Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 1, 2012

There was a discussion on a forum I visit regularly about plans for 1st grade.  This is something I have been working on for a while.  The boys are older K'ers so they are currently doing 1st grade level work in the three R's.  Currently I am trying to work through (and test out) the best way to add subjects to our day with the most excitement and the least resistance (more school and less play is not always met with a cheer at this house:).

Currently we are doing the following:
-- I read aloud for probably at least 30 minutes (they always beg for more). Our current read aloud book is Little Pilgram's Progress and it is awesome.
-- Leading Little Ones to God devotion and scripture memory (one verse per week)
-- Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading: we have maybe 1 to 2 months left to finish the book. Once we are finished, I will replaced this with All About Spelling Level 1.
-- Math Mammoth 1A: We have recently started this, after spending the first semester using Right Start A and Singapore Math 1A. They did not work out for us, for various reasons but MM seems like it is going to work out well for us (at least so far). We also use some of Miquon for extra practice or a different approach to a type of problem.  For now, I am having them do 2 pages of MM a day, although they could probably do 3 because it is pretty easy for them right now, since we started back at the beginning.
-- Hand Writing without Tears Cursive / Reading: One child does a page of cursive work while the other reads aloud to me from a 4th grade Pathway Reader and then they switch. One child is stronger at writing and the other is stronger at reading so this actually works out very well for us.  The boys had already finished HWT K and 1st books this school year.  After doing some research, I decided to move them on to cursive, although they will still practice their printing with our writing program, for now.

The way we have been doing school, they are finished at this point. We usually start around 9:00 or 10:00 and they normally have snack time at the beginning of school, during our reading. The work above normally takes about 1.5 hours, although it would be closer to 2 hours if they were doing math that was more their level. Since we started at the beginning of MM 1A, it is pretty quick right now. We are schooling Monday through Thursday and go to co-op on most Fridays for P.E., choir and general play time with others. We read aloud from their Bible at bedtime and they each pick a book for us (my dh or I) to read aloud at that time also.  They are also in swimming and soccer once a week, although they will finish swim lessons in May.  Ben is still taking violin lessons so he has violin practice some days (should be every day but we are not quite that good:).  Nick would like to take piano lessons and will hopefully be able to start sometime soon-ish.

Below are the subjects we will be adding for 1st grade.  We have done a few lessons of each so I could get a feel for them:
First Language Lessons 1:  Poetry memorization, learning parts of speech and narration.
Writing With Ease 1: Copy work leading to dictation and narration.
All About Spelling 1:  We have done a lot of this but, in retrospect, I probably went through it too fast so we will start from the beginning and go through it more thoroughly.
Tapestry of Grace Year 1:  Currently studying about ancient Egypt and what it was like when Moses was growing up.  We do related read alouds, geography map work and vocab work and some type of craft project.
Noeo Biology:  These bottom two are the ones we have not done yet, although we will start science tomorrow.  I have looked through it and we will be doing read alouds from interesting books and experiments.  I have to determine where we should start since the author assumes it will be taught starting in the fall and part of the work needs to be done in the spring.
Usborne Art Treasury:  I bought all of the art supplies yesterday.  Nick is especially excited about this.

We will still school Mon through Thur, year round, taking off time as needed. For K, we have normally started school around 9:00ish or 10:00ish, depending on the day, and we are finished within 1.5 to 2 hours. When we add these new subjects, I plan to start earlier.   I will read the fun read aloud while they are eating breakfast. I think the rest of it may look like this:

Math Mammoth
All About Spelling
First Language Lessons
Writing With Ease

Snack/Play Break

Leading Little Ones to God + scripture memory
HWT Cursive/Reading

Lunch and Play Break

After lunch, we will do Tapestry Of Grace Geography or a craft/project on Mondays and Wednesdays and a Science experiment on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The boys will have time to play for a while and then we will have our quiet time, during which they will do some independent reading for 15 to 30 minutes.  Art will probably be on Saturdays or we may fit it in during the weeks we don't have a science experiment.

In addition, Ben has to practice his violin each day and Nick will (hopefully) soon have piano practice. Both boys play soccer and take swim lessons once a week.

Well, that's it!  That's the plan.  Of course, the actual and the plan do not always line up exactly so we will see how this works out.  Prayers are always appreciated!

No comments: