Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 2 for the Primary Kids: Plans and NotesUPDATED






I always have to reference the master schedule.

This week's poem:  "There Is No Frigate Like a Book." We'll copy it, four lines at a time, Monday and Tuesday. Obviously there will be some vocabulary words (frigate, courser)  to look up, and practice using the dictionary. Copywork for Wednesday and Thursday will be something in prose, though I'm not sure what yet. Something out of our reading.

TUESDAY UPDATE: We had a great poetry session yesterday -- the first real poetry lesson I think I've successfully taught my own children, in all these years of home learning. We read the poem, then noted that we really couldn't understand anything about it until we knew what some of the key words meant:  frigate, courser, traverse, toll, frugal. So we marched into the living room, where the giant unabridged dictionary lives, and we had a crash course in using it. Or maybe it was a clash course -- there were near-riots (if you can have a riot of two people) over who was going to look up what word. I played secretary and wrote down what the words meant.   (The college girl's best friend, who has just started at the community college across the street, dropped in in the middle of all this to ask if she could leave some of her books on our table, so that she wouldn't have to lug them all around all day -- she got a complimentary vocabulary lesson in the bargain). 

Anyway, we went back and read the poem again, and wa-la, it made sense! The 4th grader even observed that the poem was comparing a book to all these things:  a ship, a fast horse, a chariot. So by the time they were copying the first quatrain, it was their poem, baby! 

Morning Basket books this week include:
Biffi Catechism (daily)
Father Four Seasons ("Little Snow Girl;" Monday)
Poortvliet's The Living Forest (Tuesday)
Life of Fred (a major hit;  daily))
The Story of Rome (Monday, Wednesday)
George Washington's World (Tuesday, Thursday)
various German resources
The First Whole Book of Diagrams (Tuesday, Wednesday)
The Child's Own English Book (Tuesday, Wednesday)
Introducing the Periodic Kingdom to Its Heirs (Thursday)
MacCaulay's City (Wednesday)
Galen and the Gateway of Medicine (Friday)
Seton Art 4 for Young Catholics (Friday)

German vocabulary words: rot, gelb, gruen, blau. Review German alphabet. Watch and read this. (I also have the book as a .pdf file, so we can watch the first chapter today, then read it aloud ourselves, working on pronunciation, in subsequent days).

UPDATE: This approach to German is working well. We'll continue with My First Little German Book, a chapter a week, listening, reading, saying the sentences, and basically memorizing them. Right now I'm just having the kids copy and write from dictation the easy vocabulary words on our Usborne German Words flashcards, but eventually I think we'll move into real copywork from MFLGB and write sentences from dictation. Meanwhile, the kids have memorized the German alphabet song more or less effortlessly -- it's very much an earworm. We're almost able to sing it successfully as a round. 

Independent reading pretty much the same as last week.  Continuing to work on little reading journals. Will describe our progress thus far in more detail later.

Daily lessons in MCP math and CHC cursive handwriting. Last week we didn't do Lunch Basket reading;  this week I think we'll start that. UPDATE:  Or not. 

We also didn't do our German dictation until Friday, and that was the only dictation we did. I may hold to that pattern for a while, until everyone's in the groove of listening and writing. Our vocabulary should be easier this week:  both a shorter list and simpler words. I may have them copy some sentences from the little German book as well.

Last week for grammar we read and wrote two-word sentences, paying attention to what a sentence has to have to be a sentence. This week I think we'll read the "Nouns" chapter in The Child's Own English Book and play some of the games at the end of the chapter -- what I like about this book is that so many of the grammar "exercises" are basically games. UPDATE:  This was pretty successful as well -- it was a review of concepts they already knew (nouns=names of objects), but worth doing. Next week I think we'll go back to looking at basic, ie two-word, sentences and starting to diagram them. 

Nature notebook on Friday:  last week we had fun in the backyard, looking at things in detail and drawing them. My 4th grader produced a remarkably intricate drawing of an ivy leaf. This week maybe we'll venture down to the park behind the neighborhood gym to find more things to draw. UPDATE:  Less successful than last week as a formal exercise:  too hot and buggy. But kids have been sitting on the porch at night, observing and drawing things they see while I do the bedtime read-aloud. 

Extracurricular activities are still quiet:  Scouts, mostly. We may resume art lessons this week;  if not, then next week. We are doing basic drawing and color lessons on Fridays at home as well.

Time to stop writing about our school week and get on with living it . . .

PS:  Copying in each child's individual syllabus for the week:


Grade 4 Week 2

Check off work as you finish it

Monday:
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full lesson  
Handwriting 1 Lesson
Read :
Bible /Old Testament: 1 page (continue where you left off)
Roman Ransom 3 pages
Danny 3 pages
Journal for all reading – Pick a sentence to copy. Do your best work. If you draw something, be sure to caption it.

Tuesday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full lesson
Handwriting 1 lesson
Read :
Edmund Campion 3 pp
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch 3 pp
The Way Things Work 2 pp
Journal

Wednesday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full lesson
Handwriting 1 lesson
Read :
Bible/New Testament 1 page (continue where you left off)
Roman Ransom 3 pp
Tree in the Trail 2
Journal

Thursday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full lesson
Handwriting 1 full lesson
Read :
Edmund Campion 3 pp
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch 3 pp
Danny 3 pp
Journal

Friday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full  lesson
No Handwriting!
Read :
The First Christians 3 pp
Danny 3 pp
Journal
Nature notebook/outdoors

 *********

Grade 3 Week 2

Check off work as you finish it!

Monday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full lesson
Handwriting 1 lesson
Read :
Bible/Old Testament next story
Roman Myths 1 p
Buster Bear’s Twins 1 chapter
Journal for each reading

Tuesday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full lesson
Handwriting 1 lesson
Read :
Joan of Arc 1 p
A Lion to Guard Us 2 pp
Burgess Seashore Book 3 pp
Journal for each reading

Wednesday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 full lesson
Handwriting 1 lesson
Read :
Bible/New Testament next story
Roman Myths 1 p
Paddle-to-the-Sea 2
Journal

 Thursday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 lesson
Handwriting 1 lesson
Read :
Joan of Arc 1 p
A Lion to Guard Us 2 pp
Buster Bear’s Twins 1 chapter
Journal

Friday :
Morning Basket
Copywork
MCP 1 lesson
NO Handwriting!
Read :
Book of Heroes 1 page
Buster Bear’s Twins 1 chapter
Journal
Nature notebook/outdoors

Note that I'm assigning very, very short readings right now for independent reading. For the third grader, this is to make independent reading more palatable. For the fourth grader, it's to encourage slow reading, rather than wolfing books down and looking around for more before he's even finished swallowing. 


(and yes, that font is what I'm using for their lists -- I just copied and pasted straight from the Word documents. I'm encouraging them to learn to read cursive/script as easily as they read straightforward print). 

13 comments:

Lissa said...

Hey Sally, just wanted to thank you for sharing all your resources like this! I fell in love with your Humanties grade 10 syllabus over the summer and dove into it (some of it, a scaled-down version, I suppose) with my three girls today. Most wonderful wonderful, out of all hooping.

Sally Thomas said...

You're welcome. It helps me to put it all up here -- I just work from my posts as lesson plans -- and I figured that if it helped somebody else, too, then score!

(saves me from thinking of things to write, too. I'm sure some people out there are going, enough with the plans already . . . but this is my current obsession).

I'm really glad the humanities stuff is coming in useful. So much great stuff . . . and I love all those Grade 10-ish things, even though it's really more than anyone could humanly do in one year!

Eva said...

Sally, do you type a weekly schedule for your children all the time? Do you do this on the weekend before?

Sally Thomas said...

I just started doing this; in years past, they've had far less independent work (math and writing, but otherwise we did everything Morning-Basket style, together), but this year I am moving them into doing more of their own reading, particularly my 4th grader, who is more than able. Mostly what he needs is slowing down, so that he's reading more carefully and absorbing more thoroughly.

So I take a little time on Sunday afternoon and write these up. It's pretty easy, now that I've started -- I have their lists saved as Word documents, so I can just go back and tweak and print them out. Notice that I don't have page numbers listed, either. I think I did give them page numbers last week, but I've dropped that as too complicated. Essentially, they're just reading these books on this schedule, so many pages at a time, until they finish a given book, at which point I'll slot in another. So there's not really that much to change from week to week at this point. I'm mostly just getting them used to working in this kind of rhythm.

I think it's a great discipline for them -- simple as it is -- to learn to go to their book boxes (each child has a plastic crate with books and supplies), pull out their lists, find what they're supposed to be doing, and check it off as they do it. I don't mind how they order what they're doing; yesterday the 4th grader was up early and started his reading long before the 3rd grader was even stirring. But I want them to develop the habit of referring to their lists, rather than waiting for me to tell them what to do.

So far the days are flowing very nicely, though we're spending a good hour longer on school than we used to. That seems appropriate at this point. And their books are a good mix of things they really love and things they wouldn't be reading if I weren't making them, but are gradually grudgingly admitting aren't so bad. I had to make a deal with the 4th grader that he could finish The Mystery of the Roman Ransom, by Henry Winterfeld (his Detectives in Togas is a longtime favorite of ours), because it was making him insane not to find out what happened next, but that he then had to go back and reread it in small increments and talk and write about it. That's not been a bad strategy -- he's not tired of it yet!

But anyway, yes to both those questions, Eva!

Sally Thomas said...

That grid schedule stays the same, though. It's just a general master schedule, for my own benefit, mostly so I remember what days we're supposed to do grammar, science, etc. Otherwise I forget to do them at all.

Eva said...

Thanks for the clarification, Sally.

Eva said...

By the way, do you ever have a child losing his assignment sheet? I have done sheets like that, although more complicated, and one of mine kept losing his, even when I had put it in his binder!!

Eva said...

p.s. Did you know that Henry Winterfeld's books are actually German books?

Sally Thomas said...

Eva, I remember reading that Henry Winterfeld was German -- maybe someday when we've progressed beyond "Wo ist meine Katze?" we'll tackle them in the original language!

And so far I haven't had a problem with anyone's losing an assignment sheet, though it's early days yet. Each child has a box with books and materials, and so far they've been good at putting everything away (ie I've been good at reminding them). I have each week's sheet saved on the computer anyway, so that if one gets lost, I can always pull the original right up. In fact, I'm out of printer ink right now and probably won't buy any before tomorrow, so everyone may be accessing his/her list right off the computer desktop for the coming week. We'll see how *that* works -- kind of like looking at the board for your assignments, maybe.

Sophie Miriam said...

I rarely comment on your blog, but I thought I would say that I think the lists that the child has to work off is a VERY good idea. I have never homeschooled anyone, but I was homeschooled the vast majority of my life, and my mother also used the list-assignment style. The fact that I had long been used to planning my time with regard to schoolwork made the transition to college extremely easy.

(If I remember correctly, you have a daughter already in college, so you probably already know this from her experience, but here's another anecdote--now you've got your data! Just kidding.)

Sally Thomas said...

Sophie, my daughter has said exactly what you've said, that she felt very much at an advantage when she went to college, because she knew how to manage her time and be self-motivated. So this is all training for the future! (plus, it keeps me organized, which is key . . . I have the tendency to be very much the opposite of organized). I really have thought about syllabus-following almost as a subject in itself, at least at this stage, because by high school I want to be able to hand people their plans and be off to the races.

In any event, it's always helpful to hear from the student (or former student) perspective what's a good idea and what isn't.

Amanda said...

Sally, did you decide not to do the Logic of English?

Sally Thomas said...

I did. The more I thought about it, the more it began to seem a bit like overkill. Instead, we're working on sentences: parts of speech, basic sentences, diagramming using Mary Daly's First Whole Book of Diagrams, which I already had, and copywork.