Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reading Journal - October

Oct 1

Oct 6

chapter 4

Oct 10

chapter 5

Oct 13

pages 1 - 32

Oct 20

pages 33 - 64

Oct 21

chapters 1 - 2

Oct 22

chapters 3 - 4

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reading Journal - September

Fall Quarter 2008

Sept 29

Sept 30

chapter 3

Fall Quarter 2008

This is obviously very similar to the Summer 2008 Quarter. We aren't adding any new subjects this year, so this is basically just a rearrangement of our previous schedule.

    Second Grade
  • *read aloud one chapter, story, or small book for approximately 15 minutes a day, 4+ days per week
  • *Language/Grammar: First Language Lessons, 4 days per week
  • *Math: Singapore Primary Math 2B, 4 days per week
  • *History: Story of the World: Volume 1, The Ancients with Activity Guide and lots of library books; 3 to 4 days per week
  • *Science: Singapore MPH Science 4A/B, 2 days per week
  • *Physical Education: Park Day, 1 day per week; Gymnastics, 1 day per week; Soccer (through mid-October), 2 days per week
  • *Social Studies: 4-H, 1 day per month; life, tv, internet, conversation, as encountered
  • *Fine Arts: Themes to Remember: Volume 1 supplemented with music from Classical Archives, 1+ day per week; theatrical performances at the Wells Fargo Center, 1 day per month (on average); ballets performed by the PCB and others, 2 or 3 shows per quarter; life, tv, internet, library, museums, as encountered
  • *Practical Arts: 4-H arts & crafts projects (including puppetry, historic American crafts, and origami), 2 to 3 times per month

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Quarter 2008

Please forgive the fact that I skipped any mention of the Winter 2007/08 and Spring 2008 Quarters. They were not much different than Fall 2007... just less of the same. ;) But now it is a new year and I need to seriously think of our plans. So without further ado...

    Second Grade
  • *Phonics: finish last dozen lessons in The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, 4 days per week; read aloud 15 minutes a day, 4+ days per week
  • *Language/Grammar: First Language Lessons, 4 days per week
  • *Math: Singapore Primary Math 2B, 4 days per week
  • *History: Story of the World: Volume 1, The Ancients with Activity Guide and lots of library books; 3 to 4 days per week
  • *Science: Singapore MPH Science 4A/B, 2 days per week
  • *Physical Education: Park Day, 1 day per week; Explore Our Community (park day friends out in the world trying out some new fun things like swimming and hiking over the summer), 1 day per week; Gymnastics, 1 day per week; Golf Camp, one week (5 half days) in July; Soccer (starting in August), 2 days per week
  • *Social Studies: life, tv, internet, conversation, as encountered
  • *Art & Music: life, tv, internet, library, museums, as encountered

  • *Lentil Science
  • *PlayDoh
  • *Cuisenaire Rods
  • *PBS Kids Sprout
  • *library books & videos
  • *whatever works to keep him entertained and out of the way! ;)

We school year round, taking breaks as needed. Spring Quarter seemed to have more needed breaks than usual due to my pregnancy exhaustion. The goal of the Summer Quarter is to get back on track and ease back into a regular schedule for Fall. We'll see what works and what doesn't, where we need to add things or take them away. We will end the Summer Quarter 2008 with a New Baby, so that will shake things up yet again. Hopefully our routines will be set though and we will be able to get back to things as soon as possible. I know from experience that an infant is much easier to homeschool with than a toddler. ;)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Writing Assignment

Actually an "oral story-telling" assignment to compose a "Story About Me." It could be fiction or non-fiction and story prompts were given if needed, but Cameron had no problem coming up with this. (I did help a bit with the last two sentences though.)

Cameron's Story About Games

Once upon a time, I was playing chess for my first time. I did not beat Daddy. Another time, I played chess against Cassie and Cassia won! Another day I played Daddy again and I got really close to beating him but I didn't. Another time I played Monopoly with Mommy. I also play backgammon with Mommy. Another time I played checkers with Cassie. I like to play games with my family. I can't wait until Greyson can play games with my family and me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thinking "Aloud" about our History Cycle

Time to do a little rethinking here. I had always planned on following WTM and cycling through History in 4-yr cycles hitting each topic three times over the course of a twelve year education: Ancients (1st, 5th, 9th); Medieval-Early Renaissance (2nd, 6th, 10th); Late Renaissance-Early Modern (3rd, 7th, 11th); and Modern (4th, 8th, 12th). I've always had a bit of a pang with this anyway because since Cassia is listening in and participating in The Ancients in her Pre/K4 year. I'm not going to start all over again for her in two years when she's 6 and officially in 1st grade. That would be silly. And then what about Greyson and anyone else who might come along?

I finally decided to relax a bit on the strict year divisions and just cycle through the years as we came to them, folding in whoever is interested at the time. That leaves the History Cycles starting as follows:

  • Cameron: 1st, 5th, and 9th
  • Cassia: K4, 3rd, and 7th with two years at the end of high school to either explore her own interests or to stay on track with the youngers with a more intense study of the first two time periods.
  • Greyson: K5, 4th, and 8th and one year left over to do the above
  • Homeschooler-Under-Construction (yes, we are officially TTC so assuming all goes as planned...): PreK3 (though I doubt there would be much interest or activity), 2nd, 6th, and 10th but having to condense the whole thing into 3 years but also with having been exposed to everything 4 times instead of just three.

Wow, that puts me to the year 2025! Talk about long term planning, lol.

But that was the old plan. I'm finding that we are progressing rather slowly through History. Much more slowly than I had anticipated. Double slow, in fact. When I first received our copy of SOTW, I broke it down: 94 stories, 42 chapters, 315 pgs. Assuming a 40 wk school year, that left me to do approximately seven and a half pages or one or two chapters a week. Mmm hmmm. We've been averaging a chapter every two weeks. According to my roughing out of the chapters, we should be starting the Early Greeks next week. It says right there, Dec 17 (which was my scheduled break for Christmas time), be done with Chapter 19. We're still on Chapter 10.

Not that I really think that's a bad thing. I am actually really enjoying our casual pace. We do History two or three times a week (and I'm guessing that it will be three times a week much more frequently now that the rain has come to cancel our favorite park day for several months). Usually our routine goes as follows:
  • Monday 1: read SOTW, do coloring pages and maps
  • Wednesday 1: read Usborne Book of World History and Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
  • Friday: do craft or read library books
  • Monday 2: read library books
  • Wednesday 2: do craft or read library books

Now sometimes we don't read all the stories in a chapter in one sitting. Sometimes we will alternate SOTW and the encyclopedias depending on how related the story topics are to each other and how much interest the kids have in listening to me read them. It's a slow pace, I admit. But I'd much rather have them interested through short bursts than bored into a non-listening comatose state by droning on after their interest has waned. So that leads me to my dilema - how do I keep our slow comfortable pace and still cover everything for the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric stages of learning?

I think I finally figured it out. I'm just going to have to let things unfold as they will and remember that the type of learning that a child does in the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric stages isn't defined by the time period they are studying. Their brains don't switch into a new way of thinking simply because we've started on The Ancients again. It happens with age and maturity and I'm just going to have to keep an eye on their thought processes to properly challenge the stage that they're in.

But I can also revise our schedule a bit and plan to stretch it out into a 5-year cycle instead of a 4-yr one. Stretching things out to five years gives Cameron two full cycles and then two more years of high school to explore things, in depth, on his own. Cassia will either have three complete cycles (including her PreK/K studies of History) minus the last section of Modern History OR she will have two complete cycles and all of her high school years to research and explore things on her own. I could even assign a year-long research paper on something in one of the original History Cycle Divisions to focus her studies a bit more. Greyson will benefit from this stretch by starting The Ancients in 1st grade (2012) and having two full cycles plus the last two years of high school for independent study, like Cameron. Similarly, any baby born in 2008 will follow Cassia's path.

I like my new plan. It gives me both the structure to keep us somewhat on track and the freedom to take our time on our journey and smell the roses a bit. I know, even though 2025 seems so far away, it will all pass in the blink of an eye and I don't want to waste a minute of it stressing over the details. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Study of Nouns

Copywork in which "Person" nouns have been underlined in blue, "Thing" nouns underlined in green, and "Idea" nouns enclosed in red.

Where did my picture go??