About me

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Shift

Whew!  We have been busy and popping in and out of town since my last post.  The kids and I were visiting my family for almost the entirety of the month of August, and apparently I didn't manage to take a single picture with our camera.

When I transfered the pictures from the camera to the computer this evening, I stumbled upon this gem.  I don't even remember taking it.


But really my brain has been foggy for the last few weeks, and now that the early school haze is beginning to clear, I can finally string two words together.  We have moved successfully from our out-of-the-house Greek education to our stay-at-home American one, and despite a few hiccups everything is going well.

I have been hinting at our "new" homeschooling system, and I am pleased to report that it has passed the test of keeping us on task for the last five weeks.  Therefore, I'm ready to share.

Z and M each have a cubby that contains a binder and their personal workbooks, in addition to a drawer, which holds a cassetina and any non-book items needed for the week (such as their small dry-erase boards and math manipulatives).  Z's color this year is red, and M's is green.  T has the little green drawer on the bottom, which I fill with little games and his markers.  We've never had all of the student items contained so neatly before.  (I toyed with the idea of workboxes, but it just sounded like a lot of, well, work.)

What keeps us going every day (and helps me stay organized for each child) is the Binder, which contains one week's worth of assignments.  I read about it during my scads of homeschool-free time in Athens here, and while we don't use Sonlight, I instantly liked the idea of having everything laid out for each child, one week at a time.  At the end of the week we store the work in a portfolio.  I don't mind spending an evening coordinating the week's assignments for Z and M.  It's usually on Friday night, while I am thinking about it.  And also because we don't use Sonlight, I have had to come up with my own personalized sheet for each child.  I thought about typing it each week, and then decided that was a little too annoying, so excuse my handwritten notes.

Here's Z's.  Hers is a little beefier than M's.
(Also, please excuse the picture quality.  My free time this year comes only in the evening, and natural light has been hard to come by.)



All of the abbreviations stand for the different textbooks we have been using, and the shaded boxes indicate work that can be completed by Z independently.  I am very excited that we are moving toward so much independent work!  

Here's what her assignment sheet looked like today after we finished all of our work.

It's immensely satisfying to cross off a task when we complete it!  And then, on Friday evening, this becomes the first page of the week's worth of assignments in our portfolios. These will probably only be stored for a semester.  Our county requires that homeschool programs are evaluated by a county official at the end of each semester, so we'll hang on to all of the paper until after we pass.

I hope that this isn't too much information that no one wants to know.  I love taking "peeks" into how different homeschooling families juggle all of their work, so perhaps this post will provide that peek for another curious Mama (or Papa).

And, yes, I am spending more time preparing lessons this year, but our work feels so much more organized...totally worth the extra time.

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