Saturday, December 16, 2017

Term One Enrichment Studies

This year as we transition to a more traditional Charlotte Mason approach, some of the things I wanted to add in were enrichments - hymn, folk songs, poetry, composer and picture studies.  I've been so haphazard about including beautiful stuff in our routine, but this year I have made a concentrated effort and it's going well so far.  Since we started with enrichments and slowly added curriculum, then switched to AO, our first twelve weeks of enrichments ended before our first official AO term.  I think that will balance out in the summer though, so we can slow down for awhile on the "extras" as we finish up our AO year.

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Composer Study

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Emory remembered learning about Mozart in his music appreciation course at co-op last year, and had been requesting to learn more about him, so it seemed like a great place to start.  Having at least one enthusiastic child always helps.

I tried to read Mozart, The Wonder Boy by Opal Wheeler.  It's a really nice living book, if you're looking to add something, but we just didn't finish it.  I feel like we don't need a book to go with every single subject, if that makes sense.

We did, however, listen to Classics for Kids, because that's easy to do over a snack or lunch and only takes a few minutes.  It hits the highlights, without putting anyone into information overload.

Mostly, I just played Mozart in the background.  We have Amazon Prime, so I just stream one of the prime albums (99 Must-Have Mozart Masterpieces) through the computer or Alexa.

Picture Study
Claude Monet
Picture Study Portfolio: Monet

Going into our first picture study, there was a tiny insecure part of me that worried the boys wouldn't enjoy it.  It actually went very well!  All three of the older kids enjoy going through the pictures and choosing the next one to be studied.  Whoever chose the current picture gets to narrate first.  I've been pleasantly surprised that even the 11 year old has taken a great deal of interest in this!

The thing is though, they don't want to do the same picture for 2 weeks.  So for Monet, we did one picture each week, then when we made it through the 8 included pictures, we reviewed.  We went over the names of all of them again, played some memory games, had the kids describe them without me seeing, that type of thing.  The remaining 4 weeks, I did display some of the lesser-known pictures for a week at a time.

We started with the biography that came with the portfolio, and used a few books to supplement.
Who Was Claude Monet? by Ann Waldron
Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Bjork

Hymn Study
We've never formally covered hymns as part of our homeschool, but we started this year.  We didn't do anything special; we just listened, read through the lyrics and sang them.

August - Victory in Jesus
September - Marching to Zion
October - My Jesus I Love Thee

Folk Songs
Another new-to-us activity, so this has been interesting!

August - I've Been Working on the Railroad
September - The Outlandish Knight
October - Nice Field of Turnips

We started off the year with A.A. Milne.   It was an okay choice, I suppose, but I'll definitely keep this poet in Year 1 for the girls.
When We Were Very Young
Now We Are Six

This is where I dropped the ball.  First we read Lamb's retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which went well.  Emory enjoyed it.  Then we tried to listen to the audio version, but that didn't happen.  Neither did the movie.

I think we're going to start over after Christmas.  Elliott should be reading the actual plays in AO, and Emory has loved the reader's theater activities in his co-op literature class, so I think he will enjoy reading the plays.  We'll see.

Term 2 enrichments are coming along well, and I'll be sharing more about our resources soon.

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