Welcome to our Week in the Life post for Oak Meadow Grade Six!
This week has been a bit bananas. I feel a little guilty using it as our week in the life post because I had the flu and things were anything but normal around here- but that’s the beauty (and downside) of homeschooling. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Luckily for me, Bug is old enough now that his curriculum is really designed for him to be able to work independently, and he has gotten better and better at working through his assignments with little intervention from me.
How we divide the week:
Bug has asked to try block scheduling with his Oak Meadow curriculum this year, so for the most part, he has been focusing on one topic a day. It doesn’t always work smoothly (more on that later) but in an ideal world, he’d like to do science on Mondays, history on Tuesday, language arts on Wednesday and on Thursday, do fun, hands-on activities. We average four-day school weeks in our home because we are year-round homeschoolers, so Fridays are typically reserved for rest, adventures outside the home, and other fun.
This week is week 8 of Bug’s Oak Meadow Six curriculum. We’ve chosen to share a later week in the curriculum to give you an idea of how the program works once you settle into a routine with it.
Science this week included all sorts of hands-on activities while Bug continued learning about plants. This week, he focused on stems, leaves, and the structural elements that brings nutrients and water to the plant. It’s still the dead of winter here, so we had to improvise a little with the curriculum. Typically, you’d be hitting this lesson in September, but since we started in January, instead of gathering plants from outdoors, we made due with flowers from the store, a potted plant, vegetables, and pictures online.
Bug did some experiments and continued learning about the scientific method. This year, he’s keeping a journal where he is taking notes on his experiments, writing down his hypothesis, and keeping track of his findings. In the picture above, he used plastic to see how respiration works- after a couple hours he was able to note condensation on the bag.
He also did the age-old plant in dye experiment. In the past, I’ve always had to do most of the work for his science experiments, but this week, he gathered all the materials, set up all the activities, performed the experiments, and tracked the data on his own.
It’s a blessing (and also quite sad) to know he can do all of this without me!
What I loved about science this week is that the book includes all the reading, diagrams and information he needed to come to conclusions about the activities, but it also encouraged further exploration- which is something I am loving about this level in every subject.
Social Studies this week was all about ancient India. Just like his science lessons, the social science lesson encouraged Bug to really go down the rabbit’s hole and learn as much as he could about the country.
He read the history, did some map work, and then researched to get ready for his language arts assignments. The lesson book included a recipe (which I was not well enough to supervise, but it’s on the menu for this week), reading, and encouragement to research religious traditions, cultural information, current events, and more.
Bug got really into watching YouTube videos of traditional Indian dancing, and read all about different holidays celebrated in India.
For language arts this week, Bug needed to take the information he learned from his studies about India and write a report. His report included sections on the history of India, holidays, food, traditions (like dancing) and demographic information.
Report writing is still new for Bug, but the curriculum has him learning in bits and pieces. I love that the curriculum got him excited about the subject by encouraging him to really research the topic and find points of interest before writing.
This week, additional reading was also assigned. There were many options in the book, but Bug decided he wanted to learn more about the religious traditions in India. I am enjoying the multi-cultural focus on this year’s curriculum, and the encouragement to learn more about the cultures and people who lived in these ancient places.
In addition to his report, Bug also needed to complete vocabulary definitions (drawn from his assigned history reading), spelling words and his instruction to write a letter to a member of his family using the proper format.
Math this week included fraction work, with practice finding the lowest common denominator, and borrowing with mixed numbers. Step by step instructions and worked practice questions are included. This week included two pages of practice questions, and a two-page test to complete. I have Bug spread his math lessons out throughout the week instead of completing it in a block rotation.
I feel like Bug did a huge amount of work this week- but here’s the kicker- if you look at what was actually assigned, it’s a completely reasonable amount of things to do. What makes Oak Meadow special at this level is that there are plenty of suggestions and resources for kids to take detours, and to “run” with their education.
For example, Bug probably could have done the bare minimum with his report on India. But the curriculum gave him just enough information to spark his curiosity. He’s learning to find information on his own, to plan activities, to run experiments, to do crafts, and instead of me needing to be a cruise director for him at this point, his lessons are interest led. He is finding what he is interested in, and he’s running with it. It’s a beautiful thing!