So this past week was our FIRST week of homeschooling!
I had given Miss Grace Friday of last week off, so she could relax and be ready to start on Monday.
It was a bit weird for her, as all her 'school; friends had the whole week off due to the county fair. One of the best things about homeschooling is being able to set the school calendar based on YOUR needs and activities. For us, that meant she really only needed one day off, for when we actually attended the fair. So her first week was really 4 days, not 5. Well maybe 4.45, as there was a lot of learning going on at the fair!
During week one we had:
- A schedule set up by day 2, that generally has Miss Grace DONE with all her daily work by 1 pm at the latest, and that includes reading her assigned book (and telling me what happened). For us this means getting up at 830 (we're sleeping IN, woo hoo!), Miss Grace getting up and hitting Math and History, until she's reading for a breakfast break. Then she does Language, Reading, Vocabulary and Spelling, finishes any left over Math pages, works on Art Masters or Bible (they're alternating for now), and then we tackle Science. As science had experiments, it went last, so we could segue right into them (next week, the order may change, as she has more Language bonus sheets). Some days she took a lunch break in between, others she took 10-15 minute 'recess' breaks to go out and get fresh air and exercise out the 'wiggles'. It may fluctuate but for now, it's a schedule we both like.
- One computer disk drive crash- this puts a damper on your on-line curriculum! Luckily she had worksheets to work on until I got the computer back online!
- One Pilgrim art activity- making salt dough ornaments, that also involved math fractions, as we doubled the recipe.
- One sleuthing investigation, after 2 of the above salt ornaments disappeared before they could be painted. Culprit: dog and cat working together. SIGH, apparently they taste good to them...
- Two science experiments teaching photosynthesis and why leaves change color during the Fall
- Two nature scavenger hunts, looking for deciduous trees, their fruit and seed, and to catalog the different types of plants, shrubs, trees and wildlife in the entire yard.
- One field trip- the County Fair, in its 105th year, touring the pioneer and livestock areas allowed for some hands on learning- how logs were chinked with an ax, and how you can still see those marks, how families lived in one room houses, how livestock were cared for, how school was taught, how many hymns have been around since almost the beginning of the country, the multiple uses for sugar cane, differences between goats and sheep, chickens and roosters. Also some side discussions on local flora and berries, bees and honey, and how olive wood from Israel is still used for religious art.
Who knew a fair could be so educational?
- I had Miss Grace start American History over again with Plymouth and was gratified to see how much more she learned and RETAINED about the early colonists and their actual relations with the local Native Americans. She actually read 10 chapters of Pilgrim's Progress AND of her Dear America Mayflower Diary book. In ONE week! And this is a kids who balks at reading! BUT when all the elements relate (including her spelling word list), it makes SENSE and kids want to learn!
- Days 4 and 5 were more involved than days 1 and 2, for obvious reasons, to allow her to slide into a routine, and to make sure the set up, curriculum wise, was working.
All in all, not a bad week! Miss Grace is back to LOVING learning again! And that is enough reason to make it all worth while!
Goals for This week:
- Multiple pumpkin science and math experiments, both before and after carving the pumpkins
-Multiple language and art experiments for Halloween, leading into next week's Día de Muertos activities, and dealing with the History of Halloween
-Testing on Plymouth and moving into the 13 Colonies
- Testing in Science and Math- being able to set different days and not have them all on Friday is SUCH a blessing! No more test anxiety- the kid is ASKING for tests!
-Testing on spelling and introducing the new list, as well as testing in Language Arts
-Finishing the Dear America book and starting her book report
- Working on fractions, both online and off, with more baking
-Art project, working with leaves collected last week.
- Resuming piano lessons- Miss Grace is already sight reading music! I am so thrilled at how well, and easy, piano has come to her!
- Loosing the arm cast! She was able to switch to the lighter splint cast this past week, so by Halloween she should be out of it! YEAH!
- First home school group activity-an All Saints Halloween Party! Miss Grace gets to dress as her 'saint', Kateri Tekakwitha! (This also allows for some history of the great lakes region Native tribes!)
WHEW! this week will be crazy, but it will be a lot of FUN, as well.