Friday, September 16, 2011

Six Weeks Review - 3rd Grade

My approach to homeschooling was to go at it slowly, but steadily.  Since this is a new journey for all of us, I didn't want to overdo it and expect so much out of the children that they end up hating it.  I want them to love homeschooling as much as I love being the homeschool teacher.  They  have basically been working at their own pace and I'm quite pleased with the results.  According to my post in May on the subjects that they would have, here's a breakdown of how it is going in 3rd grade.  I will post the other grades on another day since they will be be lengthy: 

3rd Grade (8 year old girl)
  • Teaching Textbook 3 Textbook, CD-ROM,Workbook and Answer Key   This is going very well.  I think the fact that she's able to be on the computer is helping because she loves playing games on the computer. 
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy Textbook and Notebook Journal - We just finished learning about Mercury and made a model with homemade play dough.  That was messy!  It should be dry enough to paint next week.  This curriculum is great.  It's slow paced enough so as not to overwhelm  her with too many big words.   I read the lessons to her and DS2 and stop through out the lesson to explain what we're reading about.  DD2 is not a strong reader nor is reading (except at bedtime) her favorite pastime.   
Language Arts

In addition to the following books, she is also learning cursive writing.  I bought this book last year and we are just continuing it. 
  • Explode the Code (books 5, 5 1/2, 6 - a little behind in phonics skills so we're starting at 2nd grade level)  These books are so fun.  We just started book 5 1/2 this week so she is moving along nicely.  However, I have back-tracked to a different curriculum to support this (Alpha-Omega Horizons Book 1)  She just didn't do very well in public school learning how to read.  It is amazing how the books, although written by different authors, compliment each other nicely. 

  • Total Language Plus:   We are crawling through this curriculum.  But I do feel that it is very well written.  Although DD2 is not as advanced as she really should be to do this, we do it together.  At first, I was having her do spelling tests and although we worked on it daily, it did no good.  She is just not good at memorizing words yet.  But, I have put index cards on a ring with the spelling words and vocabulary meaning on the cards.  We go through these almost daily.  She is recognizing the words.  We may not get through as many books as I originally listed, but that's just fine.  I don't want to rush her through it to see how many we can get done, but I want her to fully grasp what she's learning. 

History / Art
  • Draw and Write Through History (all 5 books)  These books are really cool.  However, DD2 is not that interested in drawing step by step.  She does love them and we read the history that goes with each drawing.  We will finish these in another 6 weeks.   I'll let you know what we do next.
Foreign Language
  • Spanish  We are working slowly on this.  I decided not to rush through these so that the kids will retain what they are learning.  I'm doing the program myself so I can keep up with what they are learning.  It helps DD2 because I'll quiz her while we're driving or right before bedtime and most of the time she passes the "quiz".  I'm not having her do the writing part yet because she's struggling to learn to spell in the English language.  But if she can hear it and speak it, the writing will come later - at least that's my goal. 
Fine Arts
  • Piano - private lessons and recital  - She's still taking lessons and will do a recital next spring.

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