Thursday, February 19, 2009

Homeschooling Update

For those of you who might be interested in what we're doing this year:

Bible - Brian does this Bible study with Anna Kate and Ethan in the evenings - they love it! Earlier in the evening he reads the corresponding Bible story from Catherine Vos' fantastic The Child's Story Bible to all of the children. Anna and Ethan also use Samaritan's Purse prayer journals that focus on a different country each month of the year and have a Bible verse for the month. I'd like to get back on track with some more substantial Bible memorization for them soon. This has been a rough year for me.

Math - Anna is almost finished with Horizons K-5 math. Ethan is doing Singapore Math this year and has gone from hating math to loving it as a result. I'll be using Singapore for both next year.

Reading- Anna Kate uses ABeka's Handbook for Reading and some old Dick and Jane books, as well as lots of other kinds of readers and books. She reads everyday, but not always the same kind of things. She can read all kinds of Level 1 readers and when I compared them to the last few Bob Jones kindergarten readers she was far more advanced, so I think that she's reading very well. Ethan reads at least a chapter from a book each day. It's not always quality literature, but he's made great strides this year, and I have focused on providing him with materials that encourage him to love reading. Right now he's reading a Star Wars book. He's read some Usborne readers, including Greek myths and the Canterbury ghost, and also enjoyed some Magic Treehouse books, both the fiction stories and the non-fiction books, like Magic Treehouse:Space.

Writing- The year started with alphabets (Anna manuscript and Ethan cursive) and different copywork sheets, but I frequently got behind finding and printing the free resources that I usually use, thanks to being sick all year. So I finally gave up and bought A Reason for Handwriting. Anna Kate is in book A, and Ethan in book C. They enjoy it, and I don't have to think about it, which for this year, is a very good and helpful thing. We also have Draw-Write-Now Book 3, which they thoroughly enjoy and we use topically. They did the Pilgrim section at Thanksgiving and we're using the Native American section now.

Social Studies - This has been primarily topical. Ethan did read the majority (so far) of ABeka's 2nd grade Social Studies book, but mostly we've done topics, including the Inauguration, Abraham Lincoln, the Pilgrims, 50 states, etc. We also use God's World News : Taking Off! editions for current news. Right now we have several books for Black History month. This week and next week, however, are primarily dedicated to the study of Native Americans. I also want to nail down some world geography objectives soon. Ethan also recently began Cub Scouts which provides us with new social studies and science project opportunities.

Science - Also primarily topical. We've done studies on space and the planets, and I frequently get books on science topics to read - animals, atoms, health, etc. I hope to get in some substantial coverage of electricity and magnets and one on water and the ocean before the end of the school year. I'm also ready to send in our coupon for the butterfly eggs to go in our little pavilion that we bought. I think that that will go well with Lent and Easter topics too. :^) I've been able to read the ABeka K5 science book to Anna Kate, I've just saved the ocean chapter, she also just studied animal groups.

The Arts - We're blessed to have many opportunities for student performances of theatre and music productions. We've seen several children's theatre productions and The Nutcracker, among other things. We recently dedicated a couple of weeks to a study of famous composers. Art projects usually go along with topical studies, and I like to throw in books about famous artists or books of fine art too. Anna Kate also takes ballet lessons and Ethan does piano with me (unfortunately sporadically again this year), and also wants to begin lessons on his new guitar.


Jacki said...

Sounds like you have some very well-rounded kids! I remember using A Beka curriculum when my mom home schooled us. My mom always found that A Beka was more advanced then Bob Jones, so we never used that one.

Alicia said...

I grew up primarily on ABEKA too and found it to be the more advanced of comparable curriculums as well. I have a pretty complete set of the Abeka curriculum (minus the workbooks) that I use as a curriculum spine, at least for reading, social studies, and science. Ethan didn't like the reading books for first grade, so we just use the handbook now. I thought that there had to be a less tedious and repetitive way to learn grammar and spelling, so we'll see if I'm right eventually. :^)

Persuaded said...

alicia.. i adore these kinds of posts:)

we tried miquon math this year, and i was so excited about it, but ended up despising it. organizationally it is all over the place, which drives me bonkers (seriously *bonkers!*) i just ordered saxon math for noah... it came yesterday and we'll start with it next week. it's funny you should mention singapore tho, someone else was just telling me how great it was yesterday... hmmm, maybe i should have gotten that instead:P

Stacy said...

It sounds like ya'll are doing really well! It makes me excited for the day we start homeschooling.