Homeschooling 2011

Spring 2011 Wrap-Up

We finished up our spring 2011 semester on May 27th.  Bailey completed Wordly Wise Book 2, Mindbenders A2, and Brain Quest workbook grade 2, as well as an introductory year of Medieval history.  Sadly our lessons on the recorder flute kind of fell by the wayside; it was just too hard to do with the younger children around at this time.  During her pre-K session, Piper completed Explode the Code prep books B and C as well Singapore Essential Math Kindergarten B.  She also completed  all of packet 1 of my home-made reading worksheets and about ten pages of packet 2 so far.

Summer 2011

We took a two week break at the end of our semester.  Our lighter summer session will start this Monday.  Bailey will work through some grade 2 extra practice workbooks by Singapore Math.   Bailey and I will also be going over some geography.  We touch on geography a little bit through our history lessons, but I wanted to focus a little bit more on the language of geography as well as more general and modern information.  This summer the plan is to study the continents of Asia and Europe.  I’ve decided to switch tactics with Piper, at least for the summer, and try a light version of Before Five in a Row with Piper and Katie.

Bailey is finishing up her softball season and is signed up for guitar lessons.  Piper is signed up to take gymnastics.  I’m also hoping that we can take advantage of a lot of cheap and fun summer activities around town.

Bailey Fall 2011-Spring 2012:  Third Grade

In third grade Bailey will move up to 1 hour and 30 minutes of formal work per day on average.  Five days a week she will have math (Singapore 3A & 3B) and spelling (Sequential Spelling 2).  She will also continue to have 15 minutes of assigned reading everyday.  She’ll continue to study vocabulary 3 days per week (Wordly Wise 3000 Book 3 in the fall and Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4 in the spring).  However, I’m going to have her start putting together a dictionary of all her vocabulary words.  Logic will still be once a week, but she’ll do two puzzles each time instead of one.  As a result she should complete levels A3, A4, B1, and B2 before next summer, and the company has switched their format from workbook to computer disk which should make things interesting (as well as easier to reuse with the other kids).

Our history studies will still be twice a week, but this year we’ll be focusing on Early Modern History (1600-1850).  We’ll be using the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (which I finally broke down and purchased) as our spine, but Bailey will be reading corresponding essays from The Story of the World volume 3 during some of her independent reading time.  I also plan on supplementing our lessons from The Story of the World volume 3 Activity Book.  We will probably finish our history study mid-Spring, so I am adding some small research projects on the first 12 presidents and statehood through 1850.

In third grade Bailey will be doing more formal study of her faith again.  We’ll be using the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 1 three days a week.   We’ll be doing a combination of read aloud, copy work, and discussion.  Bailey will also pick one saint to read about from my old copy of Picture Book of Saints.  We will actually be integrating her “saint of the week” into a new activity this year:  a daily journal.

I’ll be giving Bailey four journal topics each week (including her saint) about which she will be expected to write a minimum of five complete sentences.  On Fridays she can write about a topic of her choice.  I originally didn’t intend to have her start doing this until middle school, but I felt this was a better way to trouble-shoot her writing/grammar abilities without starting a formal grammar program just yet.  Also, combined with her independent reading time, it should keep her occupied while I spend time with Piper and Katie.

  1. Monday: Independent Reading, Journal Writing, Math, Spelling, Vocabulary, Catechism
  2. Tuesday: Independent Reading, Journal Writing, Math, Spelling, History, Catechism
  3. Wednesday: Independent Reading, Journal Writing, Math, Spelling, Vocabulary, Catechism
  4. Thursday: Independent Reading, Saint Reading, Journal Writing, Math, Spelling, History
  5. Friday:  Independent Reading, Journal Writing, Math, Spelling, Vocabulary, Logic

Piper Fall 2011-Spring 2012:  Kindergarten

If Piper were in public school, she would be starting kindergarten in the fall.  When Bailey was in kindergarten we did 30 minutes of formal work two days per week.  I think, though, Piper and I both need the consistency of daily school time.  What makes things interesting is that due to a combination of factors (the biggest one being a difference in temperament), Piper is actually quite a bit ahead of where Bailey was at this age.  So, I can’t just repeat what I did with Bailey for kindergarten.

Piper also has a less compliant attitude and is already complaining about how much she hates her schoolwork.  So, I thought this summer would be the perfect time to try a different approach with the Five in a Row.  If that works out, we may continue into the fall with the occasional use of reading worksheets and math workbooks pages.  Probably after Christmas I’ll have her start working on Singapore Math 1A.

Katie:  Preschool

Katie is three-years-old and technically a preschooler.  For right now, though, I am not planning any real formal work for her at all.  Most of her learning will continue to be interest and opportunity-led.  But I’ve been a little concerned that in the busy-ness of my day she hasn’t been getting enough of my attention, so we’re going to try some Before Five in a Row just to give us something nice to do together.  If she starts asking to do more formal schoolwork, I will pick her up a few workbooks to work through at her leisure.  Of course, the most important thing I hope that she learns before the end of the summer is how to use the potty!

SabrinaToddler

I have no doubt that Sabrina will learn all kinds of things in the next year and I will be able to take very little credit for it.  It will be interesting to hear what she has to say about it all.

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