Friday, January 8, 2010

Hello Third Grade (and second grade and preschool)

After a much longer than anticipated break from school, we are finally getting back into the swing of things. I've decided that I want to take some principles from The Well Trained Mind and mix them with some concepts from some other programs and curriculum that I like for our 2010 school year. I have FINALLY set up a map of sorts for this year. The goal is to weave all of our lessons together so that everything (except math and science) is based on the same material. So, because we are doing history chronologically, we just finished Mesopotamia and are starting ancient Chinese dynasties. For reading, we will read ancient Chinese folktales and our spelling words will be taken from those folktales. We will use those same folktales to discuss grammar (parts of speech, types of sentences, punctuation, etc). Next month we will work on Ancient Greece and Rome. We will be reading The Odyssey and all of our language arts work will come from there. Hopefully this will work well for us. I haven't completely decided what science will cover this year. TWM suggests chemistry for third grade (Ashni and Jena do the same work for science and language even though Ashni is second grade). I may try chemistry if I can find the suggested book. If not, I may just let them choose what they would like to explore in the world of science. I would still like to introduce them to a foreign language (despite the fact that I only speak English). Hopefully I will luck up on a cheap to free foreign language option. As far as arts and crafts, well, I'm sure I mentioned that I traded a portrait for a washer and dryer. That means that our once unused laundry room turned art room has now been transformed back into the laundry room, we are back to doing art at the dining room table. So, art projects will be very clean until the weather gets warm and the kids can head out to the garage for art! Besides, I love how organized our school room is at the beginning of the school year. It's so nice to come in and not see papers EVERYWHERE. One of the goals for the year is to make the girls more responsible for their school. Ashni is the most disorganized, so it will be a challenge for her to keep up with all of her material. She is getting better, though. It has been ages since she lost a pencil in the middle of writing with it. Because Bijou is 3 now, so we set up an area for her "school" things. She is very proud to have her own space, with her own materials.
Bijou and Zion's shared play area in the living room. Generally these toys are ALL over the living room floor!

This (hideously) blue piece of furniture was all one piece that a friend bought for me at a garage sale for $5! It weighs a ton and was very top heavy (which made me nervous with small children in the house). So I separated the top from the bottom. It provides tremendous amounts of storage space.
Bijou's space (the small wooden shelf) keeps things withing reach, and is easy for her to take things off and put things back.

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