24 September 2011

Week Three: Still Figuring This Out

For this week's update I thought I would share a bit about the day-to-day stuff we actually work on for homeschooling. Now that I'm thinking about writing it all down, it sounds like we have no idea what we are doing and we are very unorganized. Yes; that's probably right.

We have eight basic areas that we "focus" on each week. Sometimes we may spend two hours (total . . . not all at once) on a subject, other times 10 minutes, or we may not even get to it. Mostly I offer a general idea of what our week looks like and let E decide what we do and when. But . . . I need to have some sort of notes to follow, some plan (however imprecise) of what we are going to do, because that's just the way I am. Here's a little about our general goals, what we intended to do this week, what we really did this week, and a few random musings thrown in.

1. Reading/Writing: Our goal is basically to read a lot. Is that vague enough for you? We take new books out of the library every Friday in anticipation of the following week's "lessons" and a few just for fun as well. Sometimes E will read them to me, other times she wants me to read to her even if it's a book she is capable of reading on her own. I would like to get into the habit of regularly reading books aloud to her (ones above her reading level) but we haven't managed to work that in yet. Writing just kind of fits in wherever for now. E has a journal that she draws in most days and writes out the date and a one- or two-sentence explanation.

2. Math: The past few weeks we have been working on single-digit addition and subtraction. She's kind of a worksheet gal, so she loves when I print pages with math problems inside of flowers or bubbles or whatever that she can color and decorate afterward.

3. Italian: This week was sort of an epic fail on the foreign language front. I had this idea to start reading more of our Italian storybooks, translating them as needed as we go along, but this didn't happen. We took a CD out of the library today, though, so maybe singing songs will be more our speed.

4. Science: We have been studying the human body. We started week one with the five senses, then talked a bit last week about bones and muscles, and now we are doing more of an overview of the organs and systems and how they work together. Today walking home she says, "My heart muscle is working all on its own. I don't have to tell it to pump, it just does." (I love these totally random thought processes.)

With the Agents in Barcelona this summer
5. Social Studies: Our theme for this semester is People and Places. For the "people" part we are first discussing our family tree . . . who is in our family, how everyone is connected . . . we have big families on both sides and don't see them much. Our "places" are all countries in Europe, starting with the ones we've been to. So far we've done Italy, Germany, and Spain. We color maps and flags and pictures of animals common in each country; talk a bit about the language; and reminisce a bit about our visit there. (Question: If Spain is our country of the week, does watching Mickey Mouse Choo Choo Express in Spanish count as schoolwork?)

6. Health: Our topic of the week was supposed to be safety, but the book we had from the library turned out to be so awful I hid it so the girls wouldn't ask to read it. (And by awful I mean it scared the bejesus out of me, so I can only imagine it would have given the Agents nightmares.)

7. Bible: Each week we do a simple Bible study based in part on ideas from this website (one of my favorites). Usually it involves coloring pages and a word scramble. (For some reason, she's addicted to those.) She also reads from her children's Bible on her own or with me at least a few times a week.

8. Creative/Other: Here I include everything from art to computer skills to telling time. For the last three weeks my intention has been to introduce basic computer navigation through games (like the ones found on PBS Kids Go!). This hasn't happened. I think we're going to stick with coloring and finger painting for a while.

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