Offspring #1Hailey is in second grade this year, and in Year 2 of Ambleside Online. We are learning about the Middle Ages in our history rotation, and studying animals for science. Geography includes the western area of the United States, specifically the Santa Fe Trail regions, and later in the year, we switch to oceans.
Second grade math is so much fun, since we get to learn about time, money, measurement, temperature, and beginning geometry along with the basic addition and subtraction. We have added Math Journals to Hailey's arithmetic this year, and she is really enjoying that. We do lapbook-type foldables, journaling, story problems, and so much more.
We are using Funnix for reading. Hailey is past the Phonics portion of the program, and she is doing the beginning reading section, using the great reader I printed out and stuck in a binder. She is doing great with it, and moving along very quickly. She will be completely finished quite a bit before the end of this school year, and then she will be off and running with early chapter books.
Here is Hailey's reading and curriculum list for second grade:Math:
Variety of Resources
Funnix Beginning Reading
Word Building activities
Our Island Story
A Child's History of the World
The Little Duke (biography)
Joan of Arc (biography)
Tree in the Trail
The Burgess Animal Book
A Year in the Forest
Tales from Shakespeare
The Wind in the Willows
(Along with 18 unscheduled literature and read-aloud selections)
Poetry selections from:
Walter De La Mare
James Whitcombe Riley
Offspring #2Caiden is in first grade this year. We are doing Ambleside Online Year 1, after much deliberation. Year 1 is frequently recommended for 7 year old boys, as the reading comprehension can be pretty challenging with some of the books, and further years increase in difficulty quickly. However, Caiden has listened with great interest and attention to many of Hailey's books towards the end of last year, and I was pretty sure that he would find Year 1 to be challenging but doable. So far I have been right, and his narrations are far above what Hailey's were at this time last year, since I have been having him practice over the summer with easy books.
Year 1 includes a brief overview of history, focusing on people and events rather then a chronological study. These people are then familiar figures to the child to refer to later in the history rotation, as names and places come up again in more detail. American History takes the form of biographies of important Americans, again with the goal of giving the child a reference of names and events to build on in later years.
Caiden is using Funnix Phonics for reading, and is half way through it. He struggles sometimes but is doing well overall. He should be done with it before the end of the school year and ready to move on to Beginning Reading. He is doing the same math as Hailey, just with simpler concepts and problems.
Caiden's book list and curriculum:Math:
Variety of resources
Word Building activities
An Island Story
Fifty Famous Stories Retold
American History Biographies:
(And hopefully Benjamin Franklin and Buffalo Bill if I can locate the books I need.)
Paddle to the Sea
(also mapwork for all history, read alouds, and picture books we read.)
James Herriot's Treasury for Children
The Burgess Bird Book for Children
Wonders of the Seasons
The Aesop for Children
Beautiful Stories from Shakspeare
The Blue Fairy Book
Just So Stories
(Along with 9 other read alouds that aren't scheduled, and we always add in Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. )
Offspring # 3Abby is in preschool this year. She is learning her letter sounds, and has been begging to "do phonics". We are using a very easy, simplified version of Charlotte Mason's word family ideas. Using basic short vowel word families and beginning consonants, she is already blending CVC words together. After learning all of her letters very well, we will start using Funnix, probably not until next year however.
Other then phonics we are just sticking to picture books. We will be using Beatrix Potter's Treasury, Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, and many of the other best children's literature. I am using the book lists at Ambleside Year 0, and FIAR to get more ideas.
Abby is also using Funnix Beginning math, which starts at number recognition. I will keep up with it until it is too hard or she gets tired of it. No pressure for preschool!
Cultural Literacy, Circle TimeWe are listening to Debussy, Bach, and a selection of opera ovurtures for our composer study this year. We have been enjoying DeBussy very much, and the CDs always become treasured memories later. We also listen to a variety of folk songs and hymns throughout our day, to develop their recognition and understanding.
Our artists are Renoir, van Ruisdael, and Seurat, but we are starting out with some selections from Sir Edwin Landseer that I picked out last fall and never got to. The children love picture study, it is one of their favorite parts of our day.
We are working on memorizing one poetry selection and one scripture, and the learned verses are always in a review rotation so they don't forget them. They absolutely love memory work, and are so very proud of their selections.
We read one poem a day to each child, and they always ask for more. Abby is listening to several picture poetry books I have collected, with very simple verses. Caiden is listening to a anthology from Ambleside, organized around the months of the year. Hailey gets poems from the specific authors in her book list, and they are noticeably more abstract and complicated then the Year 1 anthology.
I call our morning gathering circle time, because it is when we all do our work together before going off into our own studies. We do the following first thing every day:
Bible (right now we are reading through Exodus)
Hailey reads to us all from an Easy Reader
Daily Math sheet