Organized Simplicity...Education is a Life

Part Four of our Organized Simplicity Series from our guest blogger, Shelley Hurley.

From Our Story in Progress Blog:
Education is a Life...Mornings

As I continue to meditate on Organized Simplicity, I find myself seeking more intentional schooling. I can look back over the conferences I have attended, webinars I have participated in, and books I have read I see that this is what God has been preparing in me for a while...intentional schooling! With that said, I thought I would share the evolution of our typical school day. 

This is mainly what the later half of our week looks like. On Monday we host a co-op here in our home and I try to stick to the idea of the schedule but am realistic enough to know that things happen and that my schedule is meant to be my guide not my dictator. On Tuesdays we are out of the home for a different co-op and after school activities.

We begin our morning with dictation. 
I use the Well-Planned Day for our choices. 
I do love that planner!
After dictating the selection, we read over it again and punctuate the sentence. 
This is where we briefly discuss grammar. We will get more grammar during writing.

This is my youngest's handwriting book.
He copies an English proverb in cursive and then practices saying & writing phonograms.
The Thinking Toolbox: Thirty-five Lessons That Will Build Your Reasoning Skills
In order to give our hands a break, we switch gears and read aloud a lesson.
Math-U-See / Gamma Teacher Kit (Complete Kit)Math-U-See Pre-Algebra Teacher Kit (Complete Kit)CalcuLadder 2: Advanced Addition & Subtraction, Basic Multiplication (A Learning Vitamins Unit)
After our Thinking Toolbox lesson, we pull out our respective math lessons and work quietly.
Sometimes I will turn on a Pandora playlist depending on our mood!

Then on to my favorite subjects. 
Honestly I could spend hours here and try really hard not to be overwhelming.
I let Tapestry of Grace "drive" the subject

We read a variety of books and work in our Century Charts or History notebooks
In this picture, my youngest is reading Story of the World while listening to the CD
Once again, Tapestry of Grace is my resource for Literature study.
I find that the pace is a little ambitious for our family so we do slow things down a bit.
Planning helps in this area. 
I have also been having great success with the Go!Chart and like pulling this out on occasion.

One area of weakness I have is science. 
Knowing this about me, we have chosen to seek co ops that offer the sciences.
During the week, each one works on the reading and labs and/or activities are done in co op. 
This has been a great help

This is the core of our year. We have languages, music study, art study, etc. but these are not daily activities and so they are interspersed throughout the week. 
We also have books we read and our Bible study time before school or in the evenings.
Each year our typical day looks a little different as our needs and schedules change. Only recently have I been able to turn over the responsibility of driving the older ones to their work and activities. This has certainly helped to keep the atmosphere of our day in order. I try very hard to guard our calendar and truly pray over our long-term commitments. Each year has different priorities and goals. I am enjoying our mornings quite a bit more but a huge part of that is being prepared myself. It is not enough to say you want to live simplistically. I think the other part of that must be organization. When things become crazy I still have a plan. I still have a system that I can rely on with minimal effort. I am truly enjoying seeing all the threads of my life weaving together and am finding great peace in knowing the God has been the one behind it all. I am finding great joy in my mornings!

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