New colored pencils for the first day of school... I debated ordering some really nice ones online... it is easy to want to do that when you see or hear about really nice art materials online... but practicality needs to win out more often. I think I'd rather have babies than expensive school supplies. :) So I got a pack of 50 Crayola colored pencils at Wal-Mart... they all just barely fit in this jar (which formerly held Trader Joe's almond butter).
Here is something else I have added to Circle Time this year: the pledge. I found this poster in my old school stuff - who knows where I got it; I used to teach 3rd and 4th graders and would have insulted their intelligence by posting this in my classroom!
For Cecilia, I am also doing this activity to teach about Jesus as the Good Shepherd and how we are like His sheep. I got this here from Catholic Icing and printed it off and assembled it... we will go through the Bible story once a week and Cecilia can re-enact it herself as well.
I gave Caroline an elementary spelling inventory since I have never assessed her spelling before. I thought it would be helpful to have and do one maybe each year for comparison. It is really interesting to see how the spelling patterns evolve...
Here is our schedule for this year... still somewhat tentative, but I think I like it mostly the way it is. We will try it out this way for awhile and see how it goes! You can see it larger by clicking on it.
Here's an ongoing project... we will add to it over the years. It is a liturgical year binder with several tabs... we can put projects, copywork, coloring sheets, narrations of saint stories, etc. in here. I got the idea from Catholic Mosaic - we will be reading several of the books on their booklist this year, I hope.
Here are the shelves in the schoolroom... the top shelf holds some of the books we will be using. The shelves below are the "work activity" shelves. Last year, I put an assortment of activities for the girls to choose from as a transition between breakfast and beginning the school day. That didn't seem to work out so well over the long haul, so I am trying something new this time: work trays. There will be just one or two items on each tray, changed each day. This way, there is no confusion over what is to be done! Caroline will also have her journal on her work tray twice a week along with a monthly list of topics from which to write about. Cecilia's tray is still optional at this point... she can use it if she is feeling like being included in "school," or she can do her own thing... either way, this is how I get the dishes done after breakfast each morning! I am also going to get her doing more water play and "helping" wash the dishes with me this year, I think.
Here's our new file crate, with a hanging file for each week. I have filed the Old Testament copywork verses for each week in here, along with the First Timeline images for each week. I also have a file for each month, and there are liturgical year coloring sheets, projects, and copywork from saint books filed there. Looking back, I think it might be overkill this year to have a file for each week... I had a file for each letter last year, which worked well. As more work is added (and more kids are "enrolled" in Hycliff Academy!), this will probably be a good system... not sure yet if I will be keeping each year's crate and then pulling them out in future years or combining all the kids' stuff into one crate for each year...
Here are most of our books for frequent use: my planning binder and the liturgical year binder, Caroline's math workbook, The Earth, our children's Bible, the First Timeline book, the First Communion Catechism, and Angel Food for Boys and Girls Volume 1, to be used alongside the catechism using this handy chart from Wildflowers and Marbles.
I found this Old Testament timeline to go along with our Old Testament studies... we will read a story from the children's Bible each week, and then Caroline will retell it and illustrate it. I also found this laminated map in my old school posters... we will use it for our family geography studies in which we will learn about the places where Caroline's grandparents and great-grandparents were born and grew up... this will be part of our social studies curriculum, along with the timeline.