We continue to rock along in our school year! Aaron just completed his first reader for 2nd grade reading!! He will go ahead and complete the second one (which at the rate he is going he will finish it by the first of May!) After that he will start his Summer reading (more on that in a minute).
Ok - so I am once again trying to get in some history into our school days. My original plans for this for the year kind of fell through and just didn't click I guess because it was very easy to neglect and not do... to the point that we weren't doing anything. But I went looking through the resources I had and have come up with Early American History projects and so far we are having a blast with them!!
We started with talking about Christopher Columbus. I used my resources that I still have from Adventures in My Father's World. We watched the Animated Hero Classic video about Christopher Columbus and made some drawings (from Draw Write Now) of Christopher Columbus and of his three ships). Right now we are doing projects about the Mayflower and the Pilgrims. I am using a scholastic make and learn project ebook that I had purchased some time back for these. That book has good synopsis material to use as teaching material and I am supplementing it with the My Father's World resources. After this we will spend some time talking about the Indians (I have a couple of Scholastic project ebooks for that) and then we will move into colonial life. I would to like to continue to find resources like this as we move, at a slow, leisurely pace, through American History. The kids LOVE the hands on aspect of the project and I really think it will help them to retain the information.
I have even cleared off a shelf for us to put our projects. Here are some pictures of how I have decorated our shelf and some of our first projects.
Here is the shelf decorated and ready for projects
A "Old World vs New World" diorama that we made
Here is the "old world" side - showing Holland, where the pilgrims tried to live
and here is the "new world" side showing America after they landed on the Mayflower. We had fun comparing and contrasting the two.
Here is our 3D model of the Mayflower (standing in blue ocean waves)
You can open the front flap to "peek" inside the ship - we had good discussions on what life must have been like on the ship.
The kids are enjoying this so much that they asked if we could do same thing for science! So we are taking a break from Apologia science and going to start talking about animal habitats and doing projects for that. Let me say that we LOVE Apologia and will continue to use that book...but it is a lot of reading...and I think, especially right now since they are still young, it's ok to take a break from that and do some "fun" science!! I am also using Scholastic ebook project books that I have already purchased. They also have some fun experiments and stuff to explore further with! Today we started with caves (didn't get pics - I will have pics for my next post). We made a cool "peek through" book on 'What lives in caves?' I even found some pictures of stalactites and stalagmites online that I showed the kids as we talked about what a cave is and what it consists of. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to start our experiment of making stalactites. When we come back from spring break (which is next week) we will make a cave diorama!
I have cleared the top of the other bookshelf for our animal habitat projects. Once again, I will have pictures of that in my next post!
So, at the beginning of the post I mentioned "Summer reading". For the first time at Watson Christian Academy we will have summer school. :-) And before you start telling me how mean and cruel I am, hear me out!
Summer school will not be like our normal school year...it will be more relaxed and more "fun" than "normal" school! We will be on a very relaxed schedule because we are wanting to get in a bunch of camping, and we have a big trip in June planned, and we will have park days and stuff with our friends...so we will NOT have any type of a rigid schedule. BUT on the days when we are home we might as well be productive right?!?! (and kids behave SO MUCH better when we are on our routine).
So here is what I am planning for our "summer school":
Literature Studies - Seth is going to be reading 'Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims' (we read it aloud together last year but he is going to read it on his own now and is super excited about this), an abridged verison of 'Tom Sawyer' and an abridged version of 'Huckleberry Finn'. I am actually writing the literacy units to go with the books, which will consist of vocabulary and comprehension questions by chapter. But this way he is keeping up his reading skills as he continues to focus on comprehension, as well as learning new vocabulary (and practicing using a dictionary to find meanings of words) etc...
Aaron will be reading Imagination Station's 'Voyage of the Vikings' as well as the first books in the Magic Tree House series (he is SUPER excited to start these). He will also have literacy units like those described above that he will complete as he reads his books.
We will continue our history projects and our animal habitat projects.
We will also throw in some math games so that we keep fresh on our math skills!
At this point that is all I have planned. See? Sounds like fun, right?!?! :-)
And of course I will also be planning out our "new" school year during the Summer as well. Those who know me know that for the past 2 summers now I have used that time to plan out our school year! Now every year I have had to tweak and change as I go...but it seems to be much easier to do that when the majority of your year is planned in advance :-) It has worked well for me and I plan to continue in the same fashion!
And it is getting about time to have Alyssa "dive" into school since she will be turning 5 in April - YIKES!!!
So as you can see things are staying busy around here!