Yes, another homeschooling blog...

P'once a little time there was a girl. This girl grew up to be a Mamma to three little girls all very much like herself. And this little Mamma knew she just had to have a place of her own to keep all things home school right at her fingertips.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Second Term - First Grade

Where have we been?

Our last couple weeks in Italy proved to be a non-stop last-glimpse adventure of Rome. Once home and unpacked, we had hardly enough time to repack ourselves up again to spend the holiday with family in Virginia. And here we've been since. Mara's been busy reading leisurely on her new Kindle from Yem and I've hardly stopped to think about what next term has in store for us... until today.

A glance back...

I imagine this term will look different than it had over the fall. We'll be back in our own environment. I don't have every little thing planned out as I had last term. Homeschooling abroad forced me to prepare far in advance. I had just about everything worked out week by week, from our online resources to prevent me from packing too many books on our luggage to easy activity ideas for little to no supplies. Last year I valued our ability to adapt to interests and mold our homeschooling as we went. This year I have realized the importance of preparation. It is not that I was unprepared last year, I just did it on a much more day to day basis as I learned our pace. Looking back over the fall I realized that with any amount of material available, I am able to cater to Mara's pace and that's the beauty of homeschooling.

So what are we doing this term? 

Mara will once again begin swimming in January at the Y. I am also looking into tennis lessons for her as well. 

Science topics this term will begin with finishing the Animal Kingdom before moving onto the Human Body. By early spring I'd like to be at a point where we can increase Natural History and nature journaling. Minn of the Mississippi, Seabird and Tree in the Trail will possibly read this term. I would also like Mara to join Izaak Walton League and a field trip to help our local Park and Recreation Department tap maple trees and then make maple syrup a few weeks later.

Writing will be a big focus this term. I am going to crank up the heat on journaling. We are moving into italics this semester, which recently caused squeals of happiness so I am hoping this level of excitement is kept up throughout the course of the semester.

Music... not my forte, but important non-the-less. I'll have Mara do a composer study this term and I believe she has an opportunity to begin using a recorder with the co-op... I will have to look into this. I also recently received information regarding voice lessons. This is yet another thing I must look into.

Our time this term in History will be spent on the Middle Ages. I don't see this topic being as focal as it had been last term but will look forward to exciting tales and plenty of imaginative play to work it's way into learning about Medieval History. We will end our term with a short focus on Joan of Arc.

We have been invited once again to join a local homeschool co-op. This year their focus is in American History. This group meets together bi-weekly and is a great opportunity for Mara to interact with other children in a classroom setting. Last year I was very proud of her when she stood up in front of the class to present her project on Cassiopeia. This year would provide her another such opportunity. Benjamin Franklin will be her topic of study.

Mara will be assigned at least two chapter books this term for independent reading. She recently read a book out of the Junie B. Jones series. It took her about three days over Christmas break, so with that in consideration, I'd like to pick something a little more challenging. I am still thinking about this one and will have to look at our shelves at home alongside our list of suggested reads for this year.

This is the list from Ambleside for Level 2. I've crossed out those that we've already read.

Heidi by Joanna Spyri
A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales - I have this downloaded on her Kindle
Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning
Abraham Lincoln by Ingri D'Aulaire
Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit - I think we have this at home
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder - I think we have this at home
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle (sensitive readers: be aware that the child loses a hand in this story)
Chanticleer and the Fox Barbara Cooney's is one version
Along Came A Dog by Meindert De Jong
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angli

Mathematics, Grammar and Latin will continue as usual. We are in the middle workbooks on these, so I shouldn't have too much trouble picking up where we left off.

I am excited about four new resources I have recently been given.
Nature with Children of All Ages by Edith A Sisson
Games for Learning by Peggy Kaye - I've borrowed Games for Math by Peggy Kaye from the library and I still use plenty of the games while in the car to exercise Mara's math knowledge. I'm excited to own a copy of Games for Learning and will very likely be sharing some of the games we come across as we use this book.
Family Math by Stenmark, Thompson and Cossey
Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfied Englemann
I will be looking forward to cracking these open over the course of the term. Speaking of resources, I recently went on a trip to the Dollar Store and picked up some fabulous materials, including math manipulatives, journal starters, lined border paper, etc. I couldn't believe the great stuff they had!

So, wow! Swimming, Tennis, Animal Kingdom, Human Body, Natural History, Izaak Walton League, a field trip to tap for Maple syrup, Italics, A composer study, recorder and voice lessons, the Middle Ages including ancient manuscripts to Joan of Arc, a closer look at Benjamin Franklin, Math, Grammar and Latin, and more... Sound like another busy semester!

 ***Some other things we need to work on:
  • Memorization of address, phone number, and other important numbers
  • Practice telephone etiquette and emergency numbers
  • Need to know months of the year/days of the year a little better

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