Our first term of the year ended the week before Thanksgiving. Each term is eleven weeks, leaving the twelfth for exams. No exams followed term 1 because Auntie Jeanelle & children came in town. Not surprisingly, their were no complaints.
Circle Time for ALL:
Poems: The Destruction of Sennacherib (Patricia, Benjamin & Matthias); The Eagle (Jonathan & Elizabeth); The Ingenious Little Old Man (Abigail); After the Party (Emily); The Vulture (Katherine); Ooey Gooey (Josiah).
Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (memorizing lines & listening to it while we read along)
Latin: reviewing old vocabulary
History & Geography: memorized Preamble of the Declaration of Independence. + we listened to several of the 5 Minutes in Church History podcast.
Plutarch: Titus Flaminius using The Plutarch Project, Volume One
Read Alouds: Little Pilgrim’s Progress; Poetry for Young People: American Poetry; George Washington’s World; Tanglewood Tales; Trial & Triumph: Stories from Church History; Among the Meadow People; Bard of Avon
Composer: Carl Maria von Weber (see Ambleside Online for selections)
Artist: John Constable (see Ambleside Online for selections)
Spanish: TalkBox snacks & kitchen box
Mama's Assessment of Circle Time: we moved our time after a morning walk & it’s helped the younger ones sit still longer. Snacks also help. Towards the end of the term, we added Spanish & Swedish Drill into our Circle Time so I’m excited to use it more in the coming year. It was a delight to listen & memorize a lighter Shakespeare play (we did three histories last year).
Afternoons for ALL: We continued to work on the habit of filling our afternoons with handiwork, music, reading, outside time & projects. Any lessons not completed in the mornings or early afternoon fit into this space also. The biggest highlight of our new year was the formation of a Nature Group with other families! We meet twice a month to walk & then journal. Our time together has fed our souls & even mama is consistently keeping a journal now!
Mama's Assessment of Afternoons: handicrafts have not been consistent for everyone besides Elizabeth. This will be a focus for term 2! I’ve missed our Keeping Hour… even though everyone works on various keeping throughout the week, I miss our time together so I’m hoping to set a time once a week to gather us all.
Little's Hour: (Katherine, age 5; Josiah, age 3; Timothy, age 1) while the little ones are with us throughout the day, I like to set aside a time for them to have just with mama. During term 1, my focus was to read aloud every day. I even went to the library for books! (GASP!) We often went for walks before settling down to snuggle & read. (And it wasn’t uncommon for older children to tag along for those walks.) Timothy pretty much goes around making messes & being super cute till his two nap times. Then we all hustle to get lots done while the baby naps.
Young Ones Lessons: (Abigail, age 9 & Emily, age 7) the girls finished my modified version of Ambleside Online year 2! Yippee! (For anyone who’s counting, it took us four terms to finish). Both girls listen to the Bible in the morning before breakfast. Our loop of lessons consist of Bible memory, phonics (Primary Language Arts for Emily & reading aloud for Abigail), copywork, & math (we use Singapore Standards but add enrichment activities). Our second loop consists of reading aloud for literature, science & history. All readings are followed by narration. We often do some kind of keeping- adding to our wall timeline, mapwork or written narration. They both do their music (Agigail: piano; Emily: violin) in the afternoons.
Here's a list of what they read during our Fall Term (remember, most of AO readings are spread out for a LONG period of time so often we do not finish a book in one term):
The Burgess Animal Book for Children— FINISHED!
Little Duke- FINISHED!
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland— FINISHED!
Robinhood (audiobook)— FINISHED!
Wind in the Willows (audiobook w/ Elizabeth)— FINISHED!
A Little Princess (audiobook w/ Elizabeth)
Mama's Assessment of Young Ones Lessons: My focus during Term 1 was oral narrations so keeping (written narrations, illustrations, mapwork) was more sparse. Abigail will begin written narrations, as well as spelling, in Term 2. Oral narrations will continue, of course.
Middlings Lessons: (Elizabeth, age 10 & Jonathan, age 12) this year, they are working through my modified version of Ambleside Online year 6. Our loop consists of Bible memory, math (Singapore Standards), dictation & reading aloud to mama, as well as going over any Latin from their co-op class. Fridays or Saturdays are for science experiments. Both children have independent work: copywork, 1 written narration per day, Latin for co-op, mapwork from various readings + learning to draw Europe (Draw Europe), science readings, history readings, music (violin for Jonathan & piano for Elizabeth; both have lessons once a week), literature readings, & free readings. ALL readings except free ones are narrated orally. Once a week they make an entry in their Book of Centuries. Here's a list of what they read during Fall Term:
Albert Einstein & the Theory of Relativity— FINISHED!
Poor Richard— FINISHED!
The Holy War (Jonathan only; read aloud with Mama)
Free Reads (which means they do not have to narrate to me me nor are the assigned what to read when): The Hobbit; Amos Fortune, Free Man (finished); Where the Red Fern Grows (finished); A Little Princess & Wind in the Willows (audiobooks for Elizabeth only; she finished Wind in the Willows)
Mama's Assessment of Middlings Lessons: we focused on consistently hearing oral narrations. Term 2 will focus on expanding their written narrations a bit. Science experiments are one of their favorite things… and one of the hardest for me to get around to! So, they will be a focus for term 2 also!!!
Upper Lessons: (Matthias, age 14 & Benjamin, age 16) using Dr. Grant’s American Culture humanities course as our framework, I combine several it with several of the upper years of Ambleside Online & co-op lessons. While most of their readings are narrated throughout the day, they write one narration each day. In addition, they often add to their commonplace journal as well as write once a week about current events. Eric meets with both boys for math when needed, as well as Bible study on Sundays. I try to meet up with them at least once a week- we discuss written narrations or grammar or other keeping pursuits. Their studies include personal Bible reading & journaling + an Old Testament Bible study from co-op with Elder Horton, math (ChalkDust - Algebra for Benjamin & Pre-Algebra for Matthais), history (co-op with Daddy as teacher: American Culture), current event study, science readings & experiments, Spanish (co-op), writing, grammar (Jensen's Grammar), mapwork from various readings + learning to draw Europe (Draw Europe), music (Matthias: piano with lessons each week), literature readings & free reading (at bedtime).
Here's a list of what BOTH boys read during Fall Term:
The Last Crusader— FINISHED!
The Holy War— FINISHED!
Uncle Tom’s Cabin— FINISHED!
The Talisman (book discussion with Patricia)
Here's a list of what MATTHIAS only read during Fall Term:
Grammar of Poetry (book & dvds)
NO NARRATIONS: That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles
Here's a list of what BENJAMIN only read during Fall Term:
Mama's Assessment of Upper Lessons: I had hoped to do “The Riot & the Dance” with Benjamin but we’ve only made it through about 5 chapters. I’m considering letting him do biology for dual enrollment instead which means I need to find 1 or 2 more science readings for him. Starting in Term 2, I will flesh out the boy’s writing with an assigned essay every 1-2 weeks.
Patricia: (age 18) her biggest news was acceptance into Toccoa Falls College with a scholarship!!! She will begin her full time college pursuits next fall. We praise God for providing for her & for her diligent work in her studies. God is so good! Learning to negotiate the college hoops is not easy but we are slowly learning.
Patricia’s dural enrollment classes for fall semester where Biology I, College Algebra & Introduction to Philosophy. She has never liked math- in fact, she would tell you she wasn’t “good” at it. But after doing so well in TWO college math classes (algebra & statistics), she’s come to realize that she can do math… she just doesn’t enjoy it. That knowledge is powerful! (The fact that she can do it. Not that fact that she doesn’t enjoy it.) In addition to college classes, Patricia studied music (piano lessons & mandolin at home), ACT prep (she took her ACT & did splendid!), art & assigned reading. Here's a list of assigned reading that she journals & we (usually) discuss (the girl reads way beyond this list!):