Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011

We're still here!  Sorry it has been so long since I have posted.  I will try to do better.  I have pictures to post but that will have to wait for another day.  The boys and I all have colds and I have not had a good night sleep for three nights in a row.  So, we have just been taking it easy yesterday and today.

School is going pretty well.  We are just chugging right along in all of our subjects.  The jury is still out on math, whether we will have to drop back to K math or we will keep going with 1st grade math.  I should have a better idea and be able to make a decision within another week or two.  Their writing is coming along very nicely and I only wish I could memorize things as quickly as they do.  Reading and spelling are going very well.   We are zipping through All About Spelling Level 1 fairly quickly and I am researching what we will use next.  I am considering switching to a more workbook approach with spelling and I think we will be trying Spelling Workout, which is recommended in The Well Trained Mind.

I have also been researching how we will do science, once we are ready to start first grade work.  After looking at the different available curricula packages, I think we are going to follow The Well Trained Mind's recommendations for this also.  So, for first grade, we will be studying living things, specifically animals, the human body and plants.  We will use the DK First Animal Encyclopedia to study animals, the Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia to study the human body and Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening to study plants.  Each of these books will be our 'spine' from which we will start studying the various topics.  We will also get books on each topic from the library and we will do hands on projects, where possible.  We will do the animal study for 20 weeks, one animal per week.  I will let the boys each pick 10 animals from the table of contents and then we will make a plan how to best study each one.  We will probably make some trips to the aquarium, the zoo and the farm during this study too.  I think it will be a lot of fun and we will all enjoy it and learn a lot.  For our botany study, we will do it last, in the spring.  We were already planning to start a garden then so it will fit in quite nicely.  This book looks really great, with lots of smaller, interesting projects the boys can do too.  I'm still thinking about the human body study but we should be able to come up with some interesting ideas and doctor dad can help too.
Now I need to spend some time looking at how we will study history.  I'm pretty sure we will use Story of the World and the accompanying activity guide.  I am thinking I may also incorporate some of the first unit of Tapestry of Grace Year 1, since I have it and would like to start getting to know it a bit while the kids are young, during the Grammar Stage, before we really start using it more heavily in the Logic Stage.

I also still have to think about how we want to study art.  Our co-op is offering an art class this year but I didn't want to do that during K.  We may do it next year or I may just teach it myself at home, which would be fun too and I know I would learn a lot.  That's one of the things I really enjoy about homeschooling...that I get to learn so much too!

Also in first grade, we will start First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease.  I already have these so we can start them when we are ready.   I will have to review The Well Trained Mind again to see what I am missing but this (all of the above) is the meat of the 1st grade year, plus the math and spelling, of course.

In other news, did I mention that I have my own, adult size violin now?  Surprise!  I am really enjoying it, although we have not been practicing the last day or two, while we have been sick.  Nick has decided to start joining us for practices again and says he wants to do lessons again.  He has to practice with us for this month before I am going to sign him up again though.  So far he has done very well but the jury is still out.

The boys are really doing wonderfully in their swimming lessons.  They are pretty solid swimmers now so we may either stop their lessons in December or May, I'm not sure yet.  But it will be good to have the extra time in our schedule when they start first grade.  That's one less thing for which we have to drive into the city.

Our homeschool co-op experience has been very positive so far.  The boys are really enjoying the P.E., Zumba and choir classes.  They also rearranged the classes a bit to make them a little smaller so the boys are now with the 6 to 8 year olds, which is interesting.  They will be six so soon that I hated to put them in with the 5 and under crowd and then have to move them so soon.  The choir teacher said it was good to have them in the 6 to 8 year old class because she needed more boys and also because the younger class has children as young as 3 in it so she thought they would get more out of the older class and I agree. 

Well, the natives are becoming restless so I must sign off for now.  I will try to start posting more often and hope to have some pics up soon. 

1 comment:

Jana H said...

Oh yay! It sounds like they are doing wonderfully. I'm so glad it's going so well. And I'm glad they're enjoying Zumba. It's so great. Sorry you have colds. Will pray those go away soon. Hope to see you in October some time. Love to all. And thanks for the compliments on my room.