Monday, October 27, 2008

school updates

I think I'll just run through this update in the order we do school each day.  That way, I won't forget anything (yeah, right...)
1.  Bible:  We start off each morning with Jason and Cameron reviewing their Sparks and Cubbies books.  Currently, Jason is learning the books of the New Testament and Cameron is cracking up at the hilarious escapades of Cubbie Bear, Luv E. Lamb, Ern E. Elephant and Gigi Giraffe.  She just earned a patch last week after three weeks of refusing to tell her handbook leader the verse she has known for about a month.  We are also reading through Genesis (not in a kid's Bible) this has lead to many uncomfortable conversations ("mom, what's circumcision?"  "Why did they lay together?").  And finally, Jason is reading through The Beginner's Bible.  He can't believe they just skipped from Jonah all the way to the birth of Jesus ("mom, they left out so much!").
2.  History:  Our study of Ancient Egypt was a hit.  Abraham the mummy was quickly wrapped up in linen clothes the day his fruit fly friends made an appearance.  We are now moving on to a quick survey of other ancient cultures such as Greece and India.  Soon we'll be comparing flood myths from various cultures to the story of Noah and the flood in the Bible.
3.  Language Arts:  We finished reading Mountain Born (kind of a downer) and have moved on to Henry Huggins ( a Beverly Cleary classic, much more fun).  Jason continues to rock his weekly spelling words list and his handwriting is improving.  Most importantly his attitude about handwriting is improving as I make a conscious effort to praise him for doing things well, even the things that he doesn't like doing.  I can see his chest puff up a bit and he smiles when I tell him that doing well on handwriting is more impressive to me than doing well in math, because for him, handwriting is more difficult than math.  We continue to survey the way language comes together to make stories as we work on punctuation, parts of a story and descriptive writing.
4.  Math:  Like I mentioned earlier, Jason likes math because it comes easy to him.  He has finished his first workbook and is moving on to the second.  We review addition and subtraction flashcards (alternating weekly) because I want his math facts to be solid before we move on.  I looked ahead in the workbook and discovered that they introduce multiplication this year.  I think we'll slow down a bit (this program has a fast pace) and really drill the facts for a while.  The book also has him thinking about weights and measures, comparisons and money.
5.  Science:  We have finally finished our last science experiment with water and we're moving on to magnets!  I thought I be cleaning up water spills forever!  We're also learning about different animal classifications and their unique features (translated into little boy language:  cool stuff about bugs and reptiles!).
6.  PE and art:  We take a break every morning around 10 to go for a walk around the neighborhood.  Jason usually rides his scooter and Cameron has decided that she is no longer interested in riding in the stroller, but must run.  This was pretty surprising to me the first time she did it, but then I reminded myself that this is the girl who jumps on her trampoline for 20-30 minutes a day, she can handle a half-mile run!  We also use the backyard for baseball practice and the kids are slowly learning that it's much quicker if they shag balls for mom rather than waiting the 20 minutes it takes me to bend down, pick up a ball and stand up again.  My belly makes it difficult to do simple things like tie shoelaces or pick up toys off the floor!  Our artwork includes a lot of painting and drawing.  Jason is getting more detailed and fills out entire notebooks with his street scenes.  (Christmas gift hint: real artist sketchpads, colored pencils and pastels).

So, as you can see school is moving along nicely.  Our mornings are very full and afternoons are set aside for play.  I like the efficiency of homeschooling for a boy of this age because in a traditional classroom setting he would be limited by the business of being orderly and quiet.   I really think he needs time in his day just to be a boy and discover things on his own (even if that means getting into mischief!). 

1 comment:

Sallie said...

Yes, and little girls need that time also to explore on their own and get into mischief if need be! What a fun teacher you are.