I did really well at the end of this past school year. I ordered all my curriculum for this year almost as soon as we were done. I knew what we wanted, finally. I haven’t been able to do that since we started. Every year has been some wild experiment and then a dear friend gave me some curriculum to use and we fell in love with almost all of it. The unit study is by Learning Adventures and we are doing Westward and Onward. Unit study works amazingly well for us! The parts we are using are Bible, English/Lit, and History. The math program we used last year also worked well for us and so we moved to the next level. Math-U-See just really works for my style of teaching and Berry’s style of learning. For Science we are using Apologia again this year. I love Apologia and this year will be fun, study of land animals and day six of Creation. I added one more piece of the puzzle for us, All About Spelling. I learned this year that Berry differs greatly in her comprehension of the written word. Spelling for Bean was easy. I would give her the list, she would look it over three times and be able to take a perfect test. She memorized the written word so easily. She read voraciously and her comprehension was spot on. Now however, I have a kid who really doesn’t have an interest in reading just anything, reading directions and following their meaning, nope. Spelling, oh my goodness, it’s a nightmare. Finding a program with a full year guarantee, a system to help her, so worth the extra work.
This year we will complete a book of the United States. Reports on each state along with pictures of their famous landmarks, people, state bird, flowers, and flag. We will begin a book on the Presidents of the United States. Reports on each and color pages for each also. We are reading some amazing literature this year. Most of them are Newberry Award winners.
When I hit a hitch on planning frustration was quick to enter on scene. Frustration brought along friends, anger, and a wicked bad mood. I normally find joy in cooking for my family, not last night! The bad mood just permeated everything and then I think it made me physically sick which sent me to bed way too early!
I found a software program that was supposed to simplify grading, attendance, planning, all of that. I was so excited and I got in on the discounted price. So I ordered it. I thought, and I was right, they were supposed to send me a log-in and link to get started. When I didn’t get it and didn’t get a response from their support team, I thought I was wrong and that I would be getting software in the mail. We left for vacation and came back, still nothing. So I sent off another email and got a response with a log-in. I logged in and went through the set-up and tutorial. Then I tried very hard to start entering lesson plans. I got kicked off the program 3 times! I couldn’t get logged back on and then magically I could, but I still couldn’t get the lesson plans that I was entering to show up. I worked for over two hours before giving up. Finally, I sent them another email to refund my money.
I opened up Excel and spent another 2 hours making lesson plan sheets and grade sheets. We made a run to Office Max to get more supplies, printer paper mainly, but they were having a great sale on office chairs and since we purchased a desk for the girls at IKEA we needed a task chair for them. Bean got hot pink and Berry a brilliant purple! We got to the check out and found that it was teacher appreciation day and that meant an extra 25% off of everything we bought. They had all the Crayola products buy one get one 1/2 off!! We saved over $85! I love seeing the total drop off when they enter the discount!!
I came home and printed off the sheets. This year we have gone with pastel pink and purple paper. I have decorated all of our notebooks with stickers and labels. I brought Berry brand new crayons, markers, map pencils, and construction paper! So, today I am going to do some more lesson planning, and I will be doing lesson planning for the rest of the week to get ready for our August 20th start.
Tomorrow I send Bean off to start her Junior year of high school. It gets more bittersweet every year!