Oh I've just been so excited about homeschooling. I get to do a few fun posts in August/September for the Not Back to School blog hop. And sometimes I manage to get a post up of what the kids have been doing and include some pictures. But I found in the first half of our school year this year that I was too busy doing school with the kids to really take many pictures of what we were doing. Imagine that. Shocker I know.
It occurs to me though that I could chat about how our homeschooling is going without any pictures if I want to. It is my blog. Duh. Yeah I'm not always too quick thinking.
So how is it going? Well we took off the last half of November and all of December from formal school. Our days were filled with "socializing" with siblings and learning skills like sharing and not driving mommy crazy (they haven't quite mastered that one yet but some days I see improvements) and occassional Christmas activities. But January 2nd we were back at it. I used some time in December to start planning ahead for what we would learn about in January, I even created a pinterest board for our January subjects and set about to pinning. I also set about to printing off stuff for our notebooking (which we're not very good at but we keep trying anyway).
Kayd is still working through his MUS - tomorrow he'll start lesson 25 out of 30. I don't think it's going to last the entire school year. Guess I might want to look into purchasing the gamma set soon.
He's still working through the Scott Foresman free grammar. We stumbled onto this last year about 3/4 of the way through the year and he's almost done with the 1st grade level. We'll just keep working through this for the remainder of the school year and pick back up wherever he leaves off in the fall. I want to mention that it seems like we're "behind" but Kayd is easily picking up the concepts being taught and won't have any problem getting up to speed by the end of 3rd grade next year. If we had found this curriculum earlier last school year he would be much further along in. We don't play catch up. We go at the pace we go and get done when we get done. This is one of the things I appreciate about home schooling.
We're still using AAS, though I will be honest and admit we haven't actually done a lesson yet since returning from break. We're on lesson 13 out of 25 whenever we do return to it and will easily finish before the end of Kayd's 2nd grade school year. No worries though because I already have level 3 and 4 sitting on my teacher shelves. We'll just move on when we need to.
For some handwriting practice I have Kayd doing a calendar notebook each day. In it he marks down what day of school we're on, the date on a calendar page, and then he writes out the date in words. He also gets some handwriting with his grammar pages. Most of his handwriting practice comes when we work on our Social studies subject though.
And that brings me to what we're doing for social studies/history/geography. I'm actually really excited about how this shaped up, what he's learning, and how much fun it is for him and the rest of us. He found early on in the school year he loved Magic Tree House books. I found that these books have new Fact Tracker companions - not all but a decent number of them.
He instigated by reading the one about mummies and we did a study on Egypt, mummies, heiroglyphs etc. His primary reading is the Magic Tree House book and it's fact tracker. We do pick up additional books on the topics we're learning about though for more fact checking. I have him read the fiction story first. We follow that up with the fact tracker. Yesterday, he finished Polar Bears Past Bedtime. I was able to find a free comprehension question pack to use with this book and did so. I plan to find these to use with the rest of our books for the year also because it ensures me that he's soaking up what he's reading. Today he began reading the fact tracker Polar Bears and the Arctic. He gets so excited about these. I think non-fiction is his favorite reading. lol He excitedly showed me the arctic circle in his book. And there he marked off a geography lesson. I love doing the units like this for a few reasons. One is that he reads the material himself, so I'm not having to teach to him, I'm not very good at teaching to him, so it's a relief that this works well for him. Two is that he reads the material for himself and it frees up the time he's reading for me to work with the younger crew. Now the younger crew learns about the same topic as Kayd. I seek out books at the library on the same topic but that are age appropriate picture books. We've been reading books involving the arctic and polar bears this week. They learn a few facts along the way, and enjoy some reading time with mom. The third reason is that it is flexible. We can focus on polar bears, focus on the arctic region, explore other animals that live there, or even research the explorers who have gone to the arctic region. It encompasses for Kayd: reading, reading comprehension, geography, science, social studies, and often writing. I cannot see us ever moving away from a literary based unit approach of learning. It works very well for us.
I can't believe how intimidated I was and still sometimes get at this homeschooling thing. It's so fun!