Charting our own course...

In days of old, sailors would keep a journal while at sea to chronicle their lives as they travelled the world in search of adventure... and perhaps an ounce or two of treasure. In this spirit, our family has also set its own course. My husband's career as a naval aviator keeps us travelling to distant shores... adventures await with every new 'port 'o call' we visit! Because of our nomadic lifestyle we have also embarked upon the adventure of homeschooling our twin boys, age 6 (aka: The Crew). The Crew started their 2nd grade work on 06 Aug 2012. I hope you'll enjoy our story as we chart our own course thru life and set sail on new adventures... gathering our stories and treasure along the way.

Fair Winds and Following Seas my friends!

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Week of First Grade!

The first week always throws me into a bit of a panic (and when I say 'always', I mean this year and last year I panicked... hardly the 'seasoned homeschool veteran' just yet!), and the few weeks leading up to this one were no different.  Did I pick the right curriculum?  Did I forget anything major... like Math??  Can I juggle this load with the two hours a day of HC classes I've signed them up for?  Will I ever wear clean clothes again??  And just like last year, once we found our rhythm and started our day, we were fine.  So, for the curious out there, here is our week... for the most part :)

Math:  We are continuing with Horizons this year.  I like the 'spiral' approach and although the boys might not need quite so much repetition, I appreciate that the foundation is being set for their basic math skills to be rock solid.  We did a bit of a 'review' this week of their K material and next week will officially start on their First Grade work.  This week we covered counting by 2's, 5's, 10's, & 25's to 100, ordinal numbers, of course addition and subtraction from 1-100, days, weeks, months, seasons, currency problems using pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and of course dollars, bar graphs, tally marks, and story problems (to name a few...) Although this sounds like quite a laundry list, remember this was 'review' so it wasn't too difficult for The Crew to accomplish.  In fact, I received quite a few 'this is so easy Mom' comments.  I'll try to up my game next week...careful what you wish for kiddos!

Phonics:  We are more than 3/4's of the way thru with our phonics program, and although it would be easy to 'quit' since the boys are reading grade 3 & 4 material, I still feel it's important to finish the program so we don't stumble onto any knowledge gaps in the future.  It was a solid week, and each lesson was finished quickly as it's not really a stretch for them at this point.  This week we worked on the different emphasis' of syllables, the 'LE', 'ER endings and clapping out the vowel sounds in each word to count the syllables out. 

Grammar:  This is a new curriculum we're using called First Language Lessons and so far I'm quite pleased with it.  We reviewed what a phonogram was and tested for each letter.  The boys (due to their reading skills) passed thru this quickly.  We memorized a poem thru the week and took turns reciting it to Dad last night.  No fumbles, no stumbles.  We learned about common nouns and proper nouns, and completed four entries into our narration journals.  The Crew really digs the narration, and are doing well on this skill.  Shouldn't surprise me with the amount of talking they do to one another...very descriptive little boys.

Handwriting:  Working on our first grade workbooks and two sentences of copywork from either their narration or directly from the reader we're using daily.  They grumble a bit by the end, but usually give their hand a good shake and wrap it up well.  Letter stroke patterns were remembered well from the summer break which is a nice surprise for me.  I thought I would have to spend a bit of time on that one, but not so much!  Hurrah!

Reading:  Our first reader this week was 'Clara and the Bookwagon' (level 2 reader).  The Crew read two chapters a day out loud to me and then we discussed the story and entered their narration exercise into their journals.  The second reader we are on now is 'A Long Journey' about swedish emigrants coming to America in the 1800's. (level 3 reader). 

History/Geography: We started Story of the World and have focused on the Introduction of History and Archaeology this week.  We also have managed one project, A Family History project where The Crew interviewed myself and The Captain on where we were born, our family etc.  Today we finish up with an 'dig' in our back garden.  I have a load of items buried in the dirt out back and sectioned off with twine and popsicle sticks.  Plan on having our dig this afternoon when the fog burns off :)  Looking forward to the rest of this program.  I really love it!  As for Geography, we have read our 'People Around the World' book each day and placed the countries it mentioned on the map as well as finding Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Norway on the map from our reading.    I always learn a bit in our Geography lesson as well, so this is a fun one for me too.

For those of you that are concerned about the fine arts or phys. ed., fear not!  When our HC classes start up, these subjects will be more than covered... and then some!  I plan on posting some pics of our archaeological dig later and will update the post with them this weekend. Until then...

1 comment:

Daisy said...

What a great week! Your boys sound very bright and eager to learn.