Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Looking Back: the School Year Begins
And so at last I will begin to attempt to get caught up on our homeschool happenings. It seems a little ridiculous to go back now and try to get caught up, but if I don't now, I never will. We started in early August--the above picture is K on the first day of school. 2nd grade! With 3rd grade coming up over the horizon. Aack!.. I just noticed the other day she's getting close to shoulder height on me.
I thought I'd take a moment and share what curriculum we're using this year. Five in a Row covers the majority of our subjects and time. I love how FIAR introduces a myriad of concepts while being so child (and family) friendly. It leads a child to see what an interesting place our world is. That said, I must confess that this has been such a Life Happens homeschooling year. A stream of Big Events affecting our family made me feel that I've been hugely distracted from putting my all into planning and implementing K's lessons this year. But that is the beauty of FIAR--even when you can't get fancy and do all the activities described by other mothers on their Beautiful Blogs, simply doing the activities as described in the FIAR manual is enough to provide memorable, meaningful learning experiences in a nurturing environment.
On to the other subjects. For Bible time we do a mixture. I use Bible story ideas from the Five in a Row Character and Bible Study Supplement, lessons from Leading Little Ones to God--a book I happened to pick up at a used curriculum sale this summer, and other random Bible story books that fit the season or book we are rowing.
For math, we are continuing with Singapore. A challenging curriculum, but K seems to be doing fine with it, as long as she doesn't get psyched out by a difficult problem-- or when a newly introduced concept seems "too harrrd".
We are continuing to use A Beka for Language Arts, and we use various workbooks I have on hand to help K continue to build her reading comprehension skills.
Finally, this year we started using Writing with Ease by Susan Wise Bauer. Her approach teaches children to write by "absorbing the style and grace of great authors". Each week there are story selections from classic children's literature to be read aloud. Spread out over the week, there are accompanying comprehension, copywork and dictation exercises. K looks forward to hearing the story selections, and it has been good practice for her to orally answer the comprehension questions in complete sentences. Her summarization skills are also growing, though it is hard work. This program helps a student think about good story telling and sentence structure and helps her begin to get a feel for what good writing looks and sounds like.
I will do my best to share our various Five in a Row books from this year. A final note--T has been tagging along with most of our activities. He rarely misses a story that is read aloud and actively participates in the lesson if he thinks it is interesting. Stay tuned!