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Pictures from our First Day of Homeschool 2013
Seems like every year I’m changing something regarding our homeschooling. My style of homeschooling has been mainly eclectic over the past three years. This year, our fourth year of homeschooling, we joined a local Classical Conversations (CC) group that a friend of mine directs. In fact, I’m tutoring in it so that we are able to afford to do it.
I’m still keeping my eclectic style but we have a strong dose of classical now and interest-led elements. If you’re familiar with CC you know its all about memorizing facts in the beginning (Foundations).
A year or two ago when another friend who is also in CC would tell me about it I just didn’t “get” the point that this could be a great thing – and worth the cost. Costs about $325/yr per child plus some other fees. The only way I could do it was to become a tutor. I felt like the Lord was directing me to do this and I came to a point where I committed to move ahead in faith.
That meant, if it was His plan for us to be in CC He’d have to make it work because it’s not like we have the extra money to do this.
Well, He did and here we are finishing our first six week period in CC – and…
I. LOVE. IT.
Yes, I love it. In fact, I’m not sure if what I really love is the teaching-it part or the learning-it part for myself!
I don’t really spend much time drilling my boys on the memorization yet. We do listen to the timeline song more than anything right now. CC provides a great spine or focus point to build your studies from. I can see the value in learning the data and it’s fun. Much of it is done to songs.
Speaking of changes:
In 2011 I shared a before/after of my re-arranged homeschool room where I organized our things.
In 2012 I shared in my “How I Homeschool Series” this shelving unit I turned into my curriculum hub.
This year, I’ve made changes again.
Our modified Workbox System
So here’s where my eclectic kicks in. I’ve added the six unit white shelf (I did a review of it in this post) you see above and a couple three-drawer organizers to create a “workbox” system.
Each boy has one and I put two-manilla file folders in most of the drawers so that I have two subjects per drawer. I got those free Phineas and Ferb labels here and laminated them myself with this laminator. When they finish a subject they can pull the laminated card from the workbox drawer and slide into the chore system binder I’ll tell you about below.
By the way, I’ve bought laminator sheets here online and I’ve purchased them from BJ’s Wholesale Club, 50 for about $8.
I love laminating things. I may or may not look for an excuse to laminate things – on purpose 😉 .
So. Anyways. I’ve found LOTS of free labels on Pinterest and I’ve pinned them to my Homeschooling – How to Organize board here. I have a bunch of homeschooling Pinterest boards categorized by subjects and by topics (i.e. Homeschooling Advice & Opinions, CC, etc).
Our new Chore System
Because I already had these things on hand, I decided to use them for our new chore system (colorful plastic binders, baseball/coupon sheet protectors).
Again, I used the free chore labels I pinned here and laminated them and cut them out. I cut an 8.5 x 11″ page protector in half and taped up the bottom of the half that was left open by my cutting (otherwise my cards will fall out).
I velcroed it to the side of their work-baskets (where they put their finished worksheets). Each boy is color coded.
I simply put the chore cards I want them to do that week into the baseball/coupon holder slots which are in their binders. The binders fit perfectly on the top of their three-drawer workboxes on the white shelf. The cards I’m not using go back into the pocket I made out of half of a sheet protector, velcroed to their work baskets. (I had one of these three-drawer organizers on hand so I only had to buy one extra one – cost about $9 at Walmart I think. The drawers fit 8.5 x 11″ papers/folders).
This system helps me be intentional about teaching them housework and responsibility – and I need that. Have you made any changes to your homeschooling this year? Feel free to share in the comments below.