Old  August 15th, 2009, 9:36pm     #181
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Wow, thanks for your comments pearlleemay. Yep, 45 per class is too much for me....and I really appreciate your concern, seems you always have alot to say. Are you also homeschooling your kids or just popping in the thread for the heck of it? Perhaps another political rant? If you want to write to the State of MN and complain about public education have at it. Have fun.

Again I will ask the actual homeschoolers: What do you guy do to organize books and supplies?
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 12:31am     #182
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Whoa!!!! According to the moderator of this thread, Alaska sweeper, any none homeschoolers are suppose to stay far away!
What AlaskanSweeper actually said was that non-homeschoolers, especially childless ones, who just want to criticize and cause trouble have no good reason to be in the homeschooling support thread.

Your post gets you an F for reading comprehension, spelling, and grammatical errors. Plus you get no recess for telling a lie.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 1:16am     #183
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Again I will ask the actual homeschoolers: What do you guy do to organize books and supplies?
I use two small bookcases, bins, and small plastic storage boxes. The bins and boxes are small enough to fit on the bookshelves. I have separate ones for things like basic school supplies, math manipulatives, and art supplies. I use one or two shelves for each subject. This works well for us. My son and I can find things easily. It had been kind of an overgrown mess before I reorganized it last spring.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 3:05am     #184
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My son started Connections Academy Kindergarten. We actually start for real on Sept. 1st but have started to work on lessons and stuff. While I am a bit nervous and unsure of what is going on, I am so glad I went this route. No way could he do the 45 kid per class public school Kindergarten and the get the same quality education, and the Catholic school was out of the question. I sometimes worry that we are doing to much work. He is going into Kindergarten and can already read well, write, use a computer, and do all the beginning math. Most of his assigments are way below his level, but than others, like drawing a picture of our house with himself standing in it, are way above (he isn't into arts & crafts). I am also finding that I don't have enough space for school supplies, they are all over the place in the kitchen and driving me nuts. What do you guy do to organize books and supplies?
Wow, 45 kids is way too many for any class. There is no way kids can learn anything in a class that size.

One of the things that is nice about homeschooling is that you can spend more time on the areas that your child needs more work on and less in areas that they may be advanced. I know it can be especially hard in Kindergarten when the teacher is teaching the kids how to count to 10 and the alphabet when they are already past that stage. Our son was bored in kindergarten (except for the recess, he loved that part).

I know our son was also not good at drawing in kindergarten but was better in other areas. So when we started homeschooling my wife did certain things with him during schooling that helped him with his fine motor skills.

One thing I really thought was a great idea is everyday she will read 1 or 2 chapters from a book to him. During that time he will color from a special coloring book she or he has picked out that he can only use during that time. She also only has him use colored pencils. They are easer for him to use and look better than crayons. They do this everyday and he has become very good at drawing and looks forward to that time everyday. She also had him do one project a day that had to do with using scissors. She had some books that you can cut things out of and make something out of it.

I wouldn’t worry about doing too much to start with. As the two of you progress you will figure out how much time to spend on school each day. Some days may be more than others and you will get a feel for when he has had enough for one day. Some days will be more than other but it is a good idea to try and stay structured.

It is important to keep everything together and in the same spot all the time. When he is finished with a project have him pick up afterwards. Zip lock bags work well and a bookcase like alaskansweeper mentioned works well.

Good luck and remember to have fun!

Your son's lucky to have you as his teacher. No one else can do it as well as you!
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 4:06am     #185
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Again I will ask the actual homeschoolers: What do you guy do to organize books and supplies?
I am not a homeschooler, but I have been shopping for things for my DD's first apartment at college. We saw milk crate style cubes for $4 each the other day. They had black, white, blue and a couple other bright colors. I would get maybe 4 or 6 (depending on your needs and space) and stack the books, art supplies, paper, your teaching materials etc. in the bins. You could make tags with pictures or words to tell your child what goes in what cube or box. A three hole punch will come in handy to punch the folders or projects (such as construction paper that does not come with pre-punched holes.

They also have plastic pencil boxes on sale now, those are good for anything small. Pencils, markers, crayons or other little materials. When I worked (volunteer for several years) in a public school they used cubes for materials. They had built in wooden ones. In second grade the teacher liked to use "manipulatives" different color little blocks for the kids to use in math. You could use the little lego cubes if you want, or coins or any other small item that your child can touch, stack in piles and they can see the math problems. Some kids learn math better that way, others grasp math without them.

Another storage item might be one of the 3 drawer carts. Target had them for $8 on the college sales. They might be a good place to store your teaching supplies. Target gets a lot of special items for the college sales. They are seasonal and they are marked down as soon as the college starts (Sept. 1 for my DD) Keep watch on that area for bargains coming up soon. Last year they marked small scissors down to 13 cents on final clearance. You might want to get a stack of notebooks and folders. Give the child a color for a subject. They can keep assignments in the folders. Kids liked to make books. We had a spiral ring binder and punch. You could do a book with the report covers and those plastic spines. We would collect things for the permanent file. They had a sturdy binder that could hold the folders, a cassette tape of the child reading that was added to each year. One of my jobs was to take each child to the library and they read a sample for the tape. That was part of the permanent record. I don't know if you need that, someone else can let you know if you need to submit that to show progress. If you don't have a file drawer to store completed work, paper boxes work well for that. Most office supply stores give away boxes when they stock the shelves.

Even though I was in a public school I did see what worked and what did not. With two kids I was at the schools for about 7 years. The principal wanted me to substitute teach, I preferred to volunteer. If your child has problems with cutting, pasting and coloring you might want to get his vision screened. My son had a little difficulty coloring in the lines and cutting. He ended up needing glasses. Schools also do free screenings for hearing. You can call them to find out when they are doing them at your school. They will screen your child too (at least our school did that).
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 8:43am     #186
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Thank you all for the great suggestions (and the chuckle AlaskanSweeper). In MN its a law that all kids have to be screened before Kindergarten, so we have done all the screenings and stuff, that was when the decision to homeschool thru Connections was first made. So far I love it. I add in a bit of crafty stuff everyday to try and get him a bit more into finger painting, cutting, pasting, etc... Its amazing to watch him grow so much daily. His handwriting is better than most adults I know.

I am glad you started this thread Ron. It is nice to have a place I can ask for ideas or get advice from some of you seasoned pros.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 11:34am     #187
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Originally Posted by mnsteph View Post
Again I will ask the actual homeschoolers: What do you guy do to organize books and supplies?
Homeschooling will take over your house whether you like it or not, LOL. We have our actual school books in plastic crates (we use a curriculum from Sonlight) but there are pencils/pens/paper/etc all over in various places. We already had bookshelves in every room of the house (except bathrooms/kitchen) so having more books and stuff everywhere doesn't seem strange for us.

IMO for kindergarten you should be pretty laid back. They are still so young and there's no need to force a rigid curriculum structure. So don't worry too much if there are things he isn't getting and if there's too much work don't feel bad about dialing it back a notch.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 1:43pm     #188
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If your child has problems with cutting, pasting and coloring you might want to get his vision screened. My son had a little difficulty coloring in the lines and cutting. He ended up needing glasses. Schools also do free screenings for hearing. You can call them to find out when they are doing them at your school. They will screen your child too (at least our school did that).
We had our son's kindergarten teacher bring up his cutting skills or lack of. I asked them if they were letting him use left-handed scissors, you know he is left-handed? They said no they hadn't thought of that

He also went back and forth using both hands through kindergarten and 1st grade. We had the school specialist examine him and she said he was definitely left handed and she told the teacher to make sure to stress on him to use his left hand which didn't happen.

This was one of the big things my wife worked on with him when she started Homeschooling him and now he only writes and draws with his left hand and has great hand writing. He never would have gotten this extra attention in school.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 2:03pm     #189
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I would like to thank my wife for her dedication to our sons education. Our son had to take the "Standard Based Assessment" that is required by the state to comply with “The No Child Left Behind” act, for the first time (3rd grade).

Our son scored in the highest level possible in all three categories that they test in, Math, Reading, and Writing

Great job Wife and Son! I know you were worried about it when you started homeschooling but you have done a great job as usual. And our son is much better off for it!
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 2:03pm     #190
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His handwriting is better than most adults I know.
My son never liked (still does not and he graduated with a bachelor degree in April) to write by hand. Part of that was being lazy. By second grade he was typing all his homework except math on the computer and he could type really fast by 4th grade. His teachers allowed this because it looks so nice. Now I wonder if they/we should have insisted he write things out. His handwriting is legible but not pretty. The pros of him using the computer so much is that he is expert in all the Microsoft office programs and also Photoshop.

In the early grades they did a lot of reading a story about a subject, coloring a page or making a project to go along with the story. That is something you can do at home too. Our school district has a big teacher workroom that anyone can use. I would sometimes take big batches of laminating there, do it myself and pay by the foot. It was inexpensive and since it was for an after school group it was easier. High Schools don't have laminators here, they send things to the Elementary School. They had many other things available too. You could see if that is available where you live if you ever need it. They had a teacher supply store there too onsite.

Ron C, one of the best things about being a tutor and working one on one with the kids who needed it was knowing they would catch up with the others due to someone taking the time to help them. The range of abilities in a class was huge. I was asked to work with the ones who were far behind in reading and math. It was great to see that a particular student would catch up and no longer need me.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 2:15pm     #191
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Thanks again guys. I am off to Target to pick up some bins and a few corkboards. We have always had stacks of books everywhere, its the finger paints, glue sticks, crayon towers, and assorted other art supplies and practice books that are getting a tad bit out of control. I have to keep the actual curriculum books in a safe place just in case his little sister decides she wants to help her big brother. Teaching him at home has been very beneficial to her, she works right along with us for a little bit each day. She loves "going to school".

I was able to pick up stickers rolls with various characters like Nemo and Madagascar at Oriental Trading for really cheap which I have been using as rewards for good work. It actually works quite well. Anyway, I appreciate all your advice and stories. I am very happy and excited about how things are going so far.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 2:44pm     #192
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Since you have a younger child you might need some of those Sterlite storage bins with snap on lids. They are a little difficult to open for a young child and you could put them away where she won't get into them. You will need to be more creative in your storage with a little one around. You can also pick up the cubes you need to childproof and turn them to the wall when school is done.

Someday you might want to do pudding fingerpainting with both kids. They can eat any extra and while it is very messy it is non-toxic.
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 3:00pm     #193
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I second the milk crate suggestion. We picked up a few of those. I also took a couple of dresser drawers in the spare bedroom and am storing some workbooks and what not in there. Stuff I dont need right away. I also have a few wire racks up in my attic with new art supplies on them. I cant resist the back to school deals and probably have way too much but with (soon to be) four kids who are little, we will use it. Those racks, we got at various retail and grocery stores. Racks the stores were tossing in the trash. We asked and as long as we hauled them we were told to take them.

I also saw or read an idea about storing completed artwork etc... Wish I could credit where I saw the idea as it isnt mine but will pass it along. Take an empty, clean, take out pizza box and use one for each child. The boxes stack neatly and hold quite a bit. Your kids can even decorate the outside of them if they want. Just a thought...

We are currently homeschooling our 5yo. She turns 6 next week but we are doing K this year. We have already started schooling for the year as I am due with her little brother in a couple of weeks. I figured if we started early we could take a couple of weeks off if need be.

My biggest challenge thus far is working with her and keeping her little sister and brother occupied at the same time.

Anyone else struggle with little ones and their older siblings schooling? What is your secret?
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  Old  August 16th, 2009, 3:38pm     #194
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hi ..

i am all in support of home schooling but some days kids do need some strature ..
is there any middle ground ..
my eldest one has just joined the school .

thanks..

I think I need schooled- what does "Strature" mean?
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  Old  August 17th, 2009, 12:14am     #195
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Ron C, one of the best things about being a tutor and working one on one with the kids who needed it was knowing they would catch up with the others due to someone taking the time to help them. The range of abilities in a class was huge. I was asked to work with the ones who were far behind in reading and math. It was great to see that a particular student would catch up and no longer need me.
I think it's great that you help out in the schools, they can use all the parent volunteers they can get. It is also a great way to see what goes on in the classroom.

I used to go to my sons class once a week when he was in school and teach math to the 1rst graders. My son was in a multi level class 1st-3rd and while I was helping the 1st graders the teacher would be working with the 2nd and 3rd graders.
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