Organization for yourself and your materials is key!
I spent the last couple weeks getting my printables ready. I teach Mystery of History and I started printing off different fill-in-the blank worksheets and the maps and quizzes for each lesson. I also get Berean science notebooks and Bible (Who is God?) worksheets ready. Only five children are doing those subjects. I copied the vocab for 4 students and set up our classroom.
Organization for your children is essential!
Each week, I give the children a schedule. That way they know what they have to do every day. Some of the kids watch a couple of videos. Here is what their schedules look like:
The top picture was a schedule for a 1st grader. The bottom one was for a 7th grader. The highlighted yellow shows what needs to be turned in to be checked. Some of the other subjects I did with them and I check right away, so they were not highlighted. The yellow reminded them to turn those subjects in to me, and I also could look back and see what needed to be turned in if she forgot. (We would check off all the yellow items as we checked them.)
The green highlighted items were tests or graded items. This reminded the kids that they needed to study the night before for those subjects and also reminded to administer those tests.
They did not always stick with the times on the side. When they were doing their independent work, they could do whatever subject they wanted first. The times were more for me to make sure I could get all of my teaching done as I was teaching so many kids different subjects.
Be creative and make learning fun!
I have to admit that I am not the most creative teacher. And that’s okay, because in today’s world, there are a ton of resources that are creative!
One thing we are going to do this year is have a couple of onsite field trips. We are also going to try to do a couple of outdoor field trips, but many indoor field trips are not possible due to COVID.
One onsite field trip we will do will be different fun Science experiments.
Even though our science curriculum has a lot of small built in experiments, but the big ones we will save for this day. I went to the library and found a fun science experiment book in their used bookstore for 25 cents! When I got home from the library, I found that Quarto STEAM Club had sent me a new box of goodies for my honest review.
Quarto STEAM Club sent me:
- Experiment with Outdoor Science: Fun projects to try at home: This hardcover book of experiments and projects covers covers chemical reactions, states of matter, microbiology, and much more—all with materials and equipment that can be found at home.
- SUPER Science Experiments: Outdoor Fun: Get dirty outdoors, test your brain, and more! This has over 80 experiments. Many can be done by kids without adult supervision and with household items.
- Crazy Drinks Science Lab — I think the kids would love this lab kit! This includes a 24-Page illustrated activity book which guides young scientists through 20 wild & wacky experiments they can actually drink. Now this does not include any ingredients. It just includes the activity book, beakers, straws, graduated cylinder, UV light, and a couple more things.
There are so many other ways that you can encourage creativity in your homeschooler. Look at these other books I got from Quarto STEAM Club:
- Stanley Jr. Woodworking is Awesome: Projects, Skills, and Ideas for Young Makers – 12 Fun DIY Projects for Ages 8+: This will give your kids some valuable skills plus strengthen their math with having to measure.
- Nature Play Workshop for Families: A Guide to 40+ Outdoor Learning Experiences in All Seasons — Get outdoors and learn! Outdoors is one of the best places to be right now, so this book would be perfect! Look at some of the topics included in this book:
- Wildlife observation and tracking
- Nature sounds, songs, and poetry
- Gardening and cooking with wild edibles
- Printmaking, charcoal drawing, dyeing, and shadow play
- Journaling inspired by nature
- The Unplugged Family Activity Book: 60+ Simple Crafts and Recipes for Year-Round Fun — For your crafty kids or kids who like to cook, this is the book for them. It has more than 50 projects, crafts, and recipes, plus ideas for seasonal celebrations.
Something else I like to encourage in school is reading for fun.
Our 4th-6th graders will read 6 books and do a big workbook dthat will teach them literary terms and skills, but I want them to also enjoy reading. So I got the first book basket ready for the year. I will have them ready 9 books — 1 a month — for fun. Then they will either write a brief paragraph or draw a picture of it, and at the end of the year, they’ll put together a 9 patch quilt block out of their 9 papers.
Here’s my book basket for the 4th – 6th graders.
I put in some easier books and some harder books, some Christian fiction books, some classics, and some biographies as well as fun fiction books. If you want to know exactly what books I included, let me know and I’ll write them all down. I also wrote down several books that I don’t have but Sonlight recommends for those grade levels, and I may get them for the 2nd half of the year.
The library can be your best friend in homeschooling. They will have science experiment books as well as books you can use for your book baskets, and more!
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