Saturday, March 26, 2016
Homeschool Week in Review - March 21-25, 2016
We took a week off last week for "Spring Break" (which was really just a chance to let me and E recover from the flu). Towards the end of that week, I asked the twins to take an online CAT test for 2nd grade. They both did an excellent job, scoring far above average in each category. It's good to know that homeschool hasn't left any major gaps in what they need to know (I always worry about this, since we got a slow start to the year with a new baby and we're picking and choosing pieces for each subject rather than going with a box curriculum). This week everyone was feeling better and we're back to a school routine. Here's what we worked on...
We learned about Marco Polo and The Silk Road using Story of the World and various books from the library. The kids did a lot of map work, identifying the cities along the Silk Road on a map. I also found some lovely Chinese folk stories which I read aloud to H and we both enjoyed. We made our own recycled paper (since paper was invented in China).
We finished learning the eight parts of speech this week using Grammar Island and Schoolhouse Rock videos on YouTube. The kids absolutely love grammar. H (age 4.5) is always pointing out nouns and verbs, and E (age 6.5) is always writing sentences and identifying the parts of speech.
Instead of going straight into Latin word roots, I thought it would be fun to take out Song School Latin (entertaining songs for kids that teach Latin words and phrases). I used this program with the twins when they were 4 years old, but we only got through the first couple lessons. They're really getting into it even more now.
Poetry & Music
This week we listened to the poetry that Jack Prelutsky wrote to go along with the music of Camille Saint-Saëns's The Carnival of the Animals. We defined vocabulary words in the poems and discussed poetic elements (like alliteration), danced along with the music, and made crafts for the various animals. I may blog about this separately next week.
We began our study of plants this week using Mystery Science (which is available for free until June), encyclopedias, and and a series called How to Grow a Planet. We're going to continue our plant studies next week, so I'll post more details then.
L (age 6.5) began Beast Academy 3B, which begins with multiplication. I thought this was a good opportunity to review the multiplication tables with both girls. We watched the Times Tales DVD (which uses stories to help children memorize the upper multiplication tables), and did a lot of drills (running around the living room completing an obstacle course while I called out multiplication facts for them to answer).
E finished Misty of Chincoteague, and ordered (with her own money) another book by the same author, Cinnabar, the One O'Clock Fox, which she also finished. L is still reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. For our read-aloud, I'm reading Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling to the kids.
This coming week, I think we'll focus on more writing activities, since that is an area that the twins are behind on. I'd also like to get H reading more. He's been able to read words since age 3, but just needs to practice (I don't want to push too much since he's still young).
I've been toying with the idea of dedicating Fridays to technology. We've been doing Lego Robotics (WeDo 2.0) projects every Friday for the past month, but I'd like to also include more Scratch (programming) and typing lessons in there.
For more learning and fun be sure to check out the LaLaLogic Critical Thinking Curriculum for Preschoolers which I developed.
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