First week

Of…second grade. I guess? If we were counting or he went to public school which we don’t and he isn’t so I guess it doesn’t matter. The first week went well, though. I think our materials are a hit and he’s learning a lot. I didn’t struggle as much as I thought I might when it came to no longer being his primary teacher (of course I plan all the lessons so I haven’t given up as much control as it might look like on the surface. I didn’t stop being a Type A person overnight or anything :-p) Anyway, I’m going to try to write the weekly wrap-ups again this year; mostly because I like looking back to see what we’ve covered, but also because I feel like sharing the resources I’ve found and how we use them might be of some help to other homeschoolers. With all that said, here’s what we were up to this week.

Literature: Chapters 1-7 of “The Little Lame Prince” by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (this was one of my very favorite books as a child, I love sharing it with Brady)

Grammar: Michael Clay Thompson’s Grammar Island: Nouns, Pronouns, and Adjectives. The MCT books have virtually no instruction on how to implement them and no clearly defined sections. What we’re doing is reading 4 or 5 pages of Grammar Island every day and rotating Practice Island, Music of the Hemispheres, and Building Language. We’ll replace Grammar Island with Sentence Island once we have completed the former.

Vocabulary: arch, aqueduct, centennial, ornamental, semicircle, keystone, coliseum, inaguration, architect. (We read one section of Building Language on Monday and one on Wednesday)

Poetry: onomatopoeia, consonants vs vowels, soft vs hard sounds (Music of the Hemispheres pg 5-28, we do 10ish pages on Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Editing/Analysis: We do one Practice Island sentence on Wednesdays and Fridays. Since we are still discussing parts of speech in Grammar Island I am only having B identify those for now. Once we have discussed clauses, etc we will add those to our analysis.

Creative writing: How the length of sentences can convey tone and mood (Rip the Page: “Meeting the President in 5 Words or Less”) and Onomatopoeia (also in Rip the Page)

Algebra: Hands on Equations Level 1 lessons 1, 2, and the first half of Lesson 3 (each lesson is 10 problems, but 5 a day seems like the right amount of practice)

Engineering: Engino Structures and Bridges Kit

*House experiment (relative strength of squares vs triangles, natural vs manmade structures, frame vs shell                        structures)

*Paper bridge experiment (compression, tension, bending, shear, torsion, reinforced concrete, elasticity)

(We split the STEM subjects in much the same way as language. Algebra is every day, but we rotate engineering, coding, and general science. Engineering is a Tuesday/Thursday subject with one lesson each time.)

Science: Thames and Kosmos Rocket Science kit Experiments 1-8 (air pressure, reactive thrust, impulse). General Science is a Tuesday/Saturday subject for us, 4 experiments at a time.

Coding: Code.org: Graph Paper Programming and Maze Sequence lessons. We’re working our way through Course 2 on code.org with 1 lesson and then some free play time on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

History: Mankind the Story of All of Us: early humans up to early agrarian societies (pg 2-30, history is a daily subject for us so we only read a few pages at a time)

Geography: Reading maps and following directions (The Complete Book of Maps and Geography pg 65 and 66.) This is one we do on Mondays and Wednesdays, one lesson per day (which is almost always one page). When we’ve completed this book (which we started a couple years ago and then forgot about) we’ll be moving onto Mapping the World by Heart.

World Religions: A Young Person’s Guide to Philosophy (just the intro this week, we only cover this subject on Fridays)

Art: Khan Academy reading and videos on the Lascaux cave paintings and the Venus of Willendorf. Followed by making our own cave paintings (brown paper bag taped to the wall and then fingerpainting with a mix of spices and water) and a self portrait out of bakeable clay respectively. We will be doing Discovering Great Artists, but the earliest project in there was an artist in the 13th century and I’m trying to keep it in pace with our history lessons. Art is a Tuesday/Thursday subject for us.

Music Theory: John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Level 1. This week we discussed middle C, whole notes, and learned some vocabulary (treble, bass, clef, staff, lines and spaces, bar lines, measures). This is a Wednesday/Friday subject with one lesson each time.

Music Appreciation: Meet the Great Composers: Bach and Scarlatti. Each lesson is 3 pages or so and includes a short reading on the composer’s life, a word search or crossword or the like for review, and a sample of their work on the accompanying cd. This is another book that we started a couple years ago and then just sort of let slide, but I think it’s a good book and I intend to do both the 1st and 2nd level with B this year. This is another Wednesday/Friday subject for us, one composer per day.

French: For now I am having B do one lesson on the Duolingo app on my phone at the end of every school day.  It’s just a few minutes, but he likes it and I like the variety of methods it uses. Once he has some of the basics down (and has shown that he actually wants to stick with French) I may look into a more formal curriculum, but it works for now.

So that’s what we covered in our first week and a bit about how we use materials that aren’t broken into clear cut sections/lessons. Hopefully that will be helpful to other parents wanting to use Michael Clay Thompson, Mankind, Engino, etc in their homeschools.

And now I am off to plan the upcoming week. How are things in your homeschool?

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