Friday, October 26, 2012

Week 1: "Do not despise the bottom rungs ..."

"Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness."
-Publilius Syrus

After much ado, we finally started week 1 of our K4/1st grade year this week.  It has been a tough week, as we really haven't been working on anything with any regularity since probably May, so neither SC nor I are quite back to having a schedule.  This week it took us about 3 1/2 hours in the afternoons on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and one hour in the afternoons on Tuesday/Thursday, to complete our schedule, but SC is a dawdler and it takes her much longer to do some of the activities than it should due to lack of focus.  Hopefully as we progress through the year and she get more used to the schedule, this will get better.

We have turned our dining room into an office/school room, and SC has a small desk from Ikea that is just her size.  

I spent the prior two weeks working hard on completing a schedule.  I styled it after the Sonlight plans, and ended up using MS Excel rather than MS Word due to the fact that I can never get tables to work correctly in MS Word.  Once I figure out how to link to documents, I will add a link for anyone who wants to borrow the template.  If you want to take a look and try it for your own plans, click here.  Here is how it ended up looking:


So, here is what we did this week:

Reminder: We are using the History Odyssey: Ancients curriculum.

Monday we completed Pocket 1 history pocket ("What is History?") and read the information included in it.  Part of the pocket was discussing the words "past," "present," and "future."  We had a great time talking about things that have happened in the last year, things that were happing now, and things that were going to happen in the future.  We were also able to discuss all these words as they related to SC's Halloween costume choices, as she has the next five years planned out already.


Wednesday we read Story of the World "How do we know what happened?", watched the Bill Nye Archaeology video, used the Webster's New World Children's Dictionary to define "archaeology," and drew a picture about what she learned from the readings.  She chose to draw her picture of an excavation site after we read the awesome book Archaeologists Dig for Clues (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2).

Friday we read the book The Magic School Bus Shows And Tells: A Book About Archaeology and discussed the history words we had learned this week:
  • ancient
  • basic needs
  • civilization
  • history
  • archaeology
  • artifact
  • past
  • present
  • future


*I used a site called ZB Fonts Online to create our own fill-in-the-blank version of the definition for SC to use when she copied her vocabulary word this week.

Reminder: We are using Explode the Code (ETC), A Reason for Spelling (ARFS), and A Reason for Handwriting (ARFH).

Monday SC took the consonant pretest that accompanies Book 1 of ETC.  She didn't miss even one letter, which tells me it was a good idea to skip the end of Book B and all of Book C, which just goes over the rest of the consonants.  Wednesday we reviewed short "a" with final "t" and worked on page 1, while Friday we worked on pages 2-3.

For ARFS and ARFH, both have a six-week review/practice, which we started this week, practice #1-5 for ARFH, and practice #1-8 for ARFS.  Handwriting and spelling are two of the lessons we are doing daily, not just M/W/F, because I believe this is something that should be practiced every day.

Our read aloud this week was to finish up Dinosaurs before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne.

Reminder: We are using Math-U-See Primer level for our curriculum.

This week we started an introduction to addition, where we discuss the symbols "plus" and "equals," plus work on using the base 10 blocks to create simple, single-digit addition problems.


Reminder: We are using Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy with the Junior Notebooking Journal for our curriculum.

This week we started Lesson 1: What is Astronomy, where we briefly discussed the stars, planets, the calendar, the solar system, and astronomers.  She really enjoyed practicing gravity, jumping and dropping things, shouting "falls to the Earth!"  She worked on coloring two pages from the junior notebooking journal, plus we practiced reciting the planets in order, and created a fact sheet from what we had read about.  Next week we will complete Lesson 1 and do the lab project.


Reminder: We are using Bible Study for All Ages: Beginner for our curriculum.

This week we picked up with our Bible lessons where we had left off and studied Genesis 47-50, as well as started on Daniel with books 1 & 2.  We actually moved Bible lesson to right before bedtime, and it has been great because AC can help reading and instructing while he is here, and it has been great to do this all together as a family.


While we were in San Francisco, I picked up a book called Don't Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book!, and SC worked on the first two activities, tracing and copying a picture of the pigeon, and creating a bus stop sign.  She really loved the Mo Willems "Pigeon" books, so this was a no brainer to get when I saw it.  She has been asking every single day to do activities from it.



I decided to hold off on starting French for right now, to get us used to being back on a school schedule, plus it is already more intensive than last spring with history and science curriculum.  Also, most of our out-of-the house activities are in the morning, which means all of our school is done in the afternoon, and SC is pretty tired.  Hopefully next fall, once she is officially five years old and her activities will make the assumption she is in public school all day, we will be able to rearrange it to spending the morning on school and she will be more fresh for French.

What was your week like?  Leave a comment, then check out what other homeschoolers are up to at

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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