Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beginning of the school year update

Well, we have been in school for going on three weeks, and we are getting back into the swing of things. When I am not "in session," I forget how much I enjoy doing school with my kids. It is honestly a part of the day I look forward to. Some days are difficult, and I almost want to pull my hair out, but in general, I love home-schooling my children.
Isaac has been busy with phonics and math. His math was really lagging the first week, but now at the end of the second week, I can already see he is making progress. His reading, as always, is phenomenal! I am always amazed at his ability to grasp reading and phonics-related concepts. He has also been bugging me about learning a foreign language lately, so I am looking into that and trying to figure out which one we should tackle.
We have been busy with US Geography as well, and it has taken me a couple of weeks to feel like I have a good grasp of how the curriculum flows.
I am doing Five in a Row with both kids, and I LOVE IT. I cannot say enough about this curriculum. It is brilliantly and simply put together. Here again, I am still figuring out the flow of the curriculum and how we want to utilize it. I have been buzzing through it, using one story per week, but I think I want to slow down a bit and do a story every couple of weeks instead...there is just too much great information.
The first week of school, we did "The Story About Ping." The kids had read this story before, so it was a little bit of a review. We talked about the geographical components of the story (where it took place, information about the Yangtze River, a look at the people who live around the Yangtze and what their life might be like, etc.). We tied in science with this story and talked about buoyancy one day and did an experiment to test what things would float and what wouldn't (Graham loved this!). I heard Graham a few days later talking to himself about whether something would float or not!
I LOVED the art lessons related to the story. We talked about using colored pencil to create depth and how to draw water.
The second week we read "Lentil." Here is Graham constructing a city out of blocks somewhat similar to the town of Alto, Ohio in the book

Graham has been busy with "Letter of the week." So far we have covered two letters and are onto the third. One activity he really enjoyed is number graphing with manipulatives.

I am also going to "try" to hit story hour at the library for Graham this year. They do a fun craft to go along with the story, and Graham always has lots of fun. We met "Biscuit" the dog of the "Bicuit" books, and here he is with his puppy ears.