Today was our first official day of school. After all the planning I did this summer, it was fabulous to finally just jump in and start off the year!!
This year we’ve set up a more structured schedule for ourselves… at least to start with. Other years, we covered all of our subjects, but each day was different. This year we’ve decided (together, this wasn’t just my idea) to have a set schedule M/W/F and a set schedule T/Th.
Today’s schedule went something like this:
- Breakfast – independent reading (book of their choosing), music practice (unstructured time)
- 9:30 – German DVD (We’re watching sit-com TV shows in German. Fun!)
- 9:50 German (conversation, reading, grammar) – We’ve started a unit on Daily Activities and Hobbies
- 10:30 Writing DVD (We’re doing Cover Story this year.)
- 10:45 Writing Workshop (writing time, sharing)
- 11:20 History Novel Read Aloud (We often read a novel related to our history unit.) – snack
- 11:45 History documentary and/or History Material
- 12:15 -1:15 Math then moving on to Spelling or Grammar (I think this will take a bit over an hour)
- 1:15 Lunch – Novel Read Aloud (We’re reading a book that was recommended to us.)
- 1:45 Music Practice (Mom Clean Up & put dinner in the crock-pot if need be)
- 2pm Science
- 3-3:20 Literature
The times were a rough sketch of the order. We did a walk-through of the day and started some of our new units. The kids had a really good day and so did I!!
On Tues/Thurs we’ll have a slightly different order to our day. Again, the times are a *very rough* guide to our day!! I don’t want you to think we have a bell system going here or anything! They’re more a guide to how long each subject tends to take.
- Breakfast, independent reading, music practice
- 9-9:30 DD Flute lesson on Tuesdays (via Skype)
- 9:30 Science
- 10:30 Math, Spelling or Grammar
- 11:45 Snack – History Read aloud
- 12:00 History DVD, History Material
- 12:40 Writing DVD, Writing Workshop
- 1:30 Lunch – Novel Read Aloud
- 2:15 German
- 3-3:20 Literature
And some days we have outside activities that will curtail and change up our schedule a bit.
As we start off our year, we’re going to do both science and history… but often we slide into focusing on one or the other because our experiments, activities, documentaries run longer.
Today in science we had just a general discussion of solids, liquids and gases. They had to brainstorm as many examples as they could in two minutes. Then they had to count how many examples they had written down in that two minutes… and had to try to beat their own number when I set the timer for two minutes again. We then had a discussion of what the difference between these different states were. That was actually pretty challenging for them to articulate.
I’ll be sharing more about our planned activities, the resources we’re using, and our new packet sometime soon.
We’re using a number of different books with this unit, a couple of them are Chemistry: Physical and Chemical Changes in Matter (affiliate link) and Building Blocks of Matter: Elements and Compounds (affiliate link). We’ll be spending a little bit of time talking about the elements again before moving into physical and chemical properties.
I shared a little bit about our initial plans for history in a post about the three kingdoms of West Africa – Ghana, Mali and Songhai. I felt that we needed to go back and talk about Africa a bit — and sure enough, the kids didn’t remember all that much from what we covered 3+ years ago or so. As I mentioned in that post, we’re doing a big unit on Slavery and the Civil War this fall.
You may have noticed that we have a full hour dedicated to our foreign language studies this year. The kids need regular German practice in order to improve their fluency. We really hope to improve their language skills this year and are crossing our fingers that we can make a trip to Europe (to visit friends and to work on language skills) work out next summer.
I’m out of time and energy, but will write a bit more about our language arts sometime soon, but we’re still using most of the same curriculum books and materials I mentioned in this post: Language Arts Update: Literature, Spelling, Vocabulary and Grammar.
Here are some other posts you might find of interest:
Follow our Musical Journey in Pictures (Last Fall):
- Free Music Theory Curriculum, visit this post: FREE Music Curriculum for Beginners. You’ll find links to lots and lots of free music activities there.
- Music Curriculum: Week One — See what we actually did during the first week with photos.
- Music Curriculum: Week Two
- Music Curriculum: Week 3 in Pictures – Music Note Identification Game and More
- Music for Elementary – Music Symbols (Week 4)
- Music Appreciation: Free Famous Music Composer Resources - These are all FREE as well!!