End of Quarter Review

Can you believe we have been in school for 9 weeks?  Amazing how quickly the time goes by.  I decided I would give everyone an academic update and a quick recap of the year up to this point.  We started school officially on August 13, 2012 with three students.  I was definitely slightly nervous about adding one but I also knew somehow it would all work out.

As a group we read To Kill A Mocking Bird (one for me), Charlotte’s Web (Parks’ pick), Swiss Family Robinson (Sims’ pick) and Peter Pan (Sawyer’s Pick).  Sawyer and Sims are in a book club at the library.  They started with The Whipping Boy and just finished Because of Winn Dixie.  Now they are reading The Bridge to Terabithia.

Parks:

  • Reading: He is doing the Primary Phonics program.  He is on the second level which covers vowels digraphs.  He can read most level 1 books and is starting to realize that he can read signs around.
  • Spelling: All About Spelling.  He knows all of his basic sounds and how to spell them.  He is now spelling CVC words and his sight words.
  • Math: He is still doing Montessori Math and he loves IXL.
  • Waldorf curriculum: Through this curriculum he follows a story that integrates folk tales and fairy tales which he then recaps and illustrates.
  • Language: First Language Lessons.  He knows nouns and can distinguish a noun.  He does very well with doing picture studies but his favorite thing to do is to recite poems.  So far his favorites are Caterpillar and The Goops.  He listens to Sims and Sawyer do their poetry and he will memorize theirs too if he can.
  • Art:  This is Parks.  He is art.  If he can build, paint, create or collage something then he is a very happy camper.  I try to make sure there is some kind of art in most of our lessons.

Sawyer and Sims:

  • Reading: Anything Sawyer can get her hands on.  Sims has been into almost anything nonfiction.  He has read about the revolutionary war and animals and is just starting to get into mysteries like the Hardy Boys.
  • Writing: She and Sims are working on a writing program from the Institute in Excellence in Writing.  This week they each did their first independent outline of a folk tale and they did it perfect.  I was very surprised.  They both also journal each day.  This semester they worked on paragraph writing, outlining short stories, writing a poem and journaling.
  • Spelling:  Both kiddos are using All About Spelling.  Sims is amazing me with his spelling.  I love this program, his tutor from last year and Sims’ amazing memory.  Last year, I was worried he would not pick up spelling but now I have no worries.  Sawyer is a natural speller.  She boggles my mind.  She is learning the spelling rules but she generally can just visualize how the word looks.
  • Language: Both are using First Language Lessons (Sims fourth grade and Sawyer third grade).  Thus far, they have learned nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs and how to diagram a simple sentence.  Diagraming-brings back memories of fourth grade for me. 🙂
  • Math: Both kids have been reviewing addition and subtraction and had lessons on Roman numerals.  Sawyer started multiplication, and Sims is starting decimals and fractions.  They both work on www.IXL.com each day also.
  • Handwriting:  Both kiddos asked to learn cursive so that is what we are doing.  I think they will do well with writing in cursive once we get through all of the letters.
  • Waldorf curriculum: Sawyer studied the Saints for the first four weeks and is now onto folk tales and fairy tales.  Sims did animal research and compared several different animals.

We do science as a group except for Sims.  Sims also takes ecology at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.  On the days he goes to ecology, we take hikes and do nature study.  In our science at home, we have looked at matter and investigated the three states of matter.  We have all done lots of animal research.

The school room, which was so nice and orderly in my first post of the year, is now messy and lived in.  There is fabric on the floor, paper all over and books on desks.  Our schedule is hectic but on the days that we are home, we are in the schoolroom  by 830.  They work diligently for about 2 hours and then they crash.  They take a short game break and start working again.  Unfortunately for them , school never ends.  They cook (math), clean (practical life), help in the garden (science), discuss the world and play with unbelievable imagination and happiness.  I am sure that sounds cheesy but for the most part it is true.  They are all full of life all the time.

How is your first quarter going?  What do you have planned for the next 9 weeks?

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