Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From the School Room: Week 7

Notes from the trenches...

Still loving that we moved our family bible time to first thing in the morning. Lots of great, bleary eyed, pajama clad discussions. The best way to start the day.

At lunch we're memorizing Scripture passages all together. They all have their AWANA verses every week, but this has been something fun to do as a group. So far we've done Psalm 1 and I Corinthians 13:4-8, 13.

Bobo is almost done with Famous Men of the Middle Ages. She's been taking notes and doing some sketches along with her reading. When she's done, she's going to pick one of the famous men to write her first research paper on. I think I'm going to use Sonlight's packet, "How to Write a Research Paper" to get us started.

Elbow just finished Tale of Despereaux and has begun The Railway Children. Some of her reading list this year comes from Ambleside online, some are my picks.

Toddzilla is reading the Pathway readers out loud to me. We love Rachel, Peter, Andrew, and Miriam!

The girls' science group has changed to a seminar format this year- eight girls, one lecturer - with some experiments and field trips thrown in. As they study Earth Science they're also getting quite an education on taking notes and tests. Toddzilla's science has been pretty much non-existent. I'm working with another mom on getting our boys in some hands-on classes at our science museum and a few field trips to our amazing metro parks and nature centers.

Latin: We're in three different curriculums right now, a little hard to manage but do-able. (Especially since now I've been through the first two more than once). Toddzilla is using Prima Latina, Elbow Latina Christiana I, and Bobo First Form Latin. First Form has been a perfect jump. It's definitely more intense, but we're moving at a slow pace.

All three are using Spelling Workout and Saxon Math again; Elbow and Toddzilla are in various Handwriting Without Tears workbooks.

New for Bobo this year is Critical Thinking: Book I.  I'm not in love with this curriculum by any means. It's not well explained, and I prefer books that the student can basically open and go. I rarely even buy a teacher's manual. (Of course, my oldest student just turned 11 so we're not in waters too deep yet). Even with the teacher's manual, it's difficult to understand what's expected. The targeted age range is 7-12th grade, so it may be a bit higher than she's ready for. The Well Trained Mind recommends it for sixth grade and thus far those grade guidelines have served us well. We'll see how far we take this one.