My poor neglected blog…I really want to be posting a recap of our school week every week, but so far it hasn’t happened. I have all the pictures taken and ready, but the blogging just has been a low priority lately.
School has been going really well for the most part. We’ve been able to keep on schedule (a tad modified because of vacation) and have enjoyed the challenges of kindergarten while trying to keep the tot busy. Good thing he’s a sleepy head and I can usually just put him down for a short morning nap while we focus on school. If that doesn’t work, then we do some school while he naps in the afternoon. She doesn’t really need a nap anymore the majority of the days. I can still get away with having her do room time for up to two hours if I need a nap (growing a baby is tiring!), but we can also just do school for that time if we choose.
As we progress into “real” school instead of the preschool that we’ve been doing, I am more and more pleased with my choice to homeschool and the methods that we’re using. I realize that when I was homeschooled, we did so much that was not “normal” even in homeschooling circles. It never felt like public school recreated at home. It was school, sure, but not some rigid, overly structured thing that took over our lives instead of being part of our lives…okay, more on that in my Educating the WholeHearted Child review.Enjoying the zoo on a "school" day.
Anyway, here’s a peek into our schooling so far. Some of this is actually from this week and some is from weeks prior.
Our main curriculum - Tapestry of Grace Year 1:
We are sticking with the plan of using Tapestry of Grace at half speed. So far, we’ve mostly been talking about Ancient Egypt, but we have just moved into Creation and will move through Genesis from here. Year 1 focuses on the books of Moses.
One of the projects we did for our creation week was to make a creation book. I actually don’t have as many pictures as I though for this week. Here’s the first day:
For each day, she had to copy my words as well as glue something down like this light/dark or for day 4, we had a bunch of clipart of birds and fish as well as a large blue paper for the water. (I’ll look for my documents and hopefully post them…I think they’re on my old drive that was starting to crash so I replaced it)
It was a big task, but she did great. It did take us all week, though.
We’ve also mummified apples:
Made a salt dough map illustrating different land forms:
Made a salt dough map of Egypt:
And excavated a pyramid:
We started out using Explode the Code and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, and it was working okay, but then I got a product for review from TOS which I like much much better. It’s called First Start Reading, and I’ll be posting my full review soon. In the meantime, know that we have really been enjoying it and will continue to use this as our primary reading/phonics curriculum for this year.
Math – Math U See:
We whizzed through the first 8 lessons of MUS, but we did every worksheet anyway, just so she would get the practice writing her numbers and doing as the paper asked her to do. We’ve now completed lesson 9, which was about place value of tens and units. This one was challenging for her, and we spent a long time on it, but I feel like she finally got it and it was worth it to spend this time since so much depends on her really understanding this concept.
Handwriting – Handwriting without Tears:
Overall, we’ve been liking this program. This is definitely the part she likes the least, but I feel very strongly about her having good handwriting, so she just has to do it. Because she doesn’t enjoy it, we’re not very far into the book. But I don’t have a schedule or a specific goal in mind, we’re just going to work on it and get where we get. She was going to do it with daddy every evening, but that wasn’t working for a variety of reasons, the biggest one being she wasn’t in school mode by that time of day and it was extremely hard for her to concentrate. So, we’ve incorporated it back into the main part of the day, and it works great. The other thing that I’ve found that works for her is to give star stickers for the ones on each page that are perfect. Depending on her mood and level of frustration with that letter, I sometimes will give her stickers for ones that she tried hard on but are not very pretty.
We still haven’t found a good Spanish program or rhythm for piano lessons, but with the work that we are doing and life circumstances what they are, I’m okay with that. I will be reviewing a Spanish Jr. program soon as well, so if I like that, we’ll go with it.
That’s all I’ve got right now, I’m really going to try and be more faithful about posting a recap of our week going forward. It’s fun to be able to look back and see what we did, so it’s just as much for me as anything!
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