Friday, February 29, 2008

February School in Review

Let me preface this by saying that I hate grade levels. To me they are arbitrary and almost meaningless. I much prefer the classical method of three broad levels of learning (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric). By that scale Polly is in the Grammar stage. By ordinary grade levels we say she is in K-1 because she's still working on Phonics but she's doing "First Grade work" in areas.

So here's what we've been doing for school this month:

Scripture memorization: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. I choose a passage of scripture every month. November was Psalm 100, December Luke 2:1-7, and so on. Tigger has learned these along with Polly.

Phonics: Lessons 150-170 out of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading

Grammar: Lessons 39-52 out of First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind. This book includes poems for memorizing. Polly learned two new poems this month and reviewed four others.

Copywork: Completed a list of Pronouns and started a list of Active Verbs. Also wrote a letter to an Uncle who is currently overseas.

Independent Reading: 7 easy reader books from the library

Math: Lessons 62-84 from Saxon 1. I like Saxon because it is thorough. Polly only does one side of the worksheets. I never buy the entire kit because most of it you can make yourself. If Polly understands a concept we skip a lesson. Curriculum is supposed to work for you, not the other way 'round.
In addition (See what I did there?) Polly and Tigger both enjoy our math manipulatives (pattern blogs, tangrams, counting cubes, geo-boards, etc) and I let them play with them whenever they ask. It isn't work if you like it.

History: Chapter 10 (Ancient China) from The Story of the World Volume 1.
With supplemental reading from the library and activities from the activity book. I like this curriculum but I don't love it. It is reasonably priced, unlike some options, but the author's timeline doesn't really fit my timeline of ancient history. Still, it's a starting point. Polly narrates what we have read. We're not rushing through it.

Science: After studying animals from August-December, we started on the human body in January. We are mostly doing this with books from the library, activity pages printed from the Internet and whatever else I come up with. We're not rushing this either.

Shakespeare: We have "Fine Art Fridays" here at our homeschool. We read a Shakespeare story, study a great work of art, Polly reads to me from an easy reader, we occasionally study something from History, and we do a Math lesson only if we need to. This month we did The Tempest (3 weeks) and Twelfth Night (2 weeks). The first week I read the story from Lamb's Shakespeare for Children, the second week from Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, and the third week we read a picture book version (if the library has one).

Art: We study a different work of art each week. We sometimes read a biography of an artist or something non-fiction about art. This month Polly studied (and narrated about) Terrace of the Cafe du Forum, Bedroom at Arles, and Starry Night, all by Vincent Van Gogh. She also did Dance in the Country by Renoir and Victorian Chair by Childe Hassam. Polly narrates what she remembers about the work and then she either draws her own version or colors a copy.

Quiet Time: Each day after lunch we have "quiet time" which is occasionally, but not always, nap time for Sweet Pea & Tigger. We put on a story on tape or C.D. in their room (all 3 share a room). Some folks fall asleep (Sweet Pea) some don't (Polly) and some go either way depending on how tired they are (Tigger, Me). This month they listened to Little House on the Prairie, The Courage of Sarah Noble, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and they've started Ginger Pye, although they haven't finished it yet.

So there you have it: a month's worth of "learning" and I didn't even list all the "teachable moments" we had or the discussions, or the questions, or the...but you get the idea.


Stephen said...

Sounds like these girls have a great teacher--just reading this makes me excited about learning! :-)

Jennefer said...

Hi! I just wanted to say that I love your idea of Fine Arts Fridays and I played around with that idea at the beginning of the year too. Reading your post inspired me to jump back in and start that again. :)

The rest of your week looks amazing as well!


Karen said...

Thanks for the encouraging words! I just want to clarify that these are things we did in the MONTH of February - not in one week. I don't want anyone thinking we have super powers or anything! ;)

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