This year has been fairly light on the "books" buying - partly because we still have lots of last year's stuff to use up, and partly because we use Ambleside Online, and so many of those books are available free on my Kindle.
I'm doing Year 3.5 for Big Sister, since I don't think she's ready for the independence and rigors of Year 4 just yet.
I've invented "Year 1.5" for Li'l Artist, pretty much starting at the halfway point of Year 1 where we kindof fell off the bandwagon. I hope to be able to give a little more attention to her now that Baby is weaned, but we'll see how that goes! The biggest hurdle with her is attitude. *sigh* Which is probably true for most of us. :]
This year I bought:
- A set of maps - World and US - from Christian Book Distributors. WOW. I'm impressed. I've bought 'laminated' maps before, which were little more than paper posters with a sheen on the top surface - they still creased and tore terribly and didn't last long in the Land of Organique. :] These are different. They really ARE laminated! There is probably a 1/4" or more of clear plastic 'laminating' around the edges, both front and back are covered, and they're STURDY. They also look lovely, and were less than $20 for the set (Amazon sells the same things individually for $16 apiece).
- Everyday Graces, a Child's Book of Good Manners - This is by Karen Santorum, wife of former senator (?) from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum. I've only read bits, but I love that she used REAL, GOOD LITERATURE excerpts to illustrate a point or value. For instance, in "Honor your Parents," one of the stories is from the end of Princess and the Goblin, where Curdie saves everyone and especially looks out for his parents in it all. We love that story. :)
- Audubon Society Field Guide for Birds - to go with our Bug one. :)
- Some Italic Handwriting Books by Getty-Dubay. Books B and E, I believe. I'm thinking about buying the font from educationalfontware... How handy would that be???
- A Paper Trimmer from Costco, by Purple Cow. It's not the expensive self-sharpening carbon-bladed things like the school districts have, but cheap enough to make the quality worthwhile. :)
- Also from Costco, and by Purple Cow, a laminator. What a steal. For less than $20 the chore sheets are now (nearly) indestructible. :) It came with a packet of 'sleeves' and I'm quite pleased with it so far.
- Pattern Block and Tangram cards. These are a LOT bigger than I thought - full page size, instead of my imagined flash-card size. :) The kids love them already though, and I think it will be a helpful activity for Organique.
- A NICE sketchbook to serve as a Nature Notebook. And $2 cheaper than the black version when I ordered. :)
- An inexpensive (but glass!) magnifying glass. This is what the girls were most excited for out of our amazon order. :)
- Drawing Textbook, by Bruce McIntyre. This looks PERFECT for what I want to do. Very basic, 'learn to draw' lessons. It's small, but worth the $13 (including shipping) I paid.
- The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. I'm still waiting on this. :( It looks lovely, and I feel like the girls need an example of a Nature Notebook. And I'd like to read it too. :)
- A(nother) timer. I like the ones with numbered keys, as opposed to 'start/stop/clear'. This was the cheapest, and works so far. The magnet is a little wimpy, so it can't hold itself up very well, but that's okay.
- Several smoke detectors. Ahem.
- Replacement label cartridges for my P-Touch. :) I bought that little thing for about $17. It's now about $80. Not sure what happened there, but I'm glad I bought it back when I did!
And I didn't buy it, but we've become the happy new owners of a GINORMOUS chalkboard. It's 4' x 8' and fills the majority of one wall in the schoolroom. I painted over the aluminum frame with white primer, and covered the green board itself with the same color of paint we used for our 'chalkboard' doors in the schoolroom a couple years ago. It looks fantastic, but... I'm not sure it will last. I wiped away a mistake with a damp cloth (probably long before I should've used it), and tried to write again... a bit of paint tore away, so I'm not sure if it's going to make it or not. There's no way we're removing it from the wall (it weighs a LOT), so I hope any other necessary treatments can be done indoors and with no-VOC paint! :]
I'd *like* to buy another Kindle... I know, I know, how many does one Mama need, anyway?!? The thing is, that Big Sister's reading is almost *all* on the Kindle, and a majority of Little Artist's is too. We'll see how the sharing of it goes, and if we spend too much time waiting for the other one to finish or whatever, we'll look into it more.
Oh, and our best little pencil sharpener is MIA (again. Seems like always). Baby was the last seen possessor of said sharpener, so who knows when it will show up? :]
When I get the room in perfect order *guffaws* I'll take photos and post them here. :)