We just completed our first six weeks of school, and so far things have been going well! Here is a belated update:
Bible: I changed my Bible plans last minute, after hearing rave reviews about The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos. This term we read 16 chapters, roughly corresponding to Genesis 1-22. We read from this Bible four times a week at breakfast.
Missions: We finished reading Stories from Africa and began I Heard Good News Today, both recommended by Sonlight curriculum. We also read two biographies from the Little Lights series: Can Brown Eyes Be Made Blue? (Amy Carmichael) and Could Somebody Please Pass the Salt? (Hudson Taylor). We generally read missions stories on Fridays and both kids have really enjoyed this time. The Little Lights books were a big hit, so I hope to get more in this series.
Character: We focused on respect this term, using Laying Down the Rails for Children and some resources from Character First Education. We emphasized on respecting God, respecting other people, and respecting ourselves. It’s hard to measure success in character development, but we had some great conversations and opportunities for growth!
Awana: We use our Awana verses for Bible memory. This term Grace earned her HangGlider rank and three (almost four) jewels. She’s memorized 14 verses so far. Jonathan earned his WingRunner rank and memorized or reviewed 28 verses! He only has one more section to go before completing his handbook.
History: We are covered early American history this term from explorers to the founding of Jamestown. The books we have read include:
The Carving on the Tree by Elizabeth Campbell
Virginia Dare, Mystery Girl by Augusta Stevenson
Jamestown: New World Adventure by James Knight
John Smith, Jamestown Boy by Thomas Frank Barton
Geography: We have read the book Legends and Leagues several times and done several exercises on mapping from the accompanying workbook. We usually do this about once a week.
Science: We began our study of the human body, focusing on the Reproductive System (scary topic to begin with!) and the Skeletal System. Books we read included:
Nature Study: We have been reading Outdoor Secrets as well as the Outdoor Secrets Companion. We started this late in the term, but we’ve learned about apples and went on a field trip apple picking! We have also spent lots of time outside exploring our yard as well as going to some local forest preserves.
Extras: We’ve dabbled with music study using the Classics for Kids podcast. We’ve dabbled with art appreciation using the ebook What Do You See? and poetry using Mother Goose and the fun poetry book The Llama Who Had No Pajama. For Spanish the kids have enjoyed watching Muzzy. They’ve also seen a lot of Signing Time because Kaitlyn loves Signing Time. Grace especially has shown a talent for picking up languages.
Reading– Jonathan has completed 12 lessons in All About Reading Level 3. He’s becoming a very fluent reader. I have him read to me every day and he’s read through most of Arnold Lobel’s books like the Frog and Toad series, Owl at Home, and Mouse Tales. These are fairly easy for him, but he hasn’t felt confident enough to branch out into chapter books.
Handwriting- We reviewed capital letters and numbers and have gone on to reviewing lowercase letters. This has been good practice for him, as he’s still comfortable writing in all caps. We’ve worked on copying words and sentences and his handwriting is pretty normal for a 6.5 year old boy. We are still using Handwriting without Tears First Grade.
Math- I have added Miquon math into our Singapore math studies and this has gone really well. Jonathan has covered addition within 10, subtraction within 10, shapes and length.
Spelling- We have branched into spelling with All About Spelling 1. Jonathan moved faster than I anticipated. We mostly worked on recognizing phonograms, segmenting words into phonograms, and isolating sounds in words.
Co-Op: Jonathan has enjoyed co-op so far. He has a class called Cartoons, Classical Music, and Composers. They have watched several Bugs Bunny cartoons utilizing classical music and also Peter and the Wolf. He was already familiar with Peter and the Wolf, but he has learned more about the orchestra and he loves and gives extensive narrations on the cartoons he sees. He is involved in a gym class which has focused on typical gym class activities: exercises, races, and kickball. Finally, he is in an art class in which they learn about an artist and attempt to learn about their techniques. He has worked with chalk, figure drawing, clay pottery, and watercolors. Jonathan is easily frustrated with art because what he pictures in his mind isn’t the same as what he is able to produce. But he’s hanging in there…
Reading- Grace has learned and reviewed the 26 basic phonograms and we’ve practiced building and reading words. She is easily reading CVC words and several common sight words. She really desires to read as well as Jonathan and we are slowly working towards it.
Math- Grace learned about measuring weight and capacity this term as well as comparing numbers (more than/less than). She finished the Singapore EarlyBird A kindergarten math book.
Handwriting- We are practicing letter formation using Kumon’s lowercase writing book. Grace loves to write and tries to write stories. However, she still reverses her letters, so we need to keep practicing proper letter formation.
Co-Op: Grace participates in art and Spanish at co-op. The kindergarten art class focuses more on exploring art. They have experimented with different mediums like chalk and watercolor as well as learned color mixing. Grace’s favorite is Spanish class. She has learned Spanish letters, numbers, and colors so far and always wants to practice!
Kaitlyn: Kaitlyn doesn’t do school, but she’s always learning! She loves Signing Time and has picked up a lot of vocabulary (both verbal and signed). She’s speaking in short sentences, making her desires known. She’s even been dry at night and used the potty in the morning! Now if only she would do so during the day… I spent one day trying to potty train and decided to wait until she was a little older and we were also on break. It’s too much to homeschool and potty train!
So that’s what we’ve been up to the past 6 weeks!