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 fourteen and fifteen 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.
Kindergarten: We have been doing a wonderful morning circle journey about King Winter (which turned a little ironic this week when we had two 65 degree days!). Our story is still Suzanne Down’s January story about “Old Gnome and Jack Frost” which is always a delight to our five year old. There has been quite a bit of painting, making snowflakes and cutting and pasting, playing and baking and tissue paper kinds of crafts. “Earthways” has great detailed instructions if you are looking for something like that for your little one.
Fourth Grade: We have had a good time with our Norse Myths and grammar. So far, we have been doing quite a bit of form drawing, clay and beeswax modeling, and drawing with pencils and poetry and writing. We also did four watercolor paintings. Our fourth graders drawings of Thor being pulled by his goats, Odin hanging from Yggdrasil receiving the runes, a picture of Balder and one of the Three Norns were all exceptionally well-done. We are doing the story of Idun and the Golden Apples tomorrow along with some beeswax modeling. We finished “The Wheel On The School” and “Little Pear” last week and this week we read “Honk the Moose” and started “The Story of Doctor Dolittle”.
We have still been reviewing a lot of math, which is harder for our fourth grader. So we are still in times tables, adding and subtracting, and while we haven’t focused as much this week on multiplying/dividing and measurement, we will start to hit that again next week. We are still plugging away on Jamie York’s worksheets and flashcards as well.
Choir and practice for a choir collar and ribbon (through the Royal School of Church Music in America) has been good work in music theory and another way to approach fractions. We didn’t start any handwork project this week as life seemed busy in the afternoons with 4H and some other activities, but that is on the list for next week. Playing in our beautiful weather has also been a priority!
Seventh Grade: Africa has been a lot of fun and so very interesting. I learned very little of this in school myself, and I have really enjoyed this block. So far our seventh grader has done a beautiful title page with cut-outs, a picture of the desert and a summary regarding African deserts and the people who live there, a summary about the rain forest and the people who live there along with a picture of the flora and fauna from all levels of the rain forest, a summary about the savannah and the people who live there and the animals, charcoal drawings of the acacia and baobab tree along with a play our seventh grader wrote about the life cycle of baobab tree, a charcoal drawing of Queen Hatshepsut and a summary about her life; and this week we are working on a mixed media drawing/fabric picture of Sundiata, and a map comparing the travels of Mansu Mali and Ibn Buttuta. We also talked about Louis Leakey and his discoveries and the influence he had on people such as Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey. Next week we will finish up with the countries in Africa, the different tribes in different regions, some cooking and dancing.
The books I have found most helpful were a book about the life cycle of baobab tree whose title is escaping me at the moment, “Hear The Voice of the Griot! A Guide to African Geography, History, and Culture” by Betty Staley (a Waldorf resource and the best single resource to get), “Amazing Africa Projects You Can Build Yourself” by Carla Mooney, “African Princess” by Joyce Hansen, “African Beginnings” by James Haskins and Kathleen Benson, “Ancient Africa – Archeology Unlocks the Secrets of Africa’s Past” by National Geographic (ended up being more for me than our daughter), “Sundiata: Lion King of Mali”, “Mansu Mali” by Khephra Burns, “Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Buttuta, 1325-1354. Our seventh grader read “Listening for Lions” by Gloria Whelan and also Christian Heroes: Then and Now’s “Rowland Bingham”. She was not impressed with either one really. She is going to read about David Livingstone next through the Christian Heroes series and see if that one is any better, and we are reading Jane Goodall’s “My Life With the Chimpanzees” out loud right now. Jane Goodall’s book is most wonderful for a seventh grade girl. I am going to check our local library for books about Dian Fossey that might be suitable to read.
Other experiences as of late include putting together a portfolio for 4H and getting ready for poultry judging, and vocal music sessions to prepare for a new ribbon in choir (through the Royal School of Church Music in America, so there is a set progression through music notation and theory), and lots of time to play. We have also gone to the track a few times for “homeschool P.E.”
I would love to hear what you are working on!