I have spent weeks and weeks, months really, planning our 2019-2020 school year. After lots of planning and re-planning I’ve decided to keep it a lot more simple than I had originally planned. There are so many incredible curriculums out there that it was really very hard to decide. Right now in this season of motherhood with me working full-time, Liam being 4 months old and Lucy 2.5 (3 this fall), we are going to keep it simple to begin and add on goodness as the school year goes on.
I’ve decided we will break our school year up into 4 quarters, which for us is just breaking the year into 3 month sections. After each 3 month quarter we will re-evaluate our curriculum and make sure everything is still working for us and then decide if we can add anything in as both Liam and Lucy get older and as I lighten my work-load AND hire more help.
This post will have a list of each curriculum we will be using and then I’m going to go into how we will be doing our loop schedule this year. I will be doing individual posts for each of our curriculum choices and as I do, each of the items on the list here will become links to those posts.
Our schedule will never go as planned, but this will be our goal.
7:00-9:00am Morning Basket
9:00-10:00am Ready for the Day (shower, dressed, hair, teeth, make up, etc.)
10:00-12:00pm Daily Lessons (Language Arts, Math) – sometimes we will do this portion of our day at a park when it starts to get nicer outside
12:30pm Lucy Nap (hoping to get Liam on this schedule as well – he currently takes his long nap around 11/11:30)
12:30-2:30pm Loop Board Time
2:30-4:30pm Play and Lucy School Time – this will also be an outside time once it is no longer so hot outside.
4:30pm Bath Time, Hair and Pajamas (adopting this early bath time from one of my besties so that the kids have more time with Matt at night when he’s home from work)
5:30pm Family Dinner
6:00pm Family Play Time
7:00pm Teeth, Stories and Songs
7:30pm Read in Bed (they are allowed to read in bed until they fall asleep)
8:00pm Liam in bed
**Wednesdays Lilly Belle is at her day school (once a week school for homeschool kids). Evenings she has dance so she won’t always be with us at night depending on her after school schedule. On Wednesdays while Lilly Belle is at her school all day, Lucy, Liam and I will play and read together all day. That will also be the day when I catch up on things like laundry and cleaning around the house.
MORNING BASKET (all 3 kids)
I will have a completely separate post for this, but for now here is a bit of what we are doing for the next few months for Morning Basket time.
Each morning (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) at 7am we will have breakfast together while we do Morning Basket. We will be using the Jesus Storybook Bible, Let’s Play School Subscription, Rooted Childhood, Usborne Books and More as well as books from The Good and The Beautiful Library in our Morning Basket each day. I will have all of the supplies for both the Let’s Play School Subscription hands-on activities and the handcrafts from Rooted Childhood each month in a bin ready to go for us to pull from. Our morning basket time will go like this:
-Bible story while the kids are eating breakfast
-Stories, songs and finger plays from Rooted Childhood while the kids are eating breakfast
-2 printable activities for each of the girls from Let’s Play School Subscription
-1 picture book to go along with the Let’s Play School Subscription
-1 handcraft from Rooted Childhood or hands on activity from the Let’s Play School Subscription
-1 chapter from our The Good and The Beautiful read aloud book (choosing books from their library)
Our Morning Basket time will be from 7:00-9:00am. This will be uninterrupted time as a family. On days when Matt is working from home he will join us as well until 8:30am when he gets ready and in work mode. On days he goes into the office he will be with us from 7:00-8:00am. He helps get the kids breakfast everyday while I start Morning Basket with the kids. Morning Basket is done in our pajamas and usually around the kitchen table. When we do activities we will most likely get down on the floor or around our coffee table in the living room.
**In October we go big for Halloween so our Morning Basket will also have a lot of fun Halloween goodies in there as well. I will share more on that when I create that basket. I will still be sharing each monthly basket and what activities will be included here on our blog each month.
FIRST GRADE – LILLY BELLE
Lilly Belle is ready to blast off with school again. She’s been begging for us to start school but life has just been going, going, going and we will officially be starting school on August 6th.
Language Arts: The Good and The Beautiful Level 1 with Level 1 and Level 2 Readers
Math: The Good and The Beautiful Level 1
Language Arts / Math Practice: Moffatt Girls No Prep Packs Grade 1 (August/September and October packs) this will also be what we take with us when we decide to do park school during the week. That is literally taking school with us to a playground and she gets to play in between doing school work. We bring a blanket. We do school like, “Do 5 math problems and then go down the slide. Do 5 math problems and then go down the slide.” It’s fun and breaks up the day for the kids more.
LOOP BOARD CURRICULUM & HOW TO
For this Loop Board, I’ve taken a regular magnet chalkboard I purchased at Target and hot glued mini clothespins to it. I then typed out all of our loop curriculum choices and cut them out. I put them in the order I’d like to do them each week. The goal will be to get through this loop each week. We will go in order from left to right rows top to bottom. When each item is complete, the tag will be taken off of our board and placed on my desk. Some days we may get though just one item, other days we may get through a whole row (or two). My reason for wanting to do things this way is that our family has a crazy schedule and no two days are alike. Some days we will be able to do more than others. Some days Liam will be fussy. Some days Lucy will be fussy. Some days Lilly Belle will be fussy. Or some days I will be fussy… We all have bad days. So I wanted our schedule to be realistic. I also wanted this to be something that works when Lilly Belle is really into something. If she is loving the current science lesson, I don’t want it to end just because our schedule says so. She can take as long as she would like with each of these lessons! And once we finish the board, we will celebrate with a fun adventure together here (Disney, Universal, Crayola Experience, etc.) Even if that means it’s a Tuesday afternoon. Then the next day, Wednesday, will be an Adventure Day before we start the board over again.
I will be doing individual posts for each of these choices, but this is more of just a list for you to see what we are using. When the posts are created, these will turn into links to those posts.
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears Grade 1
Phonics Practice: Explode the Code Books 4 and 5, Let’s Play School Play and Read Phonics
Math Practice: Let’s Play School Play & Learn Math Facts
Waldocks Wizards and Wands: We are using this curriculum as a fun way to bring the Harry Potter stories to life as we read them together and have fun adventures at Universal Orlando.
Science: Waldock’s Wizards and Wands – Astronomy (space), Herbology (botany), Alchemy (geology) and Potions (chemistry/experiments). We are also using complete science year-long unit studies I have put together with The Good and The Beautiful, Usborne Books and More and many others
Stack O’ Stories: The girls will literally bring me a stack of books and we’ll snuggle up and read together.
Activity Books: They can choose one Usborne Books and More Activity Book to work on for up to 30 minutes. We have sticker books, coloring books, fingerprint activities and some fun learning to draw books they can choose from.
Baking and Tea Time: We will choose something to bake together (order the ingredients from Shipt) and then bake and have tea and stories together.
“Read to Me”: Lilly Belle will choose 3 books to read to me, Lucy, Liam or all three of us.
History: Passport to Adventures. This is a curriculum based on the Magic Treehouse books and Lilly Belle loves it a lot!
Geography: Let’s Play Around the World – I am creating this curriculum for us to use studying the countries that are at Disney’s Epcot. We will be studying a new country each month. This curriculum will be done before our school year starts the first week of August.
Learning Tools: The girls can choose any learning toy we have here at home and can play with it for up to 30 minutes. This includes toys such as wooden learning toys we have purchased from Etsy, Legos, wooden blocks, musical instruments and play silks, TOOB animals, or arts/craft supplies. This is a good way for us to be sure we are using all the goodness in our home and that it is not just sitting looking pretty on shelves.
Let’s Play Pretend: The girls love playing pretend so I will be setting up a new dramatic play area for them every couple of weeks.
PLAY SCHOOL – LUCY
Lucy won’t be three until November so we don’t want to rush her into anything. I’m calling this quarter with her “play school” instead of preschool. Lilly Belle was our first baby and we were so excited to start teaching her everything and looking back now I see there was no need. Lucy will learn her letters, numbers, shapes and colors so much easier when she is really truly ready and it will in a way happen naturally through all of the books and activities we do together already. My focus with her is still 100% always helping her with her speech. We read a lot and talk a lot. That’s always my number one with her before anything below. She’s still so young. I will be doing an hour of “school time” with her everyday, but she won’t view it that way. It will be mostly crafts, reading and us playing pretend together. Every now and then we will do a printable from Let’s Play School, but not very often yet as she doesn’t enjoy them yet. Lilly Belle would sit for hours asking to do “school” at this age, but Lucy just asks “Hey Mama, wanna PLAY?” Yes. Yes I do! So we will be playing often. Organically and also using the curriculums I’ve created that include so-many hands on activities.
My First School Curriculum: She will use the My First School Curriculum but for the time being, we will not be using it exactly as planned. We will have a 30-minute time for this each day and it will include reading the story for that unit, the songs/movement games, learning mat activity for the day and then a hands-on activity from that unit. She is not quite ready for the printable activities yet. If there is one I feel she will really enjoy I will get it out.
Bitty Beginnings: We love Bitty Beginnings and Lucy is now old enough to start using a few of the items from Jen’s shop. We love her sensory bin matching activities and will mostly be using those for Lucy this first quarter.
Usborne Books and More: We will continue reading tons and tons of books with Lucy!
Play and Learn ABCs: Lucy will start by just focusing on 4 letters. I will add a new letter for her each week and rotate the activities for her every week. We will play these games for about 10-15 minutes every afternoon.
**Lucy’s school time won’t be at the same time everyday because she is a bit unpredictable. Once she gets up from her nap and has had her snack and is in a good mood, that’s when we will do her school time each day.
And that’s our 2019-2020 Quarter 1! I will continue sharing as much as we can on our Instagram. I am going to be creating a journal where I will record what we do each day since we will be doing a lot of looping. This post has taken me forever to put together because there is just a lot that I have planned for us to do.
OUR YEAR ROUND SCHOOL YEAR DATES (could change):
Quarter 1 August 6, 2019 – October 25, 2019
(1 week break for Halloween, Lucy’s 3rd birthday and to re-evaluate and prep)
(2 weeks in Seattle)
Quarter 2 November 4, 2019 – January 31, 2020
(1 week break for Thanksgiving)
(also may have another Seattle trip)
(2 week break for Christmas and New Years)
Quarter 3 February 3, 2020 – May 1, 2020)
(2-3 weeks off when we move)
(1 week break in March for Liam’s 1st birthday)
(1 week break in April for my birthday)
Quarter 4 May 4, 2020 – July 31, 2020 – Light Schooling / World Schooling
(2 weeks off for summer camps and summer fun – VBS and theater camps)
(2 weeks off for Hawaii trip for Matt’s birthday in July)
(2 weeks in Seattle)
(2 weeks in Wisconsin)