Tuesday, September 20, 2011


We are starting our third week of school, and I feel we are well underway now. This week we add in Zachary's spelling curriculum as well as a few new read-alouds and we start our country study right here in the good old USA.

But first... here's a snap shot of what these two (three) have been doing the past two weeks.

Zachary, ECC - 3rd grade

Bible: Learning about why God made different languages, that the Good News of Jesus is for all mankind, we will worship with people from all parts of the world in heaven.

Language Arts: Handwriting review and geography vocabulary

English: We are continuing in Primary Language Lessons (from last year). It is a very Charlotte Mason type of lesson, which we all seem to enjoy. We are doing 3 lessons per week with some dictation sprinkled in there too.

Math: We are working on more drilling this year which I think will help with simple math facts and make math easier in the long run. We work addition math drills on Monday, subtraction on Tuesday, multiplication on Wednesday, and division on Thursday. These drills only last about 10 minutes and can be anything from flashcards to math games. We have just started a new math book with Singapore Math. We have used Singapore from the start and it seems to be working for us. Zach started level 2B last week.

Geography: The past two weeks have concentrated on learning how to read maps, what types of maps there are, and how maps differ from globes. We have learned about latitude and longitude, physical and political maps, northern and southern hemisphere, distance and scale... lets just say I've learned a lot too!!

Science: We are learning about environments and ecosystems. We've read about niches and biomes. We have also touched on the water and oxygen cycles. We started our Nature Notebooks for the year. Zach is also working in The Complete Book of Animals which has given him some simple research type worksheets so far. Zachary has also started his Astronomy class, which is out of the house on Monday afternoons. We decided this week to sign Emma up to, and we think she is going to love it (almost) as much as Zach. I will have to write more on this later. We are so blessed to be part of this group.

Music/Art: We have been listening to Wee Sing: Hello to All the Children of the World, which has introduced us to several countries. We also made paper dolls last week and decorated them from different countries.

Reading: Zachary is still in love with the Magic Tree House Books. He will read a while book in one sitting if I allow him to sit that long. I have tried to get him to branch out a bit, but have not been successful yet.

Spanish: Zachary is continuing to do Rosetta Stone. He does a very good job at it and enjoys working on the computer alone with his headset.

Read-Aloud: We started Kingdom Tales last week. At first I though it would be a bit deep for us, but we got through the first couple chapters and now I think our whole family is getting something out of the readings every night. It really is turning out to be a very good book and the discussion question at the end of each chapter gets us all talking about what we thought the chapter was about.

Zachary labeling a map for geography

Emma, 1st Grade

Bible: We have gone over how the Bible was first written in scrolls. We have started handwriting practice on sheets that we will put together as a scroll when we are done with them. Emma also made a small piece of pottery as an example of the pots they used to store scrolls in. We have been discussing the book of Proverbs and that it is a book full of wise verses written by King Solomon. We have started memorizing Proverbs 9:10: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. One other thing we did last week was make a Jewish calender. It coincides with our calender so we will be able to follow both through the year.

Reading: We are reviewing three letters a day by writing them and review their sounds and what words start with their sounds. We are doing dictation where Emma will write the first letter of the words I say to her. She is also blending short vowels with the letters we are reviewing.

Math: Last week we worked on sequences and patterns. We read some books that we checked out from the library, which is something I love about our curriculum. There are so many children's books that have real life math in them and make learning math fun, and our curriculum lists the books that go along with what we are studying so we can check them out of the library when we need them. Emma also got to "play" with her pattern blocks, which she enjoys doing with Luke.

Emma has joined Zach and I for several of his geography lessons. She has also started her Nature Notebook and will be doing Astronomy for science along with some life science from 1st grade.

Emma working on patterns for math.

Luke, Pre-Pre-Pre-School ;-)

Luke is being kept very busy by his big sister who I think will have him reading way before I would. She practices his animal sounds with him and fort building. He pays more attention to her than he ever would to me, and I LOVE IT!! She is such a blessing taking care of him while I teach Zach. The two of them are fostering a relationship that is so precious and special, and I love to listen to it from our school table.

Emma including Luke in playing with her pattern blocks.

My "class", working on labeling the continents and oceans.

These first two weeks have been very full and exciting, and yet I know we are just barely getting started on this very busy year that is ahead of us. I am so excited for what is to come this year while studying our Father's World!

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