Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nearing the Beginning...

It is almost that time of year again. We're nearing the start of another school year. I'm anxiously awaiting tax free school supply days and the smell of fresh notebooks and newly sharpened pencils. The kids...not so much.

We've taken last week and this week off and I'm debating starting next Monday. I like to be a little ahead so that way I have some free days to work with. Although the summer school work still didn't put us to where I wanted to be, the call of a new year is luring me in.

I have been working *somewhat* diligently these past couple of weeks to prepare and there are going to be quite a few changes to our daily school routines.

The first thing I did was to work on a year long lesson plan notebook. This was so awesome. I have to admit that this is the FIRST time I have ever made lesson plans. Before, I just kind of averaged out on a piece of notebook paper as to how much we should accomplish each day. Sometimes that worked and sometimes not. So to see my notebook filled with colorful pages (more for my benefit than for the kids) I really get excited to give it a go.

You can walk through the step by step, customizable process for this lesson planner here. I love it because (as you can see by the close up pics) it is a daily planner, so there's plenty of room--and I write very large so I need lots of space.

The second big change will be the use of the P.E.G.S. chore system. I just got that set up and we'll begin using it tomorrow as a test run. I thought that it would be good to go ahead and begin this before we start so that the kids aren't overwhelmed with so many new things in one day. Here's a picture of our peg system (with the character trails list next to it to remind the kids of the character traits they're to aim for). You can get these at: http://www.familytools.com/

the peg system is so awesome. there are nice sized tags that have pictures of each chore, and each child gets their own row. When they complete a chore they flip it over for the day. Also, the ABC's at the bottom are for attitude, behavior and character. they can earn green tags for good behavior and the not tags for bad. They seem most excited about working with this...and the fact that I said each green tag earns you a dime (not tags cancel out a green one and lose a dime).

And lastly, we're using a modified version of the workbox system. I have mentioned this before and we did a sort of modified before as well. However, this time we will be using the actual Velcro tabs to be able to move over whenever a subject is completed. And they'll have their work strip handy as they go. This is what that looks like set up and the link for info:

I'll update more pics of it in use as we go along, but for now, time to sit back, finish up last minute preparations and get ready to jump on board the homeschool express. :)