This is the post in which I do not apologize for not blogging for the last 6 months and let you know how our school year went. We don't officially fnish school until the end of the week, although we will continue with some subjects over the summer, but I think I can wrap things up now. I posted last August what curriculum we had planned for the year, here is how it all worked out:
Anneliese - Grade 3
- Math - Singapore Math 3A and 3B, lots of boards games and fun manipulatives, and Mathematicians Are People, Too. Anneliese got most of the way through 3A and when she hit long-division I stopped her. She needed a lot more practice and memorization of her multiplication tables so we took a break from Singapore and I picked up Multiplication Mosaics for daily multiplication practice and RightStart Math C. She has finished up the year about halfway through RightStart Math C and it was a much needed break from Singapore. Anneliese LOVED the section about shapes and getting to draw with the T-square and 30/60/90 triangle.
- Social Studies - History Pockets "Explorers of North America," "Life in Plymouth Colony" and "American Revolution;" lots of living books and biographies about Christopher Columbus, the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution Anneliese completed History Pockets "Explorers of North America," "Life in Plymouth Colony" and "Moving West." She has finished up US History at about 1890. Anneliese says her favorite part of history this year was when we read American Girl books to go along with our studies. Anneliese requested more workbook stuff so we added Evan-Moors Daily Geography Practice Grade 3.
- Language Arts - Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success, All About Spelling Level 2, Grammar Tales and Five in a Row vol.1 with Trevor Anneliese completed Cursive Success and has been practicing her handwriting with copywork, letters to friends, etc. She completed All About Spelling Level 2 and got halfway through Level 3. We stopped Grammar Tales after the first book, it was too cheesy. We switched to First Language Lessons and completed Level 1 and started Level 2. She started and then dropped Writing With Ease. Anneliese wanted more workbook stuff so we added Evan-Moor Daily Language Practice and Daily Vocabulary Practice, both Grade 3.
- Science - Real Science 4 Kids pre-level 1, homeschool science classes at the Tacoma Nature Center. All 3 of us disliked Real Science for Kids and we switched to R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Level 1 Life and completed 3/4 of it before we quit to do a couple individual animal and plant studies that we were more interested in. These included whales, some nocturnal animals and a general study of plants. Science classes at the Tacoma Nature Center we a hit as usual.
- Fine Arts - Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3 Book 2, lots of museum trips and classical music listening, possibly a drama class with the Broadway Center. We didn't do nearly as much art as I had planned. It was easist to skip on weeks when we were busier than expected or ready for day with friends. We did, and continue to, listen to classical music regularly.
In addition to her schoolwork Anneliese participated in Girl Scouts for the first time and completed her first year as a Brownie. She learned a lot and really enjoyed the experience.
Trevor - Grade K
- Math - Earlybird Kindergarten Math A and B, lots of boards games and fun manipulatives, and Mathematicians Are People, Too Trevor completed book A and then switched to RightStart Math B and has sped ahead in math. He also works daily in Adding Adventures and Subtraction Secrets.
- Social Studies - listening to Anneliese read some of her history books aloud and Five in a Row. Trevor listened in to most of Anneliese's history stories and completed Evan-Moor's Beginning Geography book. It was his favorite subject of the year.
- Language Arts - Handwriting Without Tears Letters and Numbers for Me, Five in a Row vol. 1 and all the books he enjoys reading himself. Trevor completed Letters and Numbers for Me and started My Printing Book, which he will finish in just a few days. We read most of the Five in a Row vol. 1 books and then felt like we didn't have enough time for them. We had enough other read-alouds that we weren't lacking for reading time. He has worked just over halfway through Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and has not yet caught up to his actual reading level. Trevor also completed reading collections 1 - 3 of BOB Books. He completed All About Spelling Level 1 and First Language Lessons Level 1 and started Level 2.
- Science - R.E.A.L. Science for Kids pre-level 1, homeschool science classes at the Tacoma Nature Center. All 3 of us disliked Real Science for Kids and we switched to R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Level 1 Life and completed 3/4 of it before we quit to do a couple individual animal and plant studies that we were more interested in. These inclulded whales, some nocturnal animals and a general study of plants. Science classes at the Tacoma Nature Center we a hit as usual.
- Fine Arts - Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3 Book 2, lots of museum trips and classical music listening. We didn't do nearly as much art as I had planned. It was easist to skip on weeks when we were busier than expected or ready for day with friends. We did, and continue to, listen to classical music regularly.
Overall I am very pleased with how our year went. This was my first year formally schooling 2 children and while there was a definite learning curve, I managed it and I have ended the year with a good schedule, happy and interested-in-learning children and a solid picture of how I want our schooling to be in the future.
I have waffled the last three years between educational philosophies, starting with Classical, moving to unschooling, then to Charlotte Mason and now coming back around the circle to Classical. I have seen this past year what my children are really capable of and it amazes me. The poetry memorization, the math skills and vocabulary they have developed are all so incredible. The funny part is how naturally it all happened. Nothing felt forced or pushed, there were no tears, they delight in their learning. We will stay the course next year and continue with curriculum choices that reflect a Classical philosophy.
I have next year's curriculum planned already, so look for that post soon!