Monday, September 15, 2008

Homeschool Report Card: Week 1

This past Friday we finished up our first week of homeschooling. We had actually started the previous Thursday with the intent of covering five days worth of material in seven! We added several new adventures this past week, including James' soccer and Evelyn's tumbling class. Both are big hits -- thankfully! We were a little worried about the soccer.

I didn't accomplish everything that I wanted (do I ever?), but we accomplished quite a bit, and I've been excited to see both James' and Evelyn's enthusiasm. We are following the Charlotte Mason method, give or take, and I'm adding in other things that I feel are important to include. I would like to give an update each week on what we accomplish, and also, as time allows, give you some insight into each subject that we're covering and how we do it.

Two subjects that we've added this year are art (which I despise -- sorry for those of you artists who are reading this) and nature study (which I have a hard time being excited about). Technically, the nature study is science, but we've added in another science curriculum as well. This is really a sacrifice on my part because I don't like the outdoors very much, and I've never enjoyed science. However, James LOVED our science program last year and enjoyed doing the experiments and so I ordered the next level up. So far, it's a big hit, even with Evelyn. We finished the first science book and she reads it during her nap/rest time!

With nature study, all that we've done so far is collect insects and identify them with field guides that I purchased, and I also had James do a drawing of a dead grasshopper that we found. He did better at the drawing than I had thought, so that was a pleasant surprise.

We're studying one artist per term (3 a year), and our current artist is Botticelli. I've had to be somewhat selective in what he views since there is some nudity, but they've both enjoyed this study as well. (As you might be able to tell, Evelyn sits in on a lot of school!) So far, their favorite picture is Mars and Venus. James thinks the fauns wearing Mars' armor and sneaking up to scare him while he's sleeping is hilarious! (Do you think he's done some of that himself?) Evelyn even knew what the pesky little fauns were from our listening of The Chronicles of Narnia! I was really surprised that she knew just from looking at them what they were.

Since I despise art (I really do), I opted for a fairly easy art curriculum this year. I have some desire to read Drawing with Children (recommended by Catherine), but I'm not sure I'm ready for it. ARTistic Pursuits teaches the children to observe and then create their own art using different materials that are recommended for them. I purchased this at the homeschool convention and it came with all the materials needed (bonus for me!). His first drawing was to be of something that he observed recently in the course of a day. He's not a great artist (neither am I), but he did well, and he didn't complain. He drew a trip that we made to McAlister's Deli. My favorite part of it is Jack peeking out of my belly! Ryan looked at it and said that James would be a good storyboarder. (Don't worry. I didn't know what that was either.)
Oh, and in case you wondered what Evelyn and Jefferson do during school time, I'll show you a couple of pictures. I've put together some boxes of toys/crafts for them to do and one of them is a water box (it will probably change to a beans/rice box for winter). Thanks, Elizabeth! These pictures are when James finished and he went outside to join in the fun!

So there's my update for this past week. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a little more frequently this week, but no promises!


Catherine said...

It's so fun to read about what y'all are doing with school. I'll have to remember to ask more about your science curriculum. I hate science, (even though my mom is a biologist and my dad is a chemist and aerospace engineer - I guess love of science is not genetic!)and dread teaching it. Anyway, it sounds like your first week went wonderfully!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had a great first week! :) -Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

I laughed when I read about your science class and catching bugs. One of my memories of you is coming to pick Audrey up from our house and we had captured a bucket full of tadpoles. You weren't real thrilled with us.

It sounds like homeschooling is going well for you. I enjoy reading your posts, keep them coming.

Rebecca (Barker)Townsend