Friday, August 17, 2012

School Room

Joining up with the iHomeschool Network Not Back to School Blog Hop!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This week is all about our school rooms. I don't have a set *room* for schooling, but here's some pics of our school "zones"

The kitchen table. Where school usual starts each day. The squares on the left side of the wall are the girls' work for the week. The remnants of our Olympics work is still out.
Olivia has her own little desk, but generally likes to sit at "her table" in the kitchen
2nd smaller kitchen table which is "Olivia's" table. It also has a stack of marking I need to do and books that we'll be using in the coming weeks that I have out to plan.
An older picture, but the girls work outside in nice weather too

Our main bookshelf (I reeeeeeally need a better one!) and the treadmill the girls train on in crappy/hot weather off to the left

Top of the school closet - games, manipulatives, this year's workbooks 
Bottom of the school closet - the photocopier, Brianna's laptop, Olivia's files of letters of the week and our towers of general school supplies, art supplies, white/chalk board easel
Boxes and bins of extra school stuff. I could probably have 16 more kids to homeschool and not have to buy anything outside of paper and ink, yet I keep buying more lol

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Current Curriculum (Aug 2012)

After a loooooooong hiatus I'm back and joining the iHomeschool Network Not Back to School Blog Hop!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This week is all about Curriculum, so I figured it would be a perfect time to update my Current Curriculum tab!

See my last curriculum post from March 2012 here

This post contains NO affiliate links

We school year round and don't really follow grades. Brianna started Nov 15, 2010 coming from 3rd grade in public school and will go until whenever of whatever year. Tanya started Feb 6, 2012 coming from 6th grade in public school. Olivia formally started "Preschool" on Feb 6, 2012. But as we don't follow specific grades, Brianna is anywhere from Gr. 5-7, Tanya is anywhere from Gr. 4-7 and Olivia is PreK/K. Olivia obviously has her own work, but majority of Brianna and Tanya's work is the same thing, at the same levels (really the only exceptions are Math and English).

So, since we don't have set grades or set school years, I figure every 4-6 mths I'll post what we are currently working on. We are currently mostly not using traditional HS items, but regular workbooks you can buy at the bookstore/teacher stores. Most subjects are supplemented by printed worksheets from various sites and of course, library books. 


We use a variety of educational toys with her, some of our favorites being:
Discovery Toys Busy Bugs
Crayola Dry Erase Activity Center
Basic magnetic letters and wooden blocks
Pretty well anything from Leap Frog

For printables we mostly use tot and preschool curriculum from1+1+1=1 but also Confessions of a Homeschooler.

Online, our favorite sites so far are StarFall and PBS. She also plays a numbers app and a drawing letters app. I'm always searching for more recommended Android apps for the kids

Books we're working out of are Hooked On Phonics ABCs,Fisher Price On the Road to LearningFisher-Price Watch Me LearnSchool Zone Counting 1-10 and School Zone Preschool Basics.


Brianna has discovered that the is both good at and even enjoys math a lot more than she thought! We've started Check and Double Check Math 5. She's now using the Market Math that Tanya was earlier. We're also using Total Basic Skills (which includes some English)

Her regular curriculum is English and Grammar Gr. 5 from the MacMillan/McGraw-Hill website. We're also using Total Basic Skills (which includes some math) and Total Reading.


We're currently working on Math Made Easy 5 and additional worksheets in struggle areas, mainly decimals and fractions right now. Also adding in Menu Math which is a great set of workbooks that take real life situations and learn math from them.

I have Tanya fast tracking to "catch up" with English. Right now she's using the Complete English Smart 4 book as well as the Practice and Grammar ebooks from this site. She does roughly double the work I'd normally have her do until she at least catches up to Brianna as she feels really low about being a grade level lower than Brianna who is almost 2 years younger (and as much as my sister and I try to explain to her that this doesn't matter, she feels the same).

Brianna and Tanya together: 

Daily Binders: 
Both girls have what we call their daily binders. Each day they have a math drill (adding/subtracting/multiplying/dividing, depending what they need extra work in that week), penmanship and handwriting practice, vocabulary (words that they have misread/mispronounced have to be looked up in the dictionary for their definition and a sentence with the word made), Boggle spelling (they're given a "boggle board" of 16 random letters that they have to make as may words as possible with and the more letters in a word, the more points it earns) and journal (with various writing prompts).

We don't really do a formal spelling curriculum. Normally I just track misspelled words in the girls' school work. With them, I have them copy, alphabetize and make sentences with the words.

We're working through basic Canadian History and Geography right now. Sadly, neither of these seem to be of big importance in public school any more (and we LIVE in Canada!). We're working out of 3 books: Canadian Provinces & Territories, Canadian Geography & Mapping Skills (which no matter how I search for it, I can not find this book to provide a link!) and Exploring Canada.

See History.

Nothing specific together right now.

We're doing novel studies over the next while on Holes, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Secret Garden and Jungle Book. Most of them are a little young, but fun classic books. We currently have a list of 13 books we'll be studying and those are the first 5. For anyone interested in the others they are: Underground to Canada, The Cay, The Outsider, Hatchet, Where the Red Fern Grows, Shiloh, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Whipping Boy. We're also doing various writing prompts to tweak grammar/writing skills.

For the most part, science is done through day to day life with no set curriculum. We will be picking ideas out of Science Made Easy and Habitats Environmental Series.

My sister is covering French. We picked up Living Language which has 3 books and 9 CDs and some free stuff online.

We're going to be learning some interesting techniques I found on Pinterest

Phys Ed/Health: 
During the warmer months (approx April - October) the girls run. They've done 3 big races this year and still have their Triathlon and another 5k to do before the end of the season. They're up to running 1 mile at a time, twice in a day (either on the treadmill or on the bike path next to my house) and run typically 3-5 days a week.

With the girls' ages, puberty is running rampant, so that is the big Health Class focus right now.

Nothing specific at the moment. I recently bought a Kobo Vox that I've downloaded some educational apps on like math drills and a geography program, but it's more of a reward than part of our schooling

Life Skills: 
The girls have their own garden boxes this year. With the drought much of North America has been in this summer they didn't do too well, but we'll continue working on them. We're also working on more detailed and not often done cleaning, like the cleaning of walls, ovens, fridge/freezer backs, taking things apart to clean properly, ect...