Over the holidays I spent a lot of time away from the computer (blogging, that is), but I did pull together plans for the new semester. Here’s what’s on the agenda:
- We’ll be starting an earth science unit on weather, wind and water. We’ll be starting with an overview of the Earth’s 4 systems and then will learn about the atmosphere before continuing on to wind, weather, etc.
- daily – switching off with history as needed (sometimes we don’t have time to cover both subjects)
- ED will join us for our regular science lessons, but I have some other science activities that I want to go over with her as well… for example she’ll review animal classification again, the Earth’s biomes (rain forest, desert, savanna , etc.)
- 2 days a week
- Civil Rights Movement
- Continuing to learn the location of all 50 states (we’ve done the northeast and southeast states)
- Presidents song
- After that we’ll move on to a long unit on China
- daily – switching off with science as needed
- This is working really, really well for us. We are going to continue with this model. We’ll have a brief mini-lesson on writing. Then, we aim for 10 minutes of writing every day; plus another 5-10 minutes of sharing/discussion. Plus, we’ll be reading a basic book about writing (10 minutes a day).
- You can read this series on Creating a Writing Workshop to see how/why we came up with this model and how it works in our homeschool.
- 4 days a week (I aim for all 5 days, but it doesn’t always happen)
- All About Spelling; Write Source Skillsbook and my own grammar worksheets
- 4 days a week (probably switching weekly – so 4 days of spelling then the next week 4 days of grammar practice)
- Continuing with easy German stories and building vocabulary
- daily (10-15 minutes)
- Math Circles has become the kids’ favorite time of the homeschool day! We’ll add in other critical thinking materials this semester as well (more about that in a few days).
- 15 minutes daily
- Math – the kids will continue working on their math workbooks. LD will be moving on to decimals and percentages. DD is working on long division and basic arithmetic facts. ED is working on addition.
- 15-20 minutes daily
- Piano (10 minutes daily)
- I would love for us to get to the music theory materials and games I have. I’m not sure if that’ll get added in.
- LD sings in the children’s community choir.
- My kids love to read. They generally do 45-60 minutes of independent reading. I’ll have them read Newbery books again this semester.
- ED is still reading with me. She finished her phonics readers and she’ll be reading the Henry and Mudge series this semester (plus other assorted library books). I’ll also continue reading a lot of books aloud to her. We’re starting off with most of the books from the Five in a Row (vol.2).
- We have Meet the Masters and hope to include more of that this semester.
- We use lessons from Art Projects for Kids.
- We have a HUGE piece of butcher paper — and that inspires a lot of art. (See the photo below-the paper roll sits near the window and just pulls up and over the table.) Whenever I pull out a new, clean piece the girls start twitching in anticipation to fill it with their artwork!!!
- We don’t do PE in our homeschool because the kids are very involved in sports. LD is on team gymnastics. DD does parkour and aerial gymnastics. ED does preteam gymnastics and parkour once a week. (See this post Parkour, a Fun Sport for Kids.)
The homeschool room is ready for our new semester!
I mentioned in another post that I spent time over the break re-organizing our homeschool room. The kids and I both like the L-formation. There’s plenty of room to work together… and the kids also have their own work areas (LD’s desk is just to the right of that white table. The girls’ desks are not pictured.) Believe me, the kids need their separate work space too!!
By the way, I read several books over the break that I really loved. They were incredibly motivating. You can read about them here: 3 Inspiring Books for Educators.