Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School Time!

School is back in session! Today will be day three, and we'll be getting started in just a few minutes. We structure our mornings such that the kids have chores and about an hour of play time before we start school. We start around 10:00, have an hour break for lunch, a mid-afternoon break, and then finish betwen 3:30 and 4:00. It seems to be working well all around.

I realized that I haven't posted anything about our curriculum this year! So, here's what we're doing:
History - Sonlight Core 3, US History 1 (up to shortly before the Civil War). It includes some great looking read-alouds to go right along with the curriculum, a fun-looking poetry book (and this is coming from someone who isn't a huge poetry fan), a guide to praying over Native American tribes, and some great Scripture memory and Bible reading.
- AR History, focusing on the same time period, using various resources found here and there as well as an incredible stack of resources on loan from Ruthanne. To top that off, we have an invitation from some teachers in our church to join them for their special AR history activity days! Those will be next spring - how exciting!

Science - Sonlight Core 3, focusing on biology. The kids are so excited because we'll be planting seeds a couple of times this year, exploring just how they grow - what helps, hurts, etc. They just can't wait!

Reading - Sonlight Readers 3 advanced and Readers 2 advanced.

Language Arts - Sonlight's LA program

Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears for 1st and 3rd. Angela is solidifying printing skills and Olivia is starting cursive

Spelling - Sequential Spelling 1. I was going to be doing it only with Olivia, hoping that it will greatly strengthen her confidence in spelling. Angela has been watching us, though, and wanted to do it with us so badly! So, although I'll be continuing to reinforce her phonics rules, she'll be joining us.

Math - Horizons math 1 & 3. Angie is so excited to have a "real" math book this year!

Art Appreciation - Our museums, as well as any books and websites we can get our hands on!

Composer Studies - Again, whatever we can find. We have been able to collect music from here and there. We'll play music from a specific composer for familiarity, and then find whatever resources we can to study his life. We'll probably spend a couple of months on each composer.

Other Electives - The kids will have "Learning Activities." Essentially, these are things they can do during specific elective times, or when they've finished their work early. Besides the art museum and music books, they have typing and Polish instruction on the computer, map learning skill sheets, cutting and drawing patterns, Sudoku puzzles, supplemental books that will correspond to some of our history and science reading, holiday-related projects, etc. I don't have all of this organized yet, but we're slowly working in that direction!

Preschool - This is, and has always been, my toughest area. Even if I have an outlined plan, I don't do well with one-on-one preschool. But, Steven and I are having fun. I listed the skills I wanted him to work on this year, and then I pulled out all of the resources I could find and divided them up into groups related to those skills. There are three groups, and we try to make sure we do something every week from each group.

So far this week, we've done colors and shapes, matching, listening comprehension, and opposites. Today we'll focus on fine motor skills.

Well, time is up! I'm going in...oh, how blessed I am to have this "job!"

I'll have pictures and tales to post soon!

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