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:

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 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.

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