Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014-2015 Homeschool Classroom and Curriculum

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We will start our 2014-2015 homeschool year tomorrow, August 11!  I'm embarking on another new adventure as our oldest will be in her first year of high school, then I will be teaching one in middle school, two elementary school aged, and then our youngest just turned a year old.  

Am I a little anxious/nervous/excited/scared/doubtful/hopeful about the year ahead with so many different age levels?  You bet!  But, I continue to trust and ask for guidance and patience (lots!) from our Lord for the fun and challenges ahead!  

Before I list our 2014-2015 curriculum, I thought I would share some pictures of our classroom space.  This is how our learning area looks after many, many, many hours of me trashing out papers and reorganizing books and curriculum over the summer.  I did not take "Before" pictures, but be assured our neat classroom rarely stays this neat during the summer and/or school year!  I think when learning starts happening during our school year and my 1 year old starts tearing up the place and things get hectic, I'll have to post the "keeping it real" photo to prove that things can get out of hand and to prove to myself that it once looked inviting and neat!

We are blessed with a room in our home that is the designated classroom and not much has changed through the years with the looks of the room, including many of the same art projects/decorations are still displayed from several years ago :) So for those readers who have followed my blog for some time now, these pictures may look familiar. :)

This is our classroom as you walk into the door.

Behind the door in the corner are the history/science/miscellaneous picture books
Along this wall is another bookshelf where we keep our library books and you can read HERE about the system I set up to never have to pay a library fine again! (Although, I have paid library fines since I set up the system since a system is only good if you actually use it!  But, when I have noted the due date of our library books on the library book shelf, books get back into the library on time with no fines.)  To the right of the brown bookshelf is our calendar.
This is where we try to keep most of our religious books
In the top left corner is the basket system I use for each of my Cupcake's textbooks and workbooks.
Each child has their own basket.  The baskets sit on top of a white shelf and cubbies that my husband designed and made for the space. 

As shown in the top right corner, I have their books separated by subjects using white foam board and then I listed each subject on each board.  So my Cupcakes always know where to find their textbooks and workbooks and they also use the white foam boards to keep their baskets organized.
When I first started homeschooling in 2005, I tried using bookshelves, but things didn't stay organized then I moved into a basket system, but our books were thrown into the baskets.  That's when I decided to organize the baskets with the subject foam boards to make books easier to find and this system was quick to set up and has been used efficiently for several years now.  

In the bottom left corner is a photo of the red basket where I keep all my teacher manuals for my Cupcake's subjects. 

Then in the bottom right corner is the photo of how I organize my "Teacher Manual" red basket.  All my teacher manuals are divided by my Cupcakes' names using the white foam boards and blue post it notes to label each child's manuals.  So this will help me find answer keys I need quickly and my cupcakes can also go quickly to the foam board divider with their name on it to find any manuals if I ask them to get them for me vs. looking all over for a teacher manual that may be hidden in a shelf somewhere.

We use our desks, table, and dry erase board daily in or out of school :) The tall bookshelf on the left side of photo is where I keep alot of my resource books/idea books/catalogs/books and curriculum  I've used in the past.

In this corner of our classroom is our art area with a closet full of craft supplies, games, and math manipulatives.  The art table is used daily in or out of school time and I won this table several years ago!

So what have I filled my Cupcakes' baskets with behind their foam board subject dividers?  Our 2014-2015 curriculum looks like this:

Cupcake #1 (daughter, age 14, 9th grade)

Couch Catechism and continuing Confirmation preparation program with other homeschoolers using various resources including Understanding The Scriptures: A Complete Course on Bible Study by Scott Hahn with My Catholic Faith Delivered, T3: The Teen Timeline (Catholic Teen Bible Study), and Decision Point 

Teaching Textbooks, continuing with Algebra I

American Literature:
Christ in the Americas for both Literature selections and American History

IEW Level C Online Course 

 Apologia  Exploring Creation with Biology with labs with a homeschool co-op group
First Form Latin with Memoria Press Online Academy  

Electives/Extra-Curricular Activities 
Piano lessons once a week
American Heritage Girls Troop 
Running Cross-Country with Homeschool Team
Girl's Soccer with Homeschool Team 
Teens for Life member

Cupcake #2 (son, age 12, 7th grade)

Couch Catechism, and Christian Studies II from Memoria Press with his younger sister.  With his older sister, he will also continue T3: The Teen Timeline (Catholic Teen Bible Study. 

 Teaching Textbooks, Math 7  

Apologia Chemistry and Physics with younger sister.  I also bought the materials for the experiments from Creation Sensation.  The kits aren't cheap, but they save me so much time by not having to look for all the materials myself for each experiment.
Memoria Press with younger sister

Extra-Curricular Activities 
Piano Lessons once a week
Recreation Soccer Leagues, Homeschool Soccer League, and Travel Soccer Team
Teens for Life member

Cupcake #3 (daughter, age 10, 5th grade)

Couch Catechism, and Christian Studies II from Memoria Press with her older brother.

Memoria Press with older brother

Apologia Chemistry and Physics with older brother.  I also bought the materials for the experiments from Creation Sensation.  The kits aren't cheap, but they save me so much time by not having to look for all the materials myself for each experiment.

Electives/Extra-Curricular Activities 
American Heritage Girls Troop
Recreation Soccer League and Travel Soccer Team

Cupcake #4 (daughter, age 6, Grade 1)

Couch Catechism,  First Confession and Communion preparation using Faith and Life, Treasure Box Set Books 1-10 and Books 11-20 and making First Communion Scrapbook and Banner 

Memoria Press First Grade Lesson Plans

Extra-Curricular Activities 
American Heritage Girls Troop

Cupcake #5 (daughter, age 1)
Learning how to walk, how not to tear up books and pull them off shelves, and how to take long naps when her Mommy needs her to take long naps. :) 

Be sure to come back to my blog here sometime this week where I will do a post of some of our new homeschool year traditions that includes new school year photos,  a cross cake, T-riffic summer t-shirt printables and All About Me Sheets!  

To take a peek at other homeschool learning classrooms/spaces/centers/corners/tables/shelves be sure to visit the 6th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop: School Room Week HERE.

#Homeschool Blog and Tell #hsbat 
I've also linked this post to Homeschool Blog and Tell Linkup #HSBAT

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Have a blessed school year! 


Branson said...

Love your room! Wow... I cannot imagine teaching so many ages and levels! :) I know I am actually in a minority only having one little one, though. You mamas with many astound me!

Billie Jo said...

Happy First Day of School!
I adore your room, and am happy just looking at it!
Blessings for a happy and healthy school year. : )

Unknown said...

Your room is great and I love your curriculum choices! Many blessings on your year :)

Patty said...

Tracy, your room looks fantastic, bright, cheery, and inviting! Blessings on your new school year!

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing! I am working on my curriculum and revamping my classroom as well - I love looking at other homeschooler's learning spaces - gives me great ideas. Many blessings on your upcoming school year.

grtlyblesd said...

I love seeing pictures of other families' school rooms. :)

I love your homeschool room! I've always liked slanted ceilings--they look so homey. And it looks like you have everything organized and in its place!

Chris said...

Amazing post!!
Love your room, the set up, everything, wow!!

I will keep your post right in my inbox bc I still have some decisions to make and Timmy will be in gr 6...right in between two of yours! I know I'll be getting ideas from you!

Thanks for sharing and good luck on your FIRST DAY!!
(We don't start until Tues 9/2!)


Melissa N. said...

Looks great! lots to look at for the kids!~

Kathy C. said...

Your room is wonderful and very inspiring! A quick question for you: where did you purchase your dry erase board? It's exactly what I'm looking for, but I'm not having any success in finding one.

Hi Branson!

Thank you for your visit and comment! With teaching so many ages and levels I never have to go to another circus again since I feel like I perform my own juggling act :) LOL!

Hi Billie Jo!

Thank you for your visit and comment! I do love our classroom space that is even more peaceful and beautiful when I have all my kids engaged in learning vs. not engaged and fussing/whining/complaining :) May you have a blessed year as well!

Thanks Jen! May you have a blessed year as well, in your new home!

Hi Patty!
Thank you and may your school year be filled with many blessings!

Hi Debbie!
Thank you for your visit and comment! It seems I'm always looking at curriculum and trying to decided how to best approach school work with all the different interests and personalities in my little "class". May your year be full of blessings and joy!

Hi Shecki!

Yes, I love to "visit" other school rooms as well! It's like an open house without having to spend the time and gas money to travel! :) Thank you for your visit and comment!

Hi Susan!

Thanks so much for your visit and comment! It takes many hours over the summer to reorganize our learning space since by the end of each school year things are a mess! I'll have to remember to take a picture of the mess and blog about it! :)

Hi Chris!

Thanks so much! I hope you find something you like from my curriculum choices! That's great you are starting in Sept. with school. Have a blessed school year!

Hi Melissa!

Thanks for stopping in and commenting! Sometimes there is too much for my kids to look at since they get distracted sometimes :) Have a blessed school year!

Hi Kathy!

Thanks for your visit and comment! I actually found the receipt of where I got the large dry erase board in my 2010 order receipts for school purchases! (Now I know why I've been keeping those stacks of file folders with past purchases in them! ha!) The company where we ordered the board is called "US" Ours is the 4'H by 6' W size called the Brite-Write Porcelain Magnetic White Markerboard with Aluminum Frame and Tray. My husband built a white wood frame around the board and mounted it to our wall. Hope that helps!

Kathy C. said...

Thank you so much, Tracy, for the dry erase board info; yes, it helps! :) Sorry to make you search for your receipt, but I have to say I'm impressed with your filing system. :) By the way, your husband did a great job framing your board!

You are welcome Kathy! It was no problem searching for the receipt since I was curious myself where we purchased the board since I forgot :) Thanks for the hubby compliment...yes, I think I'll keep him ;)

Martianne said...

What a lovely space and a solid set of plans. There was a day when we ad both Now we are in an uschooling phase - eclectic home education that leans towards unschooling ans suits us well for this season. The beauty of home education, I find, is that we can grow, change and adapt to different phases. Your phases looks beautiful!

I agree Martianne with how home education allows families the flexibility to teach the way that is best for a particular season or time in life! Right now I'm in the very busy and chaotic phase and I'm always striving to find the peaceful phase! :) Thanks for visiting and commenting on my post here!

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