Homeschool Preparations

I posted last week about our decision to homeschool. But now the real fun starts!! Ordering books and buying school supplies!! We should have some really fun mail days over the next few weeks and there are few things more exciting than getting packages in mail…all tied up with string.

Ordering books is a big part of our preparations, and I’ll get to the nitty gritties in a moment. There are a few other things we’ve done around the house to get us organized and ready.

First was a desk for Evangeline. We have these basic laminate press board cabinets in our kitchen serving as our pantry. We took some down last summer; one went to our storage room outside, the other has been our “homeschool” cabinet. It failed miserably. I had a lock on it to keep the littles out of it, but since there’s there’s no back to it they figured out how to turn it around and get into it that way. Sigh.

Enter Super Granddaddy! My dad went above and beyond the few modifications I asked for and made Evangeline a really cool desk. He raised the height so it would be more comfortable to sit at with a regular chair, added a back then topped it with a huge desk top and cubby slot. Ryan was a little bit jealous.

Desk is next to the window a la Richard Louv’s (Last Child in the Woods) suggestion

I decoupaged Dollar Store maps all around the base and painted the top and sides with chalkboard paint. It took some time, but it was a really cheap project. Chalkboard paint stretches really far, I only used a little bit. The shellac was the most expensive thing. I hot glued some bright Dollar Store pencil cans to a piece of wood and bam now it’s a desk organizer. Right now the desk holds the math manipulatives and coloring books for the little ones. Once all of our supplies come in, I’ll decide what is best to store in there. It’s seriously the coolest desk.

Next was clearing off space on the bookshelves in our room to house more of the books, teacher’s manuals and craft supplies that I don’t want the kids to have access to. This initiated the great book purge of 2016. We’ve made two trips to Goodwill so far and have at least one more to go. Obviously this will get more attention as books start coming in.

make way for books
Make Way for Booklings

Now for the fun part. I was embarrassingly giddy as I hit “place order” on Amazon this morning. I was a little bummed that all the books we needed weren’t available through Prime. But then I thought how much fun it will be to get more than one day of mail fun. So now I’m back to giddy. As I mentioned before, we are using the curriculum designed by Angelicum Academy. We made a few changes but for the most part are using their recommendations.

Phonics — We’ve done the first two Hooked on Phonics already, Evie seems to like them. She is beginning to read. Instead of the Kindergarten level, which we’ve already finished, we are starting with First Grade. The recommended handwriting and spelling books are hard (and expensive) to come by. A friend suggested Handwriting without Tears and we’re going to give it a try.

  • Hooked on Phonics First Grade
  • Handwriting with out Tears

Literature — Their reading lists are based off of John Senior’s “Good Books” list and is exclusively classics.

  • Favorite Uncle Remus by Joel Chandlar Harris
  • The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • (An additional Novel to be decided because we just finished reading Pinocchio)
  • Fairy Tale Selections from: Andrew Lang, Charles Perrault, Grimm and Mother Goose

Art — We also have already finished the first book in this series. It’s a lot of fun and helps practice art and handwriting.

  • Draw, Write, Now Book 2

Science — We had this book last year and did a number of lessons \ experiements. I’m excited to use it again. They include fiction books you can read that go along with each lesson’s subject. I really like that.

  • Science is Simple

Math — Again, we did Saxon Kindergarten and now moving to First Grade. I’m not super crazy about it, but we’ll see.

  • Saxon Math First Grade

History — We got a copy of Bede’s History and started working through it last year. It was a lot of fun and very simple. I may include it with this just for funsies. I’m excited to use the books written by Susan Wise Bauer.

  • Dinosaurs! Pre History
  • The Story of the World: History of the Classical World by Susan Wise Bauer

Religion — I thought weekly catechism classes with the Sisters of Charity at our home parish would be sufficient, but Ryan said not.

  • Who Am I? Image of God

I’ve created a tab on the homepage for books and general info we are using for homeschooling, check it out. I’ll continue blogging about our homeschool experience as long as you agree to keep us in your prayers as we try to make it happen 😉



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