A Charlotte Mason homeschool......

A Charlotte Mason homeschool
with a sprinkling of Waldorf, a dash of Classical, and a healthy dose of rabbit trails.....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Week in review.....

Language Arts: Started on Classical Writing Primer: Winter. I am liking CW primer as it includes several elements beautifully. There is copywork, narration or dictation, nature study, and picture study. This is more copywork than I have had E doing in the past. He is not thrilled with that aspect, but I think he needs to get more comfortable with handwriting. We had a lot of fun taking the list of vocabulary words from King Alfred and the Beggar and making up new stories from them. Actually we got pretty hysterical at one point. This is our own twist.
Math: He is continuing with Teaching Textbooks, but I am trying to incorporate math in other ways into our schedule. I have a day for math games, a day for math stories, and a math journal day.

This page in E's math journal came about in
two ways. I asked him what he might want
to put into his math journal this week. And he
suggested doing a page on angles as that is
what he was learning about in TT. I took that
a little farther and taught him about the degrees
in different angles. E seems to be enjoying
approaching math in these different ways. He
loved TT at first, but I think he is getting a
little burnt out and the repetition of it.

I like to have a family read aloud and separate read alouds going with each of them. This week E and I finished up Caddie Woodlawn and Winnie the Pooh. I think our next book might be The Four Story Mistake. We read The Saturdays this fall and we both enjoyed it. The Four Story Mistake is the second book about the Melendy family.

K had a lighter week. He continued with his Little House education: reading in McGuffey's and "doing sums" on his slate.

Continuing with his love of Little House, K (on left) made a bobsled "like Almanzo's." He also made a yoke, which I don't have a picture of yet. But who needs a yoke when you can chain your brother to the front and have him pull?

These projects were completely self driven.

We did quite a bit together this week.
Literature and Poetry: We read mix of poetry, Greek myths, picture books, and Pinocchio. We just finished up Pinocchio, which the boys loved. I was not as thrilled. It was good, but I didn't love it as much as some of our other books this year: Wind in the Willows, Tumtum and Nutmeg, and Understood Betsy. I'm not sure what our next book will be.
Picture Study: We continued with their individual picture study books. Since we ran out of tape last week, it was put on hold till I could get out and get more. We added in a short biography of Breugel and a portrait. K said, "I love doing this. Can you print more pictures for me?" Well, not so easily. I have discovered the joy of e-mailing files to Office Max and having them print them for me. The quality is beautiful. It doesn't come out the same on my printer at home. K will just have to be patient.
Life skill: Both boys got some lessons in electrical work from their dad. I have photos posted in another post.

We looked at the snow with magnifying
glasses. This is something we will add on to slowly
over the winter, combining with our nature

World History: The Discovery of New Worlds
We read about Pompeii.

This week we also had our monthly homeschool country dance. I have a hard time getting a decent picture at these because I am either dancing or my camera battery is dying. Here are a few. I blurred the faces of other people.

Nature Study: For nature study, I've decided to start following the Outdoor Hour challenges. We having been doing nature study off and on for some time now, but I like the consistency of having a challenge to add in to that. We started with #1. K said when we got back that he would like to learn about different pine trees and their needles. E wants to investigate puff ball mushrooms. I'm sure that's not the name, but it will do for now. Here are some photos from our time outdoors this week:

And finally, a nature craft project. We started
this last week, collecting items on our nature
walk to freeze into our ice sculptures. Then it
warmed up. Well, it's cold enough this week.
Here the boys are putting their pine cones,
berries, acorns, etc. into the water.

.....the finished ice.

Art class part 2

This is E's picture from his new art class. It is so nice to see how much enthusiasm they have for these classes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New art class

Both boys have started a new art class which they are loving. K brought home his first project and I thought it was really beautiful.

When I asked him if he minded if I posted it here, he said, "Do you want to post this one too?"
I hugged him and said, "Do you want me to?" I don't remember when he did this. It wasn't in a class. I believe it was last year and sketched from a photograph.

When E brings a project home I will post it, too. We will continue to do our own art here at home, both kid initiated and mom inspired, but it is nice to see them both enjoying their new class so much.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's happening at our house

This is what our kitchen looks like right now.

Some of these workers seem to
take this job more seriously than

I've never seen him before in my life.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Week in review......

This feels as if it has not been a very productive week, but when I look back on it I guess we did get a bit done. We were busy with outside activities as well.

Math: Still working in Teaching Textbooks, though I'm starting to hear grumbling. I'm not sure if this level is too easy for him and he is starting to get bored or if it's just the routine of it that is getting to him. We will see. I do need to mix up our math a bit--more stories, games, fun. Actually, as I looked back at this week, I saw that because of the busyness, math was one of the things that I had E doing consistently. That might be adding to his frustration with it.
Reading: E has been reading Magic Tree House books again. He also started a new book called The Mystery of Biltmore House.
Science: I've been finding this subject a little difficult this year, so I decided to try some project based learning in this subject. Basically, the student picks the subject he wants to learn about. Then they figure out ways to learn about it. We discussed several options, but it was his choice how to go about this. Then, he decides what he wants to do with it. When he feels he is done, it is done. So, E said he wanted to learn about gun powder--it's history, chemical make-up, and anything else relevant. Off to the internet we went. He read about it and felt he had the info he wanted at that point. And then......on one website he saw, "How to breathe fire." Can you say rabbit trail? He was off. Do I call this science? Um, well, I tried to make scientific connections, but it wasn't really there. He did do it, though. I MAY post a picture, but I swear, it looks like "homeschooling gone bad".

Reading: K has been furiously working on learning to read. He is struggling through a Magic Tree House book at present. He has also been working with his McGuffey's reader. However, he doesn't remember all the letter sounds. I am planning to start a Main Lesson book (Waldorf style) to help with this.
Math: K has mostly been working on "sums" on his slate. Occasionally he does a workbook page.
Science: Thank goodness K didn't also watch the video that E saw on breathing fire. He did watch Inquisikids and did some of the experiments with magnets. He has also been making funnels out of my coffee filters because Justin showed him how.
Literature: We read two stories from Aesop's fables this week, which I had him narrate. We also read quite a bit of In the Land of the Big Red Apple.
Geography: Although K finished his map last week, we are still reading Paddle to the Sea. We read a couple of chapters this week.

Literature: We have a book called Shakespeare for Children by Edith Nesbitt. These are Shakespeare's play rewritten in story form. This week we read The Merchant of Venice. We are also continuing with Pinocchio, which the boys love.
Poetry: We have been reading poems by Robert Frost, Sara Teasdale, Strickland Gillilan, and others
Picture Study: We finished up Bruegel last week and started to put together their own picture study books. We also started on our new artist--Matisse. I specifically chose Matisse for the cold winter months to bring some color and life into our gray days. The boys were really excited to see such different art from Bruegel.
American History: I have been reading to them from a book called Brown Paper School--US Kids History: Story of the American Colonies. Sometimes this feels a bit disjointed going from one section to another, but I feel it is a good light overview and the kids like it. Today we read about the early days of slavery in this country.
World History: A Discovery of New Worlds--this week we learned about the burning of Rome.
Nature Study: We went for a walk and collected things for a craft project.

Whew! that does seem like it should be enough. What did me in was the rest of the week. On Wednesday we went to see a concert. On Thursday we had friends over. Both E and K have started new art classes, which they are loving. And I think that's about it.

Picture Study books

The concert

Going out to eat after the concert.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sometimes less really is more

A Little House Education....

I have been reading the Little House series with K. We worked through all the Laura years (Little House on the Prairie, etc. for those of you who don't know what I am talking about). Now we are into the Rose series. K just loves these, as do I . I never read these as a child myself, so it is fresh to me as well.

One day while reading In the Land of the Big Red Apple, Rose was getting ready to go to school. Her mother gave her a McGuffey's Eclectic reader. Somewhere, I don't know where or when, I picked up a copy of this book. The revised edition was printed in 1879. K got very excited and ran around looking for our copy. I finally located it in a drawer and handed it to him. He now uses this book often to work on learning to read.

The other day he said to me, can I do school like they did in Little House? Hmmm....."You mean reading McGuffey's?" "Yes and whatever else they did."
Okay..... small chalkboard= slate
piece of chalk= slate pencil
small tin pail= dinner pail

K worked on "sums" on his slate. He actually learned quite a bit that day--happily. He learned to add and subtract double digit, triple digit and even quadruple digit numbers. He learned borrowing and carrying before bed.

I think he is creating his own education.....A Little House Education. And it is a beautiful thing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Week in review

Between trying to figure out how to blog, understand a new camera and download (or is it upload?) pictures, holidays, birthdays, family stuff, and general whatnot our homeschooling is slacking off a bit and my blog is already feeling a bit neglected.

Here is some of what we've been up to:

Math: Teaching Textbooks--he has been working on rounding numbers and learning about angles
Reading: Since E is a fairly new reader, I am not pushing him to do tons of reading in all his subjects right now, just consistent regular reading in a variety of subjects. It's amazing how much he's improved this year. This week he's been reading from Famous Men of the Middle Ages, CLP Nature Reader, and a Magic Tree House book.
Copywork: Currently most of E's copywork comes from Happy Scribe Lord of the Rings copywork.
Geography: We finished Tree in the Trail this week. E has been working on a map from Beautiful Feet to go along with it. When we finished up he said, "What a great way to learn geography! I want to tell someone about it." So I'm telling all of you.
Grammar: This is actually one of E's favorite subjects this year. We have been reading Grammar Land and doing the worksheets that Jessica over at We Don't Need No Education made. Today the worksheet included figuring out whether words were nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adjective-pronouns, interjections, or articles. This was a bit tougher than some of the previous ones.
Read Aloud: I like to have an individual read aloud going with both children. I have been reading Caddie Woodlawn to E.

Reading: This is huge for K right now. He is determined. He definitely has his own way of going about this and it is quite a different process than it was with E. Somehow, he still doesn't know all the letter sounds, but is struggling to read books. I have told him that this would be easier if he knew the letter sounds so the other day he asked if we could work on only that. All day. He's been doing some of the Explode the Code books. He *does* not* like* them. Well, they helped E quite a bit, so I'm giving it a shot. I also had him watch the Letter Factory dvd. We will be starting back on our Waldorf style main lesson book for the letters. He does not like any of these methods. He just wants to read. I get it. And he will get it. However, I think just a bit of the letter sounds will help us both to be less frustrated. He does like using McGuffey's Eclectic Reader ("just like in Little House, Mom!") And we use the Waldorf style readers by Shelly Davidow. K likes reading from these books, so it is mainly what we do.
Math: We have been covering basic addition and subtraction in various ways. We use Cuisenaire Rods and Math Made Meaningful. K has also been doing review by playing a game on the computer.
Copywork: Happy Scribe copybook
Handiwork: K has been sewing a pencil case.
Read aloud: In the Land of the Big Red Apple--this is part of the Little House on the Prairie series, but from the Rose years. K loves this series.
Geography: K finished his map, but we are still reading Paddle to the Sea.

American History: We have been reading about Roanoke and Jamestown. The boys heard about how people were encouraged to come settle in the colonies and they each created their own broadsheets to lure prospective settlers to the colonies.
World History: We read about the fall of Rome in The Discovery of New Worlds by M.B. Synge.
Artist/Picture Study: We are finishing up our study of Pieter Bruegel the elder. I am ordering the smaller prints for their own books this week and we will put those together next week. Then we are on to Matisse.
Composer study: This is very informal. We have been listening to and learning about both Mozart and Handel.
Poetry and Literature: Walter de La Mare, Robert Louis Stevenson for poetry. I read the fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk this week.
Read aloud: I have given up on The Penderwicks. I just didn't like it that much. And I just started reading Pinocchio to the boys today. This is a wonderful classic.

I think that about covers it, except a few pictures

E doing Teaching Textbooks (math).

The finished maps. K's map, for Paddle to the Sea, is on
left. E's map, right, is for Tree in the Trail.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am hoping soon to post more about what we do with our days, in general, and more specifically. However, there has been a lot going on which has kept me either busy or tired. So for today I will post some more photos of what we have been up to. The busyness with family has altered our homeschooling a bit. Here are some of our occasional adaptions. Night school. No school. And impromptu field trips. At this last one E announced he is going to be a professor of American history, who does reenactments of the Revolutionary War period (just for fun.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge: Capture the Ordinary

I thought it would be fun to join in this photo challenge for my first post. The first picture is what fall was all about for us. Baseball. Baseball. And more baseball. I love the look of concentration on his face.

The second photo is just one of those ordinary days in our life and in our homeschool.

Since I am very new to blogging and linking, etc. I hope I get this right. Home is WhereYou Start From is hosting this challenge and I'm attempting to join in. I think I'm just supposed to choose one, but, well I couldn't decide so here's just one more.