Rothacher Academy 2017/18: curriculum and organizing the entire Year

Yesterday I *started* the next steps in the process of planning, sorting, and organizing our entire school year.


One of the first and scariest questions people ask when they find out we homeschool is, "what curriculum do you use?" Sigh.
For some this might be an easy question but for me, it's untangled with guilt, defensiveness, weight, and a long pause.

We use ... whatever. Due to finances, too many options, different learning systems, and my tendency to over analyze things-

  • We use things people have given us and Recommended.
  • We use cheap, all-inclusive but sparse workbooks, usually from SAMs Club- great for getting an idea of what basics are expected at each grade level yet sometimes a little low on leveling.
  • We use free printable materials found online.
  • We use books, field trips, and life.
  • We use/create/do lots of unit studies.

I've pictured what I currently have for each child as well as what we [three oldest] will be doing together.

We just had our Vilonia Homeschool Coop planning meeting for the year. We brought all our ideas for field trips, educational tours, holiday parties, and seasonal meet-ups. The first thing I did in planning our Rothacher Academy school year was mark down in my planner when those coop meetings were likely happening.

Then I started on the first week in September and numbered out our weeks of school, skipping the weeks for holidays or busy weeks we'll need a break. That way I knew which folder to plan holiday until studies. I also add each child's activities {and times}. Everyone in the house has an assigned color so I just use that color pen to save space by eliminating the names. VHC field trips are penciled in until confirmed times/dates. 

These are the workbooks I will tear the pages out of and divide up among the weeks. I make sure to include each subject each week but not necessarily for each page. We tend to do school work 3-4 days a week.

The Daily Language workbooks were found at Mardel's in the clearance section. The Comprehensive Curriculum workbooks was found at SAMs Club. Hooked on Phonics set was found on an online yard sale via Facebook.
The Multiplication Wipe-Clean Workbook was found on Rainbow Resource Center in the clearance section. Teaching Textbooks Math 5 {cd rom set only} was found NEW on Ebay.

Story of the World was found at a used homeschool book sale in South Carolina by my SIL. The audio cds {we have the entire set of 4} were found cheapest on Rainbow Resource Center along with the planets coloring workbook via their clearance section. Spelling Connections has an entire kit and came from a friend who did K12 online public school but no longer needed this.  Just Write was either given to us or I found it on sale on Amazon.

Along with these, I also find lots of fun, often FREE printable materials online via blogs I've found on Facebook or Pinterest. I also utilize Teachers Pay Teachers, Typing.com, and only use educational FREE apps for the kids 20 minutes of iPad time each day.

I use these folders to always have something ready for the week. Ideally, I will lesson plan weekly, adding to each thing or preparing lessons but in case...life, I have a basic plan ready for each week. I pull it out and place it into their baskets where their history binders and other books are stored. They grab them each morning after morning chores, daily chores, breakfast, table chores, and activity classes at the public schools and get to work. Most days, we finish before lunch after a couple of hours of working.

How do you try to organize your homeschool to keep everything/one moving? Are you like me, modge podge curriculum or do you do a specific all-inclusive one?

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Be THAT Neighbor

My big girls have been begging to play in the side yard so they could climb the tree. I agreed they could IF they did a bit of yard work for $1 each. Last night and this afternoon, they've been hard at work.

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I am so thankful for a safe neighborhood with sweet, caring neighbors who help me look after my #lotsoflittles and don't scold me for parenting how I see fit.

Be THAT neighbor. Supporting. Encouraging. Ring the door bell, don't call the cops. Have quick but meaningful chats in the yard. Giggle at bikes left in the wrong driveway. Swoon over how fast kids grow. Memorize names. Care. <3

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Childhood in the 20-teens

I wonder what my kids will call growing up in this era? Turn of the century? Whatever they call it, I hope that it seems set apart, different, and more magical than what their "generation" will be named for.

I don't want them to have a 50s childhood where they remember nickers and colared shirts. I don't want them to be a 60s-70s childhood that may have been great but tainted by a a wild culture shift. I don't want them to be an 80s-90s-or even 2000 childhood like I had. I want them to have beautiful, creative, fun, worth-while aspects of all those that God can use to shape how He wants to use them for His glory.

#childhood in both its extremes:
Three big #treeclimbers set free in the side yard before lunch aaaaaand....

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#pouting preschooler who wasn't given that much freedom just yet. At least hers cute and says things like, "My wanna go out dare." and "It hot; I can wear my tiny pants [aka shorts]!"
#realness #motherhood

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About #realness and Being a Cog

This seems to be my personality lately:

Not nearly the woman, wife, mom, Christ follower I'd hoped to be at this stage in my life.
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This morning I just knew today would be great. I could totally accomplish the simple list that needed to be tackled for the day. I accidentally hit a button on messgenger that had me taking selfies with flowers that air brushed me and covered my "5 head" with cute flowers. Then life.
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Spurts of energy and high aspirations have me signing up for co-op meet-ups, open houses, topical Homeschool lessons, museum outings, and more.
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Then reality hits hard, 6 kids daily needs add up, I remember I'm exhausted by interaction [even just my family], my body is getting older, my mental capacity can't keep up with my well intended service, and all I want to do is write, or close my eyes to make the head ache stop.
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God is trying to rewrite this story I had written so deep in me. What I thought was my fairytale, happy ending, no-really-I-have-my-life-all-together novel.
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The #realness is--> I, my friends, do not have an airbrushed life. I am a cog.
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A worn down, rusty, not very large, seemingly insignificant cog, yet vital part of whatever awesomeness God is working for HIS STORY. His fairytale. His happy ending. His, you'll-never-have-it-together-but-I-always-do novel.

 

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see that tiny purple piece inside the orange one? that's me--> tiny cog

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March Earring of the Month

March Earring of the Month!

These cool Mafie black leather and aluminum earrings were made by at 2nd Story Goods in Haiti. Have you ever wanted an inside look of what goes on with our artisan partners?
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Do you want to meet Mafie, the artisan these fun earrings were named after?
2nd Story Goods made a video while they were inspecting these earrings, and @fair_trade_friday shared it on their Facebook page. Check it out!
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#fairtradefridayclub #changetheworldlookgooddoingit#mercyhouseglobal

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