Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quarter Update Fall 2008

So it appears to be that time of year for parent teacher conferences. I summed up the academic thoughts from my conference. You know, with myself...

Hymns - We learned about 4 of our hymns so far. The girls are familiar with "Holy, Holy, Holy", "A mighty Fortress is our God", "This is my Father's World", and "Oh for a thousand tongues to sing". We learned at least the first verse of all of them. "This is my Father's World" lent itself nicely to sign language, so the girls learned how to sign the first verse. I have to admit that "A mighty Fortress" is a tough hymn in terms of vocabulary and understanding. The devotionals helped out, but boy is a tough one! We'll continue learning, "Oh for a thousand tongues to sing" this month.

Memory Work - We completed A-G in our, "ABC bible verses" book. The girls also memorized The Lord's Prayer and John 1:1-7. We are working on 4 verses for the season of Advent and taking a break from the ABC bible verses. K has memorized the books of the Old Testament for her bible class.

Devotionals - We continue to work through, "Leading Little Ones to God" at dinnertime. We'll probably repeat it again next year.

K has continued to work through Book 1, of Shiller Math. I love this curriculum, though it is not traditional at all. The short lessons work well for her at this age. We have worked on the basic math symbols as well as greater than or equal to and less than or equal to symbols. We have started some basic addition, even doing 4 digits without regrouping. She is on lesson 182(ish) and will finish Book One by Christmas.

K continues to work through the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. She took off reading so quickly, so the lessons feel "below" her skill level, but I have no doubt that reviewing phonics rules will benefit her in the future. I can already see improvement.

We finished Explode the Code book 1 and are about halfway through Book 2.

We have taken a break from OPG and ETC twice to complete units in Modern Curriculum Press Plaid Phonics Program, Level B. She has started Unit 2 and we will finish it in December.

K is almost finished the Handwriting Without Tears - Letters and Numbers for Me. I see a huge improvement in her use of lower case as well as her letter formation. We still have a few to drill into her head, such as the letter "O" which she wants to begin at the bottom instead of the top and a few numbers she continues to write backwards. BUT this is all typical for Kindergarten, so I have no concerns.

We'll go ahead and move on to "My Printing Power" (level 1st grade) after the holidays to continue to reinforce manuscript.

We have completed several literature studies from Five in a Row, as well as several from Homeschool Share. We took a 2 week break to study Autumn and a 2 week break to study Thanksgiving using various literature sources. Our 2 weeks of poetry were a favorite of mine, so I hope to do more.

Map - K (age 6) has memorized all 50 states and capitals. She is currently working on mountain ranges through the US. While the physical features will be added bonuses as she learns them at CC, I plan to keep reviewing the states and capitals next quarter to make sure she knows the locations.

Events - The girls memorized 12 history sentences describing key events from 1492 (Columbus) to 1865 (end of the Civil War). They are all part of our CC Memory Work, and thankfully they are songs!

We completed unit studies on Johnny Appleseed, Columbus, and are currently studying the Pilgrims.

Our first 6 weeks at CC incorporated Science Experiments about Anatomy and the workings of our bodies. During our second 6 weeks, the girls built models of their bodies using the book, My Body. They really enjoyed this!

We have done various studies during our literature studies as well, everything from bouancy to Mallard Ducks. One of the most yummy studies was our study of the phases of the moon during our poetry unit. We used oreos to create the moon phases! (see picture)

The girls also learned a memory sentence each week in the topic of anatomy. I can't say we focused on mastery of these sentences, but certainly gained familiarity.

Other Memory Work
I have come up with some memory work that I think is important for kindergarteners, which we do instead of the Latin and English at CC. This quarter we have memorized our address, phone number, mom's cell, dad's cell, and the days of the week. We are currently working on dad's work number and the months of the year.

We spent 6 weeks on Drawing at CC. The girls do various crafts and activities at home, but we really haven't followed a good program for this. We pull a lot of the FIAR art activities in our unit studies. I think this is adequate for kindergarten. A favorite was creating the same scene twice, one time we used warm colors so it looked like daytime. The second time we used cool colors to make it appear to be evening. (Cranberry Thanksgiving activity)

The girls completed 6 weeks of music theory at CC. I hope to follow up on this after the holidays.

We learned about the food pyramid, following the goals for the local public school kindergarteners.

Physical Education
This summer K (age 6) learned to ride her bike without training wheels. We used to take a 1 mile walk to the village center and back weekly. Now that it is winter, we aren't doing that. They girls have been in ballet since September and love it!

That about sums it up. Somedays it feels like we get so little accomplished, but when you look back it is so nice to see how much you have done!


mary said...

You have accomplished an impressive amount!! Makes me feel like I should be doing more at home with my almost-4 and 5-year-old!! Great work!!!

Maria said...

I read your Schedule post first, then this one.

Schedule or not, you've accomplished a LOT. Keep doing what your doing schedule or not :)

mom24 said...

LOVE your bodies! I didn't have the cool part to cut and put on ours so we had to use misc stuff (like yarn for the brain, and rubber bands for muscles) but the kids just LOVED it. I even had to trace little Ashton (2.5 yo)!
Great work!