Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Our School Day Routine and Class Schedule {and my first free printables!}

I am flakey. I have a hard time sticking to anything for more than 10 seconds and before I had kids (and for a long while afterwards), I was extremely disorganized.  It sounds like I'm the perfect candidate to home school, right?

I freely admit that I have to work very hard to have things run smoothly in our home (and often times, that still doesn't happen).  I like to have a schedule written out and posted where I can see it.  It's nice to check in as our day progresses to ensure that we're on the right track.  

My schedule is an ideal and at least 80% of our days don't look exactly like that.  I'm far to distractable to stay that regimented and truthfully, if you put too much emphasis on your schedule, I think it can end up being a bad thing.  It should be more of a guideline.  Make sure you leave room for unexpected play dates, to follow your child's sudden burning desire to learn about llamas and to clean up the huge bag of rice that your toddler is now making snow angels in.  

To me, one of the best things about home schooling is that you can make unexpected changes to your day with no major issues.

While there are times written down, I almost never follow them exactly.  I don't wear a watch and certainly don't check the time all that often.   If I am within an hour of the time written down, I consider that a success!

With all that said, here is what our ideal day will look like once school has started.  Except there should probably be 10 minutes after breakfast spent looking for a very specific pair of socks that my three year old absolutely must wear.  And 15 minutes before quiet time will likely be spent trying to get the baby to sleep.  Oh, and there are definitely 5 minutes in there somewhere that I hide in the bathroom and eat chocolate.  

free homeschool printable
I also like to have a class schedule posted so that I know exactly which subjects we will do on each day.  I colour code them so I can read it quickly and easily.  On my schedule, blue is a subject that everyone participates in; pink is just B; green is just W. 

free homeschool printable

These two sheets of paper have been a huge help in getting our home school days running smoothly.  If you would like to print these out and use them (they're blank so you can fill them out with your own information), please click the links below! 

***Terms of  Use: Before you download the pages, please agree that you will not share these files directly via social media, email, blog posts, etc. If you would like to share them (and I hope you will!) please link directly to this post with this link address:

Please do not sell or change these files in anyway. 

Thank you!***

Class Schedule Printable

Daily Routine Printable

This is my first time offering printables so go easy on me!  I'm usually more of a "make it for myself and hide it away when people come over so no one sees my sub-par photoshop skills" kind of girl.  I've been practising though and I think these ones looks pretty sweet!  What do you think?

You can also check out our Not Back to School Photos, our Old School Room Tour (we've just moved this weekend so a new one will be posted if I ever get everything unpacked!), and our Curriculum Choices for this year.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Not Back to School Photos

Today was "Picture Day" at our house!  We haven't officially started school yet but I am trying to get these things done early so they don't get forgotten in the chaos that will be our first few weeks!

So without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce to you our 2014-2015 class!

And a few extras just because they're cute!

Other Not Back to School Posts:
Curriculum Choices
School Room Tour

Saturday, 16 August 2014

It's a Pancake Party!

With the big move coming up and most of the packing still unfinished, I will admit that the last thing I wanted to do was host a birthday party.  There are boxes strewn about the living room and the walls are bare except for the holes left from pictures that used to hang there. Not exactly a nice atmosphere!

Still, my oldest and youngest had birthdays this summer and I felt it was especially important to celebrate with friends before we leave.

So amidst all the chaos and stress, I managed to pull together a pancake party and considering what little planning and time went into it, I'm quite happy with the result!

We made our favourite breakfast foods extra special for the party.  There were bacon and egg cupcakes, fruit and timbit kabobs, breakfast sausages, sugary cereal and of course, pancakes!

My favourite part was the cake!  We made our favourite cake batter recipe and cooked it on the griddle just as we would make pancakes.  I piled them up on a plate and poured some warmed up icing on top, just like syrup.  Added a few sprinkles, a homemade cake bunting, and voila, the perfect pancake party cake!

B said to me after, "This was the BEST party ever!".  I am so thankful she's too young to see all the amazing parties on Pinterest!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Knitting and Reading: My favourite things!

I've cast on a Milo vest for a very special baby soon to be born (I'm betting on tonight!).  I love these little vests so much!  Such a quick and simple project that looks so sweet and keeps little cores warm!

Our library card expired and there was no point renewing it for only two weeks so I've been reading much less.  Thank goodness for our church library or I would have nothing to read! I finished Gardenias for Breakfast by Robin Jones Gunn.  I just grabbed it off the shelf, knowing nothing about it.  It was a quick and easy read but I really enjoyed it.    I'm now working through Work in Progress An Unfinished Woman's Guide to Grace.  I am really enjoying it.  I tend to read books very quickly and I've had to intentionally slow down on this one so I can take in what I am reading.

There will probably be much less knitting and reading happening in the coming weeks.  Two weeks until moving day!

Linking up with Frontier Dreams and Ginny at Small Things this week! :)

Monday, 11 August 2014

Our School Room Tour: A Dining Room School Space

Our table really is the centre of our home.  We gather here for all of our most important moments and this is where many of our daily rituals happen.  We come together with friends and family to break bread and have great conversations.  We play games and create here.  Our table has seen so much laughter and love and many of my favourite memories happened sitting right here.  It's such a happy place that it seemed natural for us to bring our school here as well.

We are moving in three weeks and it will be so sad to leave this space behind.  It's not all that aesthetically pleasing (that was my goal for this year before I knew we were moving) but its very practical and we all love to sit here together!

Here is as much of our space as I could fit in one shot!  Apparently a 50mm lens isn't a great choice for showing off our home!

That table was the first piece of furniture that Ryan ever made!  I love my farmhouse table!

I try to always have a vase of flowers and a candle on the table.  Having a pretty space makes things go much smoother, I think!

On the one wall is our calendar, weather and emergency contact stuff.  Our Waldorf alphabet cards were bought locally at Go Green Baby and I love them!  My husband made the chalkboard for less than 20$!

On the far wall, behind the table, we have an old hutch that holds over sized books that don't fit in our cube shelf and over sized papers (kite and watercolour paper).  On top, I keep our math scale, paper roll (from Ikea), craft caddy (from Michaels) that holds our pens, pencils, markers, etc.  This area is also our seasonal display.  I try to keep the chalkboard up to date and the kids do a seasonal painting to hang there.  Our nature table is on top of the construction paper organizer (also from Michaels).  It's looking a little sad right now since some little people have been stealing things from it! 

We hang our aprons, the broom and dust pan and other cleaning supplies here as well, for easy access. 

My mom gave us this jam cupboard which is used to hold all of our craft supplies.  The top shelf has chalk and paint brushes in mason jars, our scripture memory box and pencil sharpener.  The next two shelves hold craft supplies organized into boxes that I bought at Ikea.  

The rest of our books and curricula are on our Ikea expedit shelf.  I use file boxes to keep work sheets and notebooks together.  The cloth storage bins hold manipulatives and non- book supplies.  One for language arts, one for math, one for science and one for games and puzzles.  The bottom row of shelves is for the baby.  I try to change the toys out every few weeks to keep things fresh.  We usually keep a basket of musical toys underneath the guitars as well.

 That's it!  I will have to post pictures of our new space once we're settled in at my parents' house.  We'll be sharing a space with my mom and all of her scrapbooking supplies.  It will be interesting to see how it all pans out!

Check out the "Not Back to School" Blog Hop for more school room tours!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Life Changes

There are some big changes coming for this family.  I've been so nervous to tell people. I have spent far too long trying to write the perfect post to explain it all but in the end I decided the story is too long to type out and people probably will just skip to the end anyway.

We've sold our house and Ryan has joined the military.

For the next senven-ish months, the kids and I will be living with my parents, brother and sister two hours away from here.  Ryan will be at basic training followed by occupational training.

We have been praying for months over this and feel very strongly that this is the right move for us.

I realize that many people will think we are crazy; I'm inclined to agree with them.  From the outside, this makes absolutely no sense.  But these things rarely do.  I also realize that some people will think we're making a mistake.  Maybe we are (though I don't think so) and that's okay. Ryan has wanted to do this for a long time and I've grown up enough that I can finally support him in it.  It feels good to see him go after something he wants.

Of course, it's scary.  I love the life we've built here.  We have the best group of friends I've ever had.  We have a church that has welcomed us without question, flawed as we are, and has shown us more love and support than we deserve.  All of our children were born here and have built relationships here.  It's been so hard to start saying good bye.  And obviously, being away from Ryan is going to be awful.  I don't do well without him around.  He calms my crazy.  And he kills all the spiders.  I haven't been away from him more than a few days in seven years.  I almost don't know who I'll be without him.

I have no idea if this is where our life is meant to go or if it's just another step in the right direction.  I do know that I get to take this journey with five of my favourite people, with the love and support of our family and friends, and with the blessing of the Almighty God.

That's enough for me.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Curriculum Choices for 2014- 2015 (7, 4, 3, and 1 year old)

After months and months of worrying, researching, and reading review after review after review, I have finally chosen our curriculum for 2014/ 2015.  It's ordered and most of it is on our shelf so there's no going back now!

This is our first year doing more than just basic reading, writing and arithmetic so it will be fun to see how it all pans out.  After actually reading some of our books, I have a feeling a few things will not work for us but I'd like to try them out to see for sure.  These children have a way of surprising me all too often!  

So here we go! 

We will do as many subjects together as we can to make life easier for me.  My kids are fairly close in age so I don't think this will be a problem.

History, geography and Bible: 
  • Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis to Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
  • Apologia's Exploring Creation- Zoology 1
  • Nature studies including Outdoor Hour Challenges and making nature journals
Personal Development:
  • Simply Charlotte Mason's Laying Down the Rails

We will also do artist and composer studies and scripture memorization.  I'm looking for a good family devotional as well but haven't found what I'm looking for yet. 

B is turning 7 and would be in grade 2 if I followed grade levels!

Language Arts:
  • All About Spelling Level 1
  • First Language Lessons 1 and hopefully 2
  • A Reason for Handwriting A
She is already reading fluently so I will continue to have her read aloud to me every day.

  • RightStart Level B
  • apart from the handwork we do all together, this is the year I teach B how to knit!  I am most excited about this!  We're going to start by making her very own pair of knitting needles and dying some wool for her first project!

W will be 5 in December and would be in Junior Kindergarden

I'm still very undecided with W.  We delayed academics until 6 with B and it worked out so well.  I am a big believer in play based learning and don't won't to inhibit that with W.  BUT...he's been watching his sister and her lessons and has been asking to have some of his own.  I am hoping that joining in on our family lessons will satisfy that need.  If not, I have Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and I may let him work through that with me if he would like.  

We've also got sandpaper letters and a chalk and slate board for him to try spelling and writing if he would like, and lots of math manipulatives for him to play with.  

A is 3.

R just turned 1.
My little girls will just be along for the ride.  I have the Seasons of Joy guides that I will use for circle and story time which is mostly for them (though the older two enjoy it as well).  A will join in for baking, drawing, painting (generally we do wet on wet watercolour) and seasonal crafts.  Otherwise, there will be lots and lots of free play!  

Oh, and R is hopefully going to learn to sleep.  

So that's it!  I am so looking forward to this year!

Check out the "not back to school" blog hop for more ideas.