September 7, 2006

First Week of School

We started our first week of school on Tuesday.  We are using Tapestry of Grace Year 1.  I am so excited to begin after going over Unit 1! 

I spent the last several weeks preparing and scheduling.  Each child has a binder with all of the necessary information (hopefully) for Unit 1 (9 weeks).  Here is the binder layout for anyone interested:

Assignments Tab
Includes all assignments for the current unit (9 weeks), by week with the most current week on top. Here is what one week looks like (TOG links go to sample pages):

* Daily Assignment Chart
* Spelling List
* TOG's Weekly Reading Assignment Chart (2-page spread)
* TOG's Weekly Overview Chart (2-page spread)
* TOG's Writing Assignment Chart (printed on back of Overview Chart)
* TOG's Student Pages
* Maps for the week
* any necessary writing worksheets (usually a graphic organizer for the week)

These are stacked in the order listed above. At the end of the week, completed literature assignments, maps, spelling tests, and other worksheets will be filed under the appropriate tabs in the binder.  I will collect the Daily Assignment Charts and TOG pages (which will have check marks on completed assignments) at the end of each week to file and keep for a record.  This way the current week will always be on top under the Assignment tab.  I tried to be careful in scheduling so as not to overdo it, but we will make adjustments each week as necessary.

Literature Tab
TOG Literature worksheets go here

Geography Tab
completed maps, geography terms, etc.

Spelling Tab
spelling tests

Bible Tab
Bible Survey reading notes (older students only)

History Tab

history reading notes (older students only)

Math Tab
completed math lessons, quizzes, tests (for students not using workbooks)

Blank Tab
in case I forgot anything!

My oldest son also has a timeline notebook.  My oldest three children will each have a Grammar & Composition notebook.  Nathan and Jordan (7th & 6th) also have science notebooks for "Exploring Creation with General Science," which they are doing together this year.

We have spent this week getting back on a regular schedule and setting up and decorating the notebooks.  On Tuesday I gave everyone an overview of the unit so that they know what to expect.  Nathan (my 7th grade son) has been working hard to get all of his base maps set up and labeled.  He will be making maps with transparency overlays throughout the year.  I am excited to see how they turn out! 

I guess this has been kind of a practice week.  I'm glad I decided to begin slowly.  Everyone is relaxed and enjoying themselves (including mom).  We will begin officially on Monday.

I'll try to post some pictures later.  Can you believe that I forgot to take pictures??  My husband has two cameras, and they were both right in front of my face all week!

September 6, 2006

Menus 4 Moms

Free weekly menus with recipes and grocery list

I always have a difficult time getting meals on the table in the summer.  Cooking doesn't come naturally to me; I am just beginning to feel comfortable throwing things together without a recipe after almost 15 years of marriage.  I finally have a routine established for the cooler months, but I don't do well during the summer yet.  Half of the battle for me is knowing what I am going to make.  The other half is making the grocery list and getting to the grocery store regularly! 

I discovered Menus 4 Moms last year.  I didn't use it much, but with the school year and fall commitments beginning, I decided to try it again.  Menus 4 Moms is a way for me to have a plan (and grocery list) ahead of time for at least 5 days of the week.  Overall, it works well for me, especially during those really busy seasons.

I just have to remember to try it next summer; maybe I'll do better come feeding time!

In Him,
~ Andrea