Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Homeschooling - How it has gone this year

Well, we still have a month to go, but I thought I'd let you know how it went. Here is a link to my plan back in September.

Literature and History

I had planned on using the library to get books for Ancient Civilizations for our literature and history. We did do this for a few months (studying Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greece. Ancient Greece was a particular favorite), but by January, Flower wanted to do something different. (In addition to the books about Ancient Civilizations, she did read a few Little House books, Little Women, and Poppy by Avi.) In her Brownie troop, she had to do a report on the 1920s, and she was also reading a Kit book from the American Girl Series. She asked if we could change our literature and history to the American Girl books. So we did. She started with Kaya and is up to Samantha. We have really enjoyed it. We also love the "Welcome to _____'s World" American Girl books for showing pictures of the real people and events from each time period. I've learned quite a bit myself about US History. However, since she started the American Girl books, she has not read any additional stories.


We started out the year doing our own version of Imitations In Writing about Princess Stories. This went well for the first couple of months, but once we finished the Pricess Story book we were using, I found it harder to motivate her to write in this way.

We did Copywork with bible passages for a few months, and she did not enjoy it. Then we went to seasonal poetry, and that went all right for another few months. Now she writes in her journal and does a report every two weeks about the American Girl she is studied and things about the time period.


For most of the year, I took words out of her literature, and had her look them up in the dictionary and then had a weekly spelling test with the words. She did not enjoy this method. Finally, we had to do something different. We moved to a workbook, Spell and Write for Grade 3, but it was much too easy for her. A week later, she moved to Grade 6, and it is a much better fit.

Parts of Speech

I had planned on studying this during a Main Lesson period in the winter, but by November, we had mostly stopped doing Main Lesson time. It just didn't work for us. So I picked up a workbook a couple months ago, Practice Makes Perfect - Parts of Speech for Grade 3 & 4 by Teacher Created Resources. She breezed through this book.


We started the year doing Math-U-See Level Beta. It was quite easy at the beginning for her. She enjoyed the manipulatives, but didn't have as much use with them after a few months. I'm assuming that there is less hands on activities as the child progresses, but it would have been helpful for her to have more hands on activities. Also, there is no multiplication and division in this level of Math U See, and I felt that it was important that she begin on it. When we finished the Math U See book in late February, I wondered what to do next. I eventually decided to go with learning Multiplication and Division through a variety of methods (charts, tables, flashcards, songs, and workbooks) She is using Practice Makes Perfect - Multiplication and Division for Grade 3 by Teacher Created Resources. She is currently on unit 16. We plan on working through these books through the summer.

We also did not do much with Geometry this year. She will be working on a Geometry and Measurement workbook and other related activities this summer. We did read a Main Lesson block in the fall on Living Math books (such as Anno's Magic Seeds, Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar, How Much Is A Million?, Sir Cumference and the First Round Table, and The Librarian Who Measured the Earth.


We used a variety of books and other things to study botany. We used Shanleya's Quest , Handbook of Nature Study, lots of nature walks with the camera, and creating definition books. We studied the Alphabet Fairies and the botanical information about the flowers.


We studied the main classifications of animals for most of the year. We used some Montessori parts of animals cards, created definition books, as well as a number of labeling activities. We are currently studying the human body.


We studied Landforms early in the year, and then we have been working through the states using Don't Know Much About The 50 States and Rand McNally Children's Illustrated Atlas of the United States, and H.I.P. Pocket Change - 50 State Quarters website. We do some activities about the different states, and she draws about the state in her sketch book, etc.

Alphabet Books

I got the idea to use these books from the Serendipity website, however, many of the lesson plans for these books have not been completed, so I just used the beginning lessons as a reference and set up the other letters in a similar fashion.

For poetry, we are using R is for Rhyme. She reads the sidebar information, then the poem, and then about the poem, and then recreates the type of poem. We have really enjoyed using this book.

For art, we are using M is for Masterpiece and doing the same sort of activities that we do for poetry, but for art. Again, this has been good. She also does free art during the week.

For music, we are using M is for Melody. This book has not lended itself to activities week to week as much as the other books. She also has been learning to read music and play the recorder.

Practical Life

She tried crocheting and didn't enjoy it. She did not want to do knitting. However, she has been taking sewing lessons once every two weeks since January and is doing great. She cooks at least 3 days a week. We didn't do as much with woodworking as I would have liked. She will be involved in gardening this spring.


So, like many things in life, somethings went well, and somethings didn't. But overall, it has been very good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just came across your blog and I have really enjoyed it. I love that you have put in your schedule for some days and weeks. Do you follow a certain curriculum? I am having a hard time with planning out my year. I would love any tips or information you could give me!
Thanks. You can e-mail me at