Sep 5, 2009

Our First week of school

For our first week of school, we did a ton of stuff! I agree with the Charlotte Mason idea of short lessons, so we do a lot of different subjects, but we don't spend a ton of time on each one. My kids are what I call "young first and second graders" since their birthdays are in the winter and they are actually a year ahead of where they would be if I had sent them to public school. So their attention spans can be a little short. Their biggest concern about school this year was math being boring, since we ended on rather a bad note last year. My answer to that was to start them with their math first thing in the morning and only let them work on them about 15 minutes. They can always finish the first half of their sheet in this time, and usually a good bit of their second side. As soon as they start lagging, and getting bored and distracted, they put their math away and move on to the next subject. Then we finish it up first thing in the afternoon. This has worked great so far.



On Friday, we did math journals. I wrote a fun, easy problem in a notebook, and they had to solve it "by themselves". They both enjoyed this.

For Grammar, we are reading First Language Lessons, so we reviewed our knowledge of nouns, talked about the difference between common and proper nouns, and started memorizing The Caterpillar. We are enjoying this book, but their choice of poems to memorize seem a little insipid to me, so I will more than likely be substituting my own as we get further along in the book. I knew they would enjoy this one about a caterpillar in a hurry, though.
For handwriting, we worked on a sentence from science. We are taking it slowly and stressing "doing it right" instead of "doing it fast", so we only finished about 2/3 of the sentence this week.


They also wrote out theirs and their sibling's names, focusing on which letters are capital and which are lowercase.



And Kaytie chose writing in the sugar several times off of her free-time shelf. These shelves are full of hand-ons games that re-enforce what we are learning in school. After they get their assigned work finished in the morning and in the afternoon, they get to choose whatever they like off of their shelves. This is a BIG motivating factor for them to not dawdle. Some days they had an hour of free choice, some days, they only got to choose one thing.

For Bible, we started off with Creation, because one of the things I wanted them to learn this year is the order of creation. They know the story pretty well, so we just focused on them re-telling the story with cards and flannel graph.


They also started memorizing Psalm 148, and some catechism questions.


We did fun and hands-on activities in Geography. We are traveling around the world this year, one country at a time. We started with the United States, of course, so I stocked up on books about the states, books about US landmarks (the Alamo, the Statue of Liberty) and lots of maps, games, cards, puzzles, and animals for the kids to explore.




Kaytie's favorite was the paper doll set that I found here. Nate preferred the puzzles.
I didn't put a ton of effort into the US because there is soooooo much information and we will be specifically studying the United States when they are older. And besides, it was the first week of school and we had adjusting to do. Their favorite part of their Geography study was on Friday, when we cooked a cultural meal... for the United States, I picked something quick and easy and generically American... cornbread.


They had a great time reading the recipe...




stirring the ingredients...







and waiting for it to bake.

For Science, we are doing Apologia Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. It starts off a bit slow, so we have just been reading and haven't gotten into any real projects yet. I had them work on a classification sheet, classifying their favorite animal, which turned out to be more handwriting than science. But I'm expecting it to get more fun soon. Meanwhile, we read outside, lounging in the shade in the front yard, so they like that, too.
Kaytie did some "extra-curricular" science one day when she choose to weigh apples. I discussed hypothesis with her, and experiment, and controlling the variable, as she discovered which type of apple is heavier.


Eventually, it occurred to her to weigh the same kind of apple and was amazed that one was heavier! So I gave her a different measurement tool, and let her work to find out that it was heavier because it was bigger.

For History, we are reading our way through The Light and the Glory for children and adding lots of arts and crafts to make to fun. This week, we made ships. I used this craft idea. We also colored a couple of pictures.

We enjoyed Music, Art, and Creative Writing on the computer.

playing here


and here




and writing on their blogs.
We also listened to a CD of music by Bach while we worked.
And we started Latin, mostly just learning a few vocabulary words and that the Latin alphabet has no W.


There was plenty of reading. Both aloud and to themselves.


There was art,
spelling,



and fun Free-choices...













This is my first Weekly Wrap-up, but if it looks like fun, click here to read and join!

6 comments:

Giggly Girls said...

First of all, your kids are absolutely adorable. I'm sure you already knew that though. LOL

We use FLL as well and we love it! We're on level 3 this days and it's a little more writing but not much.

The apple activity looks like it was a lot of fun. We'll have to have a day of apple science for some extra fun.

Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy said...

Wow you have your hands full. Congrats on so many little ones. It looks like you're doing a great job making the school day fun and interactive!

One More Equals Four said...

Sounds like a great first week! We use First Language Lessons as well, but I agree with your opinion on the memorization! We started replacing the poem with chapters of the Bible, our 1st one was Psalm 1 and some Latin prayers.

You are doing a great job of developing a love of learning in your kids...that is something I am trying to work on this year! Good luck next week!

AF Wife99 said...

Looks like a lot of fun and great family time. Gotta love that picture of the kids looking in the oven! Funny! Thanks for sharing your week.

Weird Unsocialized Mom said...

What a fun week! We loved First Language Lessons. And, I totally love your free time shelf idea! I may just borrow that one.

Thanks for joining the Wrap-Up! I hope you'll join us again.

Mama Teaching 2 said...

The kids have grown so much from last year! Look at all the work they can do now! You always have such great ideas.

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