Monday, December 29, 2008

Mid year examination

I know, I'm supposed to be on a blogging break, but I've been packing up the books and getting my lessons ready, so that I will be able to open and go when the time is right. I've been looking over what's working and what's not. I've also been able to see how far we have come. So I thought that I would post about what I have been learning so that I can look back at it once we get there!

What is staying the same:
  • Singapore math-I love this program and it's an excellent fit for my dd, I wish I would have had that confidence from the beginning. I am using the instructor's guide more for the game suggestions which has also helped.
  • Biology for the Grammar Stage-I wrote this program for my princess, so of course it works!
  • Sonlight-although we have seriously modified the history plans, the rest is the same and we love it. Sonlight is a great fit for us. If I had it all to do over again, I would have left history as it was and just added hands on activities to fit, but since we started with SOTW, we will stick with it for this year. One day I will write more about that SOTW/Sonlight combo and my thoughts on it.
  • Art Adventures at Home-This program is the reason art gets done at our house, so it stays!

What is going and what's coming (notice it's all Language Arts, will I ever be happy with this?):

  • All About Spelling-This is a great program, just not a good fit for us, plus it's expensive(which is a real factor when living overseas), so we have replaced it with Explode the Code which is working much better
  • First Language Lessons-Also a great program, just not a good fit for us. It was becoming busy work, princess didn't enjoy it and I wasn't seeing progress enough to warrent continuing it. It's being replaced with a book I got free from google book called With Pencil and Pen, which has picture study, copywork and poems-so far so good.

What we've added in:

  • Nature Study-using Barb's plans as a guide, I have struck out on my own once and plan to do so again. I really love this part of our week and it's definately going to stay.
  • Artist/Composer Study-we have tried using AO plans and Simply Charlotte Mason plans and have settled on blending the two to make it work for us. I'm glad that I have found a way that works for us and that princess enjoys. This is such a small part of our week, but I'm sure that over the years, it will make a big difference.
  • Shakespeare/Fairy Tales at Tuesday Tea Time-This is very new to our day, we only done three tea times. So far, so good, but I will have to wait till the end of the year to know for sure.
What missing (things that I want to add it, but...)
  • Music: I would like to add some sort of instrument study to our time, but so far it hasn't happened. My goal is to add this by next year.
I am so pleased with where we are right now. We've made tremendous progress in the basics and have had lots of fun with the extras. I'm looking forward to the second half of her first grade year, whenever it may begin (that's another story altogether!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blogging Break

I have slowed down for the holidays and had hoped to pick back up again next week. Reality is that we are moving overseas and that's not going to happen. So I'm letting my few readers know that I will be taking a blogging break. I hope to be up and running with internet sometime in early February. Thanks for understanding and see you in several weeks!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekly Report-the last two weeks

We have been doing Christmas studies along with math and reading. It's been fun, in fact princess has decided that Christmas studies is her favorite part of school! Here's the nitty gritty...

Reading-We spent the last two reading different Christmas stories, like Mickey's Christmas Carol, Santa's Favorite Story and the Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. Princess read Henry & Mudge's Sparkle Day Stories to me.

Math-We wrapped up weight in Singapore 2A and then spend the rest of the time doing Christmas themed worksheets and living math, such as fractions in baking!

Christmas studies-We studied different Christmas symbols and what they mean. We also looked at the customs of different countries at Christmas. As part of that, we put flags of the countries we studied on a tree on our school wall. Here's a look at that...
(I'll add the picture later today as I just discovered that my hubby took the camera to work!)

So far we have had a great year, but we are looking forward to taking off some time for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge: Holly

This was not a planned challenge by Barb, but I thought I would still call it an outdoor hour challenge, since without Barb's plans I probably would not have struck out on my own. We are having cold weather here and given that it's so close to Christmas, I thought we would study the holly bush outside our window...

I began by reading what this site had to say about holly to give myself some background knowledge about the plant. We went outside and began with examining the bark, which was greyish and peeling a bit. We then decided it was too cold and plucked off a few leaves and berries to examine indoors. Here's a close-up...
One inside we examined the pointy part of the leaf, the waxy coating and the berries. We talked about why the leaves had the waxy coating and about how holly was an evergreen. After looking at the leaves, I'm not exactly sure what variety of holly this bush is. But our landlord said it was holly(he should know because he planted it) and it does have all the characteristics (except multiple points on the leaves). So that's what we are going with until someone tells me different!We also cut up a berry and noted that it smelled alittle like an apple. Here's our nature journal entries...

We had fun doing this study despite the cold weather. I wasn't sure how winter nature study would work, but there is so much out there to discover that I'm sure we will have plenty to see. Plus a brisk walk in the cold really wakes you up!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekly Report 12/1/08-12/5/08

It looks like we will be moving soon, so we couldn't really take off all of December for Christmas studies as I had planned. So we are doing a hybrid of normal and Christmas studies. Here's what our week looked like...

Language Arts: The switch back to ETC has been a successful one and I'm glad we did it. Also this week, princess began reading a Level 2 book, which is a step up from what we have been doing. She's doing well and I'm happy with the progress she's making in reading.
Math: We completed the unit of weight, next week review!
Science: We spent the week with reptiles, not princess's favorite animals, but we still had fun. Here's another look at her habitat diorama which is turning out to have a very diverse animal population!
History/Geography: We are working on a unit on Christmas symbols along with Christmas Around the World. It's going well and princess is enjoying the projects. Here's a look our pomador balls. Princess just kept making them!
Other: We are also reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I love this book! We also sponge painted with shapes to make objects and read half of Hans Christian Andersons "The Pine Tree"

It was a great week and I'm looking forward to the next! Hope you guys enjoyed your week too!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gingerbread House...

I thought that this project deserved it's own post rather than being buried in the weekly report. Yesterday princess and I made our first every gingerbread house and I will attest to the fact that it's not as easy as it looks! We bought one of those kits to make it easier and I learned that one should begin by reading the directions. I didn't and ended up cutting the roof in half...
We had to use cans to brace our pieces while they dried, which was interesting, but it worked...
Princess really got into decorated it, which was worth all the effort. Here's the finished masterpiece...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #40-Fall Weather

This challenge was a seasonal weather study where we also focused on temperature and pressure. We began our time with a look at our temperature guage (today was quite a bit warmer than it has been)...
We discussed Celcius and Farenheit and what makes the red liquid move in the tube. Then we went for a walk. We found these clouds in the sky...
It was the perfect opportunity to review the types of clouds and how they are formed. As we continued our walk I brought up pressure and how it effects our weather. We talked about what high and low pressure means. Princess was excited because now the weather man will make more sense! Once we were inside we completed Barb's seasonal weather sheet. Here what we did...
I'm always surprised at the different things that princess notices that I don't. She was sure to include a bird and an airplane in her picture because they were there when she looked out the window. Hope you are able to take a minute this week to go outside and enjoy the fall weather!

Wordless Wednesday

This squirrel is trying to collect the last few nuts of the season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just wanted to let you know...

about this blog, On it there are several articles about classical education, including one that mentions my blog and my blogging buddy, Rhonda at Living Waters. I found the information to be helpful and since they plugged my blog, I thought I would return the favor! Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chemistry for the Grammar Stage

This morning I posted a preview sample of Chemistry for the Grammar Stage at the yahoo group (link in the sidebar). Although the program is not available yet, the sample will give you an idea of what it will look like. I plan to have Chemistry for the Grammar Stage available in late January or early February. Hope you enjoy!

Thanksgiving weekly report

We kept it simple for Thanksgiving week!
LA: We read poetry from AO list of Thanksgiving poems. Princess also read Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving Dinner, which was a very cute early reader!
Math: We played thanksgiving bingo, dominoes and matching games that I printed from DLTK's website. We also did several worksheets with a Thanksgiving theme.
Holiday Studies: We read The Thanksgiving Story over several days. Princess colored the Mayflower...

And made Indian and Pigrim dolls(also from DLTK)...
We had planned on reading Cranberry Thanksgiving and making cranberry bread but didn't have the time.

Hope you had a great Thankgiving too!