Sunday, May 8, 2011

What Worked for our 2010-2011 School Year--Day 1

Well I am officially closing our 2010-2011 school year.  We have met our hours for Ohio.  This week we will still be doing some Geography (for World Travelers Club), finishing Science unit, and sticking with Math.  The boys will also be working on an Oat Prep Booklet (Ohio Assessement Test), so I can see where they are.  Neither test well at all.  So instead of giving them regular standardized tests, this is the option I am taking.  In Ohio we can turn either a standardized test score or a certified teacher's assessment of a child to our district.  We choose the assessor option.  But I would still like to see where the boys are at. 

I started thinking about what worked for us this year. 

1.  Workboxes!!!

We switched to the Sue Patrick workbox system after reading so many bloggers that used it.  The switch worked for the kids.  (I Just need to make sure we are using them on a regular basis.  Sometimes I fall asleep and don't get it done.)

2.  Ditching Science Textbooks...and Switched to Unit Studies and Lapbooks.

If I pulled out science textbooks and activities...the kids fussed and fussed.  We did a unit study and they seemed to enjoy it.  There is a little more prep work for me to do, but if they are learning...well that's all that matters to me. 

3.  Magic School Bus!!!

Let's here it for Ms. Frizzle!!!!  Whoo hooo!!!  The kids love these.  I bought all the dvds and guard them, because our kids sneak them out of the school area to watch in their rooms.  We also found some of them on YouTube.  I use them often to reinforce or as a lesson stretcher.

4.  World Travelers Club

A Wonderful mom in our homeschool group set this group up a couple year's ago.  We have been going almost the whole time we have been homeschooling.  It is fun.  It tied in great with World Geography this year.  We are going to continue this, and do this country and 2 others each month.  We didn't finish our Expedition Earth this year but want to do some US Geography also.  So I will be balancing all the topics in our curriculum this year.

5.  Realizing that we are a Homeschool Family...not a Recreate Public School Family.

It has taken me almost 3 years to realize that we are not a public school.  We may have given our school a name....but we are not a public school.  We register as a home school family.  So why I am trying to recreate a public school classroom in our living room?!?!?!  I know what the kids need to learn, and if I ever find myself at a loss for something to teach them...well I belong to many, many, many wonderful homeschool blogs that I can get ideas from!  Can I just say what a wonderful resource Homeschool Blogs are!!!  I have been slow in learning that what works for some does not always work for others, and as a mom to special needs kids...well I should have known better!  Now I am planning a lot slower and covering items the kids have interest in.  It takes me a bit longer in lesson planning, but at least they are answering questions about topics we are covering.  Seriously...never will there be a lack of topics to cover!!!  We are always learning...even as adults!

Well this is the first 5 things I have thought of that has worked for us this year.  I will post 5 more tomorrow.

What has worked for you this year?  Do you have favorite books?  Favorite programs?  Favorite homeschool activities?


  1. We love Magic school house DVD and books too. We also do lapbooks for science and history. Still fine tuning work boxes that work for us. Glad you are done for the year. we are wrapping up as my folks are visiting but then we are back to the book in mid June. We school year round. Thanks for linking up the the NOBH

  2. We school year round now, but we will be taking a week off soon. It is always nice to hear what IS working for homeschooling families. Have a great day Renita.

  3. Be thankful it has only taken you three years to figure this out, it has taken me five years. Finally in the middle of this school year I have seen the light. We don't have to go the traditional route that all other children follow to learn, even in the homeschool community. Looking forward to reading more posts about this.