Thursday, August 08, 2013

{Box Day & Learning Spaces}


Oh my goodness, I cannot believe that it’s already time for school to begin. I had originally planned to start in September but yesterday was box day at our house, and anyone who homeschools knows that box day is FANTASTIC, the big mail truck comes and the postman brings you 9 million boxes from various places and your little people are all crowded around you jumping for joy to see what is in those boxes, and you are just as excited because it’s like Christmas in July, err August and once you open those boxes the house is full of the smell of cardboard boxes and new book smell and tons of talking and laughter from everyone, it’s a cherished moment amongst us homeschooling families.

Our boxes arrived via Fed-Ex yesterday afternoon during quiet time, I was too excited to wait to unpack them with the kids all around so I started unpacking everything and organizing it all, once I was done I showed the kids each their new school stuff. They were so THRILLED. It was great moment. Gaby our 3rd grader has some struggling in math, she looked at the book from Teaching Textbooks and was thrilled because it was so easily laid out and explained, she told me that was the one thing she was worried about for this year, now she is excited to see how it goes using another math curricula. Andrew is our 1st grader and was amazed at all the new books, he couldn’t believe they were all his to use. Isaiah our Pre-K boy was more excited about all the manipulatives in his brothers box, he thought they were toys and he is somewhat right, they are learning toys, he them jumped at the books!
Oliver our youngest at 18 months old was too excited about all the boxes and packing paper, he has a blast messing in it all. Obviously the kids first impressions were full excitement and joy and ready to begin the first days of school.

Now for Mom’s first impressions of Sonlight:

I was extremely excited for our boxes to arrive yesterday, it was literally like a kid in the candy store. When the mail truck pulled up I couldn’t wait to open those boxes and see what all came in them. We had a load of 4 boxes, they were all super heavy due to the books and materials, expected. I lugged all 4 boxes down to our learning space in the basement and opened each one with such excitement. I was so impressed with the book titles that are provided with Sonlight, they are all really good books and will be greatly loved by each of my children. I like the mixture of books that are included its’ not too much of one genre it’s a nice collection.  I was curious to see how the maths looked for my 3rd and 1st graders, we have previously used Singapore and both of my kids disliked it and I didn’t like the teaching style, however for our 3rd grader as I mentioned above she got Teaching Textbooks, my first impressions of this program are that its going to go great, it will really help her in the simplicity department and yet still teach her what she needs to know. I like that is laid out nicely and not overpowering. In Horizons Math 1 I flipped through it last night and it looks good for my boy. I think he will do well with it. I like that its Christian, and I know that he will grasp it like he does most anything. Another thing I was a bit curious about was the Instructors Guides (IG’s) I wasn’t sure how well they would be laid out, but let me say this, it’s one of the most easiest guides to follow, its laid out by week/day and everything you need to do or teach about is there, you don’t have to flip through a million things and find this or that, it’s just right there, very easy to use from what I see.

Overall the items in the boxes are very good quality, you get a ton of stuff because it will last you through the year. I am impressed by this curriculum so far because it’s a box curriculum which I hear are not very good in certain areas verse others, but so far I don’t have a negative about Sonlight. I think it’s a great curriculum, and I wish I would have started my homeschooling journey using it to begin with! 

Our Boxes Arrived in the Early Afternoon!

After Unpacking, Olivers blanket is among the boxes and paper!


Here you have our white boards, my chair, and a dresser that I repainted to use for housing my stuff ie: Instructors Guides, white board markers, cleaner, flash cards, and card games for the kids. Above the white boards I placed quotes from Dr. Seuss in dollar store frames that I had laying around the house from other projects.



This is the only actual wall in the basement, all other walls minus the one the fireplace is on are cement, so anything that needs hanging has to go on this wall. I placed our US and World Maps, along with color, alphabet, and hundreds charts on this wall along with some of the kids artwork from last year. We also have a tv, books, small train set and blocks on this wall for the kids to play with during school days. 


Here you have the boys desks, on the left you have Andrews desk and on the right is Isaiahs desk. They each have a black bookcase that I purchased last year from Wal-Mart, I believe for about $15 to house their school materials and books. 


This is Gaby's desk, she has a old school chair that I picked up from a yard sale 2 summers ago and a desk I got from Wal-Mart for I think $35, and she has the same bookcase the boys have to house all her school materials and supplies for the year.


Somewhat upclose photo of Andrews Bookcase, the top has his main subjects, the middle is all the books he got, and the bottom is math manipulatives and science kits.


Upclose of Gaby's bookshelf, same as Andrews in lay out, top is all main subjects, middle is books, and the bottom for her is just science kits. 

Somewhat upclose of Isaiahs bookshelf, he has all his main subjects up top, the middle is just books, and the bottom is currently empty, but dont worry I plan to fill that with some activity boxes for him to do since he is very much a hands on learner! I will share those in another post for you guys!



And here you have our other little learners, our fish. These are my husbands babies as I like to call them, there are 4 fish in here and are the originals to the tank since we got it a few months ago, we have tried adding other but lost them, so we are stuck with the 4 we started with, all are goldfish. 

Now that you have seen our base learning area, I want to let you know that the basis of homeschooling is home, we use our whole house for learning, if we are downstairs I tend to do laundry while the kids are doing things, I go over my daughters room too. If we feel like doing things in the living room then that is where we go. I have a 1yo son who is at the stage of running all around the house, so that is one adventure in the day all in and of itself, he needs that time to learn too, and he loves exploring things, so any room can serve as a learning space, that is one of the best things about homeschooling!

If your interested in Sonlight you can visit their site, if your interested in seeing a 3 week sample you can go HERE. I hope everyone else has as much fun on their box day as we did, happy homeschooling from our home to yours! 

2 comments:

  1. Glad everyone is excited about their new materials...and the whiteboard corner in the house is very nice looking. :)

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  2. Thank you Blondee, miss hearing from you, I hope you will post more on your blog, miss your updates. And the white board area is my favorite spot, it has a chair lol(: I love gathering there with the kids in the mornings going over our plans for the day and doing circle time with them, Gaby wont be doing it this year but the boys and I will still be gathering there for some fun!

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