Monday, August 27, 2012
Preparing for elementary
I've already admitted that we're pretty laid back in the younger years. And that continues through elementary. In early elementary we focus on reading and math. We also do some literature, history and science. But my focus is on learning to read and enjoying it and understanding math concepts.
Since Benjamin is now in 5th grade and can read well and enjoys it and understands math concepts I'm looking for areas that need improvement before moving on to jr high next year.
This year we'll focus on spelling, grammar and cursive writing more than we've ever done. We'll be using A Reason For Writing for handwriting and Apples for spelling. The other thing we will do is do more essay and creative writing pieces. I'll use those to teach grammar and spelling. I've found that my children can often remember more from having something corrected than by doing page after page of a workbook.
Each morning we'll read the Bible, do English From the Roots Up and Rip the Page together. For Bible we just read the Bible, a book at a time, and talk about it. We've done English from the Roots Up before but it's been a few years so I think it's time to repeat it as the children are older. And while we did Rip the Page last year we didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to.
Then Benjamin, Phoebe and I are going to do The Prairie Primer together. I'm super excited about this. The last 4 years have been really hard on us and I really haven't done any fun unit study type things with Phoebe and Benjamin. So each day they'll have a couple of chapters of the Little House books to read on their own and then we'll do some fun stuff together. This is also where I'll get our writing assignments and history from.
We're also going to do Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space together. I'll be teaching this at co-op and I think it will be fun to do at home also.
Benjamin will begin Teaching Textbooks Math 5 for his math. He is so excited to get to have his math lessons on the computer. Teaching Textbooks has a feature where the student can just input his answer into the computer and the program will grade it for you. I chose to not use this feature. I let my kids watch the lesson and do the practice problems on the computer but then I have them work out the regular problems on paper and I check them. It's more work for me but I want to make sure that they are not missing the same concept over and over and I want them to learn to show their work.
At co-op he'll have geography, nutrition, board games and drama classes. All of these classes will be fun, hands on classes without any homework.
As I typed this out it looks like a lot (at least to me it does) but it really isn't and if he works diligently he should be able to be finished each day by noon.
The diligence part will be the hardest part. Benjamin is, after all, a 10 year old boy.