I’m going to be sad when Spring semester is over. Finally, after 3 years, I have figured out what homeschool daily routine works for me and what kind of homeschooling method/curriculum fits me. I’m also very close to figuring out what kind of homeschool fits my kids now that I’ve discovered Myer Briggs. Since March is so long ago, I no longer remember what I learned that month.
- English – Read Percy Jackson book 1 & 2 (GRL W & S), Frindle (GRL R), Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (GRL V). Half way through Book 8 of Explode the Code. Homophones, homographs, Singular & Plural possessives, comparatives/superlatives. All About Spelling book 3, L2. Handwriting.
- Chinese – Percy Jackson book 1 & book 4, 晶晶的桃花源, Writing first 60 characters in Sagebook,
- Math – common multiples, least common multiples, factors, prime, divisibility of 2, 5, 25, 4.
- Geography, Art, History – Listening to D’Aulaires Greek Mythology audiobook, reading Chinese history, introduction to biomes, Waseca North America biome portfolio
- Others – violin lessons, orff lessons, cooking class, Fieldtrips to learn about local foxes and birds, hiking, running laps
- English – reading through Primary Phonics set 1, All about Spelling short vowels,
- Chinese – Reviewed Sagebooks set 2-3
- Math – Multiplication table up to 6, 4×2 multiplication operations
- Geography, Art, History – Continuing reading books on astronomy, introduction to biomes
- Others – orff lessons, cooking class, home piano lessons, Fieldtrips to learn about local foxes and birds, hiking, running laps, swimming,
Greek mythology is Thumper’s current obsession. She has been reading Percy Jackson in both English and Chinese plus listening to D’Aulaire’s Greek Mythology in English. I actually also found the Chinese version on ximalaya.com, but Thumper prefers the English version so she can understand the names.
In general she is reading 4-6th grade English books, at least according to the Guided Reading Levels. I’ve decided that she probably doesn’t understand 5th-6th grade level books very well but the content is so appealing to her she wants to read it. So next month I’m going to pick books closer to 3rd and 4th grade level for her to read aloud as practice.
We’re making some progress on the Grammar front. I now understand why Montessori has all these grammar curriculum starting from first grade after the children have learned to read in preschool. It definitely helps with reading more advanced books. When she reads aloud, I often refer back to what we’ve learned this last semester. “This word has the prefix geo-. Remember what you learned about prefix.”, etc.
In Chinese, we’ve been consistently learning to write the first 100 Sagebook characters and writing our weekly book report for our book club. She managed to read 晶晶的桃花源, from 小魯‘s 我自己讀的童話書 series. It’s a rewrite of a very famous Chinese story 桃花源記.
Thumper started doing Least Common Multiples (LCM) and Greatest Common Factor (GCF) but then kind of got stuck because she couldn’t do division. So on a tangent we went, to learn about divisibility. In my Montessori album, you’re supposed to slowly introduce divisibility over a few years starting from first grade. We managed divisibility rules of 2, 5, 25, and 4 and will continue with more in April.
There just isn’t time in a 3 hour work period when she insists on doing violin first thing in the morning and that often takes up to an hour total. Next month, I will try and insist she practices in the afternoon instead. But this meant that in March we really didn’t do much in the science, history, and geography department. The good thing is I bought the Waseca North America biome portfolio, which contains a string of workbook activities. So she often did that when she had time while I napped.
We also continued trying to run laps around our local high school because she’s not doing anything other aerobic exercises. But so many rainy days in March!
In March, I tried to continue on with the English phonics but we’re really not making much progress. We’re similarly not making progress on the Chinese front. At least I managed to be consistent in having him read 10 minutes of Sagebooks each day. Instead, Astroboy listened to quite a lot of Mr. Men and Little Miss. But this was apparently a good thing, as I will detail in my April summary post.
As usual, Astroboy made more progress in the math front, especially since I started a weekly math class. It gave him that extra boost to learn alongside another child. He now has someone other than me to play his math skip counting game with. He’s also more willing to do his 4 digit by 2 digit multiplication knowing he’ll see someone each week who’s doing the same work as him.
You would think that it doesn’t take 3 hours for Astroboy to do just Chinese, maybe English and math. Somehow it does, especially when you take into account folding laundry, practicing piano, and eating snacks. The morning goes by very quickly.
Swimming class is going very well, and I have noticed that his lung capacity has gone up. One day, he ran alongside his sister and he was actually the one who could run 5 laps while his sister stopped after 2. Last year, he was not able to run more than 1.
With Astroboy, my struggle is always knowing what will benefit him (like more exercise) and yet never having time to focus my attention on him. It’s kind of like the Rule of Two in Homeschooling that Eclectic Mama told me. I can usually focus on 2 out of 3 activities at home, be it homeschooling, housekeeping (laundry/cleaning/finances), or cooking. But I cannot do all 3 at once.
Similarly, I’ve realized I can really focus my attention on one child at a time. Because what takes up a lot of my mental energy is teaching the children all the soft skills related to learning, not the actual teaching of knowledge. This is the year I think. Every month I get closer and closer in setting the routine up for Thumper. Then I can finally focus more on Astroboy.
Here are some horrible pics I took of the children working. We went through a Practical Life phase and Astroboy learned to make his own hot chocolate and scrambled eggs. We also went on this glorious hike while the fields were super green and flowers were blooming.