Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Because I Like To Pretend Everyone Cares About This

We are almost ready to begin the 2008-2009 school year around here! After the homeschool organization Keepin' It Real event I began to dream again of a school room. In fact, that very day I jumped up and started moving things around in the front room (the room formerly known as "home office", "classroom", and "playroom") I decided that having everything in one room was worth it if we just had a table. Well, as you know, we found a table for $20 and we are set.

This will be my second year of homeschooling and I feel like I learned so much last year--and still have so much to learn! Last year Sweetheart had just finished up 1st grade at a private school where they used ABeka curriculum. So, we stayed with that last year for 2nd--adding in other stuff as we went to spice things up. This year I am branching out and trying new things. Some may work and others may get abandoned--who knows? But I'm excited about trying all these new things. We have so many choices in front of us as homeschoolers!

So here is my very rough plan for our school year:

Sweetheart (3rd grade)
Bible (various things--mostly, you know, The Bible)
All About Spelling--Level 1 (we didn't do anything for spelling last year)
Reading--I plan for her to read a lot! I have the ABeka 3rd grade readers that we will use, but not all the time.

Little Bit (Pre-K)
I will do themes with her (we are starting with "All About Me" and then "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" for example) so we will read books together on the theme and do activities to go with the theme.
I will also choose math and literacy activities for her each day. Most of them will come from the internet. I especially am in love with this site. This woman has EXCELLENT ideas for pre-k kiddos.
She will make lapbooks for her themes at least some of the time. She will also join us for Bible and join us for History and Astronomy whenever she wants to. And I will read to her a lot.

That's pretty much our plan.

Now, about that school room! Let's go around the room, shall we?
Here's the beginning of our bookshelves and our recycling crate. (Got that idea from Carissa!) Oh, and the trash can. Glamorous.

I'm not sure you can tell, but these shelves are labeled folks. I am so organized I almost can't stand myself!

Ok, that's the end of the shelves. Here we have our world map and some drawers with my stuff on top.

See? Even these are labeled! This is all of our different kinds of paper and materials for lapbooks and notebooking. Uh, they are mostly empty because I don't know really what to put in there. I'm not afraid to admit it.

Moving around the room some more, we have our white board and calendar. See our totally awesome table we got for $20!!!!! I love it and it fits just right.

This is Little Bit's desk from last year. I'm not sure how much she'll use it now that we have the big table to spread out on, but she's not ready to get rid of it. In the drawers next to her desk are crayons, art junk, and coloring books that the girls are always allowed to get into. She does like to sit at her desk and "do art."

Those crates on the floor hold their notebooks, books, school boxes, and backpacks when not in use. (I got that idea from Elle!)

We are planning to use these cubes for our library books. That stadium chair is just sitting there needing to be returned to my sister, but it looks like the girls plan to use it for a reading corner.

Well, that's our school room--scrubbed up and ready to use. Now if I just knew what we were going to DO in there, we'd be ready.


  1. It looks great!! Wonderful job! Have fun this year, it sounds like you're off to a great start, and what fun choices you've made for curriculums! We love the Elementary Apologia books (have you looked into getting the kits that contain all of the project materials? verrryy useful!). When you've gotten into the swing of things, I'd love it if you'd review Mystery of History - I was very tempted to use that this year, as well. Sorry for the novel! Homeschooling stuff excites me, lol!


  2. I saw those kits, BUT my dad is the "science lab" teacher so he doesn't mind gathering stuff. How great is that? I do the "teaching" and he does the experiments with them. He rocks!

  3. I love the title of this post! Your school room looks super cute. I am jealous! Also that table matches the floor! Very neat!

  4. Oh, it's BEAUTIFUL! Great natural light, great Expedit bookcase from IKEA (wink) and adorable pre-k amenities. Good for you!

  5. I have pre-k amenities???? I didn't know I had anything that fancy sounding! I like that!

    Oh the light..these were taken in the afternoon when I usually have the blinds down b/c it gets so hot in there. Thankfully, we will mostly be in there in the mornings.

  6. Brenda,
    Your school room is just beautiful. I love the table too!

    Just wanted to mention that we're doing Mystery of History this year too... are you a part of the Yahoogroup for MOH? They seem to have a lot of good additional information that they all share on group files, etc.

    Anyway, we'll be starting the "new year" probably somewhere around Nov or so... but we're looking forward to it. Hope you're having a great summer.

  7. Love your room! It excites me and motivates me to be more productive today than I was yesterday.

    Btw, I love that table! Love it!

    Blessings to you as you begin your 2nd year of homeschooling, Brenda!

  8. brenda-
    you visited my site awhile back and i never returned the favor. sorry. thanks for your sweet comments!

    and i care about your school post - i love to see what others are doing!!

    and i LOVE your school room!! i had one all organized once upon a time but i have a toddler and he likes to destroy. everything. so, i've hidden our books in the bigger boys' room and keep our most used items on the counter and the art supplies in a basket within reach. not my ideal, but a must for this toddler season. your beautiful room makes me want it back so badly!!

    have you used mystery of history before? will this be your first year? i'm so interested in it.

  9. Jess, I should probably join that--thanks for telling me about it!
    Suzanne, I haven't used MOH before, but I got a little "review" on it from another blogger and thought it sounded like it was worth a try. I've read through the first part and I think I will really like it--for the same reasons the other blogger didn't like it! It's very activity oriented and that's right up our alley!

  10. I absolutely care! I check your blog once a day! I love the school room! It looks great! everything is so nice and organized and put in it's place. don't you just sit in there and look at it? (did I jsut give myself away) Your school year looks great and I think we might need a playdate- btw I am doing a book club this year would ponytails be interested? I will foward you info.

  11. Brenda! It is looking so wonderful! Glad that the crate idea is working for you. I could very easily covet those amazing bookshelves of yours--well done with all the labeling. I know that took time. Your focus with this organization is very inspiring.

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  13. Hi Brenda, I loved this post. As a new home school mom I loved checking out what you are doing this year. I have you to thank for helping me find a program I was looking for. I wanted something with geography and history all in one I could teach to my younger and older child at the same time. When I saw the Around the World in 180 days curriculum on Apoligia I got so excited. I ordered it this evening. Thanks so much for sharing, you have no idea how much it is helpful to us "newbies".


  14. You have just thrown down the gauntlet my friend.

    You totally rock. :0)

  15. Dear Brenda,

    Love these inspirational posts about homeschooling--they are fueling the creative juices around here!

    Also, loved the link to the Pre-Kindergarten site for teachers. I bookmarked that many ideas, so little time!

    With all this 'web-help' I am looking forward to what I hope is our best year yet!

    Many blessings...

  16. Wow, I am totally impressed! You did such a great job!!!
    :) Carisa

  17. You did a wonderful job, by the way- I tried to leave a post the other day, and my husband's blog id came up... I couldn't figure out why, so I deleted it (mine was the deleted one, in case you were wondering what was up with that one) Keep up the good work, I love to check on your blog (:

  18. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing! :)

  19. This looks great. I just love it. I have not been on here to look lately. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the keepin it real post you did and got everyone to post ideas. I read a lot of them and got lots of ideas.
    Thanks again.

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I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)