Thursday, September 24, 2020

My Favorite Fall Homeschool Things

Guys, homeschool is a whole new beast I'm conquering and wow, have I learned some things in just a few short weeks! Besides re-learning igneous rocks, fossils, conjunctions, long division, and Constantinople, I've also figured out do's and don't's through trial and error. I've also been relying on some things that have become go-to's for us during our homeschooling days.

A typical homeschool/daycare day for us.

1.) We've been (succesfully) using Khan Academy for math and a few other subjects. It's great for supplementle work or as a full curriculum (ahem, math, since I have no business teaching math). Plus, it's FREE. 

2.) I've praised time and time again since last spring, but I my two youngest have been using the workbooks beginning this fall and they are wonderful! Easy, quick to understand lessons that would otherwise be taking me a few days to teach from the textbook. If I feel they need more work in an area, I can easily pull out the textbook then, but so far the workbooks have been great for creative writing promps, grammar, and language arts use.

3.) One thing is for sure, homeschool is way different than the desk confinement I felt during childhood. The kids do school work all over the house: laying on the floors, at tables, sitting on the couches. One of their favorite places to sit and do computer work are on these comfy chairs. I snagged them from Walmart before school began and they are used more than the desks and tables we have!

4.) Quick snacks for the morning are a must. Since I'm essentially teaching three different grades, plus overseeing virtual school for some kids, plus implementing a preschool curriculum in the mornings for daycare, I need easy, but still healthy snacks. I found these Enjoy Life berry bars and they are well loved. Much like their chocolate chips, these bars now have a permenant place in our cupboards.

5.) We tried out this chicken chili recipe last weekend and it was wonderful! A true sign of fall in our house is the return of Chili Sundays.

6.) Out of all of the school supplies I've purchased for homeschooling, our white boards have gotten the most use. I write down everyone's schedule daily, snack and lunch breaks (and what we're eating, of course), and anything extra the kids need to know for the day. I have an extra one to use for teaching, but I haven't had to use it yet!

7.) I'll admit it, I'm tired. Exhausted really. Even though I spent the month working only four days a week (at most), I'm really looking forward to Fall Break. Of course, the minis will still be doing schoolwork, but it will all be hands on or independent work, which means I'll be able to enjoy a few days off from being full time teacher.

8.) Since we're all home all day every day, making sure the house is cozy and smelling nicely is important. I let the minis pick out all of the fall candles for the house. Our new favorite is Warm Fall Leaves from Walmart. Yankee also has a few fall scents, our favorite being Crisp Fall Night.

9.) Walks and hikes are a daily part of our lives now that the temps have cooled down. Of course, the doggo comes with us. I purchased a bigger, heavy duty vest for him and it's been a lifesaver on our longer hikes.

10.) Oversized sweatshirts are life during the fall. We all love these sweatshirts from Old Navy. They're comfortable, warm, but also light enough that they're great for the cool fall mornings and warm afternoons. 

11.) Beginning next week, we'll be learning all about the periodic table of elements. To assist in this, I grabbed a placemat and a small rug to go in the daycare room. As I predicted, the rug is studied daily by each child that steps on it.

12.) I get that dogs aren't part of the homeschool theme, but a dog is a part of our homeschool day! Our puppy project is still going strong and the minis are doing an AMAZING job of taking care of him. Picking up poop is a big part of their job. I bought these pet waste bags back in July and we'll be using them for quite awhile! 

13.) Our music classes this semester focuses on music from around the world, which means I've invested in some new instruments. Our favorite by far has been the Tibetan Singing Bowl. The kids like it because it "makes a cool noise." I like it because I get to see the kids grab it before doing yoga in gym or seeing kids play it because they "need to calm down." It's the best.