2010 so far, and our revised plans for the remainder of the year
To refresh your memory on our plans for 2010 (or so you can see them if you haven’t already) see my post “Plans for 2010”
Things never go to plan, but often they’re more wonderful and more exciting than we would have ever imagined. That pretty much sums up 2010 so far.
We’ve read a fair few chapter books this year. We’ve just finished a series by Ruth Stiles Gannett, with the first book called My Father’s Dragon. We’ve also read aloud The Tale of Despereaux, The Littles and the Lost Children and many many more. We’re just starting a unit on Hans Christian Andersen, reading, listening to or viewing different interpretations of his tales. We’re also reading a biography called “The Fairy Tale Life of Hans Christian Andersen”.
Our 5yo has been practising his handwriting with a commercial handwriting book (I think I bought it for 20c at an op shop) and our 6yo has finished the Blinky Bill copywork book from Downunder Literature and is working on a home-made copywork book, using fonts from the School Fonts website. She is also working through a spelling list.
In April we had a “poetry afternoon tea” where we invited friends over and each read or recited a poem that we enjoyed. In May our children had the opportunity to present before our home-school group.
We’ve covered a lot of mathematics topics, although not in the order we had anticipated. We’ve covered Roman Numerals, Addition, Subtraction, some basic Multiplication and Division, Skip Counting, Ordinal Numbers, Time, Position, Fractions, Money, Place Value, Graphs and Patterns. We’re currently learning about 2D and 3D shapes. Our 5yo has almost completed his K maths book and really enjoys maths. Our 6yo is slowly working through her year 2 book. She finds this a little challenging at times, although the Year One book would be too easy. We’re in no hurry to progress to Year 3 mathematics, as things really take a step up at that point so we’ll stick with the “Stage 1” mathematics for the time being.
We’ve also discovered a wide range of children’s literature that introduces mathematical concepts, as well as some non-fiction books to reinforce the concepts we’ve learnt. We’ve played lots of games that reinforce these concepts and were able to extend our study of money with a trip to the National Mint in February.
In February we visited Canberra and went to the National Science Museum and Questacon. We’ve learnt about the birds we see in our backyard, and how their beaks are used for different things. We’ve explored the natural environment in our local area and added pictures to our nature journals. We’ve discussed animal classification.
We will still be completing a study of “Toys” later in the year.
We have completed most of the Australian Book Traveller study, in our respective capacities. We’ve read books about and learnt about the history of Australia, Canberra and the ACT, The Northern Territory and Aboriginal culture, Queensland and water birds, New South Wales and the Botanic Gardens (including a visit to the Botanic Gardens), explored the seasons and farm life in Victoria, Tasmanian Tigers, mythical creatures and proverbial tales in Tasmania, Anzac Day, war and Western Australia, and the “red Centre”. We still have South Australia and then a “Around Australia Trip” to complete the study. We explored some of these important concepts first hand on our trip to Canberra in February, including a trip to Old Parliament House.
Our children have completed their course of cricket for the season. They have had a lot of opportunities for developing motor skills and strength through visits to the park, riding scooters, learning to throw frisbees and organised games. We will be looking at Road Safety once we have finished our HSIE studies.
We were fortunate to visit the National Art Gallery to view the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition in February. We have also done some picture studies and art activities that tied in with our Australian studies. We have explored many different types of media such as tissue paper collage, pencil sketching, chalk pastels and water colour painting and explored different styles such as pointilism and Aboriginal dot paintings. We’ve also learnt some art concepts such as vanishing point.
We’ve learnt some phrases such as “Where is __________?” and the rooms of the house (in order to answer the questions). We’ve practised how to say “I like __” and “I don’t like ____”. We’ve also watched many episodes of Dora the Explorer which provide opportunities to incorporate other Spanish words into our day. We’ll continue building on this foundation little by little.
We’ve begun our Bible notebooks and are still steadily working through the Old Testament – we’re just about to start the prophets. We’re not as far through the book as I had anticipated but we’d rather they learnt the stories well than rushing through it at break-neck speed. We’ve also added daily reading directly from the Bible, starting in Psalms. We’re also incorporating some studies of character qualities, although that is on hold at the moment as we learn the Lord’s Prayer and what it means.
We’ve started learning The Shorter Catechism for Young Children and practising it at dinner time so we will no longer have a specific unit on what we believe. We’re still working through “Big Truths for Young Hearts” and should have it completed before the end of the year.
Misc: We’ve managed to attend our home school group most weeks so far this year. There have also been numerous opportunities for informal learning as we carry on our days.