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The beginning of this school year has been rather stressful for our family.  We have spent the summer getting our house ready to sell and packing up our belongings so that we can move.  The only problem is, the new school year has arrived and we haven’t moved.  So here we are, caught without school supplies or books because they’re languishing in storage.  It isn’t really feasible to dig the boxes out because we have a large unit and I don’t even know where they are.

The night before we were supposed to start school, I made a trip to Walmart, hoping to find some inspiration there.  (Can you tell I was feeling a little desperate?)

Supplies 2016 - 3

I found a few things there:

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They also had a medium-sized dry-erase board which we’ll use for many different things.

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In their clearance section there were some simpler cross-stitch patterns.  I think the three eldest should be able to handle these.

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Finally, I picked out birdhouses, brushes and paint from their craft section.  I’m sure the kids will enjoy this activity!

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I got a Sony camera and bag for my eldest, who’s shown an interest in photography.  We got a fractions workbook for the 9-year-old at Imagination Station.  My mom dropped off notebooks the last time she visited, which will come in handy for many uses.  Each child will use their own notebook for:

  • recording spelling lists
  • writing
  • recording scientific observations
  • scratch paper for math problems

Supplies 2016 - 1

I also took the kids to BAM and let each of them pick out an educational book to use this year:

McGraw-Hill Education: Math Grade 6
DK Eyewitness Books: Hurricane & Tornado
Rocks, Minerals & Gems
Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body
Little Box of Crystals and GemsHuman Body: A Visual Encyclopedia (I forgot to include this in the photo)

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We started off by listing the subjects to be covered and how often they would occur each week.  The youngest child is just starting kindergarten, so her load will be lighter.  The kids then copied the list onto their own sheet of paper.  They keep track of what they finish each week using tick marks.

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The board is a great place to display the weekly writing prompt.  The kids can write their response in their notebook.  Younger kids can draw a picture and dictate their story to you.

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Here you can see our weekly spelling list on the whiteboard. I chose words based on those I noticed the kids had misspelled.  On the sheet of paper you can see our list of potential field trips.  I asked the kids to brainstorm ideas and had the eldest write them down while I left to complete a chore.  They did really well working together.

That’s it–the beginning of our school year.  It’s been less than ideal, what with all of the uncertainties and upheaval in our life right now, but I think we’ve dealt with it okay.

How has the beginning of your school year been so far?

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