What a beautiful summer afternoon. The temp has now reached 80 degrees and a brisk wind is blowing through the school room window. I have been deliciously busy sorting papers and organizing folders for the coming school year.
I'm tutoring my granddaughter once a week this summer and getting her ready for Kindergarten, Day care is not the best place to learn your letters and numbers! As I prepare the lessons every week I find myself prowling through half a dozen kindergarten and preschool worksheets to find the ones I want for each letter and number! Its so frustrating.
It dawned on me that it might be a good thing to organize this all so that's what I've been doing! I'm taking each letter of the alphabet and putting all the worksheets that go with that letter into that folder for the file. I have them stuck everywhere right now. I'm finding them in other file folders, some are filed under Vocabulary, still others are filed under a very broad file heading called Kindergarten, (what was I thinking?) and still more papers can be found under Scholastic Worksheets! By all the stripes on the flag, I have no idea what sort of filing system that is! My system was slipshod to say the least! So now by the time school starts in the fall I am going to have a file folder for every letter of the alphabet, every number to 20 and one for all the worksheets teaching the colors!
I've also organized my flash cards into word families. I had done a large portion of this last year but I finished the job today. I need to buy more paper clips before I refile the cards into their box. After all the Kindergarten stuff is done I'm going to start working on first grade. First grade also needs a system with all the vowels. I am also setting up file folders with all the different consonant blends and vowel digraphs and such. How nice it will be when I can say, "Oh, I need a worksheet on consonant digraphs" and there it is all filed neatly away.
I see I started this several years ago because in looking through my file I can see such folders as aw and ou but I need to complete this all and get it organized. I'm tutoring a first grader in the fall and this will help tremendously with her. You wouldn't believe the first grade papers I have stuck around from all the different books and from printing off the computer. I could compile an entire years worth of work just from loose leaf worksheets!
And speaking of Phonics, cause we were ya know, Peter can read well enough to go into third grade in the fall but he knows nothing about Phonics. I was going to put him into a self paced program written and published by the Mennonites called Christian Light Education but then I looked at the Level 100 Language Arts and realized he cant do it! He doesn't even know what a prefix and a suffix are! He doesn't know what a contraction is. He doesn't know what a compound word is! How frustrating.
The public school he attended taught the whole language approach and they didn't even use reading books! If a kid wondered how a word was spelled and what it was the teacher put it on a word wall and they all studied it! Thus Peter can read words like environment, nuclear, submarine, dynamite, and continent but he has no idea about long and short vowels! I could just scream!
So I've written to the company about this little issue and I'm waiting for a reply. I need to know if he has to do the first grade reader just because he's in first grade Language Arts! Do the two go hand in hand? How much you want to bet they do!
Then my sister in law from Central Oregon calls today and tells me she has all her curriculum ordered for her 3 school age kids for the fall already! Help! I've miles to go! Didn't I just tell you about all the organization that needs done in my school room?
On top of that we haven't even hit the canning season! Oi, this isn't looking good for me! I must get on the stick!
Okay, after writing this I spent the entire rest of the afternoon figuring the kids curriculum for next year. I'm going almost entirely with CLE as mentioned above. The only thing the kids aren't doing through CLE is Math. I'm keeping Peter in Bob Jones Math and I'm switching Tink to Teaching Textbooks which is a whole 'nother post!
So this fall Peter will have Language Arts, Reading, Handwriting, Science and Bible through CLE. He will have Math through Bob Jones. He will have History, Music Strings, and Story Writing through the Charter Academy. PE will be determined.
Tink will take Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies through CLE. Math will be through Teaching Textbooks. Orchestra, Science, Volley Ball and Composition will be through the Charter Academy.
The Christian Academy where the kids take PE and choir hasn't weighed in yet on whether or not the homeschoolers are going to be involved so I'm waiting to hear from that arena, otherwise all these classes are signed up for and all curriculum has been bought save the Math. My CLE order for half a year came to $250.00 for both kids combined. I will order the other half when we get to winter term.
I can now breathe.
So where are you all in your planning for next fall? Are any of you stuck in yesteryear like I've been? Who's got all their curriculum ordered? Who hasn't even given it a thought? Come on, time to fess up here.