It is now approximately 9:30am and we are reading to dive into the "work" part of our school. One thing I've started doing (and it's helped tremendously) is to write out our work for the day. I make a very simple list with boxes for the girls to check off when they are done. If there is an extra box, that means that I need to check the work before we are officially done. We end up doing most of our work together, so there isn't much need for me to check things at a separate time.
The first 4-5 items on the list are things we will do together. The second half of the list are things they can do independently. With the list, we can get through all our work in 1.5 - 2 hours. You can see from the list above that I have violin on there...I'll actually talk about how we do this next week.
Let me run through our subjects quickly and give a brief description of what resources we use.
- Math: Singapore - My girls are naturally at different levels and do much of their work independently, but I'm right there to answer questions. We also have Life of Fred and need to finish this series.
- Grammar: First Language Lessons Level 4 - We do this together. Each girl has a workbook and I read the scripted lessons from the Teacher's Manual.
- Spelling: All About Spelling Level 3 - Again, we do this together. I don't follow the method this book outlines, but simply use the spelling lists, dictation sentences and rules of spelling to guide us. I have the teacher's manual and that's all.
- History: Story of the World Volume 4 - We have both the story book and the activity book (with extra student pages for maps). This is the fourth and final book of this series. We've thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably read through all four volumes again in the next few years. Volume 4 is quite a bit more intense than the other three volumes, and I'm not sure how much my girls are absorbing (especially my youngest).
- Science: Elemental Science - Each girl has a different subject. My oldest chose Chemistry and my youngest chose Biology. I don't love this resource. I haven't found it to be very user friendly and I find myself spending a lot of time trying to figure out what we are supposed to do next. There is a teacher guide, a student workbook and then extra texts that are used throughout the curriculum and I find we are constantly shuffling the books around and searching for what to write where.
- Cursive: Prescripts - This is something the girls can do independently.
- Spanish: Rosetta Stone - Done independently
- Shakespeare: How to Teach Your Child Shakespeare - We use this for our memory work (along with scripture). I am reading this book as we go and then we memorize the appropriate passage.
- Geography: Seterra Online and tracing maps - The girls like playing the online game and you can choose which continent or country you want to focus on. (I like playing it too!). Also, I will have them trace maps (world and US) while I'm reading to them.
Wow...that seems like a lot. It is, but we don't do everything, every day. We do math every day. We do grammar, cursive, spanish and shakespeare most days. We do spelling, history, science and geography twice a week. Somehow we manage to get through it all between September and June.
You might notice that writing is missing from our list. We don't have a formal curriculum or resource for writing right now, but the girls write in spelling, grammar and they write letters to our Compassion kids.