkey Match game is $24.95. You can purchase all three as a bundle for $64.95.

Classical Academic Press sells a number of materials for language, including curriculum for Latin, Greek, French, and Spanish. They also sell Bible curriculum, from the reformed perspective, which I am considering for the kids at some point. Their Bible curriculum called God's Great Covenant, takes children chronologically through the Bible. In addition, Classical Academic Press sells poetry and logic curriculum.


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A blessing in my day...

Just before our move, I was contacted by a gentleman named Rich Davis (check out his drawing blog here). He had seen my entry for a giveaway of his game, Pick and Draw, and he wanted to bless our family with the game--for free!

You see, Pick and Draw is a fun card game for all children, which introduces them to creativity and the gift of drawing and art (more on the game later). But Pick and Draw is especially appropriate for children on the Autism Spectrum, and in fact has been used by some therapists when working with their Autistic patients. When Mr. Davis saw my entry, which stated that I'd like to try the game with my Autistic son, he felt led to bless us with a copy of the game, no strings attached.

I was so touched by this gesture, and in return I wanted to write about his product on my blog.

So here's the run down:

Pick and Draw is a non-competitive drawing game that teaches you how to draw cute, cartoon faces. The deck contains several cards in 5 different colors, each color representing one element of the face (head, eyes, nose, mouth, and hair). You lay out the cards by color and take turns choosing a card and drawing the basic shape on your paper. After everyone has gone through all five facial features, you can color your drawings and compare. Mr. Davis encourages players to name their character and explain what their character likes to do.

We have played this game many times over the last month since we have had it. I like it because it's fun for everyone and there is no losing or winning, which means there is no fighting or hurt feelings either. My kids like it because they can be creative and there are no wrong or right answers. It's a very low pressure game.

Why it's good for my Autistic son:

Well there are tons of reasons, so let's look at some of them.

First, as I mentioned above, it's non-competitive. There is nothing wrong with competition, but when your goal is to engage the child, which isn't always easy with a child on the spectrum, competition usually is a hindrance rather than an incentive to play.

Next, it's very visual and it's very concrete. Autistic children are often very visual people. They think concretely. Pick and Draw is a game that is "see and do". It is fun, but it is also very simplistic (though you can make it more involved by expanding on your drawing, as my husband is wont to do).

Also, Pick and Draw helps children share enjoyment with one another. My son's favorite part (surprisingly) is naming his character and telling what he likes to do. Last night when we played, Little Bean followed Miss O around the kitchen asking her, "What's your character's name, and what does he like to do?" He wouldn't let up until she told him! This is a huge difference from 5 months ago when the therapist asked us if he ever showed interest in others or asked questions about others. I can attest that this game has a built-in element of getting all players involved in conversing with one another and showing interest in one another.

There are other reasons it's good for children on the spectrum: it encouages creativity and requires fine-motor work, it is highly structured, giving the child a comfortable environment for interaction, and it teaches the child that it's okay to be flexible and still follow the rules (after all you can draw a face in many different ways).

I definitely recommend this game for children with Autism, but truly it's a game for anyone to enjoy; not to mention, it's one of the few children's games we have that as an adult I can still enjoy playing time after time with the kids! ;)

You can check out more about Pick and Draw here.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Free Houghton Mifflin Math

Looky what I just came across: Free Houghton Mifflin Math for Grades K through 6! These are printable pdf format worksheets and lessons. Categories include: math background, vocabulary cards, teaching tools, leveled practice, math at home, math investigation, teaching models, and connections to other subject areas. When you click on the connections links, it takes you to online games that are related to the math concept the child is learning in that particular lesson.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Row and Columns Game--Math

This is a math game from our math curriculum, Right Start.

Object: To make 15 using 2 or more cards.

Materials: basic number cards numbers 1 to 9, 4 of each number

To play: Lay out the cards face up in a 4 by 4 grid. The remaining is the stock pile. Players take turns finding as many sets of cards that equal 15 as they can. Sets can only be found in either a row or column. As the player finds sets (in the example above you see that Little Bean found 5, 5, and 5= 15 and 8, 1, and 6= 15), they remove them from the board. When no more sets can be found, the empty spaces are replaced with cards from the stock and the next player takes a turn. When no stock is left, players can find sets in any position (ie they can find sets that are not in rows or columns). If no sets are found by a player, the corner cards are swapped with cards from the stock and the next player takes a turn.
Thoughts: This was a fun one. I'm always impressed with the games that we learn with Right Start. Try this one with your kids and let me know how it goes!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beautiful Sunday, first nature hike in OKC

We visited a local nature park today, and had a great time! I'm so excited that spring is finally rolling in and we can start to enjoy the outdoors more. We visited many of the nature parks in CA multiple times, so we are excited to explore new territory here in OKC. The landscape is very different--much flatter (but still hilly, despite what my CA friends say!), and much less dense (perhaps because winter is just ending?). The best part of the day was seeing so many fresh animal tracks. In CA, we saw a lot of lizards, squirrels and small rabbits and their tracks. Here we saw raccoon tracks, deer tracks, bobcat tracks, live turtles just hanging out in the brush, and lots of unique birds. It was great! And praise God, Miss O didn't even complain once about being too hot!

There was a creek to wade in:
Here are the fresh deer tracks we saw close to the creek's edge:
View of one of the trails:
Signs of spring:
A sweet bird who was posing for his picture:

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Friday, March 18, 2011

A video about my son--Autism

My long time readers know that Little Bean, my 5 year old, was diagnosed with Autism this past November. As his mom, I know him so well, and I can definitely see that the diagnosis fits him. But this has not been the case with many of our friends and family. Many are under-educated about Autism, or refuse to educate themselves about it. Many feel that admitting that he is Autistic is a bad thing, or somehow takes away from all the great things that he is. Some just want to ignore it. And of those relatives who we live near now that we are in Oklahoma, many of them don't even know about his diagnosis, but they definitely know something isn't "normal" because they are making comments and asking questions about his "quirkiness". So, I made this video. I plan to put it on CD and just send it to those who need to know more, as a way to help them understand Little Bean a bit better, and as a way to quickly educate them about what Autism entails for Little Bean. And by the way, Little Bean has Juvenile Xanthogranuloma as well, but that is the subject for another post, and has nothing to do with Autism.

I am linking to this post over at Confessions of a Non-Domestic Housewife. You can find more posts about Autism on her blog througout the rest of March and April (April is Autism Awareness Month).

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 to 2012 Curriculum Post

Every year I tend to do a curriculum post, talking about what I plan to use in the following year with the kids. Recently I posted about what curriculum I was thinking about using with them. This week I made one big purchase, covering most of what we will use next year. Here's the run down (I did make some changes from my original post):

Miss O, Age 5, Kindergarten material

Reading: Academic Success for All Learners, I See Sam Sets 2 to 8. She is halfway through Set 2 now, so we will see how far we get. I haven't purchased Sets 5 through 8 yet, but if we get to that point this year and she still needs reading instruction, I plan to for sure. I really like this reading curriculum for her.

Handwriting: Ages ago I posted about the Startwrite Worksheet Wizard software that I purchased for the kids. Instead of buying more Handwriting Without Tears workbooks, I plan to use the Startwrite software with her. I already have the teacher's guides and used workbooks from HWT, so I plan to use those as a guide to making HWT-like handwriting work for her. She tends to know most of her letters, but needs practice on some of them. We will be working more intensively on that this year.

Spelling: All About Spelling Level 1. She is over halfway through already. So we may end up moving on to Level 2 in Kindergarten.

Math: Right Start Math Level A. We started this recently, and she is doing alright with it, so we will continue being Right Start followers for a while longer!

Typing: A while back I reviewed Read, Write, Type, which I had used with Little Bean. Miss O is using it now, and has passed two levels already. She should be typing by the end of Kindergarten.

Writing: I will not be doing formal writing or grammar with her in K. However, opportunities may arise in which she will get to do some writing, poetry or other exercises. At that time, she would follow along with whatever I use with Little Bean.

Science: I have a science curriculum that is especially for Kindergarten, which is what I used on Little Bean (McRuffy Science K). However, I'd like to combine Science and History with both kids so that it makes for a more fluid school day. She doesn't seem to be ready to grasp much of what we are learning in science right now though, so I am not sure how realistic that is.

History: Miss O will not be doing history in K, but she does listen in on occasion to our lessons from Story of the World. I do not expect her to retain much of it though.

Bible: I am undecided on Bible. I am looking at Kids Quest Catechism Club for them both, which teaches children all about the reformed faith, focusing on doctrine, but it is expensive. So I haven't purchased anything yet and am considering our options.

Little Bean, Age 6, 2nd grade material

Reading: Little Bean no longer needs reading instruction, therefore I am not purchasing or using any of our phonic materials on him this coming year. Rather, we will focus on reading comprehension, and for that, we will use Reading Detective Beginning, which is a computer software in which the student solves reading "cases" by answering comprehension questions about what they have read. As far as I know, Little Bean's comprehension skills are fairly good. However, I think he could definitely benefit from this program, both to present him with more challenging reading material, and also giving him practice proving his answers by finding evidence in the text.

Spelling: All About Spelling Level 3. He just recently finished Level 2, so we will start the next level as soon as my package arrives.

Vocabulary: I wanted a more formal way to go over vocabulary words, so I chose a very fun and light approach with Vocabulary Cartoons. Little Bean will learn 210 new words this year (in addition to all the ones he will learn just by reading and listening to people talk).

Handwriting: I went ahead and purchased Handwriting Without Tears Cursive for him. Little Bean still does have some reversals on some of his printed letters, but I believe they will work out in time. We will have a good time this year with an introduction to cursive. I do not expect him to master it this year.

Grammar: I chose Easy Grammar. I am still having him work through our Scott Foresman text that I got online, but I find the Easy Grammar approach to be much better for understanding actual concepts about grammar. We may use the two programs together in some way.

Writing: Writing Strands 2. Little Bean is what I would term a minimalist when it comes to writing. He CAN write paragraphs, but since he hates the actual act of pen to paper, he doesn't like writing stories. We'll see how this curriculum goes. I am thinking about allowing him to type his stories rather than writing them.

Math: Right Start Level C.

Science: I am undecided because we do have a ton of resources already. But I am looking at RSO, Real Science Odyssey: Life or Earth and Space for him. Lately he has shown some interest in planets, so we may go that route. I would purchase this in PDF format.

History: Story of the World, Volume 1. I purchased the test booklet and the activity guides this time, I am hoping that will liven things up a bit for us, and help in gauging how much he is retaining. I purchased both in pdf format.

Latin: Both kids will be using Song School Latin, but Little Bean seems to be the only one retaining most of it so far. Miss O may be a bit young. If we end up liking it, we may continue on up the levels with him and repeat Song School with Miss O in 1st.

US States Study: We are slowly working our way through the 50 states, learning names, locations on the map, capital cities, state trees, insects, birds, flowers, flags, and abbreviations. We do one state a week. So this will take a full year. I'm ashamed to say I don't even know all the locations myself, so we are learning together!

Art: Artistic Pursuits Book 1. This was up for review with TOS this year, and I was so bummed that I didn't get a chance to review it. I went ahead and purchased it myself though, and am excited to do some projects with both children.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Want to Get Free Homeschooling Products?

The Old SchoolHouse Homeschool Crew is taking applications for the 2011-2012 school year now, so if you are interested in being a part of the crew you can apply and see the guidelines for applying here. The deadline is March 31st. This is my first year on the crew, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it! Both Miss O and Little Bean will be using curriculum next year that we got this year, and a couple of my other curriculum choices were purchased based off of review products that I didn't end up getting to try, but was able to read the reviews for. As for myself, I have already re-applied for next year--hope I get to to go on a return voyage!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Free Writing and Grammar Text for Grades 1 to 6

I came across this website the other day where you can download free grammar and writing (mechanics) handbooks for grades 1 through 6! The handbooks are put out by Scott Foresman, which is a big name publisher in the school systems, I believe. We have not done really any formal grammar, and minimal formal writing (because Little Bean hates to write), but I am wanting to start him on both of these next year for 2nd. I went ahead and started printing out the grade 1 text. It looks like a pretty gentle approach, and I believe most of the stuff he has picked up naturally through the writing experiences he has had, so this will just be a way to learn some formal grammar and have some more writing practice.

The grade 1 text has 6 units, and includes formal instruction in verbs, nouns, adjectives, pronouns, punctuation, making sentences interesting and using complete sentences. The pages are mostly black and white with a few pictures and a blue border. I printed mine in grayscale to save ink!

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Reading Kingdom


I was kind of excited when I was chosen to review Reading Kingdom, an online program that teaches children to read. Miss O was excited too, because she doesn't get included in a lot of the products I receive for review, so she was happy that this one was for her. The folks at Reading Kingdom were generous enough to allow us to sign up as many users as we needed, so I signed both Little Bean and Miss O up, thinking that I could get a better understanding of how adaptable this program is for children since the two of them are reading at vastly different levels.


I'll just be honest and say I really, really wanted to like this program, but I didn't, and neither did my kids. The graphics are SO cute and endearing. The program is supposed to take your child through a series of assessments that are in the form of games in order to place your child at the correct reading level based on their skills. Unfortunately, this program did not work for us at all.

Long time readers of my blog know that Little Bean (almost 6 years old), reads way above grade level. He is easily reading books like Island of the Blue Dolphins. Therefore, you would think that when taken through the assessments he would virtually pass Reading Kingdom without having to complete many levels at all. Not so. Little Bean was placed in Level 1--Letter Land which is baiscally letter recognition. The only level he was allowed to skip was the level on sequencing letters. I'll tell you why this happened, and why this program did not work for us in a moment.

Long time readers also know that Miss O is a new reader, but that she reads at or above a Kindergarten level already (reading CVC words, and some consonant teams like sh, ch, and th, as well as many sight words). You would think that the program would place her at least at a level where some reading is required, but no, she too was placed in Letter Land.


Here's why this program was a disapointment to me and to my kids:

1) Reading Kingdom failed to place my kids at the correct reading level because the program relies heavily on keyboarding skills and the program is timed. Little Bean is autistic, and while he is incredibly smart, his processing speed is slow (technically it's average for his age based on his IQ results, but as a casual observer, I know that it is in reality slow compared to his peers). He already does 5 finger typing, but he is not fast at it. And even pecking the keys with his index finger, he was not able to find the keys quickly enough for the program, and thus he got lots of questions wrong that in reality he knew the answer to. Another problem regarding the keyboarding and typing issue is that hey--Little Bean is 5--thus, his attention span is short and he is wiggly. The computer would ask him a question, and by the time he focused enough to answer it, he would get it wrong because the time was up.

Now, Reading Kingdom does have a pre-level that basically helps the child get familiar with the keyboard before beginning assessments or any actual reading instruction. I did not put Little Bean in the keyboarding level because like I said, he has been 5 finger typing for about 6 months. Miss O does not type, so I started her in the keyboarding level, and even after passing that (which btw, is not a typing program, but teaches the child to search for the keys and peck them with the index finger), she still got a bunch of answers wrong because she was too slow at finding the keys. Reading Kingdom also suggests that the parent give the child "hand support" (basically holding their hand over the mouse or keyboard, but not guiding it) if the child is having trouble. Hand support did nothing for us. I did end up having them give me the answers orally, and I would type for them, which Reading Kingdom does not recommend (yes, I wrote and asked them!--great customer service, btw!), but Miss O especially did not like this because it made her feel that she was not really getting to play on the computer, which she highly covets.

I would have probably really liked this program if it wasn't timed. My kids just don't do well with timed tasks. They could improve this program by giving the parent an option of how much time the learner has to answer the questions. Instead of 10 seconds, I'd give my kids like 30 seconds at least, or even more, depending on how much they needed, especially during the beginning when there seems to be learning curve to the program.

2) Issue #2 I have with this program is that the instructions are not really clear. The child goes back and forth from clicking a letter on the screen with the mouse to pecking it on the keyboard literally every other question. So it's mouse, keyboard, mouse, keyboard, mouse, keyboard, and so forth. My kids are left handed, so they could actually keep one hand on the mouse and one free for pecking the keyboard, but for the majority of children who are right handed, this would be difficult given the short amount of time you have to answer a question. The computer tells you either "type this" or "click this" and the screen changes color depending on which you are supposed to do--mouse or keyboard. Which color went with which instruction was never explicitly stated. My kids were constantly doing the opposite thing--clicking when they should be typing or typing when they should be clicking because the directions were not clear enough for them, thus even thought they were typing the correct answer, they got it wrong because they were supposed to be mousing, not typing. This could be improved if the program did all the mouse work first, and then all the typing work in a separate section.

3) Issue #3--At the beginning of each new section, the program tells you something like, "Your child is about to begin Letter Land. This will take 4 to 6 weeks". Given that Reading Kingdom is a monthly suscription, I would be really annoyed to know that it was going to take my child who is reading at like a 4th grade level 4 to 6 weeks to pass a level about letter recognition. I would not mind each level taking so long if he had been correctly placed, but since the program did not place him correctly, that was a serious downside to me that it would take him ages (which translates into $ signs for me) to get to material that was actually challenging for him. Also, because the levels take so long to complete, my kids got bored. They loved all the graphics, but it's the same thing over and over and over until you can pass the level. And since it was all timed and my kids don't do well with timed things, they really didn't pass many levels.

4) Fourth, this program brought my little Miss O to tears every time. The program really, really stresses that the parent is NOT to help the child in any way other than hand support. That means that it was completely up to Miss O to interpret the scant directions and to do what the computer wanted in a very short amount of time. If you don't do it quickly enough, the computer then shows you what you are supposed to do. Often, Miss O would figure out what she was supposed to do a second too late, and then try to type it when the computer was giving her the answer. She would start crying because she felt like the computer was always tell her that she was wrong--when in fact, she knew the answers but wasn't fast enough at processing the instructions and typing or clicking the answer. Finally I gave up having her do it because she ended up crying every time, and it wasn't worth it to me because computer games are supposed to be fun, right? I didn't want her feeling like she couldn't read, when it real life I knew she indeed can read, and IS reading. Sometimes, I think that a computer just can't replace a live instructor. This may be one of those instances.

That was our experience with Reading Kingdom. My kids are on the young side for learning to read. I suppose it's possible that their fine motor or processing skills haven't developed to a level high enough to do this program while their ability to actually read is above average for their ages. In that case, this program may suit an older child who is showing interest in reading, but does not read yet. Some of the unschooling moms whose blogs I read come to mind. Kids who are older and haven't really sought out formal reading instruction, but who do like computers and games may like this program.

Reading Kingdom wasn't for us, but that doesn't mean it isn't for anyone. That being the case I want to give you the information regarding price and such, so that if this program sounds like something you are interested in, and the things that bothered us won't bother you, you can easily learn more about it.

First, you may sign up for a FREE 30 day trial here. That would be the best route to go, that way you will know if your child would enjoy this program. After your 30 day free trial, a subscription is $19.99 a month. Each additional child is $9.99 a month. You can cancel at any time. If you cannot afford the program, they do have scholarships available. You can learn more about that here. Reading Kingdom offers a paper and pencil version of their program, a handwriting program, a comprehension program as well as the book by Dr. Blank, upon whose ideas the program is based. You can learn more about those products here.

Note: I received this product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine, and I was not obligated to give a positive review.


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Friday, March 4, 2011

Regrouping and Right Start Math

I haven't blogged about how our curriculum is going for a while, so I thought I'd do a little post on our math curriculum, Right Start math. We are still really enjoying Right Start math (now heading into the final stretch of Level B). We have about 40 lessons to go before we are finished. We do 5 lessons a week, so that's, what, 8 weeks left, and by then, Little Bean will be done with all his 1st grade curriculum, believe it or not!

One of the concepts we went over fairly recently is regrouping numbers. In Right Start, they call this the "9's trick". For instance, if you have 9+5, you can take one from the 5, give it to the 9, and then you have a much more workable problem: 10+4. Since the whole concept of Right Start is to get the child thinking in terms of 10's and 5's, a problem like 10+4 is much easier to a child raised on RS, than a problem like 9+5 is.

As a child, I would work out my math problems like this--9+5 is...10, 11, 12, 13, 14. 9+5 is 14. Yes, I know, that's nuts, isn't it? I was never taught another way. But the 9's trick, is just that--a better way to think about math.

Right start also teaches the child to do this for problems involving 8 (taking 2 from one number and giving it to the 8, so 8+4 becomes 10+2).

One of the manipulatives that the Right Start program relies on is the AL abacus. It differs from a regular abacus in that it has 5 blue beads on the left and then 5 yellow beads on the right. This allows the student to not only see groups of ten (there are ten beads on each bar), but also smaller groups of 5 as well. Right Start uses the abacus to teach regrouping, or completing the 10 in this way:


Say the problem is 9+6. The child enters 9 on the first wire and 6 on the second wire. Then the child takes one bead from the 6 wire and gives it to the 9 wire, thus changing the problem from 9+6 to 10+5.

You can see how they are doing it again, using larger numbers. They also teach the child how to use the back side of the abacus to work these problems. I look at the back side of the abacus almost like a place value chart. Beads are entered in pairs of twos (unless the number is odd of course). There are two wires for each place (1's, 10's, 100's, and 1000's). Thus the child can work problems well into the thousands using concrete materials. Little Bean really caught on to this concept, so he did not need to use the physical abacus at all for the 9's trick. As he puts it, he "uses the abacus in his brain," and "moves the beads with his eyes". :)


Little Bean still has not learned paper and pencil addition (except for single digit addition). He doesn't carry or borrow. But, he does add double and even triple digits mentally. What's 39+5? Little Bean can tell you. What's 9+54? Little Bean can tell you. What's 129+8? Little Bean can tell you. And all without picking up a pencil!

Tell me again why I love Right Start?? Oh, wait, I already know! ;)

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The new schoolroom

I just wanted to do a quick post on our new schoolroom. The house we rented was built in the 1960's, and the two car garage has since been converted into a second living area or den area. I LOVE this room! It's big enough to hold our couch and dining table (for schoolwork, not eating, of course!), as well as a bookshelf for all my resources, and a big closet which we use as our "garage" to store the stuff that would be in our garage if we had one! ;)

The schoolroom is a great size, and I know I am blessed beyond measure to have a space like this to homeschool the kids. I love that all my educational books and curriculum are able to be out in the open on a shelf. Rather than having to fill workboxes, this week I've been able to just post our schedule cards in a pocket chart on the wall and leave our books in their places on the shelves until needed. It's been working out alright so far.

So here are some pics:

There is a fire place in the corner of the room; this is the view from the fire place, looking out at the room.

This is my shelf, where I store all our school books, curriculum and educational books. There are markers and crayons on top, as well as our lapbooks, science kits, and various books I use for record keeping. You can see my laminator on that red tub. It hasn't found a home yet. Neither have my printer or computer! I use the pocket chart to keep Little Bean's schedule cards in. He moves them from the bottom row to the second to the bottom row as he finishes each topic. I'll have to do a post on the schedule cards soon.

This is a close up of the left side of my shelf. The top row is reading curriculum and handwriting, the bottom row is Bible, spelling and handwriting stuff.

This is the right side of my bookshelf. It has math, languages and unit studies on top, and history and science materials on bottom for the most part. I'm not the most organized person ever, and of course, this shelf wasn't built for my materials, so I did have to move things around a bit; they are not in perfect order, but for the most part are separated by subject area.

So that's our new schoolroom. Hopefully I can post pics of the house in general soon...still have to work on unpacking though!

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