Monday, August 24, 2015

Homeschool First Grade: Looking Forward

School is coming around again! We're going to start a little earlier than the area schools, on August 31st, so we can get a head start! This will give us the chance to take a few extra days off as needed, and still finish mid-May. First grade, here we come! :-)

My school books and supplies, in the corner of our living room. 

This year, I am using all ABeka. There are many reasons why I really love ABeka, especially for these early years. I am probably going to switch things up in years to come, especially for history, science, and math. But for now, for this year, I am looking forward to ABeka! One thing I did this year was to spend HOURS buying my curriculum. I made a spreadsheet, compared prices, and sourced almost everything used. And then after all was said and done, I realized that I saved about $30-60. So next year, guess what? I am saving my TIME and buying directly from ABeka! I feel like individually, I got really good prices on everything. But collectively, I did not save a substantial amount of money!

The basket full of flashcards! Everything fits in one basket.

...and fits nicely on the shelf.

 I love ABeka! Have I said that already? K5 was super user-friendly. And then I went to organize everything in my school cabinet for 1st grade. Let me tell you, I had some moments of panic and frustration. It shouldn't be that hard to organize books! LOL I guess I just wanted everything in the perfect place! To help with organization, I did something that I am hoping will be a big help throughout the year. I took my three teacher manuals to Staples and had them cut the bindings off. Two of them had holes already punched, and the other one I brought home and punched myself. Now all three are in one big binder, which stands up nicely in the cabinet. We'll see if this helps or not!

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are not continuing on with Classical Conversations. We had our daughter registered and I was planning on being a tutor. The decision to pull out was kind of a last minute decision that has been in the works for almost two years. One thing that "clicked" with me this year at the training seminar was that Classical Conversations Foundations (the program for the younger children) is primarily to lay the...wait for the upper grade levels. This is probably abundantly clear to many people but it is something that I hadn't fully comprehended about the program until the training seminar this year. Since we have no intention of taking CC to the upper grade levels with our daughter we decided now was the best time to leave CC. 

I found this whiteboard for only $6.99 at Aldi. Perfect for our little school area!
School-wise, I'm content with what we have in place. What I'm still praying about is the social aspect that we lose by not doing CC. I'm wanting to sink back into our homsechool days and enjoy learning at home together. I had planned on attending a group for girls twice monthly but just got word that it is canceled this year. I was disappointed, and at first had thoughts of creating my own group, but I feel strongly that this year is to be a year of rest for us. And creating and running a group is not restful! So instead of frantically searching, I am going to be praying for the right opportunities for us!

Even though I was homeschooled (5th-12th grades), in many ways I am learning along with my daughter. We're learning what works best for not only our daughter and our home, but for her teacher: me! It's all a work in progress! I am personally looking very much forward to first grade. My daughter is not quite as enthusiastic about school as I am, but I'm hoping that her attitude will improve and she'll catch my excitement! :-) 


Melissa Joy said...

I love your organization, Tammy! It's wonderful.
I was homeschooled 1st through 12th grades, but I honestly don't feel like it gave me much of a leg up on homeschooling my own kids: I was a fantastic homeschool student, but I certainly have never been the teacher before! Each year so far (officially doing second grade now, although we are flux with "grades"), I have felt like I am staring at brand new, scary territory. And like you, I am not doing CC (or any other co op or scheduled gatherings), and we don't have many friends locally who homeschool. So more days than not I feel like I am swimming alone or hanging on by the skin of my teeth, LOL. But it's a wonderful (albeit crazy) adventure, right? :)

Tammy said...

Becky asked:
Is [your area] starting after Labor Day? We start the 31st. I used aBeka when I taught and really liked it. The older grades used combinations of curriculum, but for Kindergarten I had just aBeka. I can imagine having the spines cut off the teacher's books would be a big help! And I don't think she'll be unsocialized, she certainly has a social personality :) Best wishes for a successful year.

Becky - I am pretty sure the area schools are all starting after Labor Day, per the state law. I haven't really checked into it too much though! I haven't started using the manuals yet, so I'm hoping my little "fix" is helpful! The K5 at least has all the subjects arranged per day rather than by subject. I so liked that last year and wish that that is how their lower grades were arranged too. Thank you for your comment!

Tammy said...

Melissa, that's encouraging to me that you feel the same way about homeschooling being new territory! Thank you for your comment!

Mrs. U said...

Hi Tammy!!!
I haven't read any of my favorite blogs in a while. How are you??

You are always so organized. I LOVE seeing all your school books for this year. And WOW I can't believe she's already in 1st grade!! How in the world do our children grow so fast? Just yesterday, it seems, you and I were both praying for children!!

We are not part of any co-op. Our church has a group that does things together, but we are so busy helping with my parents (both are not in good health) that we rarely have time to do group things. I figure time with my parents is more valuable for them.

I did meet a really sweet girl who has a heart for homemaking like you and I do! We have decided to meet once a month for a homemakers club for her daughters and mine. We've only met once, but we had a short Bible study, talked about a homemaking topic (organizing was this month) and then a small cooking lesson. We ate what the girls cooked for lunch and then they played and mothers had talking time. :) Maybe you have a friend nearby that has the same heart for the home you do!!

I'm off to read all the posts of yours I haven't read in a while. :)

Mrs. U