Thursday, August 20, 2009

From theClassroom

Hurrah for the first week of school! Noah and I have had a good time together. I am encouraged to see that he doesn't seem to have forgotten any of what we learned last year, and although it was a little tough on him to sit and concentrate for the full time on Tuesday, he was back into the swing of things by Wednesday.

I thought you might like to see what we are studying each week, so here's what we are doing this week:

Bible-focusing on creation, specifically this week on day and night. We have used this as a springboard to look at how the sun and moon affect tides and seasons an have looked at what would happen without the sun.

Math-We are reviewing number formation, sets, number lines, and have reviewed counting by 1's to 100.

History & Geography- We will be studying family units and community this year. We started this week, by looking at our place in history as a special creation of God and each individuals uniqueness and special gifts. We are also using this as a springboard to talk about man's relationship to God. We are making a book all about Noah, and tomorrow we will be using our lesson to move us into art, making a life-sized picture of Noah for him to decorate with his physical features.

Language Arts (Reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, and hand-writing)-We are reviewing alphabet formation, consonant sounds, short vowel sounds, rhyming words, alphabetizing and punctuation. We have a reader that we work from and are supplementing our reading diet with books that expand on what we are studying in science. We are also working on oral story-telling. This is Noah's most difficult subject, as he does not enjoy practicing hand-writing for very long. We tend to break up our language arts lesson into small chunks spaced in-between our other lessons.

Science-For the first part of the school year, we are studying our 5 senses. This week we have been studying the sense of sight. In particular, our ability to detect color, which we could not sense without our eyes. We have experimented with blending primary colors, looked at how we use color to tell us about the world around us, and today we were looking at how God has given animals the ability to use color to camouflage themselves as they hunt for their prey or hide from their predators. Noah has really enjoyed science today. I found several great books about animal camouflage. It was so much fun to see Noah so excited about what he was learning that he didn't put them to walk to the van when it was time to go pick up Nathan and Rosie! I think the sight of him with his nose stuck in a book while trying to stay on the sidewalk is my favorite image of the week. He read to me all the way home.

We are also studying American Sign Language(ASL)and the founding of America this year. These are our "for fun" subjects. They are DVD-based and there is no handwriting involved! We have ASL one week and American history the next.

Noah saw someone using sign language last year, and he wanted to learn it, too. Last year we learned the ASL alphabet, and he wanted to continue learning this year. I found the "Signing Time" DVDs last year, and we LOVE them. They are such a great educational tool. Written by a mother who wanted to teach ASL to her daughter so that she could communicate with her deaf cousin, these are fun and colorful and there are LOADS of them. Noah loves them, and Nathan and Rosie do, too. I am playing these in the evenings while Daddy and I clean up the kitchen after supper so that we can all learn together. This week we are studying words related to meal-time.

For American history, we are using the "Liberty's Kids" DVDs. PBS outdid themselves when they made these DVDs. Liberty's Kids is an animated series that visits all of the major events that led up to the making of our Constitution and into war with England. They are fast-paced and exciting, but (at least the 10 episodes we have seen so far) remain true to history. And, as a family who has both American and British parts, I love the fact that one of the main characters is a young Englishwoman who illustrates the difficulties for both sides without watering down the abuse of power that led to our founding father's seeking liberty and independence. Hearing Noah describing the "intolerable acts" cracks me up. And watching the 3 munchkins dressing up and acting out their favorite scenes is priceless. What a fantastic way this is to instill a love of history in our kids! Whether your children are homeschooled, private schooled or public schooled, I can't recommend these DVDs enough. A major bonus for us is that we our using the sign language DVDs from our local library, which is free and renting the history DVD's from netflix, so this is also a very inexpensive option. I would love to own these DVD sets, but being able to borrow or rent them is still a great second option.

I am enjoying myself so far (early days, I know), and I nearly burst with joy this morning when Noah told me that even if he could go to school somewhere else, that he would rather learn with me!

1 comment:

  1. yea!!!!!!!!! Glad it is going so well! I want to go to your school too. :) horrah for school going well.