Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A typical school day for us!

I am zapped of energy tonight, but there are still so many things I would like to do. I guess it will all have to wait as I sense an early bedtime coming on. We had a very productive school day today. I never really share what we are actually studying in school so I think I might do that occasionally. We follow the methods outlined in the Well-Trained Mind. Malachi and Maddie are both in the rhetoric stage, and Benjamin is in the 1st grade and grammar stage. When we got done with school today and I made notes about what we had done, I was amazed by our efforts! So I will share them with you.

We started out with an art activity dealing with texturizing with random lines and patterns while I read from Flight of the Phoenix (adventure story based in Egypt).

Then I read them a section from a new book I picked up yesterday called the Impressionsists. Today's painting was one by Boutin. We have been working on watercolor painting for our art lessons the last few months and today was our first day to start studying famous painters. We will look at one painting each day and discuss its composition and significance.

Later we completed a language lesson on simple and complex predicates and subjects and 4 types of sentences (imperative, interrogative, declarative and exclamatory) We are also memorizing the helping and linking verbs and will begin diagramming sentences tomorrow. I am using A Beka's Language C and Spelling and Vocabulary 6 with Malachi and Maddie and Language and Spelling 1 with Ben.

All of us are studying Ancient History this year (prehistory to the fall of Rome), and are using The Story of the World to guide our studies. We will set up our timelines this next week so everything we study can be placed in order in a notebook. This will help tremendously in seeing how events, people and inventions are all related. In the Well-Trained Mind method, we will study history over a four year cycle that repeats three times throughout their educational time with me. Each time through, you deepen the studies and the level of research and writing that is required.

Our science this year is Biology, and we are currently working on a lapbook about the human body. Each person makes a mini book after researching a topic of their interest, and then we share them with each other. We also read from encyclopedias and outline topics that are placed in their notebooks.

Our Spanish curriculum is from A Beka. We spend at least 30 minutes each school day learning new vocabulary, practicing pronunciation and doing exercises.

Our Bible curriculum is from a company out of Russellville, AR and it is called Bible Study for all the Ages. They have really cool workbooks that the kids fill out. They are all studying the same bible stories on their own levels. We will work through this curriculum over three or four years.

Our math curriculum is also from A Beka. I think it will strengthen our skills a lot this year. We have just received all the A Beka curriculum so I am still learning how to use it all. But I am enjoying not having to plan all the subjects for four different grade levels everday. That was so incredibly stressful!

Benjamin is making great progress in his phonics, reading and math. He works with me while the older ones are working together or alone on their lessons. They both read to him as part of their assignments, and I have taught them how to transcribe a narration that he dictates to them after he listens to the readings. He has such a gift of understanding and a great ability to remember it and put his thoughts into complete sentences.

Malachi started acoustic guitar lessons today! And I am beginning to teach Maddie flute and piano. Ben is beginning piano as well. It seems Nate has quite an uncanny ability with the drums so that should be interesting!

I am sure I missed some things, so I will fill them in after I cook dinner for a very hungry crew of kids!

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