Saturday, January 15, 2011

School For Us

Two weeks of school this year have passed already. Where does the time go? It seems to disappear so quickly!

This is what we have been doing so far. I can't say it is a full load.  But that is the joy of homeschooling I get to determine what a full load looks like for my kids.

Scripture: Old testament stories. We have gotten through to Joshua leading the 12 tribes into the promised land.  We are using some old illustrated bible stories that I remember reading when I was a child. We did enjoy reading the actual stories out of the scriptures for our Jesse Tree devotionals during December but some of the stories weren't all that familiar.  I decided to stick to the illustrated books for a little while with Ian and Henry. Sophie, Ian and I take turns reading stories aloud.

Hymn/Songs: I enjoyed learning a new hymn of song with my kids each month last fall so we are continuing this. We are learning a few new songs  at the request of my kids. We are learning the song of the books of the New Testament. Since Sophie is studying New Testament in Sunday School this year. And since the tune for this one is Praise to the Man and that is one of the songs we are supposed to learn for Primary this year. We are doing it as well. It is always funny to start Praise to the Man and end up singing the names of the books of the New Testament or vise verse.
Of course we always have to do Once there was a Snowman and Popcorn Popping for Molly too.

Logic: Mind Benders.
I have had these sitting on my shelf for a year or more and just never dug them out. I figured it was time. So we started doing one or two or sometimes 10 after our scripture and singing each morning. The kids LOVE them. I wish they had more of the younger kid ones. The A1 book is rather difficult for Ian and Henry. Even Sophie needs a lot of help with them. But I can see that each time they are getting better at figuring out the answers.

Art Appreciation: Sophie got an Art Page a Day calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Christmas. We have been taking a few minutes every day to look at the new item in the picture. I say item because so far we have had an African mask, a suit of armor, a guitar harp, a french designer's evening gown as well as a few paintings. Usually we just sit and discuss the artwork. We talk about what we notice first or what we like or don't like or even why this would be considered art. It has been a nice addition to our daily activities. I feel like we are at least looking at art since I haven't been that good about doing art study lately. One day I even assigned a writing assignment based on the picture we were looking at. I think I will save it for another post since I always seem to cram everything into one post lately. I need to space things out a little more.

Reading/Writing: The boys are still working through Explode the Code books. Ian just started book 4. He has been finding it very easy lately but I think it is good for him to do it. He spells a lot better than Sophie who didn't go through all the phonics lessons. Henry is finishing up book 1 1/2. He is reading better and better most days but the few weeks off in December were hard to come back from and he has had to really work hard to remember some of the sight words that I thought he had down. Both boys continue to also read aloud to me from a McGuffey Reader each day and narrate back what they just read.
Sophie is a work in progress.  She reads aloud to me each day from the 4th McGuffey reader now. The passages are a lot longer and harder than what she was reading in the 3rd book. I don't know exactly what I can do to help her not hate writing. One day I just had to write down 10 of the words from the passage that she read that she didn't know the meaning of. Then she had to look those 10 words up in the dictionary and write down a definition. She didn't fight me too much at this assignment. But she has thrown tantrums a number of times in the last two weeks when I have asked her to write or do copy work. She did eventually do the assignments but I just get so tired being the bad guy and forcing her to do her work.
Math: math is the one subject that goes smoothly. Ian is learning to multiply and hardly needs my help at all. He just does the next exercise in his workbook and is fine. I haven't been having Henry do math because he isn't reading well yet and I would have to sit and read each problem to him so until he can read a little better we are holding back on math. Even Sophie does her Math without complaint. O.K... without complaint may be a little bit of a stretch. She does complain about story problems or reviews. And she hates it when I have her do the practices from the textbook. But  the tantrums are sparse and don't usually last too long.

History/Science: I am lumping these together because we haven't been doing a whole lot in either to really deem it necessary to give each their own heading. We have started doing our Time Travelers unit. But as usual the kids don't love doing the writing assignments. So we have been doing the reading and discussing of the first two lessons and a little of the cutting out and pasting of things but I can't say it has been a real in depth study of the Transcontinental Railroad and the Indian Wars. I have supplemented a with a few books from the library but this certainly isn't our main focus right now. As far as science goes we have read a few biographies about Thomas Edison.  I have books to start a unit on light but just haven't gotten to them yet. We will get there eventually I am sure.

Read Aloud: We just finished listening to Half Magic in the car. The kids loved it and want to listen to it again. I liked that the kids in the story mention so many other books that they like to read. Some of them that we have read and others that the kids are now asking to find at the library. Henry really wants to get 5 Little Peppers and How they Grew since it is mentioned in the story and he has just taken a liking to that name.

One book that Sophie got for Christmas (She got a lot of good stuff for Christmas!) was Little Pilgrims Progress.  I have been surprised by how much my kids are enjoying me read aloud this book. I knew the actual John Bunyan text was a little too hard for them yet so this was a nice alternative.  They caught on very early that the King was Heavenly Father and that the good prince was Jesus and that the Wicked Prince was Satan.  They ask me to read and read and read chapter after chapter. We are actually almost finished with the book already. We are almost through the 2nd half where Christiana and her brothers and sister take their pilgrimage.  I am sure we will finish it this coming week. As long as Molly continues to take good long afternoon naps.

P.E : I don't know if you can count Wii Fit or Sports Resort  games as Physical Education but we have certainly been learning some new sports lately and working on our skateboarding, archery, bowling and and cycling with our new Wii. You can really break a sweat doing some of these games.

We have also spent some time out riding our bikes. Ian got a new bike bell for his birthday that he loves to ring as he tootles around the court. We even rode our bikes to park day this week. Molly sat in the trailer while I too rode my bike and we had a nice ride in the cool but sunny weather.

Sophie has decided she is too old for Kids Corner at the YMCA. She has been going to the Cardio and even the weight room. She likes the treadmill the best and feel like the weight room isn't quite as scary as she thought. It took me awhile to feel alright going in there too.

I think we have done a lot but most of it is just everyday living. We read and play and, thank goodness, we learn a lot each day.


Being A Mother Who Knows said...

I love learning everyday with my children. Many of your resources brought back fond memories. My littles are not littles any more and we have moved past The Explode the Code, The Mind Benders, the McGuffy Readers.... Enjoy each day teaching your children som many wonderful things. : )

Bibliophile said...

You are certainly busy! I don't know how you get everything done that you do...

aly in va said...

LOve all the pictures of the little one. Adorable!

Cellista said...

I love mind benders! I should find my old books for my oldest to use. I love all the pictures of Molly. My little one is not quite that mobile and "busy" but he's sure getting there quickly! We are very thankful for nap time.