Week 1

Aug. 8th, 2014 10:59 am
entirelysonja: (Default)
[personal profile] entirelysonja
It's the end of week 1 of school, and I think it's gone very well!

The kids seem to be enjoying the Book Shark 3 curriculum, though they wish there were more map activities. I've had to invent a few. :) I've set aside an hour every morning to do the read-alouds, map, and timeline activities, which seems to be enough time so far.

We've been spending 3 hours each morning on schoolwork, which has been enough time for:

  • All of the read-alouds
  • The Language Arts grade 2 and 3 activities -- just the stuff from Book Shark, we are not using any of the supplementary handwriting, spelling, or vocabulary resources.
  • Math -- the kids are using Singapore Math 2A and 4A, with the Challenging Word Problems books, but I am not assigning every page in the workbooks/CWP books. This year, I'm assigning what seems useful after going through the textbook with them. They also use an iPod application for fact drills.
  • Latin -- Erika is meeting with me twice a week for a short Latin lesson from the Minimus iBooks edition.
  • Memory work -- both kids use Anki for memory work on the iPod.
  • Piano practice -- I assign piano practice three times a week, but they decide for themselves how long/what to practice.
  • German -- Karl is doing a page a day in the Einstern's Schwester German curriculum. This is one of the places where he's getting handwriting practice, along with German reading and writing. Once he finishes it (he's in book 5 of 6), he'll move on to cursive handwriting.
  • Reading -- for the most part, the kids have been able to get their assigned Book Shark reading done during this time, though occasionally it has spilled over into other times.


I'll be interested to see whether they're able to fit their homework for German School into this time once that starts in September; they may have to work on that after lunch once or twice a week.

We don't try to fit Science or Art into our morning "school time"; instead they do activities in those areas in the afternoon, on the weekend, and on field trips. We're trying out Groovy Lab in a Box as a science resource this year, and yesterday they had fun building a water wheel. They're not big fans of formal science curricula intended for elementary students, and I honestly can't blame them.

I was really impressed by several things this week:

  • Karl didn't complain about the amount of reading he was expected to do, and started working his way through the first Harry Potter book on his own time. It's very slow going for him, but I'm impressed by his perseverance.
  • Erika recognized on her own that if 3 is not a factor of a number, 6 also cannot be a factor of that number. I was not trying to teach her this -- we were just working on finding all the factors of a number.
  • Karl did a great job of learning his spelling words; it's the first time he's had spelling words.


I've also started using Homeschool Tracker to generate daily assignment sheets for them. In previous years, we have used weekly assignment sheets, but for various reasons I decided to go with daily assignment sheets this year. That's been going very well -- they each get a checklist each morning indicating their assignments, along with their chores and other details about the day. I like that Homeschool Tracker allows me to put in plenty of detail about each assignment, so I can do things like indicate that a particular assignment is to be done over several days.

Next week they'll be in Circus Camp all week, so we won't be getting to Week 2 of school until the week after next.
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