I am trying to post a little wrap-up of each week of grades seven, four and five year old kindergarten year throughout the 36 weeks I have planned for school this year. I hope this will encourage mothers that are homeschooling multiple children (or who want to but are worried!), and encourage mothers that even homeschooling children of multiple ages who are far apart in age is doable. You can find weeks two and three here. Week one is here. and further in back posts you can find a post pertaining to the first two days of school this year which gives insight to our general daily rhythm.
Our fourth week began with our girls riding in their first-ever horse show, and then the American holiday of Labor Day. We spent that day at one of our beautiful local lakes. We rented a boat with close family friends and took all the children tubing behind the boat and explored solitary small islands with many places to just dig and create in nature.
Kindergarten: I feel as if I have lost momentum these past few weeks with kindergarten work. This often seems to be a difficult time of year for me as I am ready for fall leaves and apples but here in the South we are not quite ready for that yet. We did have a joyous celebration of the Nativity of St. Mary on September 8th and today of St. Euphrosynos . Holy Cross Day is coming on September 14th. These have been anchors for us this month in this rather in-between weather! After Labor Day, we did move into a fall circle after our opening prayers and verses, and our story is now Suzanne Down’s “The Apple Elves”, found in her “Autumn Tales” book. I am looking forward to settling into fall over the next few weeks with wonderful projects including apple prints, leaf rubbings, baking apple bread, making a harvest wreath for the school room, making apple pies and applesauce, telling the story of Johnny Appleseed (not really geared to kindergarten, but a family favorite!), and having a maple leaf and nutting afternoon.
Fourth Grade: We have been opening with singing and Brain Gym activities, along with a new poem by Robert Frost. During week four we moved deeper into review of borrowing, carrying, dividing, Roman and Arabic numbers, number dictation, times tables and measurement. We reviewed and deepened the ideas of measurement by beginning with length. Instead of third grade measurement topics, I tied measurement into the ideas of our later Man and Animal blocks. We started with the human body and reviewed cubit, span, and other bodily measurements and then moved into talking about the length of various animals, such as the blue whale, the giant squid, the African bush elephant, the giraffe and drawing these lengths in chalk outside to see how large these animals really are. This is also a great way to work on nonstandard units of measurement as well. How many homes does a blue whale cover? We made pictures in pencil of some of these animals and practiced converting inches to feet to yards and back. This week we have been reviewing division by measuring horses in hands and how one converts inches of horse height into the hands equivalent. (This is important to my horse loving daughter and we even found an article about this in the magazine “Horse Power” at the library). We then moved into weight. We divided clay into one ounce pieces and modeled animals from this and then weighed sixteen of these to get to one pound. We also talked about converting ounces to pounds to tons and looked at the heaviest land animals and how many pounds/tons they weigh and worked on drawing these animals. We also weighed our daughter’s hamster and compared this to other small animals. Lastly this week we will be reviewing wet and dry measurement.
Our read aloud for the past two weeks has been “The Phantom Tollbooth” and today we started reading, “Rascal”. Our fourth grader also started a handwork class with her long-time teacher, and church choir has begun again.
Next week we will be on a new block, although I have not decided which block to do exactly yet. All the blocks are planned out over the summer, but I leave them all separately so I can decide if we need to move things around as we go. .
Seventh Grade: We are finishing up a combined geometry/algebra block as outlined in Jamie York’s seventh grade “Making Math Meaningful”. Our daughter finished The Key To Geometry Book Four, and is currently starting some metric measurement and book five of geometry in that series. We have worked through the golden triangle, the Pythagorean ladder of stars, the golden rectangle, the golden ratio, and the golden spiral. We have also puzzled through some of the geometric theorems in Making Math Meaningful and John Blackwood’s mathematics book. We have also looked at the Pythagorean Theorem. In algebra, we have worked through such topics as expressions versus equations, how to simplify expressions, the history of algebra in written summary, and some other algebraic topics and will continue to do some more algebra throughout the year since this is a combined block and not one dedicated to algebra alone.
Creative writing is coming along more slowly with work on a piece about imaginary space travel and walking on a planet. This seems appropriate as we will be headed into astronomy next week. We finished “Around The World in Eighty Days” and now are reading another Jules Verne classic, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. We have also been reading, “String, Straightedge and Shadow”, starting from page 93 onward that I saved from sixth grade in order to tie in with Pythagoras.
There is no handwork class for our oldest, but she is working hard on a latch hook rug. Next up will be a knitting project for her sister for Christmas. Church choir has also begun again for her.
That is what is going on in our homeschooling, weeks four and five. If you share your homeschooling on a blog, please do leave a link for other readers to find you and garner ideas for their own homeschooling experience.