Thursday, August 13, 2009

HOMESCHOOL HEAVEN!

I am so excited to share these pictures!! Probably to some of you, it may seem a little boring - but I have waited for a long time to be able to homeschool my girls! It is something that we have all wanted (although I have deliberated on the whole idea more than my share). Last spring, Richard and I went to a huge homeschool convention, which was completely overwhelming and terribly exciting all at the same time! We have slowly been acquiring all of our curriculum and supplies, and I think we are FINALLY done with the acquiring part, and now we get to dive in!! It was so fun to take just HALF of one child's tuition to stock up on everything we would need for the year - for THREE kiddos!! It has been hard to keep the girls out of all these new books just begging to be read. I had so much fun taking these pictures - my newfound-crazy-out-of-control passion for homeschooling, plus my passion for photography equals = fun stuff!!

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A few of our art supplies.
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This is a very small sampling of some of the literature Punkin will be reading this year. We are using Sonlight curriculum, which is a living-books approach to learning, no textbooks here.
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Some of her "elective" curriculum.
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We are VERY excited about these history books - both girls will be studying American History this year, and these books are so enjoyable! We all keep sneaking a "read" here and there out of these books.
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And here is a LITTLE bit of Boo's fun stuff to keep her happy and entertained, while learning at the same time! Most of my bag-of-tricks items to ward off too many interruptions at crucial bigger-girl learning times are hidden behind locked doors - only to appear in times of desperation!! :) She will also be attending pre-school two mornings a week at our wonderful classical christian school.
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Boo even has her own set of Sonlight books - which we HAVE indulged in over the summer. They are definitely at the top of her list when it comes to reading. These books (the ones with the purple dots) are classics that have stood the test of time, are very carefully chosen for exactly the right age - and I just can't believe how much she loves them! They also have great learning activities to go along with the stories.
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A larger look at our former formal living and dining areas, which have now become our "learning rooms".
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Our computer center - the girls are VERY excited to be able to do some of their school work on their own laptops! Their critical thinking/analogy curriculum is computer based. Both of them are using Teaching Textbooks for math - which makes me very happy - momma can't teach Algebra II very effectively - but Teaching Textbooks can!! Punkin will also be taking some outside homeschool classes like Biology, in an actual lab, taught by someone who actually is capable of teaching high school biology, not me. She will also attend an Institute for Excellence in Writing homeschool course - to dive further into one of her passions - WRITING!
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Boo and Banana have a little desk set up right in front of a morning-sun drenched window.
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This is Miss Banana's curriculum - this is where I will be spending "most" of my time - teaching 4th grade. I can't wait to dive into the wonderful selection of living books Sonlight has chosen for fourth grade!Photobucket
Here are just a FEW of some of our new favorite books, which will probably be part of our morning "all together" time. (this picture is for you inspiration-Jen!)
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And a larger look at Punkin's shelves, who happens to be quite the independent, motivated, over-achieving learner - so, much of her day will be spent in independent studies, moving at her own pace - with lots of good literature, history and bible discussions with mom.
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A few weeks ago, I set up a "learning center" for Boo - changing out the themes occasionally. This theme is all about healthy foods and how our bodies use them. These are two of her absolute favorite books! She loves to "cut-up" these velcro play food, and play her egg match-shape game.

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And anytime my boys hear me start talking about homeschooling, or flitting around organizing or rearranging (which is OFTEN), they scurry over to their bed and fall into a deep sleep - sunny side up!!

I know that I am about to embark on probably THE MOST fulfilling, frustrating, memorable, priceless, awe-inspiring, tear-jerking, happy, fun, relationship-building time in my mothering years, but I am more than ready for the challenge (but do remember to keep us in your prayers!).

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8 comments:

jenmack said...

It is absolutely LOVELY!!!!!!!! I'm just in love with your sunny spaces and all those pretty books and exciting items all full of potential waiting on the shelves. The whole lot of it just bespeaks the hope and joy that awaits in a new year of home education!

God bless you, Heather! You have done an absolutely AMAZING job translating some of these items into the learning spaces of your home. Your generosity and love for your children shows in every thoughtfully placed item!

And, hey... ;) ...those markers look familiar! LOL!

Alice said...

yay! you are in for the time of your life! homeschool is awesome :O). you have some great books there, too. i love the History of US series. we also used the Fallacy Detective and the Thinking Toolbox. we hit sonlight around 4th grade - i loved the teacher's lesson plans and schedule. yay! have fun! looks like you have all your bases covered - i love Rosetta Stone, too!

and to let you know it all works - kali is 16, just finishing 10th grade and we just this afternoon enrolled her at our community college for the fall semester (dual-enrollment). she scored high enough in the reading/writing areas to begin at an advanced college level. we are psyched!

MegganB said...

Wow! your room is beautiful! Is that your basement or your dining room? I can't believe all the supplies you have - you're going to have a BLAST!! Way to go - and keep me updated (I'm sure you'll blog) - I'd love to know how it's going!

Nana said...

Wow Heather, you really have it all organized. It looks great. I know you all will love doing this. Are the cabinets over the computor table new? I don't remember them. When do you plan to start? In September? I can't wait to hear all the updates.
love you.

Wendy said...

You and your family are opening a new and exciting chapter. I know it's been something talked about for years and I'm happy for all of you that your prayers have been answered and that you've taken that leap of faith to begin your new adventure. The transformed living and dining rooms look amazing and well prepared for your new journey. I can't wait to hear all the home school stories and wish all of you the best as you happily transition to home schooling!

Jennie said...

I know how exciting it is to be all set and ready to go. Your space is so inviting. I need to come to your house and get my hands on those books- especially the history. What a fun school you will have. You guys are gonna do great. Enjoy!

Karen said...

I love all the pics (especially the doggies). This post reminds me of a posting a year or so (?) ago when you wrote about your desire to homeschool, but yet how much you love the girls' school. I love how God sees our hearts and when we trust Him to guide us, he leads to places we didn't think possible. Enjoy the journey with the girls (and I'll be praying for ya!).

Anonymous said...

wow Heather! this is incredibly inspiring! you are so organized and thoughtful. you a a great role model for new mommies like me dreaming of homeschooling one day. May the Lord bless this time for you and your girls.
erin gaeng (bel air)