Wednesday, August 13, 2014

School Books '14

I can't believe how quickly the children are growing, but here we are with Kate in fourth grade and Gabby in second!

We are sticking with Noeo for science this year and we have reached the fourth (and final) volume of Story of the World.  In those subjects we are studying physics, which is phun, of course.  Sorry.  I couldn't help myself!  I don't buy the labs they recommend, but I did get both a magnet set and an electronics kit to do for labs instead.  In history we'll be studying modern history--in the first couple of chapters we've seen the re-opening of Japan to the west and the Crimean war.  We'll finally get to the Vietnam War, which I've never actually studied, since we never finished the text book when I was growing up.  That was not too terribly before my time, so getting much further on is somewhat like current events for me.  If you have a younger child tagging along in Story of the World, the activity book for the fourth volume we found requires assistance, as it moved from coloring pictures to writing outlines and figuring out what to label on the map with clues from the text, rather than the straightforward color the Mediterranean blue or trace the path from England to the New World of the previous volumes.

I am trying something different with our scheduling this year.  Rather than try to do science everyday or rotate between history and science every other day, as I've tried in the past, we are going to do history for a month or possibly even a quarter and then switch to science.  It will help us focus read alouds to one subject and I'll only have to keep ahead in one subject at a time to be sure we have needed books and supplies.  I may dislike it after awhile and switch back, but we're going to give it a go for now.

We took a year off from Latin last year, with the new baby, but to our benefit, the Latin program we used before, Song School, published a new volume, so we're going on with them this year.  It looks to teach some grammar in conjunction with the vocab, so I'm looking forward to learning that with the kids, since many of the words make sense to me, but I have no idea what the introductory college text I bought meant by declension!

The girls are both sticking with Singapore Mathematics for one more year.  Kate will move on after this year!  I've ordered her books 4B and 5A (she's finishing 4A now), which she may not quite get through before she moves on.  Next year there will be some big changes with her finishing one math curriculum and her history books and moving to a new challenge!

Gabby will continue with Writing with Ease.  I am also working with her in English for the Thoughtful Child.  I purchased it for Kate when she was too young to use it.  It had been pushed aside, but it fits Gabby well.

I moved Kate to Learning Language Arts Through Literature.  By the end of the third Writing with Ease book, it seemed too redundant for us, so I wanted something different.  She loves books, so this teaches many English skills through a book that the child reads concurrently.  The only downside for Kate is that it only uses 4 texts through out the year, when she could easily do more.  She keeps her library card busy to supplement though!

Both girls have been moved to Sequential Spelling this year.  Kate wasn't enjoying Spelling Power at all and she was often frustrated.  This had the added draw that all students begin at the beginning, so I could read the girls words together.  Kate has some competition, which is good for her.  We are still convincing Gabby that she's two years younger and should need a bit more help along the way.

In the mornings we do memory work.  Part of that is our vocabulary program, English from the Roots Up.  The girls seem so enjoy it, and it is very clear that the roots they learn now will be helpful in decoding new words for years to come.  We are also memorizing state capitals and the U.S. Presidents this year with fun books (Yo, Sacramento & Yo, Millard Fillmore).  This time is also used to practice multiplication tables (skip counting) and learn character lessons through We Choose Virtues.

Kate is back in Handwriting Without Tears.  She's also planning to join American Heritage Girls this fall as well, which I'm sure will teach her many great things as well.

As for Nate, when he asks to 'do' school we have a Big Preschool workbook, a Neighborhood Helpers coloring book, a Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book (and the rods), and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  We waited until Gabby was in kindergarten to start the 100 Easy Lessons, but, as Nate will be five this fall, but not begin school for another year, we let him do lessons as he is interested, but we don't push it at all yet.  I'm of the mind that children should be allowed to play unhampered as long as possible, but especially with where his birthday falls, I'll gladly let Nate do small snippets of school as he wishes.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

I hope everyone has a great school year!