Friday, March 30, 2012

Week in Review, 3/26-3/30

Duncan is my third grader. This week he read On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck. He had his violin lesson and went to his math tutor. He worked on Kumon math and went to the center. He went to drama and art classes. He completed some pages in his Spectrum 5th grade Phonics and Word Study and read some in his history book. blah, blah, blah 

He finished the third grade social studies section of Time4Learning. He had already finished language arts and started the next level. Now that he is finished with social studies he is completing two language arts extensions in a sitting to work on finishing up that section. Next week will be our last meeting of Classical Conversations. blah, blah, blah

I like that we are wrapping things up, because the wind is blowing. It is time to move on.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Third Quarter is finished- Week 27, 3/12-3/16!

We are moving along. Duncan has finished T4L's 3rd grade LA extentions and is working on the grade 4 grammar. He is sure to be finished with most of the other subjects before we complete the last quarter.

In history this quarter he has finished 10 chapters of America's Story: Land of Liberty and is one week ahead of schedule.

Supporting his history text, he has read When the Circus Came to Town by Lawrence Yep, George Washington Carver by Matt Doeden, Who Was Helen Keller? by Gare Thompson, If You Lived 100 Years Ago by Ann McGovern, The Wright Brothers by Quentin Reynolds, Hero Over Here by Kathleen V. Kudlinski, Ticket to the Twenties by Mary Blocksma, and Rose's Journal by Marissa Moss.

In addition to these, we have looked through books together that support his history readings: Tracks Across America by Leonard Everett Fisher, Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman, and Children of the Depression by Russell Freedman.

We dropped the Essentials portion of Classical Conversations and Duncan began working through Scholastic's Success with Writing Grade 3 finishing through page 16.  He also started Killgallon's Sentence Composing for Elementary School and completed the first section that ends on page 17.

We are still going to Classical Conversations- Foundations. There he has continued to do memory work, science experiments, and art history w/ an art project.

This quarter we just did Kumon math alongside T4L, but the upside of this is that Duncan is moving through this level with little resistance.

Duncan is still taking art lessons, drama lessons and violin lessons. He had monologue day not too long ago and delivered Hiccup's monologue from the beginning of the movie How to Train Your Dragon.

I think that this pretty much covers third quarter.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Planning 2012-2013 for Duncan- Grade 4

As sad as it will be to be down to an only, I am also excited to just be looking at curriculum for Duncan. I am planning - neck deep in spreadsheets and surrounded by mountains of books and catalogs. As usually, so much looks so good, but with only one it is all I can do to keep from wanting everything I see!

Duncan’s fourth grade studies will definitely include Religious Studies & Mythology, Math, Language Arts, Political and Cultural Geography, Science, Spanish, and Fine Arts. Within the subject of Fine Arts, I will be including an artist study and a composer study in addition to our violin, drama, and art lessons.

I will definitely be incorporating memory work into his studies. Within the memory work I may attempt to include Latin and Farsi, but I am just not sure that we will have the time. It is difficult to imagine the time stretched before us with just the two of us together every day. I fantasize that it will be easy-peasy with volumes of time to do whatever we can imagine, but you never can tell.

I surfed the net looking at Charlotte Mason schedules, planning sheets, and exams. I designed various schedules attempting to be realistic about how much Duncan could accomplish in a day. In doing this, it quickly became apparent that we could not complete everything Duncan and I wanted and attend Classical Conversations. Although we have enjoyed our time with CC, Duncan and I are both amenable to leaving in order to chase other desires.

We are considering the National Mythology Exam, Lego Robotics, Math Olympiad, Youth Orchestra, and 4-H Shooting Sports. We plan to cover the recommended books for the National Mythology Exam. I have a friend whose dh will be giving Lego Mindstorms a try with their son this summer and has offered to let us join them. If the boys enjoy Mindstorms and work well together, we will then move on to considering forming a team. If there were a Math Olympiad team in place, Duncan would immediately join- alas I do not know of one. I am not keen on starting a team myself, but it is something else to consider. I think that Duncan is not quite ready for junior orchestra and he has never played with a group, so I have contacted the person over the reading orchestra that feeds into junior orchestra to help us decide if that might be a good fit. I am already on the 4-H e-mail loop and I don’t think I need to do anything until fall, but I guess I should check on that. So many choices, so many decisions!

If you have started planning, I hope you are having fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What is great art and how can I go about teaching my child art appreciation?

"It is beginning to dawn upon us that Art is great only in proportion to the greatness of the idea that it expresses; while what we ask of the execution, the technique, is that it shall be adequate to the inspiring idea." Charlotte Mason

Guernica by Picasso

"We recognise that the power of appreciating art and of producing to some extent an interpretation of what one sees is as universal as intelligence, imagination, nay, speech, the power of producing words. But there must be knowledge and, in the first place, not the technical knowledge of how to produce, but some reverent knowledge of what has been produced; that is, children should learn pictures, line by line, group by group, by reading, not books, but pictures themselves. A friendly picture-dealer supplies us with half a dozen beautiful little reproductions of the work of some single artist, term by term. After a short story of the artist's life and a few sympathetic words about his trees or his skies, his river-paths or his figures, the little pictures are studied one at a time; that is, children learn, not merely to see a picture but to look at it, taking in every detail. Then the picture is turned over and the children tell what they have seen,––a dog driving a flock of sheep along a road but nobody with the dog. Ah, there is a boy lying down by the stream drinking. It is morning as you can see by the light so the sheep are being driven to pasture, and so on; nothing is left out, the discarded plough, the crooked birch, the clouds beautiful in form and threatening rain, there is enough for half an hour's talk and memory in this little reproduction of a great picture and the children will know it wherever they see it, whether a signed proof, a copy in oils, or the original itself in one of our galleries." Charlotte Mason