Friday, July 25, 2014

Free Printable Blank Schedule for HOD RtR

 This is my master teacher schedule for HOD RtR. I made it to keep myself accountable. Many people have other more simple systems that work just as well. I chip away at organization all year. I did a few pages here, a few pages there back when it was too cold to go outside. Using the guide as is is totally fine! This is just what I do, and if you want a separate official schedule I will share my template.

 I made a cover for my schedule and shared it HERE. 

 Unfortunately I can't share the filled out version out of respect for the authors of this guide, but here is how mine looked in the end.

 I have shared the PDF version HERE. I shared the word version HERE. I left the memory verse and the supply list on the template. If you want the document to open up as you see it here, you'll have to download Ostrich Sans and ABC Cursive fonts. 
Hope this helps someone :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Free Printable Blank Schedule for MFW ECC

I shared my organization for My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures last week. I meant to share a blank schedule, and am now just getting around to doing so. I created a master schedule to go with both guides each boy would be using. Since I will be running 2 guides I need the accountability of something to check off each day. This is completely unnecessary for most people. Many people copy off the grid right out of the MFW guide, and write in the extra subjects which is perfectly fine. For those of you who don't resell their guides, or use them for multiple cycles making separate will probably be unnecessary work. I personally like having an official schedule that I could hand someone should questions ever be asked, or if we move to a more strict homeschooling state.

 I made a cover for my schedule and shared it HERE.

 Here's a peak into what my schedule looks like on the inside. I can't share it as that would violate copyright, but I am happy to share my template.

 
 I have shared the PDF version HERE. I shared the word version HERE. If you want the word document to not open up all wonky you'll have to download Ostrich Sans and ABC Cursive fonts. Hope this helps someone :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Organization for MFW ECC - Exploring Countries and Cultures

This year we will detour into My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. I've been known around here to spend a little too much time in office supply stores buying supplies. It didn't take too long to organize this guide. Fortunately MFW provides student notebook pages. I did print off other things that many generous MFW moms had made. This is how I put it all together:

This is my shiny new guide, the student notebook, and my master schedule.

As folks around here know, I'm always pushing these Staples Better Binders. They are so worth the money! These things are indestructible. I've never had to throw one away. You can recycle your old binders at Staples and get $2 back for each one. That helps the cost some at least. They go on sale during back to school time, so grab them then, or you'll go broke! I bought the 1 1/2 inch size for the student notebook.

Another thing I love over at Staples is their Better Dividers. Again, these things last forever. I always recycle the ones I used from previous years. I love that there are printable labels to use. You can find that template here.

I've divided the binder into these sections:
  • Memory Verses
  • World
  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Antarctica
  • Bible Copywork
  • Hero Tales
  • Geography Vocabulary
  • Geography Game
  • Fast Facts
I included the memory verses in the first section.

The next tab has all of the pre and post test world geography pages, and anything else that doesn't belong in the continent sections.

I pre-printed all A Trip Around the World Pages, and Another Trip Around the World Pages and included them in each continent section, so we won't have to do that in the future. This is the North America section.

South America

Europe

Africa

Asia

Australia

Antarctica

I'm so thankful for the creator of the blog Mama Jenn. She created these great Bible copywork pages.

She also made Hero Tales copywork pages. I like that there is a place to draw a picture.

Additionally she made geography vocabulary pages. All of these activities are scheduled in the MFW guide. 

The next section holds the Geography game pieces, though I may take these out to put in the binder I keep mine in.

The last section holds the Fast Facts drill sheets. We will probably not use these as much as CLE already has daily math drills.

I laminated the Geography Game instructions, boards, and game pieces. I 3 hole punched them and put them in the binder. This binder also holds the Currency Kit conversion pages.

I laminated all of the game pieces and separated them by continent.

The new Currency Kit did not come cut out. This literally took (hours.) I chose not to laminate the pieces as I will not be using this guide again in the future. Even if I were, I'm not sure I would have. It took long enough!

This is my master schedule. I like having an official record that includes all the things we do. I bound it with my fancy new ProClick Binding Machine! If you'd like a cover for your teacher resources, mine is here.

I keep attendance and field trip logs in the front.

This is our official attendance sheet for the year.

This is where we will keep a log of the field trips we take. There will be plenty of fun things we will get to do with this guide! We're going to have lots of fun!

This is a peek into our weekly schedule. I can't share this unfortunately. It would violate MFW's hard work and copywrite. I look forward to getting to know you MFW ladies. I have a whole lot to learn about this new guide. I hope to learn from your successes, and maybe I will be able to share some of mine. We start school in 4 weeks! See you soon!

Curricula 2014-2015 - 3rd Grade

My baby is in 3rd grade! I don't know how that particularly happened. It's all just going by so fast. I've struggled the past few years in choosing what programs to use with Silas. While I love Heart of Dakota, I am going to take a year off and detour into My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. Even though Preparing is sitting all sparkly and new on my bookshelf, I want to wait on it one more year. The middle guides (CtC on up) require a maturity that I don't feel my little guy will be ready for next year, hence my choice for this year. While I love MFW, I will sorely miss HOD!

My Father's World has always been on my radar as far as choices go. HOD and MFW have some similar things about them, yet to me they are so different. I find moms on the MFW board looking longingly over at our HOD boards, and vice versa. ECC has mixed reviews, but I think we're going to have a great year. I have worked hard to put all the pieces together, so we're prepared for whatever activities will come.

With all that said, here are our 3rd grade curriculum choices:

This is the My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures Deluxe Package. I will write a post on how I've organized our student and teacher notebook and all of our materials next.

I love the heart of this particular guide. We will explore the countries of the world, and the cultures of God's people. It was hard for me to take a whole year off of history, but I think this will set the stage for world history (HOD Preparing Hearts for His Glory), and ancient history (HOD Creation to Christ) and so on that will follow in the coming years. This is the geography portion of the plans. There is also a geography game that we will play each week. By the end of the year Silas will be able to identify all the countries of the world. That's more than I can do at present! I look forward to learning along side him :)

We will learn about the cultures of the world and talk about and build character with these resources.

Now this is where my hoarder gene kicked in. The deluxe package comes with 6 missionary biographies (in book form.) I am so excited to share these missionary stories with Silas, but this is an area of the plans I struggled with. For story time we've mostly read a variety of chapter books. I didn't know how well a 3rd grader would do with these books, and I have read that some are easier to follow than others. At first I decided I would just get the picture books on the top row. Then I went to the convention and there was a special on the audio version of the books. I have listened to a few, and some of the chapters are over 20 minutes. It will save my voice (since I am also running another guide with my oldest.) I may switch back and forth between these resources depending.

I also picked up these DVDs to watch after we've read the books :)

 
I refrained from getting chapter books for his personal reading time, and instead will employ the MFW book basket in the plans. These are the books I could find on my bookshelf that go along with our studies or are listed in the book basket. It took me a long time, but I put all the book basket books in my library account for pre-checkout. That will save me the trouble of doing it later, and I won't miss out on all of those great books!

This is the science portion of the plans. I again refrained from adding additional science. My boys absolutely love science! There are so many great books in the book basket to add to our studies. We will also be doing a co-op on Fridays that has a science class. That will be plenty!

This is our language arts portion. I had planned already on doing R&S 3 for grammar, and Brave Writer for writing. Then I went to convention and found the new Language Lessons for Today that was just released. We will just do the picture and poetry portion of the book, and skip the grammar sections. We will switch back and forth between All About Spelling and R&S 3 Spelling. I already have AAS on my shelf, and as fussy as it is, I do believe it's one of the best things out there for spelling. We will probably not do it next year, and continue with R&S. For penmanship we will use Pentime 3. I love these affordable little workbooks!

Silas is doing really well with Christian Light Math, so we're going to stick with it!

Instead of doing the Exploring World Geography Book we will do these 2 books throughout the year. Silas loves them, and is always sad when he comes to the end of the book.

We will do many of the art projects assigned, but I'm sure I will add a few of my own!

This is the music CD that came with the package that includes songs from all over the world.
That wraps it up! Off to post about how I organized all of this!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Homeschool Necessities - ProClick Binding Machine

I wish there were a phonetic spelling of a cat call. If there were, I would insert it HERE. So basically, I've been coveting a ProClick binding machine for 4 years. Each year I drag all my books that I want the binding removed to the office store, or take the e-books I've printed off to be bound. It's a pain in the apple if you ask me. Each binding removal, and spiral binding is usually about 5 bucks. Every year I tell myself to just bite the bullet and buy a binding machine. This year I came to my senses. This thing most certainly would have paid for itself after 4 years of homeschool with all the printing I do around here!

 Here is a profile shot. Yes, I do realize I'm treating my ProClick like a hunka-hunka burnin' love, but seriously I'm in love. I found the best price for the ProClick at Office Depot, but only in the store. It's $75 online, but $55 in the store.

 They say that they can tell whether a teacher will be succesful by the measure of his/her love of office supplies. I'd say I'd earn an A+++ on that merit.

Here is how she works. I of course have to have an action shot, which is awkward one handed if you ask me. But I'm here for you, o' office supply love kindred spirit. All you do is put your paper in, and zippity-do-da-day the handle right across! Sometimes I get over ambitious and put too many pieces of paper in at once. At that point I have to turn into the Hulk to get it to work. Don't do that. Be nice to your binder friend.

 Here is the result of said Hulk-ing the handle.

This is how the ProClick binding looks. It comes with a handy little key that helps you open and close the binding. You don't have to use it. It took me a while to figure out how it worked. If you never figure out what to do with this do-dah then you can open and close the binding with your pretty little fingers. I like that I can easily open and close the binding if I want to take out or add something.

 Enter cat call HERE.

Oh, you can open the binding on itself because it isn't actually spiral, but rather loops! Puuuurrrty right?

The folks at GBC lie though. When it says 45, 85 or 110 sheets they mean front and back. I don't think they make them higher than 110. I found all of these on Amazon: 45 sheet binding, 85 Sheet Binding, and 110 Navy Blue Binding. For some reason buying black 110 sheet binding will cost you the price of a liver. Don't do it. Just buy blue like I did, and get a manicure with the rest of the dough you would have spent. BTW, you can use regular spiral binding with the ProClick. There are various places you can buy those cheaper than the ProClick bindings. Unfortunately they come in boxes of 100 for the most part, and even I don't need that many!

Just think of what I can do with all those bindings! For now I'm shutting down the printer and calling it a year. I don't ever want to see my printer again (at least for now.) Happy Binding!