I am so excited to share a new project with you! My friend Vicki from The Vicki Arnold Blog and I have spent the past few weeks brainstorming ways to find balance while homeschooling multi-age children. Homeschooling often feels overwhelming in the beginning when you consider everything you want to teach your child. This year our focus is on just one thing: the alphabet! Vicki and I have big plans for 2014 to bring you resource lists, free alphabet printables, lesson plans, and a healthy dose of real life homeschooling.
Over the past month, I’ve had Bebop and Magoo help me plan themes, activities and crafts for each letter. We looked through other blogs and have been collecting our favorite ideas on pinterest. The original plan was to post our wrap up for the letter Aa today. I have a whole file box of ideas ready for my boys and they couldn’t have been less interested in doing school this week! Instead, I’d like to show you our set up at the beginning of this adventure and how I plan to stay organized.
My system is in two parts. One is large plastic file box with hanging files. I went through all the recycled printables from when I introduced the alphabet to Bebop and filed according to the appropriate letter so I can use them with Magoo. I also added the prewriting and handwriting practice sheets that Bebop still uses occasionally. I keep this file box in the closet in our school room and only pull out the file for our focus letter. There are also a few extra files in the back where I keep whole alphabet activities (like our ABC puzzles) filed.
The second part of the system is a set of homemade alphabet soup cans (see the close up in the top photo). I used large 28oz cans, most from crushed tomatoes, because our flash cards fit inside. My can opener leaves a clean edge, making this the perfect recycled container for the boys to play with. I am in the process of painting the cans in rainbow colors using acrylic craft paint and an acrylic sealant. Each can has a custom label made with my trusty label maker, which was also used to label the folders in my file box. As I finish the cans, I’m sorting our alphabet flash cards, letter tiles, and other trinkets into the appropriate cans to make miniature sensory boxes for each letter. Everything is set up and ready to go! Hopefully next week my boys will be ready to explore the alphabet.
We will be focused on each letter for two weeks, alternating between a letter wrap up and featuring a whole alphabet activity. Head over to the Vicki Arnold Blog for her A is for Airplane Reading List and free printable prewriting sheets.
A few favorite products from my affiliates:
File Box – I’ve had two of these file boxes for over a year. The boys climb all over them and so far I do not see any damage. They often go on sale at staples for under $10.
Can Opener – This is very similar to the one we use.
Acrylic Paint – I buy my paint at either Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Then often go on sale under a dollar for the smaller bottle.
Acrylic Spray Sealant – I’ve used several brands and the modge podge is the best at even coverage. It takes several coats to create a shiny, chip resistant finish.