Friday, May 4, 2018

A Peek into our Homeschool: April 2018

April hasn't been a particularly busy month, but sometimes felt like it.  Here's a peek at the way things have been going lately!

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The kids had the AWANA Grand Prix.  Eloise won 2nd place in the Puggles/Cubbies group and she slept with her trophy!  We have just a couple of weeks left to the year. Our co-op has officially ended, which means the boys' basketball class is over too.  There was an end-of-year program with a skit from the drama club, Kindergarten graduation and a talent show.  None of my kids signed up for the talent show, but Eleanor's Pre-K class did sing a song.  She was adamant for two days that she wasn't going up there to sing, but as soon as she saw her teachers she got excited and went with them.  They did a great job and were so cute!  Her 3 year old sister cried the whole time she was gone, so that was not fun.

We also picked up the boys' artwork.  Here's a few samples of what they did . . .

Their art teacher does a great job with them, and I've been so thankful that I can outsource that class for most of the year.  Although, now that co-op is over, I'm also glad to have an art program to review to keep the kids creating this summer.  ARTistic Pursuits has a new series, and we're reviewing Art of the Middle Ages!

Another review item I've recently started is Homeschool Navigator, and I've been doing Level Red with Eleanor.  It is a language arts program - Red is equivalent to Kindergarten - and we're having fun with stories and phonics review.

All of our other subjects have gone well.  We made it through Week 26 of AO's schedule by the end of the month, and we're plodding along.  As the weather is finally pretty and we're acutely aware of the public school calendars, I worry we're going to get tired and want to call it quits.  On the other hand, I see the end in sight and that part of me wants to persevere and just finish it out.  I promised them the week of VBS off, then we'd only have a few weeks left after that.  I'm hoping we can make it to VBS and come back "fresh" after a week off.  Our VBS is earlier in the summer, so that's a good thing.  I'm definitely just playing it by ear though.

We're listening to a variety of the AO free reads as a family right now.  We have been listening to Peter Pan (Y1) for awhile, but they loved The Wizard of Oz more (Y3.5) more, and started losing interest, so I moved it to the car, and also interspersed some Black Beauty (Y4, though my Y0 requests it the most) with it.  We also started listening to Winnie-the-Pooh (Y0) in the house since it was on audible channels for free to stream with Prime, but I did snag it for free for World Book Day.  Winnie-the-Pooh is a delightful book to actually read with the physical book because of the lovely illustrations, but if you want something light and fun for the whole family on a car trip, Pooh bear is a great one!

Enrichment Subjects
Since we started our enrichments well before AO, we'll technically be finished with three terms of enrichments next week.  So as we wrap these up, we won't be adding anything else into these slots until the fall.

Poetry: Songs of Childhood by Walter De La Mare, though we're not making much progress.  Mostly because we're listening to the audiobooks over lunch lately, and since I'm not grabbing a book to read, I'm not grabbing poetry.  Plus, we tried the e-book version.  Next time I will probably purchase this version from Living Books Press for the girls. {This is published by an AO parent.} I'd like to read a few more, because I don't feel we have a connection with the poet yet, but we'll see.
Shakespeare: I'm still reading Romeo and Juliet aloud to both boys, and we're almost finished with it!  Emory still loves Shakespeare!
Folk Song:  Billy Barlow The boys liked this particular version the best, hacking the rat up and all.
Hymn: On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand
Composer:  Music Appreciation (review) and then we listened to some John Williams (free with Prime) for fun, to prepare for Stars Wars Day!
Picture Study: Peter Paul Rubens from Simply Charlotte Mason

Then one week we also looked at The Fall of Phaeton, since Elliott read that story in literature earlier this year.  I read a little bit of a summary to Emory after their narrations.

Peter Paul Rubens - The Fall of Phaeton (National Gallery of Art)

Random Connections From the 5 Year Old
The week the local schools were on spring break, our co-op did not meet, so I let the kids have a free day and the girls had Mother Goose Time on the background while they played.  It's on Netflix, and the graphics are twaddly, but the nursery rhymes and songs are timeless.  My 5 year old came running in, "Momma, it's Camptown Races!"  That was our Folk Song in February and she was excited to see them racing horses and singing the song.  I doubt she would have known it otherwise!   I was excited when I recognized Funicili Funicula on a television show, a song I didn't actually know prior to studying it this year, so I get where she's coming from!

At our co-op's end of the year program, I heard her casually ask me "Didn't you talk about this before?" while never taking her attention off of the drama theater's play.  Their performance was based off one of the stories I'd read her brother from Bullfinch's Mythology, and she'd recognized it all these weeks later!

It's so fun to see, despite not having "formal" lessons, she is absorbing and learning so much!

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