Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Homeschool: Grade 1, Term 2 (2017-2018)

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

Natural History
Physical Education
Music Appreciation
Art Appreciation

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 Genesis and Matthew in Grade 1 (Form 1B). We covered Genesis 18-30 and Matthew 8-12. We read roughly 10-20 verses a day, seeking to cover one whole "episode" but not an entire chapter in a day. We alternate days between Genesis and Matthew.

Poetry: We choose one poet to focus on each term, and for term two, we focused on Elizabeth Coatsworth. I found most of her poems online, but we enjoyed Song of the Camels in book form. We read poetry every day, so we read Elizabeth Coatsworth’s poems 2-3 times a week, and on the other days, we read from A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa.

Math: We used Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic to cover numbers 20-50. This is a new math book that will be part of a series with plans for the rest to come out in the next couple years. I am so excited about this math series! It is completely based off of Charlotte Mason’s method, and it is different from other programs available (mainly, that problems are mostly done orally which is so gentle for these young ones!). It goes along with the bundle that I used last term (the bundle is more like a teacher’s guide and includes the entire scope & sequence for 1-12 grade).                

Reading: We just use this time for Sophie to get more practice with reading – 10 minutes a day. We read some of Treadwell’s First Reader as well as different readers like Frog and Toad and her American Girl Samantha book.

Copywork: For copywork, Sophie typically copies a line or two of poetry. Occasionally we do a verse instead or a line from a hymn. The goal is to visualize each word before writing it so that she can write the whole word from memory.

History: In our continuation of studying early American History, I wanted to take this term to focus on Native Americans. We used Meet the North American Indians by Payne as our spine, and we read Children of the Longhouse by Joseph Bruchac to go along with it. We actually didn’t finish Children of the Longhouse, but we enjoyed both books. Joseph Bruchac is a great author to check out for Native American writings. We also read Whispers of the Wolf by Pauline Ts'o.

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 is for reading and learning about children of other cultures and countries. Here is what we used:
Day 1 Book: The Little Mexican Donkey Boy by Madeline Brandeis (Charlotte Mason actually used this slot to help her children learn about children from other cultures - roughly 5-6 a term, so just a brief overview. This helped children to understand that there was a bigger world out there in the best way they could grasp- through the lives of other children, who were like them, yet different. In the future, we will use something more like this- perhaps the I Can See the Sun books, though I am not certain. Sophie did love this book though, and we learned a little about Mexico through it.)
Day 2 Books: The Big Storm by Bruce Hiscock
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
(While we did love these books, I will probably use them as free reads in the future and just use Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography book for our actual school time. I was intimidated and unsure of this book at first, but now I see it is very thorough and I prefer it as our actual school spine.)

*Note: We do still pull a map out during subjects like history and Bible and even sometimes geography, so Sophie does have experience with them; they simply aren't our main focus in geography for this year.

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: Wild Life in Woods and Fields by Arabella Buckley
Special Studies Books: Winter Trees by Gerber and Evans

Literature: We spend most of our literature time this year reading fairy tales and fables. Here are stories we covered this first term:
Aesop’s Fables: The Dog, The Cock, and the Fox
Aesop’s Fables: The Lion and the Mouse
Aesop’s Fables: Belling the Cat
Blue Fairy Book: Little Red Riding Hood
Blue Fairy Book: The White Cat
Blue Fairy Book: The Wonderful Sheep
Blue Fairy Book: Felicia and the Pinks
Blue Fairy Book: Diamonds and Toads

Physical Education (Drill/Dance/Play): This time should be used twice a week for actual free play. No rules, just let the child play. Other possibilities for the way we use this time (on the other days) are to learn jumping rope, fun dances together, and Swedish Drill. In this first term, we reviewed Swedish Drill movements and learned a fun drums song dance. We also skipped and marched to songs.
My two favorite resources for Charlotte Mason dance and drill: Swedish Drill and Dance/Moving to Songs

Music Appreciation: We studied Peter Tchaikovsky this term. We covered Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy, Piano Concerto No. 1, 1812 Overture, Violin Concerto in D Major, Quartet No. 1 in D Major. We simply listened to the songs. We also read The Story of Peter Tchaikovsky by Opal Wheeler.

Art Appreciation: We studied Winslow Homer. We studied The Milkmaid, The Country School, Snap the Whip, Fog Warning, The Turtle Pond, The Fox Hunt, and Deer in the Adirondacks, . I read a little biography on him, but mostly, we just studied the pictures, and Sophie narrated what she saw.

Spanish: We use Cherrydale Press's Spanish Book (volume 1) as our spine for this subject. We use it 1-2 times a week. It is based on of 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 5-8 this term. We also had flash cards and learned new words from those, and we used real objects, such as clothing, to learn new words. We also Pio Peep poems.

Singing: We learned and sang the following songs over the term:
- Patriot Song: America the Beautiful
- Folksongs/Nursery Rhymes: Will Ye Go Lassie, Hot Cross Buns, Doggie Doggie Where’s Your Bone, The Boatman
- Hymns: O Come O Come Emmanuel, I’ll Fly Away, Oh How I Love Jesus
- Spanish Songs: Noche de Paz, Cabeza Hombros Rodillas y Pies
We learned the difference between the beat and the rhythm.

Recitation: We split our recitation time into three different days (we have a five day rotation for our subjects). 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 first grade year, the preference is to learn two hymns, two 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. Because Sophie is still a newer reader, she repeated lines after me rather than reading herself. This term, we did the following:
- Hymns: Fanny Crosby: To God be the Glory
- Verses: Luke 2:1-20 (Christmas Story) and Luke 10:25-37 (The Good Samaritan)
- Poems: Elizabeth Coatsworth: “The Mouse”

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. This is an area I am still learning to improve in.

Handicrafts/Work: Sophie learned how to sew on a sewing machine. Her grandma taught her, and she has done a few projects since then. She’s made four pillowcases! She continued to do some hand sewing, and she also did some origami projects. We also did lots of baking for Christmas goodies!

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