Our school year is a little different (in terms of position on the calendar) from most school years.
For one thing we started Sadie's kindergarten year the week after her fifth birthday. She was adamant that she needed to start school the moment she turned five and since I'd already purchased all the books we were going to use I gave in.
That first year ran from June to April and when we finished her last day of school I planned on having a break before first grade. It quickly became clear, however, that that wasn't going to be a good idea for us.
With Mae working with a therapist across the room, the idea of having Sadie free to flutter around the downstairs quickly became a problem. And after she asked me why Maggie "got to do school" for the fifth time the first Monday she had off, I was ready to pull out her new school books and get started.
First grade ran from April 2014 until April 2015, which brings us to last week.
A week ago we began second grade. It wasn't a dramatic switch from the previous year. Sadie had finished most of her first grade books at various points during the first grade year and so, for most subjects we've been doing second grade work for a while.
Last year I wrote a post on what a day in our homeschool looked like and what we do for each of our subjects. Today's post gives a glimpse of what we're planning on using this year.
During kindergarten and at the start of first grade reading lessons were often a struggle. That is until we identified a midline crossing problem and I realized that there was a dramatic difference in how Sadie's was able to sound out words depending on where the book was positioned on the table.
Since discovering that little piece of information Sadie's made steady progress in reading. We've continued to use The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, but we supplement it with Explode the Code 3 (which finally arrived after being back ordered for months) and Beyond the Code Book 1: Comprehension and Reasoning Skills.
For spelling we use the Spelling Workout workbooks, and she's currently on Spelling Workout Level B .
We also use Bob Books for reading practice, along with various princess themed readers that she gets now and then as a treat.
Copy Work and Memory Work:
After her reading lesson Sadie copies a poem or quote in a notebook. Then she recites the poem that we're currently working on three times, which helps her to memorize it quite quickly.
We just moved on to Singapore Primary Mathematics Level 2A. Singapore Math has really clicked with Sadie.
And I have to admit that one of the things that I love about this program is that it perfectly matched out pace for the school year, so I wasn't searching for something to add and buying new books midyear because we didn't zip through and finish the math program in five months.
It was just the right balance of difficulty and lesson length each day.
For history we use The Story of the World. We're still on the first book both because we got side tracked and spent extra time on the lessons that we did, reading some of the longer suggested texts, and also because this year for us the focus was really heavily on reading and overcoming the mid-line challenge, knowing that in the future (like this year!) as reading gets easier we'll be able to spend more time on subjects like history and science.
I'm hoping that as we have more time to spend on history we'll be able to finish book one and book two this year.
Our science approach, at this young age, is pretty hands on with lots of field trips. We've already visited the botanical gardens tree times in the last month (at Sadie's suggestion) and yesterday's walk involved her asking me more questions than I could answer about photosynthesis. There's also a nearby kids' science museum that we go to and the zoo is another key piece of our science program these days.
There are so many different books that we use in both science and history that it would take paragraphs to name them all here, but since Sadie's interest at the moment is pretty heavily garden/plant based the book that I plan on using heavily this year is Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening (Kid's Guide).
This is the one subject that I wish I wasn't teaching myself. Sadie needs speech services, but since our insurance doesn't cover speech that should be covered by the school district, and our school district has told us "nope, we won't take her... here call this number" (which no one picks up or calls us back from) our speech situation is still in limbo. I have registered us a homeschool, which according to the man at the Department of Education I talked to will legally require them to provide services, but I was also told that by the time everything went through they'd be rolling it over into next year (again).
So I took matters into my own hand and after some searching discovered this book. It's a home study speech program and I'm hoping that between this book and the time I'm spending with Patch's and Mae's speech therapists getting help learning to help those two, we'll be able to make some progress while we wait for things to be ironed out with the various districts that handle these particular resources.
I am planning on purchasing the second grade set of Faith and Life books. We finished the first grade set halfway through the school year.
We're also moving on to this Bible , which is the same one I had when I was little, after reading last years children's Bible through more times than I can count.
Our city offers quite a few really reasonable programs (think $10 for three months of classes) and we've taken advantage of them this last year. During first grade she took homeschool art and acting classes (according to Paul the acting class was hysterical to watch), and I'm hoping they're offered again in the fall.
She's also currently gearing up for her first ballet recital and once a week she attends a karate class with Paul. Twice a month we attend her AHG meetings at a local parish where they've done everything from dance classes to sewing to cake decorating.
At the moment cooking is probably the subject that she's most interested in and she begs for a "cooking lesson" just about any time I walk into the kitchen. We finally made a deal that we will make one recipe a week from the book she picked out at the book store (Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed) and I have to say that after she made the first recipe (thin mint cookies) I am really, really impressed.
|The best cookies ever.|
We've also discovered that Sadie is a big fan of the Dover "How to Draw" books. Especially this one. She basically spent the entire week we had off from school pouring over various How to Draw books and drawing flowers and princesses and castles all week long.
That's this year's plan in a nut shell! I'm excited to see what 2015-2016 has in store for us!