Thursday, September 15, 2011

more of what we're using this year

Literature & Unit Studies

Five in a Row is our main lit curriculum which touches on a lot of the other subjects as well. We are rowing some books from Volume 1 again as well as using Volumes 2 & 3, and "rowing" unofficial fiar-like books that also work well for the same method. We recently started a local co-op built around this. We will meet monthly and read one of the same books and the kids will share their projects, lapbooks or experiences from these weeks at our meetings. 

We read chapter books as a read aloud, and W reads independently as well. W has read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, and some other unit studies we are planning for this year include By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Samuel Eaton’s Day by Kate Waters/ a Pilgrim unit for this fall, a Flat Stanley unit (postcard/writing projects), Astronomy science tie in with the book The Night Sky/ with a project on Constellations, Homer Price by Robert McCloskey, and this will get us up through fall/winter hopefully. We may work in another A.A. Milne book but I will give W choices.

Grammar, Spelling & Writing
For Grammar I like Ruth Heller’s World of Language series including Kites Sail High (Verbs), Many Luscious Lollipops (Adjectives) and Merry-Go-Round (Nouns). We have a variety of workbooks and still haven’t found the perfect fit for writing. W needs to get into the habit of writing more letters; he will write notes or the occasional thank-you card, but I think that would help his penmanship and spelling. In Pennsylvania we picked up a Pentime workbook which is what Amish schools use to teach writing, but it is almost a painful activity for him right now. He also has Hooked On Spelling workbooks which he breezes through but I am not sure how much he really gets out of them. We have an Usborne Spelling Puzzles book (Meet the Ogs) which he likes as it has an entertaining approach.

Spiritual Education
Our family lists three things we were thankful for each day at supper time; this is a nice way to reflect on the day and share our experiences with each other. W started church school again on Sunday so he was happy to see his church friends again and he learned about Moses “when he was grown up” this week. At least he is starting to remember bits and pieces to tell me what they’re working on. I will be the Sunday School teacher for the younger group in October, so I will have to look at the curriculum soon and start planning some activities. The Story of the World which we are using for history also covers some Biblical stories.


Along with nature journaling, several times a week W and C paint in a variety of mediums (watercolors, acrylics, fingerpaints), use markers, colored pencils, crayons, and sometimes make things with modeling clay/playdough. W loved his visit to the MFA in the spring so I would like to expose him to more museums gradually, hopefully we’ll get to one this year.

This year I want to make it more of a regular part of our week, so we have Muzzy French, and the book First Thousand Words in French along with some other supplement books. We also have a couple of Spanish resources. It may be better to focus on French but I do want to touch on some basic words in Spanish as well.

W has boundless energy and loves to play outside and especially swinging on the swing set. He is working on his coordination but I think his new glasses have helped him and will continue to do so as his sight gets corrected. We have yoga dvds for the wintertime months which we will focus on when we can’t get outside as much, and I am exploring the options for a karate class as I think it would help W with focusing better and also be really fun for him.

Home Economics/ Life Skills

W enjoys cooking with me and helps with cracking eggs, stirring, and measuring things. Basically anything that doesn’t involve direct oven use or sharp knives. We have some kid cookbooks with simple recipes. He was actively involved in the gardening process and helped pick the carrots and lettuce that he planted seeds for. We haven’t implemented any chore based allowance system but that is something to think about now that he is learning about money. W did some simple sewing last year with our book club group, so if he expressed more interest the winter might be a good time to work on these kinds of crafts.

Next time we'll focus on C and pre-pre-k. :) I promise that post won't be this long!

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