Homeschool Term 1 2021-2022 (Grades 5, 3, 1)
It gets harder to know how to blog our homeschool days as I add in more students. Our days were tidier and more straightforward to share when I just had one student... now I have three children officially school age! We try to combine as much as possible, but there are some subjects where we cannot.
I'd like to still share, but because our homeschool days look different now, how I share here will need to change a bit too.
I mostly follow the Charlotte Mason method, but as we get more comfortable with homeschooling (we're on our 7th year!), I take the liberty to change things as they best fit our family. We cover quite a few subjects in a term. Some subjects we do together, and others I only do with certain girls. Some subjects we do every day, and some we just do once a week for 10 minutes. Here are the subjects we covered this term:
· Bible · Poetry · Recitation · Current Events · Math · Writing · American History · British History (just 5th grade) · Ancient History (just 5th grade) · Singing · Spanish · Geography · Literature · Grammar (just 5th grade) · Reading · Dictation (just 5th grade) · Science · Artist Study · Composer Study · Drawing · Handcrafts · Plutarch (just 5th grade)
Bible: This term we read from Exodus 1-12, covering the 10 plagues sent to Egypt.
Poetry: We focused on Maya Angelou this term, but we read poetry every day, and so we pulled from a lot of different poets and poetry books.
Recitation: For recitation, I chose verses, a poem, and a creed for us to recite this term. In recitation, we read the piece clearly and beautifully- it is a mixture of public speaking and memory work. It is not a requirement for my girls to memorize the pieces by the end of the term, but after 12 weeks, they sometimes do and are very familiar with the piece at the very least!
Verses- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Matthew 5:14-16, Psalm 143:8-10
Poem- Maya Angelou- "Life Doesn't Frighten Me"
Creed- Nicene Creed
Current Events: We listen to Kid Nuz every morning.
Math: We continue to use Richele Baburina's Elementary Arithmetic books from Simply Charlotte Mason. We've used these books from the start and love them. They are more labor intensive for the parent than a workbook, but I am so impressed with how well all of my daughters do with math, and they have been complimented by others no this as well. Their mental math, especially, is great! My 1st grader is in book 1, my 3rd grader finished book 2 and began book 3, and my oldest is a beta tester for book 4 which is not out yet but is excellent, and I'm excited for it to be available for everyone!
Writing: Occasionally the girls do free-writes, but often we use Handwriting Without Tears books to practice our writing during this time. My oldest learned cursive from this book! All three are finishing up their books right now: 1st grader-Printing Power, 3rd grader- Cursive Kickoff, 5th grader- Cursive Handwriting.
American History: This year we are studying the 1900s-present. I am comfortable enough with history now, that I look at the events that happened during these years and find books and videos to cover the ones I want us to learn about. This term we learned about the invention of the car, women's rights, child labor laws, the Titanic, World War 1, Amelia Earhart, Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Books we used: Heart & Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, A Young People's History of the United States, Camping with the President, Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, Helen's Big World, Brave Girl
British History: We cover the same time period in British history, so the 1900s.
Ancient History: This is our first year studying ancient history, and we are using The Silk Roads.
Singing: I chose two songs for us to learn this term-- "Stand By Me" and "They Will Know We are Christians by our Love."
Spanish: Spanish is a subject that I always struggle with consistency in as I am not fluent, but I continue to push myself to get in what we can. This term we mostly used Cherrydale Press's Speaking Spanish book to act out different scenes while learning.
Geography: For geography, the older two girls are creating 50 state books where they draw the flag and learn a few details about each of the 50 states. Lyla, my 1st grader, is learning some basic geography information, such as about how the earth rotates and spins, how we have day and night and seasons, and about shadows and directions. We also read Paddle to the Sea and learned about the 5 Great Lakes. One of the best parts is that this book discusses Lake Michigan, which we were able to visit in August, and Niagara Falls, which we visited in October!
Literature: With my 3rd and 5th graders, I read Island of the Blue Dolphins. With my 1st grader, we went The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh. Altogether, we read fairy tales, fables, and tall tales.
Grammar: For grammar with my 5th grader, I use First Grammar Lessons from Charlotte Mason poetry (free printouts).
Reading: My 3rd and 5th graders do independent reading. With my 1st grader, she is still doing reading lessons and learning how to read. We used Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Free and Treadwell's The Primer.
Dictation: My 5th grader does dictation. This is where she studies a written passage, and then when ready, I take it and read it to her and she writes down the passage. Essentially, it gives her familiarity with spelling and grammar and reinforces it as she writes the passage out.
Science: For science, the girls are watching Our Planet on Netflix. We also studied magnets this past term using the guide from Sabbath Mood Homeschool. We read a book about and studied daddy longleggers. We also read a few chapters from African Critters.
Artist Study: We studied Jacob Lawrence to go along with learning about Harlem. We used the wonderful guide and prints that Amber provides on Heritage Mom.
Composer Study: We studied John Williams, and he was a fun one for us to learn about. He composer so many of the songs from movies that the girls know! Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Star Wars-- and also, E.T., Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Superman, Home Alone, The Patriot, etc.!
Drawing: We drew the 10 plagues as we read about them, drew in our nature notebooks, and also did a few free drawings this term.
Handcrafts: We didn't focus on a handcraft this term, but did do a few that we already learned (latch hook, finger knitting, hand sewing, origami, baking) as the interest was sparked.
Plutarch: The purpose of studying Plutarch is to learn about humankind and for character development. It is like a citizenship class. We started reading Plutarch's Lives this year. We are using Anne White's guides to study this, and for this term we studied Publicly in The Plutarch Primer.