Archive for the ‘homeschooling’ Category

HomeSchooling First Grade Edition

Friday, July 12th, 2013

So we finished Desmond’s Kindergarten year at the end of April. The books we ended up using changed some through the year as we figured out what worked for us and what didn’t. Math changed completely in January or so, Reading stayed the same, Science worked out okay, though we didn’t get as much done as planned, and History ended up mainly being a pre-history study. All in all it was a good year. I was planning on starting First Grade at the beginning of June, but then decided to wait till he went on ADHD med, then decided to start mid-June because his medication appointment ended up needing a followup before he goes on meds, which doesn’t happen until tomorrow and 2 1/2 months of no school just seemed like way too much time off. So we started mid-June. He is doing okay so far, and we haven’t fully ramped up, I am waiting for the meds before we do that, but we are doing Math, Reading and History, and will be adding Science and Spelling in by the end of the month.

Here he is writing a sentence this morning during Reading/Language Arts:

Anyways here is our planned schedule for this year. It likely will change some, but it is our plan.

For Reading and Language Arts we are sticking with All About Reading, the plan is to get through level 2 and start level 3 this year. He will also be doing All about Spelling, likely levels 1 and 2. We’ll be sticking with Handwriting Without Tears for writing, since that is what his OT uses and it is working. I have not decided on what we’ll use for grammar, we may just wait another year before starting it. We’ll also be reading anything that interests us, plus various books relating to our history and science studies.

For Math we’re going to use Life of Fred. We actually started the elementary series in January. We are currently on book 3. We may decide at some point to switch to something else, but at the moment the books are working wonderfully for Desmond and he is enjoying Math.

Here he is looking at his Math book today:

For History we are doing Story of the World Volume One: Ancient Times. I’ve bought some books to go along with our history plus we have a great public library where I can check out a bunch of other books as needed and wanted. We have a great library.

For Science we’re going to try Intellego Unit Studies. We’re starting with Astronomy, and then likely going to work on Living things, Plants and Animal. It might change depending on what Desmond is interested in doing though. I feel that exploring the world and figuring out how things work is really the most important part of science in the early years.

We’ll also be doing art, we get Kiwi Crates monthly, and both Eloise and Desmond enjoy doing them. Plus he has been interested in making paper airplanes and origami. He may also work on painting some D&D miniatures, which will be great for his fine motor control and make them more interesting then the plain white plastic they are now.

There is a lot of other things that we will be doing such as vising museums, the zoo, the aquarium, farms, and anything else that catches our interest, playing with friends, going to Hebrew school, playing iPad aps and exploring and learning through life.

It is going to be a fun school year.


Desmond can read, if he wants to!

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

So today for reading Desmond was suppose to read a story from his story book. He stated that he wanted to read a Batman story instead. So being a nice Mommy I wrote up a quick little Batman story for him with words I know he has seen before and blended. He read all 7 sentences by himself with just a drop of help from me! Here is the story he read today:

Batman ran at the cat.
The cat was bad.
Batman hit the bad cat.
The bad cat bit Batman.
Batman got the cat.
The cat was not a cat.
It was a rat!

I think I may need to write him up a few more Batman stories, since he seems to enjoy them, and is willing to read them without fuss.


Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

So we are homeschooling Desmond for Kindergarten and likely for much longer. We are planning on taking it one year at a time so for the moment we are homeschooling Kindergarten. What this means is that Desmond started Kindergarten July 2nd. So we’ve already had our first month of classes. I still haven’t added in all our subjects yet for various and assorted reasons, but we have been doing Math and Reading daily, and we’ve been doing prehistory and science 3 to 4 times a week as well. Desmond is somewhat enjoying it. I don’t actually expect him to love it, since I am making him do work rather then just play or watch TV all day. He is doing quite well though. We have almost finished our first half of his math book (there is an A book and a B book, we are halfway through the last chapter in the A book, we skipped and did the last 3 chapters before coming back for the chapter we are doing now).

I try to add some fun elements to his lessons, so we use a bunch of manipulatives for Math. Recently the big ones have been using dice from my big box of dice to do addition, subtraction and putting numbers in order. He also has a bunch of Math, Reading, and Science apps on his iPad that he is allowed to use during various parts of the day.

He does have some trouble staying still, but fortunately he can get up and do some jumping jacks, or run around a bit before having to come back and concentrate since I am just dealing with him. We can also take short breaks between subjects which he likes as well.

As for what we are doing, I picked out a mix of workbooks/textbooks, unit studies and other activities to do for our lessons. We are using Singapore Math 1A and will be moving into 1B sometime this month as our main Math core. We are using All About Reading for Reading instruction, this has actually changed since we started at the beginning of the month because what we were using was not working. We also read a lot of books together throughout the day.

We are using unit studies for Science, right now we are learning all about dinosaurs. We have a dinosaur fossil we are excavating from stone that we will put together. We will make a volcano when the fossil is put together as well. We also plan to visit the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. We are reading a lot of books about Dinosaurs as well and using the First Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life as our main spine.

We are also doing a prehistory unit, and learning about how the Earth came to be and about the beginning of life and how animals evolved and humans came into being, at a level he can understand. We are also using a second history curriculum so that he learns a bit about US history and the different states as well. It is called Adventures in America and is a very basic low level overview of the history of the United States of America.

Our handwriting books just arrived yesterday as well. We are starting off with Handwriting without Tears, which he works on various parts of with his OT as well, so it should hopefully work out well for him. He hates handwriting or any writing or drawing so it is going to be a bit of struggle to get him to do it, but I am hoping it works out for him.

I am also thinking of working on some photography with him for art, since he loves taking pictures, and it seems like something he would really enjoy. We also listen to various classical music and I hope to start him in piano lessons once he starts reading fluently, he has been told that it is his reward for learning to read. Once he is cleared for physical activity we are thinking about putting him in Tae Kwon Do classes as well and we will go swimming a few times a week as well. He is a fairly decent little fish at this point in time, so I don’t think we are going start up swimming lessons again for a bit.

It looks like we are doing a lot, but it really doesn’t feel like it when we are doing it, and he has tons of free playtime too, we are normally done by 10am most days with seat work, and then have the rest of the day for therapy, reading, playing and just having fun.

Here is Desmond working on place value with money this afternoon. You can see part of my huge box of dice right next to him.
coin math

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Doing math. One of Desmond’s favorite things to do is roll my dice. I have a huge box of dice, so there are a ton. We’ve been using them to do addition, subtraction and also seeing which is bigger and which is smaller. He is putting the 4 dice he rolled in order on his number line.

Doing Math

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Desmond working hard to find a dinosaur fossil.

Finding a Fossil