Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spring Schedule

As winter turns to spring, we traditionally seem to rely on workbooks and simple texts more than we do the rest of the year. There are a few reasons for this.

  • One is that we used to prep for standardized tests during the spring season, and some of the habits still remain even though there has been no need to do the testing in recent years.
  • Another is that this is a distractible time of year both for me and for the kids. I want to spring clean and prepare for next year and they want to be outside. Simple workbooks and texts can be done in Charlotte Mason style "short lessons", often orally with a chance for discussion and thinking.
  • Another reason is that spring tends to be the time when I am looking over the past year and seeing what we didn't do that I meant to get to. There are usually a few basic subjects that need to be wrapped up or sometimes reviewed and consolidated, and several discovery-oriented areas -- art and nature come to mind -- that got pushed into last place. So telescoping the formal curricula into a few quick n easy lessons and then leaving big blocks of time that can be used for nature rambles or messy crafts or digging through supplementary books and resources seems to work well for that reason too.
So here is what we have been using for my 11 year old and 14 year old to finish off the last month of the spring term:- this is all very nuts and bolts but I think I have been too theoretical recently on here so maybe this is an antidote!

Kieron's Year 5 Checklist (pdf)
Sean's Year 8 Checklist (pdf)
--I print these out for them and they check things off as they do them.

Kieron Year 5

Kieron is using Latina Christiana. We are reviewing now. On alternate days we go through Simply Grammar together. The grammar concepts can be reinforced and consolidated from one language to the other.

For Greek, he is using Hey Andrew -- level one. It is a very slow-paced introduction to koine Greek..... at this level mostly writing practice. One of the reasons I've started him off in this book is because he still needs some work on fine motor control. This gives him some intellectual challenge while he is doing it. He can work on this one on his own.

For Religion he is reading the last few chapters of Credo I Believe. It is a simple but solid catechism book with nice art masterpieces. He reads and we discuss the text and the artwork.

On alternate days he reads chapters from the Old Testament section of Schuster's Bible History. This is written in old-fashioned language and at the end of each chapter there are questions which he uses as narration starters.

For math right now he is using various computer drills.

For science, he has started getting kits from the Young Scientist's Club. This is fun for him and provides a sort of base for various extra readings and activities. I forget who recommended it on the Real Learning board but I am grateful. It is just the thing for him!

Sean, Year 8

Sean has finished his Key to Algebra and so for the rest of the year he is doing computer drill and reviews for math. Around August he will move into Jacob's Algebra.

For Latin he has just started Henle Latin 1. He already knows most of the vocabulary in the book so this will give him a chance to focus on grammar.

He is doing a book called Thirty Lessons in Outlining. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print since the only place I can find it is at Amazon for 70$$! It is not worth that, but it is a useful resource.

He is using Hey Andrew book 3 for Greek. It's possible to start the course from this point and move a bit quicker. He used Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day in the past and we may go back to that when he is in 9th grade next year.

For religion and a bit of history, he is reading The Story of the Church. He will probably only get up to early modern times before the start of summer, and then for fall we plan to do a US History course.

For religion, he is finishing up the 8th grade Faith and Life: Our Life in the Church. This ties in with his history of Christendom course this year.

The boys continue to read for a large part of the day and spend time outdoors and doing various projects. I use my other blog to write out the details.

Sean is reading his way through history. And Kieron is reading from the Mater Amabilis booklist.

As we phase into summer we will be doing lots more nature study in our National Forest, travelling, and hopefully gardening! We haven't gotten rid of our snow yet here in the Sierras, though, so gardening won't happen for a little while. In the past, summer has always been a time to pursue a few interests and hobbies and also get a bit of advance work done for next year. I will be trying to work a bit more seriously with the little ones on reading and literature themes, this summer, too. But more on all that some other time.

1 comment:

Karen E. said...

"As winter turns to spring, we traditionally seem to rely on workbooks and simple texts more than we do the rest of the year."
This is *exactly* what happens at our house, too. I'm catching up, fitting in, checking things off lists and making time for other things, such as planning and getting outside.

I love the feeling that my own "scattered" methods aren't so scattered -- you lend everything legitimacy, Willa. :-)