Aug 29, 2014

School Days

Its that time of the year again.  New pencils and notebooks.  We are getting into the swing of things, this semester trying out most of school time in the morning.  Giving every little person here the attention they crave, has definitely proven challenging, as I am just one mouth, two arms and one lap.  But the front porch has become a beloved go-to spot, just about every morning, for a child or two, as an "alone" space while another works inside.  We are also rejoicing in having our basement free to ourselves this year (no renters!) which provides some other space for people to be while school is happening.

There is also growing freedom with the biking and walking around the neighborhood, which is as exciting for me as it is for them.

Here is an overview of our school plan this year!  Putting together our plan is the fun part for me. :)

For Language Arts, Malia (3rd grade) is using a curriculum for the first time.  We chose Total Language Plus and she's starting with the Charlotte's Web Study Guide.  With Total Language Plus, all of your Language Arts (reading, comprehension, writing, spelling, grammar) are all included and they study guide is based on the book you choose.  It also has a strong "critical thinking" component, which I appreciate.  I anticipate getting through 2 or 3 Study Guides/Books this year.
 For Josie (1st grade), I won't use a curriculum, but will continue to use the guidelines in Ruth Beechick's book The Three R's as a guide.  I basically use a blank composition journal (with space for drawing) and make my own simplified version of what Malia is doing for Josie.  She is using Little House in the Big Woods as her book.

For Math, we are continuing on in the Life of Fred series.  I love this series.  It is quirky and fun.  The author thinks like I do, valuing learning being integrated into daily life.  We supplement it with games, activities, flash cards, etc.


Like the past 2 years, Malia and Josie will be a part of a larger Co-op once a week where they will learn enrichment-type subjects: cooking, art, P.E., Countries and Cultures, Spanish, Agriculture, and Science.

A new thing this year: 3 friends and I are going to do some Life Science and Music activities as a group.  This will also be once a week and include group activities, field trips, and presentation of independent research/projects.  I am so excited about this.  I will basically use this group as a springboard for our Science.  I plan to make good use of the "independent research/project" element of this group.  (My elementary school just closed a year ago and GAVE their library books away.  I came home with stacks of resource books. What a special gift to this family!)

Also to supplement Life Science ideas, I bought some books off of for my avid readers:

Our current read-aloud: 
I highly recommend.  It has my girls crouching over insects and building an ant farm.

This and other books in this children's series:

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