Welcome To Third Grade

Can you believe the new school year is here? Summer sure went by fast! So much happened over the summer and it wasn't all that great. But that is ok. Just so much stress from moving. That killed the summer pretty much. But I'm back trying to get into the swing of things again. Trying to balance the kids, unpacking, the husband's schedule, no sleep, school, and everything life has thrown in and out around here.

I miss blogging. I hope to be able to post regularly again. I miss my readers and reading all of your blogs. That sure hasn't happened in so long I feel like I have so much catching up to do. But anyway, this was our first week back to school. And guess what?! I have a third grader this year. Third grade! Can you believe it? Seems like yesterday my little girl was born and such a tiny little baby. And now here she is, growing up before my eyes.

Our new school year started on Tuesday August 18. This year, we are going to try to get into the better swing of things as this is now our second year homeschooling. So I have an idea of what did and didn't work for us last year and a bit more knowledge in the game. So that is helpful. Plus I have found more friends and communities that are super helpful and that is a big plus!

We have decided to do a four day week this year instead of a five day week, like we did last year. My daughter decided she wanted to add more subjects per day to open up her Fridays for her own time or for any makeup work we need to do. I liked the idea as it would help me out as well. So here is the schedule we have come up with. So far, I have printed schedules for August and September. The rest of the months will get done soon as well.

I came up with a great idea to try out this year as well. You can see it in the September calendar and it will continue through May. Once a month, I am allowing one full week off of my schedule for school to allow my daughter to choose a schedule for us to do. This is not a week long break or vacation. This is going to still be four full days of school but she gets to choose the topics and projects we do instead of me. It can be something we have already learned about or something she wants to learn about and we haven't gotten to it yet. Whatever she chooses, I hope this makes her spark some new interests in things and has a really fun week learning her own way and methods.

So I decided to label that week as "open studies". It will vary each month what days but I figured it would be a nice break in the middle of the month for her to stop our usual thing and try something new. It may or may not work. But we shall see. You never know until you try, right?

So these are a general outline of what we are to cover each day. I then have broken it down and planned out detailed assignments for each subject. I decided this year to try out a digital planner which I have never before. Last year, I created my own that I printed out and wrote on in a binder. This year I'm doing it all digital. So this first week was a trip trying out what seemed like hundreds of planners until I decided to use LessonTrek. Since they were running a special over the summer to grab a lifetime free membership {normally $60/year}, I jumped at the chance to score it for free. And so far, I do like it. It took me some time to get going with it and figuring it out. But I do like it.

Another thing I like about it which I found almost every planner online I tried did not have, was a space to input minutes. Since my state requires 1000 hours of learning per year, I need to keep a log of how many minutes/hours we have worked on our studies. And LessonTrek had a space just for that which is nice. I wish they added up the time for you after you fill it in, but that is ok. I can do that myself. As long as I have it somewhere I can see it and not forget to put it in, I'm totally ok with adding them up myself each week.

I'm slowly learning it but this is what I have done so far with it. I zoomed out as small as I could without making it too small to see. But you get the idea of how I am trying to plan. It's still a bit new but I feel I'm getting more of the hang of it. Homeschooling is tough. I never imagined how crazy coming up with lesson plans and a curriculum would ever be.

We have some work to do this Friday only because with a new schedule, a new school year, and two little ones that constantly distract us...we still need to get in the groove of things and by next week, should have everything figured out to get things done on their scheduled days to leave Fridays open. Next week we will have Monday all filled in as well. Since we started on Tuesday, there was no need to fill anything in for this week.

I also set up a small area in the dining room for our school room. I put a chalkboard on the wall and a problem solving poster so far. I still have to hang up our dry erase board too. But I have all of our books and school supplies on a shelf next to the table and trying to still get things organized and unpacked in here. Boxes still take up the walls. We originally looked at a house we were hoping to get that had an extra room we were going to solely use for school but we weren't able to get that house. So we got another almost identical one, but it didn't have the extra room. So our dining room is now our school room for now.

Also, something else great about back to school {or homeschool} is new clothes. The kids love new clothes. But hey, I do too LOL .... anyway, so this year I found a really great site that has quality clothes and 40% funds school programs for kids. It's called Schoola {referral link}. Have you heard of it before? I hadn't until I just seemed to come across it a couple of weeks ago. So I decided to give it a try. And was so glad I did. I found some really cute clothes for my kids and they even have adult clothes too.

How it works is people donate clothes. Gently used or brand new and then Schoola puts them on their site to be purchased for a really great deal. Then a portion of a sale goes to a school to help kids keep their programs and help the schools out. I love things helping out education. I'm big into that so this site really rocked my socks.

I found a really good deal that I'll share with you. I ended up with $25 worth of clothes {four items total} and only paid $0.84  .... now tell me that isn't a deal. And my kids love their new clothes. Here is how I did it .... 

Just sign up for a free account at Schoola, and you’ll receive a FREE $15 credit. Create a custom collection, you’ll receive another free $10 credit. When you enter the promotional code GEARUP at checkout, you’ll also receive free shipping. So, between the free credit and the free shipping, you should be able to pick up at least 2-3 items of clothing for FREE!

Here is one of the dresses I snagged for my daughter. Came just in time for our first day of school. Isn't she adorable in it? And it fits her perfectly and the color is beautiful on her as well. 

So we are all set for our journey into third grade. For those of you that have kids, when did they/do they start school this year and what grade are they in? I will be sharing soon our science projects we have done this week on the water cycle in another blog post coming soon.

No comments