Thursday, March 26, 2020

Homeschool: Grade 3, Term 2 (2019-2020)

In the Charlotte Mason world, I call the "grade" Sophie is in "Form 1A." But in trusty American talk, she is in third grade. This was our second term for third grade.


  
As mentioned in this post, these are the subjects we cover in a term:

Bible
Poetry
Math 
Reading
Copywork
History
Geography
Natural History
Literature
Physical Education
Music Appreciation
Art Appreciation
Spanish
Singing
Recitation
Drawing
Handicrafts/work

We use the scheduling cards from A Delectable Education to schedule each of these subjects into our week, some being just once a week, and some being every day, some being 10 minutes, and some being 20.



Here is what we feasted on in Term 2:

Bible: We read from the actual Bible text, and we are reading through Joshua/Judges and Luke this year. We covered Judges 2-7 and Luke 7-12. We read roughly 10-20 verses a day, seeking to cover one whole "episode" but not (typically) an entire chapter in a day. We alternated days between Judges and Luke, and we didn't read all passages in Judges.

Poetry: We choose one poet to focus on each term, and for term three, we focused on Langston Hughes. We read Langston Hughes' Poetry for Young People. Reading black poetry was new for us, and it brought up a lot of good discussions. We read poetry every day, so we read poems by Langston Hughes 3 times a week, and on the other days, we read from A Child’s Book of Poems and Mother Goose by Gyo Fujikawa. 

Math: We continued to us Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Book 2. This book can easily be used for 2nd and 3rd grade, though it's always most important to go at a child's pace and be where they actually are at in understanding. There are plans for the rest of this series to come out in the next couple years. We finished this book this term- before the next book is out, unfortunately. We just continued on with multiplication tables and problems. We covered multiplication from numbers 7-10 this term, as well as 10s, 100s, and 1000s. We also began short division.

Reading: We no longer have a specific time for this in our school day. She reads on her own time, though. 

Copywork: For copywork, Sophie typically copies two lines of poetry or from a book. The goal is to visualize each word before writing it so that she can write the whole word from memory. This helps her learn to not only be a good writer but also a good speller! Sophie also has started dictation- where she looks at a short passage for a few minutes, to make sure she knows all of the words, and then I read it and she writes it out, ensuring to have correct spelling and punctuation. 

History: This year, we are covering American history from 1700-1800. I used Liberty or Death by Betsy Maestro as our spine for the term. For biography supplements, we used the following books:
- Remember the Ladies: A Story about Abigail Adams by Jeri Chase Ferris
- They Called her Molly Pitcher by Anne Rockwell
- Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (historical fiction)

Geography: We have two days that we do geography. One day is more for learning about physical geography and the general workings of the world (this is like "pre-map" work, because a child needs to understand these things before grasping a map or globe). The other day we have begun learning about specific areas of geography. We are learning this year about different countries around the world. 
Day 1 BookElementary Geography by Charlotte Mason. We only did Lessons 34 and 35 from this book this term.
Day 2 Books: - Our Big World by Barrows, Parker, and Sorensen. This term, we studied different countries in Asia as well as the South Pacific islands with the book Getting to Know the South Pacific by Charles Joy. This is an old textbook, so I've had to update a few things, but not too much. I love how it covers details about the land, resources, and people. They just don't make geography textbooks like this anymore.

Natural History: For Natural History, I choose two books that we will spend the whole term using, and then we have a special studies topic for the term (and sometimes two special studies), and I choose several books to cover that topic.
Book 1: Wildlife in the Arctic by Mary Adrian (*my girls loved this one!)
Book 2: A Walk in the Boreal Forest by Rebecca Johnson
Special Studies Books: 
Our special study was seasons and the arctic animals, and we used these books:
Crinkleroot's Nature Almanac by Jim Arnsoky
Frozen Wild by Jim Arnosky

Literature: We sure do love literature! We have two days of literature.
Day 1: We are reading Pilgrim's Progress (which is spread out over two years) (We finished this book this term.)
Day 2: Mythology- currently reading Tales of Troy and Greece by Andrew Lang. This is a retelling of The OdysseySophie loves it, but I don't believe I will use this book as early with my other daughters. It would be for the advanced student or the child who loves any and every book.

Physical Education (Drill/Dance/Play): We did some swedish drill, some exercises, and a lot of free play.

Music Appreciation: We studied Mozart this term. We read Mozart, The Wonder Boy by Opal Wheeler. We listened to String Serenade No. 13, Requiem Fantastic, Piano Sonata No. 11, Rondo Alla Turca, Clarinet Quintet in A Major, Symphony No. 31 in C, 12 variation of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Piano Sonata No. 16, Fantasia in d minor, Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, Wiegenlied, Overture. (My girls especially love Rousseau's piano performances.)

Art Appreciation: We studied Raphael. We again used the artist packets from Simply Charlotte Mason... they are great! The picture quality is incredible, and I love that they come with information on the artist and each picture. We studied Sistine Madonna, School of Athens, St. George and the Dragon, Small Cowper Madonna, An Allegory ("Vision of a Knight"), Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Ezekiel's Vision, and La Donna Valeta.

Spanish: We use took a complete break from Spanish this term. It wasn't intentional, but as I am not fluent, I needed the break this term.

Singing: We learned and sang the following songs over the term:
- Patriotic Song: "Waltzing Matilda"
- Hymn: "Simple Gifts" (Quaker hymn)
- Folksong: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
- Solfa: We used Solfa Sofa and went through Unit 2. We really like how she has her lessons set up, and my girls enjoy doing the printables that she has available each week.

Recitation: We do recitation three times a week. The purpose of recitation is not memorization (though, that often happens over the term!); the purpose is to be able to read something beautifully. Sometimes we each read a line and share the recitation, and sometimes Sophie does it all on her own. This term, we did the following:
- Religious: Brother Sun and Sister Moon
- Verses: Psalm 34:1-9, Luke 8:22-25, Luke 9:23-27
- Poems: Langston Hughes' "In Time of Silver Rain" and "I Dream a World" (Brielle, Grade 1, did "Poor Rover" and "Dreams")

Drawing: This term, we mostly veered away from using this time as Charlotte Mason would have. I was influenced by Waldorf pedagogy this year and began keeping a book for each of them where they can color and paint the things they are learning in literature. Sophie has one for Tales of Troy and Greece and Narnia and Brielle has one for fables and fairy tales.

Handicrafts/Work: The girls worked on Christmas gifts this term, and then we did clay modeling. 

Brielle is in first grade this year. While we didn't do everything the same as we did with big sister Sophie, we have a general same outline. As I learn and grow as both a person and as an educator, I find better books or different ways of teaching things... sometimes because of a better grasp on the way Charlotte Mason actually taught the subject and sometimes because I'm dipping into other pedagogies that have beautiful insight as well. Brielle is a different person than her big sister too, and I keep that in mind. However, I'm not going to write out all that we did since I have already blogged before about year 1. You can look at the pictures below to see what books we used (sometimes only parts of the books... it looks like a huge stack, I know!). And you can click on this link to read the full posts of what I have done in past years/terms with Sophie: Homeschool Archives.



Sunday, December 8, 2019

Christmas Gift Guide: For Children Under 10


I had a few friends request that I make a gift guide or recommend gift ideas to them. I had great intentions of publishing this list in the middle of November, and I started it then, but alas, I am only just finally finishing it. I apologize to all of those early shoppers like myself, but if you need a last minute gift idea or want ideas for the future, here is a list of some of our very favorites. Click on the name of each item, and it will link you to the item.

Schleich Animals
Schleich makes the best animal toys... from farm animals to aquatic animals to wild animals to dragons and unicorns- they have everything!



Waytoplay Tracks
We love these tracks. They're versatile and easy to move around, and they invite imaginative play!



Calico Critters
My girls spend many hours playing with Calico Critters- definitely a beloved gift in our household!

 Play silks
I always saw play silks on "gift lists" that I looked at when my girls were younger, and while I admired them, I always wondered if the price was worth it. My girls really do enjoy them though! They use them for dress up, to carry things in, as blankets, to hang between two chairs, and many other imaginative uses. I love the open ended-ness of them.


Art Supplies
My girls love art supplies of all types. There is a large range of art supplies - from Crayola Silly Scents to Beeswax crayons to watercolor paints to Foxy Casa earth paints... and of course many others! My girls love having just a plain piece of white computer paper best, but they also enjoy coloring books, construction paper, and artist journals.



Books
Probably my favorite gift of all- books! My girls enjoy books and being read to, and we add to our home library often. If you click on the "Books" title above, it will take you to an amazon list I have with book ideas we love for younger children. There are many great book lists out there, though!



Magnetic Tiles
We have had magnetic tiles for a few years now, and they are a much loved toy. We have several sets now so that several girls can play at once and so that we can build bigger things!



Kinetic Sand
Kinetic sand is such a great creation - sand that isn't messy! My girls enjoy playing with it just for fun, and sometimes we also use it for schoolwork.



Electronic Drawing Pad
These boards allow for children to draw and then erase and make a new drawing. My girls have played with them at other children's houses. I think they'd make a great car toy or a toy for when children have to sit quietly for an extended amount of time.




Musical Instruments
We've had musical instruments since my girls were young. We invested in a nicer set a couple years ago. Music is so good for children, and these toys get lots of use.



Flyer Pogo Pals
My sister put one of these on her son's wish list, and I thought they looked like a brilliant toy for an active young child!



Stacking Dolls
I have bought unfinished stacking dolls and painted each of my girl's a set. They play with them so often! You can buy finished ones on amazon as well, if you aren't crafty, like the one below.



Bow and Arrow
My girls have bow and arrows, and they have a lot of fun with them. We love all the things from Treasures from Jennifer- it's a great shop, and the owner is sweet and gifted!



Geoboard
Geoboards are fun and also a great challenge for the brain to think mathematically.



ClickityClack Wooden Toys
This etsy shop makes unfinished wooden toys. I love to buy them, paint them, and give them as gifts. My girls play with these often, and they're really reasonably priced gifts. It's fun that I am able to personalize them when I finish them as well. I paint with cheap acrylic paints from Walmart and then put a sealer on them so the paint doesn't chip.



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Homeschool: Grade 3, Term 1 (2019-2020)

This year I officially have two students with a third grader and a first grader! I'm so thankful I get to spend my days with my kids, though it sure does keep me busy and keeps time moving fast. Sophie and Brielle are great friends but very different personalities, so it's been fun (and sometimes hard) learning how to teach to both of them and "reach" both of them most effectively.


In the Charlotte Mason world, I call the "grade" Sophie is in "Form 1A." But in trusty American talk, she is in grade 3, or third grade.

As mentioned in this post, these are the subjects we cover in a term:

Bible
Poetry
Math 
Reading
Copywork
History
Geography
Natural History
Literature
Physical Education
Music Appreciation
Art Appreciation
Spanish
Singing
Recitation
Drawing
Handicrafts/work

We use the scheduling cards from A Delectable Education to schedule each of these subjects into our week, some being just once a week, and some being every day, some being 10 minutes, and some being 20.


Here is what we feasted on in Term 1:

Bible: We read from the actual Bible text, and we are reading through Joshua/Judges and Luke this year. We covered Joshua 1-7, 9, 10, 14-15, 19-24 and Luke 1-6. We read roughly 10-20 verses a day, seeking to cover one whole "episode" but not (typically) an entire chapter in a day. We alternated days between Joshua and Luke, and we didn't read all passages in Joshua.

Poetry: We choose one poet to focus on each term, and for term three, we focused on Kate Greenaway. We read Kate Greenaway's Marigold Garden. Kate Greenaway was also a beautiful artist! We read poetry every day, so we read poems by Kate Greenaway 3 times a week, and on the other days, we read from A Child’s Book of Poems and Mother Goose by Gyo Fujikawa. 

Math: We continue to use and love Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Book 2. This book can easily be used for 2nd and 3rd grade, though it's always most important to go at a child's pace and be where they actually are at in understanding. There are plans for the rest of this series to come out in the next couple years. We began our year with subtracting larger numbers. We then began multiplication! Sophie caught on quickly to multiplication (the program gives a great foundation for it!), and we covered multiplication tables 1-6 this term. We will probably finish book 2 by the end of the year, which should be perfect timing as I heard the next book should be out around that time!

Reading: We no longer have a specific time for this in our school day. She reads on her own time, though. 

Copywork: For copywork, Sophie typically copies a line or two of poetry or a book. The goal is to visualize each word before writing it so that she can write the whole word from memory. This helps her learn to not only be a good writer but also a good speller! Sophie also started learning cursive this year. 

History: This year, we are covering American history from 1700-1800. I used Struggle for a Continent by Betsy Maestro as our spine for the year. For biography supplements, we used the following books:
Building a New Land: African Americans in Colonial America by James Haskins and Kathleen Benson
- George Washington by Ingrid and Edgar d'Aulaire
- The Arrow over the Door by Joseph Bruchac

Geography: We have two days that we do geography. One day is more for learning about physical geography and the general workings of the world (this is like "pre-map" work, because a child needs to understand these things before grasping a map or globe). The other day we have begun learning about specific areas of geography. We are learning this year about different countries around the world. 
Day 1 BookElementary Geography by Charlotte Mason. We actually didn't use this book this term at all, but we will be back in it next term!
Day 2 Books: - Our Big World by Barrows, Parker, and Sorensen. This term, we started in Iceland, moved through several European countries, then on to several countries in Africa, down to Antartica, and finished in Australia. This is an old textbook, so I've had to update a few things, but not too much. I love how it covers details about the land, resources, and people. They just don't make geography textbooks like this anymore.

Natural History: For Natural History, I choose two books that we will spend the whole term using, and then we have a special studies topic for the term (and sometimes two special studies), and I choose several books to cover that topic.
Book 1: The Fall of the Year by Dallas Lore Sharp
Book 2: A Walk in the Desert by Rebecca Johnson
Special Studies Books: 
Our special study was sea life and summer birds used these books:
Shimmer & Splash by Jim Arnsoky
Backyard Birds of Summer by Carol Lerner

Literature: We sure do love literature! We have two days of literature.
Day 1: We are reading Pilgrim's Progress (which is spread out over two years) (We read from pages 118-139 this term.)
Day 2: Mythology (currently reading Tales of Troy and Greece by Andrew Lang). This is a retelling of The OdysseySophie loves it, but I don't believe I will use this book as early with my other daughters. It would be for the advanced student or the child who loves any and every book.

Physical Education (Drill/Dance/Play): I went really low-key in this area this term. We did free play and jump rope and running around outside, and that's all.

Music Appreciation: We studied Chopin this term. We read Chopin, Son of Poland, Early Years by Opal Wheeler. This is the first time we didn't finish the biography. We simply didn't connect with him as much as we have some others. And I'm learning to say that's okay. Don't force things! We still enjoyed his music, and we listened to Nocturne op. 9 No. 2, Etude Op. 10 No. 3, Revolutionary Etude (Op. 10 No. 12), Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor Op. 21, Prelude No. 15 "Raindrop" Op. 28, and Heroic Polonaise Op. 53.

Art Appreciation: We studied Mary Cassatt. We again used the artist packets from Simply Charlotte Mason... they are great! The picture quality is incredible, and I love that they come with information on the artist and each picture. We studied In the Loge, The Child's Bath, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, The Boating Party, A Woman and a Girl Driving, Young Mother Sewing, Children Playing on the Beach, Girl Arranging her Hair. Sophie (and Brielle) study each picture for a couple minutes and then narrate to me what they see. Sophie's favorite painting was Children Playing on the Beach and Brielle's was In the Loge.

Spanish: We use Cherrydale Press's Spanish Book (volume 1). It is based on Francois Gouin's research that showed it is easier to learn a language when you learn the action verbs (rather than just a noun). So, we learn a set of activities in English (acting them out); then once we have the English memorized, we learn the same set of activities in Spanish. We did Cherrydale lessons 36 and 39 this term. We also used En Mi Familia as a resource to ask questions and learn how to find and answer them based on a picture.

Singing: We learned and sang the following songs over the term:
- Patriotic Song: "Dixie's Land"
- Hymn: "Seek Ye First"
- Spanish Songs: "Colores y Numeros" and "Baile de Los Colores"
- Solfa: We began using Solfa Sofa and went through Unit 1. We really like how she has her lessons set up, and my girls enjoy doing the printables that she has available each week.

Recitation: We do recitation three times a week. The first day, we recite a hymn (rather than sing). The second day we recite a Bible verse. The third day we recite a poem. In a term, for the second grade year, the preference is to learn two hymns, two-three verses, and two poems. The purpose of recitation is not memorization (though, that often happens over the term!); the purpose is to be able to read something beautifully. Sometimes we each read a line and share the recitation, and sometimes Sophie does it all on her own. This term, we did the following:
- Hymns: "All the Way my Savior Leads Me" and "Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus"
- Verses: Psalm 84, Luke 6:27-31, Joshua 1:9
- Poems: Kate Greenaway's "The Cats Have Come to Tea" and "The Jumping Girls" (Brielle, Grade 1, did "The Tea Party" and "Baby Mine")

Drawing: We used this time to do drawings from nature (we bring the object inside and she brush draws it – with a paint brush), from her imagination of stories we have read, and from her memory of animals she has seen. I was influenced by Waldorf pedagogy this term and began keeping a book for each of them where they can color and paint the things they are learning in literature. Sophie has one for Tales of Troy and Greece and Brielle has one for fables and fairy tales.

Handicrafts/Work: The girls learned how to latch hook this term, and each started a project, though neither got finished. Some day they'll pick them back up! We also, as a side interested, learned how to finger knit!

Brielle is in first grade this year. While we didn't do everything the same as we did with big sister Sophie, we have a general same outline. As I learn and grow as both a person and as an educator, I find better books or different ways of teaching things... sometimes because of a better grasp on the way Charlotte Mason actually taught the subject and sometimes because I'm dipping into other pedagogies that have beautiful insight as well. Brielle is a different person than her big sister too, and I keep that in mind. However, I'm not going to write out all that we did since I have already blogged before about year 1. You can look at the pictures below to see what books we used (sometimes only parts of the books... it looks like a huge stack, I know!). And you can click on this link to read the full posts of what I have done in past years/terms with Sophie: Homeschool Archives.