This week's theme at Homeschool Memoirs is Homeschool Agendas. Since I haven't entirely figured that out yet for myself, I thought joining in and writing it all down might help me get my thoughts together.
We are on day 33 of our 2008-09 school year. And so far everything has gone smoothly. I planned the first 20 days out and now i am going week by week with some monthly and yearly planning too. I have yet to find a curriculum I love in it's entirety. I like some parts of a lot of different things. And it seems I tend to come back to me for most things we do. My kids are young, it's easy to do. I am sure as they grow I will turn more towards a premade curriculum, but for now this is what is working. We have a school day from 8:30 to 11:00. All actvities must be approved. Basically they have free choice from the playroom/classroom minus one shelf that has the cars and more toy-like activites. All the other kits, puzzles, art, practical life, etc is available. My oldest has a checklist of what he is to do that day on the dry erase board, once that is done (in any order) he can choose what to do off the shelves. Same for my 5 yr old- except no checklist, we cover the basics I set out and then he chooses. But here is the basic rundown for the year:
So for my oldest son, 7 yrs old, in 2nd grade:
Math: he is finishing up his Subduing Subtraction book from Mastering Mathematics; doing a lot with Montessori-inspired math manipulatives made by me. Reading higher number and getting ready for multiplication. I plan on starting multiplication when he is done with the subtraction book. We will still be using a lot of Montessori-inspired activities and manipulatives, aswell as his Multiplication book from Mastering Mathematics.
Language: He is doing Easy Grammar, supposed to be daily but usually just 2x a week. He is also working through Explode the Code 7. 2x a week. He is doing weekly spelling lists of about 10 words, organized by a phonogram. He is working though HWT Cursive, 2x a week and a self directed 15 min writing session of his choice the other days. He has one read a loud of my choice a day. Any other language is free choice from the language shelf (which isn;t quite finshed) but will contain a lot of word study materials: homophones, antonym, synonym, plurals, abbreviations, compound words, prefix and suffixes, alphabetizing, syllabication, etc...
Science and Social Studies: These 2 subjects are done in units with the whole family doing the same things- just more indepth for the older. Usually we don't do both subjects at once. We will study government, ancient cultures, the history of the earth, volcanoes, animals, and some others that I can't think of at the time and I don't have my planner here with me right now. I also have basic sceince equiptment on our shelves: microscope, telescope, magnets, electric kits, classification work for everyday use. He is also required to do georgraphy work 2-3 times a week. If I have nothing in particular planned then he chooses from the shelf. Our geography shelf is still a work in progress too. My plan for him this year is to cover N.America geographically. Countries and US States as well as other marks of interest.
Art: This year I have chosen 5-6 artists to study. So far we've done Kandinksky- which went wonderfully! We will also study various musicians from the classical composers to the Beatles. Art supplies are always available and we will be covering some different aspects of art composition this year in addition to free art. Music is an area in which we are seriously lacking- I really want them to learn an intrument but so far that isn't working too well.
Now for my 5 yr old, in K:
Math: We are covering the Kindergarten basics. Money, measuring, time, calendar, beginning addition and subtraction. The goal being to get him counting to 1000 and thoroughly understanding numbers and thier meanings and well into the mastery of additon during the year. He's got a couple books, which he chooses from. We do mostly hands on, manipulative based work, and a lot of Montessori inspired work too.
Language: He is working through the HWT printing book, he can form all uppercase and most lowercase. So our goals are to get the letters neater and on the lines. He has a weekly spelling list of 5 words, mostly CVC words right now and I will increase them as I see fit. He also is working though explode the code 2 1/2 and 3 sporadically. He really enjoys his work from the Language Shelf which he does daily during his free choice school time. His portion of the language shelf consist of words/picture matching- CVC, blends with short vowel and phonograms- word/item boxes, simple syllibication and alphabetizing. He also does one required read aloud to me a day.
Science, Social Studies and Art will be the same as above, since those studies aren't seperated by grade. Overall his year will be simple, more child-led, where if he doesn't want to do my chosen activity he can counteroffer a new one. If he's having an off day he can read to himself or do other approved acivities.
For Cohen, age 3:
I have no real plan for him, other than to spend more time working with him in general, covering things of his interest and mine: counting, letter sounds, basic preschool stuff. I try and get him focused on a few things per day. Pouring, sorting, coloring, lapbooks, being read to and "reading". But he is there with us for all our studies so he absorbs what he sees.
And this is the last thing you see before your face is covered in leaves...
A fancy leaf hat...
And mister gap tooth himself, whose horse tooth FINALLY got knocked after weeks and weeks of being way too loose and sticking way to far out of his mouth. He still has one more to go....his new tooth has been completely in behind it for a couple months now...and it is barely hanging, but he won't let me near it....I should go and encourage more rough-housing with daddy to get it knocked out too...
When we got to the bottom of the page I was going to stop, but they didn't so we kept tallying on the back. We got our first egg on June 15....so about 2 mo and a week ago. Yesterday we hit 1000! Rylan says we should still count. To find out how many eggs we get in the whole year. He's already put out his estimate. I might just leave it soley up to him now though. But I think it is safe to say that they know how to read, write and count with tally marks now!
The first thing I did was make up a set of Animal Reasearch Questions, based on the information I wanted them to find and the questions we all came up with together during our brainstorming session. The questions are relatively simple, since my boys are young: animal type, habitat, parts, food, etc...You can find them here under What kind of animal is it? along with the files for the Animal Classification Box.
We read through the questions, then started to read in our books. My oldest used the index and table of contents himself. They dictated notes to me when we came across answers to some of the questions. Then I gave them a basket of premade mini-books. I basically just used all my scraps from previous lapbooks and folded them in half or triangles or whatnot. No templates or printing. So when they were ready to start they would pick a question, pick a book and answer. They each helped find a page full of pictures off the internet to glue in their books. My 5 yr old needed more prompts and spelling help. He dictated more. My 7 yr old did almost all the work himself. I think I wrote 1 question for him.
Cale finished his yesterday and is vry proud- it is completely him- right down to the backwards and upside down cover (which is on the back). Rylan finished his up this morning. And he "presented" it to me when he finished. He used the book to help him but most of the facts he recalled; he was really interested in the basket star. Cale "presented" his to Paul this morning too. He needed a little more prompting for answers, but recalled most of the info too.
Biscuit, Blue, Chopper, Zoe, Stella, Leopold, Ice Cream, Purr, Paul Daddy, Socks, Hopper, Blackie, Big Wendy, Pink Wendy, Saddle Bags, Eunice, Bruto, Beaky, Bocky, Pigeon, Clover, Brownie, Dandelion, Brown Cow, Turk, Turkey Lurkey, Peepy, Peepers. Mean Blackie, Tall Blackie, Wendy, Peter, Lop,(not pictured- hermit crabs) Captain Crab, Carnival Crab, "Lakin's" Crab, and 2 un-named fish and tankfull of newly hatched Aquasaurs and a tadpole coming in the mail....
Not to mention the 4 boys who make the house a real zoo!
It's fairly simple: pockets for upper and lowercase letters, shape tracing, beginning sounds, number 1-10 (with spanish words too), a simple maze and line drawing, a positional word book. He hasn't worked on it finished yet, but he discovered half the booklets last week and has been reading and counting with them all week. All files can be downloaded here .
And here is Lakin's first experience with pouring. He did well actually since I only put a tiny bit of water in it. Of course getting the little teacup to his mouth with out spilling that was a little harder.
Here's Cale working on his place value, 10s and 1s.
And Rylan working on skip counting 2-9 (12 times each). He worked really hard and enjoyed pointing out the factors that the different numbers shared.
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm milk
Mix the first 4 ingredients. Slowly pour in milk while stirring. Knead for 2 minutes. Rest in bowl under plastic wrap for 20 min. Break dough into 8 balls and rest for another 10 min. Roll out to about an 8 in diameter. Heat a pan to med-high and cook each tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side. Keep the cooked ones wrapped in a napkin while you cook the rest.
First I rewrote the recipe step by step in a way my oldest could read it. They measured and stirred everything. The boys wanted to actually knead this. It is a very stiff dough so there was a lot of pushing on a ball and not much kneading. After about 2 rounds each they took it to the Kitchen Aid and let the dough hook have it.
Their favorite part is of course the rolling. These are really yummy and tasted great with our fresh egg burritos for lunch.
And upon close inspection, we found about 6 of these hanging on our fence:
I've been blogging for nearly a year now and I have recieved my first award! Thank you to Adventures of a Montessori Mama for nominating me!
I'll have to think on this next part....any blog listed on my sidebar, aswell as my friends listed on the sidebar of my homeschoolblogger blog are my favorites. I hardly ever come across a blog I don't like or can't learn from....
If you're named (below), and you want to share more bloggy goodness *no pressure here*:
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.
so if I don't end up back to officially nominate....browse the blog list, all those blogs are great!
So this year I made this:
Our animal classification box. There are divisions for Invertebrate/Vertebrate/Arthropod, then into the classes: mammal, bird, echinoderm, insect, etc...
Here is the control chart. I downloaded it from here.
Then there are animal picture cards 3-4 for each class. I based them off the ones available at the above website. I didn't like them so I found my own pictures and printed them on business card paper (makes it so much easier!)
Then there are reference cards that tell a few facts about each class:
We've been working through it together. So far sorted all the animals into their Phylums and the vertebrates into classes (no I didn't actually use the phylum/class terminology with them...) Tomorrow we tackle the invertebrates, before they choose which animal they want to do their reports on.
I made it 7 years without owning anything like this. It's the new extreme Tickle-Me Elmo. Yuck! They of course find it funny. I doubt it will take more than a week before I can stuff it in the closet though. Really the only character stuff we own is the Thomas the Tank Engine wooden trains. Nothing else, and I like it that way!!!
Rylan and Paul also went out last night to pick up the replacement chicks. They are cute. Easter Egg chicks. Hopefully both girls! They are cute though- they boys love having babies in the house! Rylan seems okay...he did get a little teary eyed yesterday when my dad asked him about Shadow and wouldn't talk about it.This is HIS chick. So far nameless. She looks a little like Phoenix did.
And here is the 2nd one. She's a little more flighty right now, but hopefully will calm down with 4 pairs of hands wanting to hold her all the time.
The head fell on me 3 times!! I told Paul if it falls again they are getting an ice cream cake from down the road. The body and nest are chocolate, the eggs and head/tail are carrot cake.
Happy Birthday, Cale!