Post-it Notes Homeschool Board

Post-it Notes Board

So, have you noticed I’ve been writing about homeschool A LOT lately?

I’m all in, shu-gah! 🙂

I feel like I live and breathe homeschool.

I feel like I’ve got menu planning and cooking under control. Cleaning, too.

Homeschool is our newest adventure and I’m always searching for the best I can buy/give to my daughter.

This is my latest homeschool creation.

I have lots (aka too many) decorative paper pads from Michael’s stores. And I have a laminator and lots of Post-it notes.

Last Friday, I decided to put up 1 Post-it note per subject with a specific activity written on it. I grouped them all together on a wall. SG was in charge of choosing which subject we did until she pulled all of the Post-it’s off of the wall.

It was a hit!

SG loved it because she was “in charge.” I want her to feel some control over her schooling.

It also gives me a glimpse into which subjects she likes best because she chooses those first.

The verdict?

DEAR time and writing are always chosen last because they are her “least favorite.”

DEAR is Drop Everything And Read. She chooses her books, her location, her stuffed animals and I set the timer for 15 minutes. Sometimes 20. She never wants to do it, but here’s the kicker- once she’s set up she loves it! She reads happily in a cozy little spot of her choosing.

DEAR Time

This board was so easy to make. I cut down a 12×12 sturdy decorative piece of paper from one of my paper pads. I used my Scotch laminator to laminate it. I use a magnet to hold it on the fridge. I put my Post-it notes on the board. As we do each Post-it note lesson, I put the note on my lesson planner.

At the end of each lesson, every few lessons and sometimes at the end of the school day, I stop and review the Post-it notes and write in my lesson planner what SG learned that day. (another state requirement)

So there ya have it. My Post-it Notes Homeschool Board. Made from materials on hand. Yay!

Random thought:  This could easily be made into a menu planning board.  Write out meal ideas for the week and pull them off as you make them.  Or a goals and inspiration board.  Or… a honey do list!  I may have to find some manly decorative paper and make the Huzz one!!!  Wouldn’t he just LOVE that… haha!  If I used my smaller Post-it Notes, I could squeeze in more notes for that honey do list.  🙂

Post-it Notes Board 2

The smaller Post-it Notes are perfect if you have more tasks to fit on the board.

Can you think of any other uses for a board like this?  I feel like the possibilities are endless.

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My Grown Up Journal

In my last post, I mentioned I’m becoming a student of my daughter.

My cousin suggested keeping a reflection journal for homeschool.

I tried it because I had recently purchased this beautiful notebook from TJ Maxx for absolutely no reason other than it was pretty.

Journal

I wanted to use my pretty notebook!

So, I started to write and reflect.

Can I tell you something?

It has been amazing!

It has helped me focus on what worked and didn’t work each day. I try to write every night, although that doesn’t always happen.

I like to write about the highlights and the things that didn’t work. Like coloring. I’ve learned that my daughter doesn’t like to color in the pictures in her workbooks. We had an unpleasant time when I made her color the pic in her workbook. I mean, come on! It’s coloring! 🙂 Who doesn’t like to color?

My daughter.

In reflection, I decided if she doesn’t want to color the picture, she can just leave it blank. Really, does it matter? The next day, she had another “Color this camel” page. I calmly asked her to color just one thing, to see if she would color one small thing without complaining. If she complained, I’d just let it go, because, really, that’s a minor thing. She chose the smallest picture- a sun. She happily colored it and then we moved on. Victory!

I also noticed if she is asked to draw something, she happily draws a picture and will work on it for a long amount of time. And she’s very proud of her drawings.

The verdict? I’m not going to force her to color a picture and argue with her about coloring. Not worth the effort. If she wants to draw a picture or just skip the coloring, I’m okay with it. There are bigger worries in life. And the coloring doesn’t affect her learning.

Blurred Journal

My journal- blurred out for privacy!

I don’t think I would have even thought about this if I didn’t sit down at the end of each homeschool day and put my thoughts on paper.

I haven’t journaled in years, but I’m loving it!!!

What about you, my friend?

Do you journal? Do you homeschool? Do you journal about your homeschool day? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Week 2 of Homeschool and Puppy Chow

 

We have completed our second week of homeschool and already I’ve made big changes.

I’m becoming a student of my daughter.

I’m watching her learn, noting what works well and what doesn’t, and adjusting from there.

We purchased the complete curriculum LIFEPACS from Alpha Omega. It totally spoke to my teacher soul! Small workbooks (called worktexts.) Self tests. Tests. Perfect for me and the work samples I need to keep in her portfolio (another state requirement.)

Not so perfect for my daughter.

She’s okay with it. But after a great first week, the shininess and newness of homeschool wore off and she started to complain. A lot. She was doing worktexts for every subject.

To mix it up, I introduced Five In A Row. It’s a completely different approach to learning. We read a book Five Days In A Row (get it?) and learn and explore through the context of that book. Social studies, science, literature, math, health and art. All through one great read aloud!

I tried FIAR (Five In A Row) this past week and it was a hit! SG didn’t even realize we were working on geography (finding China on a map, locating the Yangtze River, discussing the size of the river, looking at online photos of the actual Yangtze, and discussing the number of people who live by the Yangtze.) We also discussed the fact that her maternal Great Grandmother was just 2 years old when ‘The Story About Ping’ was published and her little eyes shot wide open. We discussed what makes a book a ‘classic.” All on day one of our “row” of the book ‘The Story About Ping.’ She was totally engaged the entire time!

It. Was. Amazing!

We are still using our LIFEPACS. We spent a pretty penny on that set. But instead of their social studies and science being the spine of our learning, I’m going to let FIAR become our spine for those subjects and sprinkle in some LIFEPACS here and there.

I do love our LIFEPACS. We will continue to use the language arts, math and Bible LIFEPACS as the spine for those subjects.

However, I have purchased the first two books in the math curriculum Life of Fred, which I’ve heard so much about! All good, of course!

I plan to introduce Life of Fred next week. I’ll let y’all know how that goes. It looks like a wonderful and fun way to learn math.

Here’s how we ended week two- with a delicious and no bake treat- Puppy Chow!

Puppy Chow

This is my childhood friend’s recipe. I substitute vegan butter and Enjoy Life chocolate chips to make it safe for SG.

This was a fun end to our great week of learning.

Safe Puppy Chow

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick vegan butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 bag safe chocolate chips
  • 1 box Crispix cereal
  • 1 box powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Place vegan butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave in 20 second increments until melted. Stir well.
  2. Put cereal in a large bowl. Pour mixture over Crispix cereal.
  3. Stir until cereal is coated.
  4. Pour in a large grocery bag with a box of powdered sugar.
  5. Shake. Let stand. Shake several times until coated.

Note:  This can easily be made peanut free by substituting with almond butter, Sunbutter or any other peanut butter substitute.  I made it once with Sunbutter and it turned out just fine.

1st Week of Homeschool: A+!!!

Our first week of homeschool is over and done with.

If I were the grading type, and I am… I’d give our week an A+!!! Yes, with three exclamation marks!

When I started with my long range plans, I mapped out a general “we should be in this chapter by midyear….” And then I got really crazy and wrote down exactly how many pages SG should complete per day per subject to reach the goal of finishing the curriculum. Then I read the chill out blogs and erased the page number requirements.  Er, guidelines.

And I did some soul searching and decided it was time to relax. I want our learning time to be enjoyable, fun and full of excitement! Ok, I know not every subject will be super exciting, but I want SG to grow to love learning! I have to take the public school mentality out of my brain, and imagine a cozy, home learning environment.

I am so thankful for all the blogs I’ve read that said to relax, don’t stress and enjoy our learning time together.

People keep writing, “Learning happens all day, throughout the day, in natural environments and through play.” It’s so true. Now that I’m paying attention, I see SG thinking through things and asking questions all day long.

Today at breakfast, SG was talking about the difference in age between the Huzz and me. (Almost 2 years)

“Mom, when you’re 40, will Daddy be 42?”

Yes.

“And when you’re 42, Daddy will be 44?”

Yes.

She would’ve kept going but I was actually writing this post and told her to eat her breakfast. Why did I stop her? I’ve still got so much to learn!!!

There she is, eating breakfast and working on counting by 2’s. Just because she wanted to and has a curious mind. 🙂

(We just finished week 2. I have written about that and it’s coming soon. I’m just behind in posting. I’m so excited to actually find time to blog this school year!)

A Fresh Start

Yesterday my daughter started first grade. We are officially homeschooling.

Last year for kindergarten we did an online public school and it wasn’t a good fit for us. I called it homeschooling, but really, it was public school at home.

We have only schooled for two days and already the change is amazing! Both of us enjoyed our laid back and relaxed learning time. My daughter learned plenty in the past two days and actually enjoyed doing it.

The highlight of her first day? Studying the bible! Be still my heart.

She also enjoyed our read aloud, which was done on our sofa, complete with soft pillows and a cozy blanket.

Last year sucked the joy out of both of us. I never had the energy to write a blog post because I was just plain worn out. We just don’t trust restaurants and I cook every meal my daughter eats. So, between cooking all the time, cleaning, the online school and life in general, I was super frazzled.

And my daughter didn’t like learning last year either.

This morning, day two of our new journey, my daughter walked into the kitchen and exclaimed, “When are we going to start homeschool?!?!”  What a huge change!!!

This year is a fresh start. I have plunged deep into homeschool blogs, Pinterest boards, and curriculum reviews. I have printed and downloaded like a mad woman. I even purchased a laminator! It’s been so much fun preparing for teaching first grade (Again! I’m a former public school teacher. Once upon a time I taught first grade.)

Day one and day two are officially in the books. I can’t wait to see what the next 178 days of first grade holds for us! (My state’s requirements is 180 days of school under our homeschooling option.)

Maybe I’ll have the time to even blog more this year! 🙂

Until later, my friend.