Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Celebration Plans

As we did last year, I am going to get 7 paper bags and draw clock faces on the front for each hour from 5 o'clock until 11 o'clock. These bags hold festive fun; noisemakers and hats, silly string (messy but fun!), water guns, bubbles, playdoh, etc. The Midnight bag is a giant trash bag full of balloons (hidden of course to maximize excitement =) to be "dropped" at midnight. These bags will be opened at the top of each hour.
In between bags, each hour will have its own game; Twister, Charades, Pictionary, Headbands, UNO, Operation, and connect Four. This year we are going to put together a family time capsule to be opened next year. we also will take some time to come up with "family goals" for the new year. Lastly, we will play Family Photo Trivia. We will take different pictures of things we did this past year and see if the kids can guess where we were. Hopefully, this will lead to many laughs and discussions of the fun of this past year!
For food we will stick with our standard;pizza! Plus an ice cream sundae station and we will make the confetti cake found here...
We also will be using our new karaoke machine and wii games throughout the night. A faux toast at midnight and we are ready to welcome the new year!

New Year Bible Studies...

Jamie and I have made a resolution-to do a couple's study each night together. We are going to start with The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. I have also taken the 31 days to pray for you spouse challenge.

I am starting an online Bible Accountability group through Good Morning Girls. This is just a group of ladies who will hold each other accountable for their daily quiet, prayer, and study time. This is done through Facebook.

During my quiet time I am going to continue doing the Seeds books by Pricilla Shirer (my friends know I LOVE her!!!!) and hopefully get a "study group" together with my mom and grandma where we meet once a week to discuss this study.

My number one priority this year is to put God first in my life. So these are my plans to do that!

Homeschool Calendar and Calendar Notebook

I HIGHLY recommend having calendar time in your homeschool. As a kindergarten teacher it is an easy and effective way to get in so many skills in a short amount of time! To set up my calendar I used ideas from 1+1+1=1 (Also another AWESOME resource homeschool or no!) and Confessions of a Homeschooler.

For the calendar notebook I used ideas from Mama Jenn. Each child has a 3 ring binder. The pages are in page protectors so they can use dry erase markers. We do calendar time together but then Christian and Thaddeus can work in their notebooks while Juliette has her math lesson. Then Juliette moves into independent work followed by her calendar notebook time while Christian has his math lesson. Thaddeus can listen along with Christian's lesson or work in his work boxes at this time. He usually chooses to listen in though. =) It is an easy way to keep everyone engaged in meaningful activities while allowing some individual time for new lessons.

Morning/Evening Checklists for kids

I got the idea for the kids morning and evening checklists from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler (If you have not been to her site GO NOW!!! Homeschool or not her ideas are awesome.) I modified it to meet our needs. I made a checklist for morning and night and put a piece of velcro next to the picture. When they complete the task they attach a ticket to the velcro. At the end of the week they use their tickets to go to the "store". As they are still pretty young their daily chores are more reminders to help them with their daily routines.

Morning Routine:
1. Brush teeth
2. Bath
3. Sunscreen
4. Brush hair
5. Get Dressed
6. Breakfast Table by 8:15 AM

Bedtime Routine
1. Feed Rabbit/Guinea Pigs/Birds
2. Tidy Schoolroom
3. Tidy bedroom
4. Brush teeth
5. Potty (yes they need to be reminded!!)
6. In bed by 9:30 PM

Housekeeping Schedule

I have diligently followed the Fly Lady since Jamie and I got married and I had to learn how to keep a house. I highly recommend going to her site and reading her strategies and finding what works for you. The whole key is BABY STEPS. Taking one aspect of housekeeping and focusing on it until it becomes a habit before adding another. Once your routines are in place and your house is decluttered it is all about maintenance which is the easy and fun part!! My schedule is below but remember what works for me may not be what your house needs.

Morning Routine:
1. Get dressed
2. Make Bed
3. Reboot laundry
4. Bible Study/Quiet time
5. Wake up kids 7:45

Evening Routine (while listening to flute/piano practice):
1. Wipe down/dust downstairs
2. Sweep Downstairs
3. Take out trash/kitty litter
4. Make lunches for tomorrow
5. Empty/Load dishwasher
6. Look at calendar for tomorrow and pack bags and lay out clothes
7. Prepare school

Kids Evening Chores:
1. Tidy school room
2. Tidy bedrooms
3. feed/water pets

Saturday- Games, Church/Bible Study, Date Night/Kids Movie Night, Gym

1. Prepare homeschool and Girls Scouts
2. Detailed Cleaning/Clean Pets/Cages (Juliette- wipe light switches, kitchen cabinets, and doorknobs, Christian-wipe baseboards, Thaddeus- wipe walls and doors, and Jamie-Mow/Repairs)
3. Library-Adult Dance Class
4. Groceries, Girl Scout supplies, school supplies, ticket rewards, and movie night supplies

When we have an exchange student (or three) they take over the dishes. If you have older kids they can help with morning and evening routines a lot more than my little ones can.

My routine that I am working on is getting and keeping the laundry under MAJOR weakness!!! It is a New Year goal of mine!

New Year Homeschool Schedule

Daily Routine
7:45-8:15-Wake up/Morning Checklist/ Pledge/Prayer
8:15-8:30- Bible (Grapevine)-Breakfast
8:30-9:00- Calendar time-notebook/Math (K12 Math)/Independent math work/Preschool skill
9:00-9:15 French (Le Francais Facile)
9:15-9:35- Art/Music (World’s Greatest Artists and Little Mozart)
9:35-10:05 Content (Science-Apolgia and Young Scientist Club, History/Geography-Exhibition Earth/Animals and Little Passports, ABEKA Health and Social Studies
10:05-10:20-Home Recess

10:30-10:45- Phonics (Explode the Code)
10:45-11:00- Language Arts (First Language Lessons)
11:00-11:15- Handwriting and Lunch (A Reason for Handwriting)
11:15-11:25- Vocabulary (Wordly Wise)
11:25-11:40- Outside Play

11:40-1:00- PreK Pack for Thaddy with Mema-Gymnastics and Construction Junction
11:40-12:00- Writing (Writeshop)
12:00-12:30- Reading/Fluency (All About Reading)
12:30-1:00- Working with Words (All About Spelling)
1:00-2:00- Mema’s (Computer 20 minutes and Reading 15 minutes)
2-3:30- Park (Read for 15 minutes)/Gym (Tues/Thurs)

Activities 4:00-7:00 PM

7:30- Dinner
8-8:50- Garage (Pack lunches, wipe downstairs, sweep, take out trash, organize bags, prepare school, lay out clothes)Music Practice (lunches-flute/prepare school-piano)
8:50-9:10- Family Game Time
9:10-9:30- Bedtime Checklist
9:30 Dad and Mom Bible Study


Hello and Happy New Year! I am starting this blog as a way to share our day to day activities as well as to provide me a way to be accountable to my goal of living intentionally. I will share our family and homeschool activities. I hope you can find something that will be useful in your home or homeschool.