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Organizing Our Homeschool Again

Yes, you read that right, we are organizing our homeschool again. We have tried so many different ways of organizing our homeschool, almost as many ways as we have tried to arrange our living room (yeah, that’s a high number). The system we have hit on now is actually working. And get this, it is very easy to use.

I mentioned the other day that we are doing a variation of workboxes – Family Workboxes. Right now we have 6 large buckets and they are labelled as follows: Bible, Math, English, Science, Social Studies, and French. We alternate weeks for Science and Social Studies, and the French bucket also contains PE materials. We hope to start adding in both of those subjects as soon as we are comfortable with our new routine.

In each bucket is everything that we need to tackle that subject for the duration of this term. The buckets include items like: textbooks, workbooks, worksheets, notes (about where to find things online or which books to print from on my hard-drive), games, DVD’s, CD’s, folders full of work to be done and work already done, and any tools needed to do the job.

It has been amazing to open the bucket and just get to work without having to look for everything before we can get started. This has simplified my life. Seriously, you really have no idea how this has simplified my life. The kids are not allowed to touch the buckets – except for school – and before, things had a habit of disappearing. Now everything is where I leave it and as I expect it to be when we start school. This is such a blessing.

I can see future benefits too. I can print things and slip them into the buckets to weave into current or future lessons. I can gather games or experiment bits and pieces to put in the buckets to help us learn in a more hands on way.

I would love to hear how you organize your homeschool. Please leave a note in the comments.

Bible

During our Bible time today we read and discussed Proverbs 20:11.
Download a pdf of the memory verse poster here – – >View on Store

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Math

We went to Khan Academy again today to watch our math video.

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We watched Basic Subtraction in the Khan Academy Arithmetic Playlist in case you are following along.

We used subtraction worksheets from The Math Worksheet Site as a review.

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English

We are still working through these books:

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Left Book – No Boring Practice, Please! Spelling
Right Book – Comic-Strip Grammar

In No Boring Practice, Please! Spelling we are “still” working on syllables. Just like yesterday we will be doing word building games instead of doing written crosswords. I wrote the syllables of the words on cards and gave them clues so they could build the words. (I did take pictures, but they turned out all blurry so I am not including them here).

We read the information page on syllables from Natural Speller by Kathryn Stout.

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We deviated from our Comic-Strip Grammar for the day and I created a simple worksheet on pronouns based on one found in Grammar a Step-by-Step Approach. I had to print it on pink paper and the boys were not too impressed with that.

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Science

Today we did our first reading from our new science book : Machines & Motion.

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After conducting some experiments with a bouncy ball, we ventured on to YouTube to have a look at some videos related to things that came up during our discussion:

Throwing A Baseball

Gravity Hill

A Few Questions For You

  1. What are you currently studying in science?
  2. How do you measure progress and understanding?
  3. What is one thing you would change about your homeschool this year?

Family Workboxes

I have been a fan of workboxes, since the very beginning, and we have tried them in a variety of different ways in our homeschool. This year we are trying something new: Family Workboxes.

When Jonah and I were discussing how we were going to do school for the rest of this term, we hit upon the idea of everyone doing the same subject at the same time. We created a big plastic bucket for each subject and filled it with everything needed to complete that subject. Some things we do together and some things we just do at the same time.

So our basic day goes like this: Bible, Math, English (Spelling, Grammar, Writing, etc), Social Studies/Science (alternating weekly). We still need to add in a few more subjects, but for now this is a really great start and has been going very well for us. The kids know what to expect and it is easy to know when we are done with the subject for the day (and done for the day).

Bible

During our Bible time today we read and discussed Philippians 2:14.
Download a pdf of the memory verse poster here – – > View on Store

lightbulbs memory verse pages-04

Math

We went to Khan Academy again today to watch our math video.

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We watched Addition 4 in the Khan Academy Arithmetic Playlist in case you are following along.

English

English is the subject that gets the most complaints around our house, so I am doing my best to make it as interesting as possible. Right now that means covering the topic in the book, but not always in the way the author set out for us to do it.

We are still working through these books:

PicMonkey Collage

Left Book – No Boring Practice, Please! Spelling
Right Book – Comic-Strip Grammar

In No Boring Practice, Please! Spelling we are still working on Syllables. Today instead of doing a written crossword, I wrote the syllables of the words on cards and gave them clues verbally and had them build the words as a group on the floor. They seemed to have fun with this approach. I didn’t get any photos today, but we are doing the next crossword (tomorrow) in the same way, so hopefully I will remember to pull out the camera.

Since our topic today in (Comic-Strip Grammar) was pronouns, we watched the Schoolhouse Rock video about pronouns on YouTube as a little refresher. This video is so cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koZFca8AkT0

We read the comic strip from our book and wrote out pronouns on a piece of paper. The boys were not thrilled that I only had pink paper to offer them.

Science

We did social studies last week, so this is our science week. We are starting a new science book Machines & Motion that will most likely take us to the end of the year to complete.

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Since we are starting new materials and a new topic, I decided to approach the new topic with some experiment videos from InquisiKids (Sonlight). The kids love these videos.

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After we watched the experiments, we ventured on to YouTube to have a look at some real life examples:

Hovercraft

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYoqwwHT_G0

Helicopter

Water Wheel

A Few Questions For You

  1. Do you alternate your Science and Social Studies subjects?
  2. Do your kids enjoy science experiments?
  3. Where do you get the ideas for your science experiments?
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