Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Do you set goals for your homeschool?

When I was planning our first grade year - our first official year of homeschooling - I thought about the subjects we were going to include, the books we would use, and the way we would do things. I also thought about why.

I didn't write out a list of goals, but I had some in mind.

I planned to include a lot of subjects. A Charlotte Mason education includes Bible, reading, writing, literature, history, geography, foreign language, science, physical education, math, music appreciation, singing, instrumental music, art appreciation, art, handicrafts, etc.

When I thought about what I wanted my daughter to get out of studying all of these subjects, I realized that each of my "goals" fit into one of three categories. I had goals about attitude. I wanted my daughter to more than care about what she was learning; I wanted her to love it. I had goals about creating habits. I wanted my daughter to understand that we would do some things regularly. And I had goals about skills. For example, in studying a foreign language, I wanted my child to learn some words in that language.

The three categories made me think of Charlotte Mason's definition of education:

Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.

I think my goals could be called atmosphere goals, discipline goals, and life goals. For example, I want my daughter to want to read (atmosphere), to read every day (discipline), and to develop as a reader (life).

Now, my daughter isn't going to want to read if she thinks that I don't value reading, or if I tell her to hurry up and get done with her reading to check off a to-do list. She isn't going to read daily if I don't make books accessible and eliminate distractions. And, she isn't going to develop as a reader if I don't read to her and have her read to me.

What are your thoughts about setting goals for your homeschool?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Year 1: Week 6

(This "week" took 10 days.)

We watched Children of the Open Air's YouTube video 5A "Introducing La," listened to a Classics for Kids podcast about Beethoven, listened to the beginning of his 9th Symphony, and sang our foreign language songs.

In piano, Gemma worked a little on "What a Happy Day," and we revisited some older songs to work with a metronome on timing.

We revisited Degas' painting "The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage" in What Makes a Degas a Degas? (What a great book!) We also read two books from the library - the Degas book in Mike Venezia's series, and Degas and the Dance: The Painter and the Petits Rats, Perfecting their Art by Susan Goldman Rubin.

My own petit rat...
I love her facial expression in this one. 😆
Gemma completed Life of Fred chapter 7, which included long division without remainders, and 2-digits multiplied by 2-digits.

She completed four thank you letters.

For Bible, we read Pharaoh's Dreams. We are also working on learning 3 passages: a Psalm, an OT passage, and a parable. Gemma has memorized parts of all three by reading them aloud weekly. 

We're enjoying having time to play games like Rush Hour, Jr., Forbidden Island, and Spot It! And Gemma is enjoying some apps on her Kindle like Bonza and Word Wow.

For history, We read Hillyer's A Child's History of Art - Architecture chapter 2 about Stonehenge and Karnak. We also read chapters from On the Shores of the Great Sea about King Hiram of Tyre and King Solomon's Fleet.

We added Stonehenge, David, and King Hiram to Gemma's timeline book.

In geography, we continued to read about the Arctic. We read a short chapter about whales, and a short chapter titled "The Greenlander." (We also watched Greenland Kayak Rolls and Amazing Facts About Narwals on YouTube.)

We got new art supplies! I got pencils for myself, for an online natural history illustration course, and I got Gemma an Aquash water brush. Wow, that water brush is neat-o. Here is Gemma trying it out.
Here is my (beginner-level, in-progress) observational drawing.
For natural history, we read James Herriot's Market Square Dog, and the Burgess Seashore Book's chapter about clams. We also watched a YouTube video of clams spitting. 

We spent a day at Temescal Canyon.
Wasp galls were collected...
Gemma started learning to tread water. Her instructor said Gemma probably only needs one more round of Minnows before she can move on to Fish.
We finished our read aloud Poppy (by Avi), and started The Boxcar Children. After reading the first four chapters, we watched the animated movie The Boxcar Children. It was very close to the book, very sweet. We will finish the book next week.

We read The Crow and the Pitcher, several Stevenson poems, and are in the middle of Lamb's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Gemma asked if she could someday get her nails done, and I said that if she waited patiently while I got a long overdue haircut, she could get a manicure and pedicure. She chose dark purple for her fingernails and blue for her toes. Later that day, at the grocery store, she kept taking off her Crocs to show her toes to the employees (who all know her by name). The following day, out of nowhere, she said, "Mommy, thank you so much for letting me get my nails painted." The day after that, on a walk to the library, I asked for her hand to cross the street, and she thanked me again. I love these little toes and the child to whom they belong.
Gemma got to level 4 in Duolingo French. (She does French one day, and Spanish the next.)
For handicrafts, we worked on Gemma's felted pig.
Gemma completed her reading log for the library's summer reading program and, in addition to her Benihana's certificate, chose this book as a prize...