Monday, April 22, 2013

April Preschool

As I mentioned last week, my kids had plans to go to Papa and Nana's for most of the week so we wouldn't be doing any schooling.  Instead I'm going show you some of my new organization tools.

 First of all, I just want to share again this fabulous Bible.  I had found it recommended on a few blogs for preschoolers and I really love it.  The stories are well written, following Bible "language" as closely as it can.  It also gives simple but fun ideas to do with the kids as you read.  I think it is a great introduction to the Bible.
 Last year, I created some lesson plan pages but . . . I must have deleted them so I started over.  These are 100% created for the way I work our day.  We have three parts to our day.  First, is our true Preschool lessons.  We do that in the morning from 10-11 and I follow the Rising Rock Stars Preschool from 1+1+1=1 pretty closely and then supplement from workbooks I've found or other on-line resources. Second, we have "PE" time.  It is really just a time to be active together.  I find a lot of ideas on Pinterest and have shared them in past posts.  This is something very specific that I do - it has to be planned or it won't get done.  Third, we have Planned Kid Time.  This is when we make a craft related to our theme activity or bake something.  This month (and into May) we are studying plants and flowers so we've planted grass seed and made plant diagrams as our fun activities. 
 This page is a suppliment to my lesson plans - it is actually the break down of our Preschool lessons so I know what worksheets we are doing each day and I also make notes of supplies that I need.  This was easier for me then trying to squeeze it all into the little square above :-)
I also had to find a place to store our weekly supplies.  Since we do our lessons in the dining room, I wanted our weekly stuff stored in that room.  I used to have two full bins of music under the piano but, I cleaned it all out and was able to consolidate into one bin so I could use the other for school

 Every evening, I take time to go through the next days lesson plan and make sure the boys binders are prepared, crafts stuff is ready, and I've done my prep work.  Then everything goes in this bin.  Makes it easy to have everything on hand.
As far as planning, I sit down a week or two before the start of the next month and fill in our calender.  This way I can write in appointments, grocery shopping days and field trips and can then plan lessons better.  From there, I fill out our lesson plans for the next month by scouring Pinterest for ideas :-)  I have two main Pinterest boards that I use.  First, I have a general Homeschool board where I throw all of the ideas I find to use.  There is no rhyme or reason - just ideas.  Second, I create a board for the month, like my April Homeschooling board.  When I'm planning and I find ideas that are actually going into my lesson plans, fit our letters that we are studying or fit the theme we are studying I put them in this board so I can easily find them.  At the end of the month, I will clean the board out, move unused items back to the general board, create a new board for the month and I think I will create a board for "Successful Homeschooling Ideas" so I can find stuff I may want to re-do later.

I keep all of my lesson plans in a binder and also include things like the music for our song of the week, project instructions and other misc items so that I can find them easily both right now and in the future when I go back through these units with Nathan.

Next week we'll be back into the full swing of preschool again.  I'm also beginning work on a Mackinaw City/Island Unit to do with the boys in June to prep them a little for our vacation.  Should be fun!