Sunday, August 29, 2010

Song School Latin

A few months ago I was having a terrible time deciding what to do for foreign language study.  Nik finally decided that he wanted to speak Latin like the Romans and like some knights once did.  That decision led us to Song School Latin.  We've really been enjoying it! 

The workbook is all that is needed.  It comes with a cd of songs that correspond to the lessons.  The songs are catchy, and while it isn't great music I do find myself singing them throughout the day.  We've worked through three chapters and Nik is already using his new vocabulary in everyday conversation.  What homeschooling mom wouldn't love that?!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weaving Potholders

We've recently been talking a bit about weaving and how it was done in the past as compared to how it is done today.  On a field trip to Genesse Country Village a couple of months ago we got to see an early American reenacter weaving a rug on a very large loom.  Last week the boys tried their hands at weaving potholders with those little kits you can buy in the craft section of your local big-box store.  They were so proud of their creations, and only needed a little help to finish off the edges. 

It was surprisingly educational and awesome for working on those motor skills!  Next up, potholders for their grandmothers and aunts as Christmas presents!  (Shhh, don't tell!)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

File Crate System

After reading what must be the longest thread in the forum's history over at The Well-Trained Mind, I decided to organize our school year using the file crate system. With a lot of help from Melanie's posts on her Springs of Joy Homeschooling blog, I finally have mine all set up and I am so happy with it!  I'm not going to get too detailed about how to do it since that is covered in the WTM post and on Melanie's blog, but I did want to share some of what I have done because I made a few modifications.

I decided to use 2-pocket folders, like this.  I filed all of the work in the left pocket and as we complete things they get placed in the right pocket. It is very easy to see what we still need to accomplish with this system.  The index card paper-clipped to the left pocket is the Library List for the following week. 

Behind that is a Shopping List for the following week.  The index cards fit in my wallet perfectly, and it is so nice to just grab them when I go shopping and be assured that I have all of the items on hand for our science, art, and history projects!

The yellow post-it stuck to the SOTW Activity Book page pictured here lists the pages in the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia that correlate to the weeks' lesson. I stick it in the UILE as a bookmark at the beginning of the week and my son can read about the subject we're studying whenever he desires.

We have green for one child, blue for the other, and red for my files.  The week number is in the upper left corner.

I also have yellow folders for each of the months of the year that I've put seasonal ideas, crafts, and notes in.

I have 36 hanging file folders (1 for each week of the school year.) In each hanging file are our 3 folders. I didn't want them in open file crates due to the dust they would collect over the course of the year, so mine are in file totes with lids. Each tote holds 6 weeks of files, plus two monthly seasonal folders.
For work like First Language Lessons and All About Spelling, which I couldn't really rip apart to file, I printed a progress sheet and attached stickers for them to use as we complete each lesson.
For any lessons where another weeks' lesson is printed on the back I attached a small post-it reminder to move it to the next weeks' folder.
Please ignore the very wrinkled tablecloth in the pictures! I've finally relaxed my laundry standards and have started letting the boys help me fold. ;-)