Friday, September 24, 2010

Learnin' up the Kids-Sweet

Since we are finally in the groove of things I thought it was time to actually document what we are using in the way of learning up the picklets. I will start with Sweet. She is finishing 4th and starting 5th grade studies, I guess. That really isn't accurate since she is doing some 6th grade work and reads at a 8th grade level. But for the sake of documentation, we will use the 4th and 5th grade angle.

Reading-- One thing I have found is that just because a child can read the words at a higher level, sometime their maturity level isn't quite to where they understand all they read. We decided to use Lesson Pathways for her reading program. So far it is a hit. I like that activities and questions are right there in the pathways. It makes it fun for her and makes me confident that she understands what she is reading.

Grammar--I don't know what I think about teaching grammar. I personally feel that if a child reads quality literature they learn all the grammar they need. I decided to take a light approach to this. We are using Grammar with Laughter. It is fun and light. Just the way school should be.

Math--I hate math. I hated math when I was in school and I hate math now that I homeschool the picklets. My husband loves math. We are so A and B it is funny. Anyway since he loves math, he insists I teach them math. Go figure. This year we are using Khan Academy. Not sure if I like it 100% but I like it enough that we will stick with it. We also substitute drills and worksheets as needed from Dads Worksheets. I also have Brainetics sitting here on my desk ready to be used. Look for a review of this in the near future.

Science--Sweet loves science. She has told me she loves science so much that after she gets done being an Olympic Gymnast she is going to be a CSI agent or Abby from NCIS. I try to make sure she has lots of science. We love Janice VanCleave books since they are so hands on and don't need a lot of sciencey stuff I don't have around the house. I also have a folder of hands on experiments that I have collected through the years from different groups I am on. For her "formal" studies we are using Lesson Pathways. It provides reading and hands on activities. We also belong to a nature club that provide lots of outside observations. They all seem to mesh together.

Spelling--I love spelling. Cool hates spelling. It's that A-B thing again. Because he hates spelling and isn't any good at it he insists the picklets learn to spell. For that we use Spelling Power.

History--We are using The Centuries of America 17th &18th Centuries. This was provided to me for the purpose of review from Journey Through Learning. Look for the review very soon.

Geography--Mapping the World with Art. This was provided to me for the purpose of review from Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop. You can find my review here.

State Studies--We belong to a 51 postcard exchange group. We are attempting to study one state a week. We are using the free state study provided by The Homeschool Mom.

Lapbooks--We always seem to have a lapbook or two going. Right now she is working on The Long Ride Home and The Care and Keeping of You lapbooks. There will be more added to the list as the year goes on.

Writing--We are using the Charlotte Mason approach to this. We have journals for each subject and several other journals that I will write about at a later date. We also have dictation and copywork scheduled once a week, writing prompts twice a week and a 20 minute free write once a week.

90 Minute Homeschool--This is something new I started this year. It is the picklets favorite day of the week. The way it basically works is they do 90 minutes of school in the morning. The 20 minute free write and no more than 10 minutes on each of the other subjects. I have folders for each subject and give them something different pertaining to that subject each week. After lunch and free time we have craft/art projects we work on. Scrapbooking is the favorite of all the picklets but I am working toward using that time for artist/music study and projects relating to those once per month.

Life Skills--Sweet has all the responsibilities that we all have around the house. No one gets out of doing things that need to be done. Sweet cooks, cleans, mows and holds her own around the house. At this point I feel that is good. Sweet and Dill also have a small business for odd jobs. Those jobs always pertain to life skills. She also gets up every morning at 4:30 to help deliver the papers.

Physical Fitness--Sweet is an active child, always on the move. She jumps on the trampoline, rides her bike, runs ands plays all the time. She also spends a lot of time working on gymnastics both inside and outside of the gym. She has made Presidential level on the Presidential Fitness Test for the last three years.

Service--Sweet volunteers her time every chance she gets. She cleans, helps and lends a hand wherever possible. At Sokol this session, she and Chip are teaching their own class. She also takes the garbage and recycling out for an elderly lady down the street from us. The lady has told me she loves the way I am raising my kids to live a life a service. I took that as a great complement.

It looks as if we are very ambitious this year but it is very laid back. We don't always work making a lot of time for play.

(c) 2008-2010 Wicked Pickles-Homefront Lines

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