I haven’t posted a “What We’re Learning” post in a while.
There is a simple reason for that. Mainly, that I haven’t been nearly as organized as I would like. Or consistent. I’m still not and, quite frankly, I’m not sure I’ll ever be.
But, it’s not the end of the world. He’s still learning, all the time, whether or not it’s in the exact way I had planned out in my head.
This “What We’re Learning” post is somewhat of a general outline of what we’ve been up to these past almost two months in California. This is not at all exaustive but mostly the things that I (try to) cover on a daily basis.
Hunter has really been excelling in reading lately. Like, he’s to the point of being able to read pretty much anything (Ok, words at least. He’s not on War and Peace yet). And he is actually wanting to read, a lot, all the time. He asks to read me stories and will read books, signs, and labels spontaneously.
Yes, I am very excited about this.
– He has been reading a lesson or two a day from Sonlight’s I Can Read It! book (1st-2nd grade level) and often several beginner-level library books of his choice.
In math we have been working on:
– Verbalizing answers to equations (rather than just picking the correct answer from a pile)
– Games (algebra, fractions, patterns – changes daily)
– Numeral writing and recognition (he is much more interested in numerals now, although we introduced them over a year ago he is still not fluent. At this point he can recognize most any numeral though)
– Skip counting (he can count by 1’s, 2’s, and 10’s at this point – we’re working on faster counting of 3’s through 20’s)
– Time, money, measurement and geometry concepts
– Daily penmanship (two lines of one letter)
– Letter and story writing (both instructed [copy work] and just for fun with own spelling)
– Punctuation names
Our focus is on ancient history this year with the main focus on the development of the nation of Israel.
– Library books on ancient civilizations and their way of life
– History stories of the Bible
– Timeline from 4000 BC on
– Lots of memory work and art
– One page per day of the Osborne’s book of World Geography (covering topics such as climates, world cultures, landforms, etc.)
– Flag and map games at bedtime (finding countries on his map and flag posters by his bed)
– Map skills (directions, longitude and latitude, etc.)
The focus this school year has been on astronomy and earth science (geology, archeology, and meteorology):
– A lot of open-ended discussion, reading, and art. The plan is to soon start incorporating more organized lessons, experiments, etc.
– Classic children’s literature books from library
– One chapter of novel read at lunch time (currently G.A. Henty’s The Cat of Bubaste’s)
– I try to read him some poetry every day, often just snuggled up on the couch or while he plays with blocks or something. Right now it’s Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses
– Spanish – this is our main language now, rather than German. Basic vocabulary and phrases practiced in real-life context
– Japanese – Japanese picture dictionary and Teach Me Some Japanese CD
– Arabic – First 1000 Words in Arabic internet-linked version
– Crafts – mostly composed of construction paper and crayons with scissors and glue sticks to hold it all together.
– Drawing – he has been really into drawing lately and draws pretty much every day (at his own leisure), which is a huge change for him. With this new interest of his in art, I would like to start implementing some lessons from the Drawing with Children curriculum soon.
Really been slacking in this area. But we’re getting into the habit again of:
– Music appreciation (classical music – one song listened to several times daily for two weeks)
– Soon hopefully learning to play the harmonica and/or recorder, since those are the only instruments we have at the moment
– Bible reading three times daily (meals, bedtime)
– Memory verses – currently Proverbs 28:1 – The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous are bold as a lion.
– Running one mile, 3-4 times a week
– Hanging from overhead bar
– Push-ups, sit-ups, and crawling exercises
– Balance activities (rolling, spinning, etc.)
– Other stuff, depends – basketball, jump-roping, bike riding, pumping swing, etc.
– Martial arts – basic kicks, blocks, and punches, and nun-chuck use
(These are some of the things we’ve done, but rarely every day. He gets a lot of exercise, but more consistency is needed I think)
– Lots of small things being taught all the time, from chores, helping in the kitchen, answering the phone properly, memorizing address, etc. I don’t really have a set plan in this areaw – just basically teaching him everything I can think of about life when the opportunity arises, from taxes to health to virtues, we talk about it.
– We have been working on boldness – speaking up, looking people in the eyes, being assertive
– Other things here and there, such as hospitality, neighbor manners, obedience. It just depends on what comes up.
So, that’s the pretty basic outline of our learning adventures lately.
I’m not even going to pretend like we get everything done every day. Because we never do. But we do get a lot of it done, even on days when I feel like we didn’t “do” much.
It’s not exactly the organized, detailed schedule I like to have, but it’s working for now, he’s learning, and we’re having a great time doing so.
“Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”
Hunter is 4 years, 7 months old