Today we are officially half way done with our current school year. For those of you who are new to my blog, we school from January to November instead of on a traditional school calendar. The timing works out really well, we work hard from January until the end of May, relax a little in June and July, then work hard again from August to November, and take all of December off.
Now that most of our friends are finishing their school year off and taking a break, I wanted to do a quick check in to let you know what we’ve been up to with our studies and what the kids are working on.
We just finished our first week with Oak Meadow’s Third Grade program. So far, so good! Things are laid out as a weekly checklist, so we were able to have a little flexibility on what to do when. This week we learned a little about the Ancient Hebrews. We talked about the story of the tower of Babel, wrote a summary of the story, wrote some letters in Hebrew, and did a little research about the culture. With Oak Meadow, he also worked on his cursive writing, practiced re-telling classic fables, and practiced addition skills.
His favorite part of Oak Meadow so far is the main lesson book, a big, blank book where he can draw pictures to go with his lessons and write summaries. He really enjoyed coloring in it, and is happy to make his own beautiful book. He also started learning to play the recorder this week, and right now, is in the kitchen making us all a snack from his cookbook that came with the curriculum.
I am really happy with Oak Meadow so far; it fit in very nicely with our week, and didn’t take very long each day, which left us with a lot of freedom to explore other interests. (Don’t forget, Oak Meadow’s big spring sale ends at the end of the month, if you are interested in trying it, you can save 20 percent on everything in their book store by purchasing now.)
Along with Oak Meadow, Bug still has some outside work to do- we are working on learning Latin and he is picking up on that really quickly. He has already started applying what he has learned to his English vocabulary and is noticing Latin roots in English words.
Bug is also still working on his core Math program, Singapore, and is almost finished with 3A. At this point he has most of his times tables memorized and has been working hard to master long division. I am still blown away with how quickly he picks up math concepts. We’ve been using Math Mammoth to help with extra practice on these topics, so we have lots of different tools all working together to make sure his skills are solid. He has slowed down the pace (thank goodness) and is now working at a more normal tempo since we are trying to make sure we are working “wide and deep” instead of simply moving as quickly as we can though the material.
In his free time, Bug is reading up a storm, and is learning as much as he can about Magnets and Electricity. We’ll be starting a unit study soon to dig more deeply into those subjects.
Mr. Man never stops moving. He’s been such a wonderful, determined Kindergartener. He’s working hard on his reading skills and is growing every day. He is able to sound out many works, and fluency is right around the corner for him.
He is still working on Handwriting without Tears and Touch Math, and both programs still a great fit for him. The hands on learning activities are exactly what he needs. He prefers words over numbers any day, so most of the time, he is writing words instead of numbers on all his work. For example, if his math paper says 1+2=, he will say “3” and write “cat”. It is what it is, and I am just happy he knows both words and numbers!
His behavior and attitude are doing better too. He’s learning to control his impulses a little and I feel less overwhelmed when we need to go out and about. I’m learning that he gets overstimulated quickly and am getting better at intervening before he has a meltdown. He’s still a busy little guy, but everyone is a little happier as we all learn how to better handle his needs.
We are still trying to have more fun and focus on being little. This last week, we played with play dough a lot, painted, baked, played games, read a lot of picture books and did circle time. Little Miss has loved being included in the fun, and we are all enjoying learning through play. She has been singing up a storm and is learning new things every day.
The last couple weeks we have also spent hours outdoors exploring our “jungle,” learning more about our trees, and raising tadpoles (unsuccessfully, they all died, which really took our life-cycle lesson full circle in the worst possible way).
Bug and Mason have both been playing Baseball on a local team, just finished Tap for the year, and have spent a lot of time at the park, swimming at the pool, and just basic running around (this is PE class, y’all).
As for Field Trips- We’re still learning about the Middle Ages as we explore Germany. This summer we plan on alternating field trips between natures centered outdoors activities and Castles.
That’s about it for the Kiddos, I know it probably reads like a lot. But- this load feels a lot lighter than what we normally do. We’re going to have a wonderful summer, do a lot of delight directed learning, and finish the year out with a bang this fall.