We finished our first week of the new school year! It has gone remarkably smooth. We haven’t had a start this good since Kindergarten. I hope that I have hit on a curriculum that suits us. We are basing our studies off of the Mother of Divine Grace syllabus with a few embellishments and alterations. So far it seems to be just the right amount of scheduled lessons and free time.
It’s been a few weeks since my last wrap-up, so before we get to this week, I have to show you some pictures from our new church’s groundbreaking ceremony. The bishop came to town!
Alex starts off every morning with math drill using XtraMath. He’s been doing this for almost a month and I am seeing an improvement in his memorization of math facts. Technically, he was supposed to have mastered all his addition facts in Math-U-See Alpha before moving on, but mastery is a bit of a vague word. He can always tell me the right answer to an addition fact, but it isn’t always fast. The drill is to help him speed up that recall. We like the XtraMath drill much better than the online Math-U-See drill. I also discovered this free video game that reinforces facts.
The biggest hit of the week has been learning to play the recorder. MODG includes recorder lessons in the 2nd grade syllabus but then never mentions it in 3rd grade. I can only assume that they mean to continue with the lessons since music theory is part of 3rd grade. I completely chucked the MODG stuff for practical music instruction and have instead gone with Progressive Recorder by Learn to Play Music. We went ahead and purchased the book for the theory instruction, but if you are more comfortable with teaching that on your own, Learn to Play Music has a YouTube channel full of instructional videos that you can access for free. Their channel has a ton of videos, so if you are just looking for the beginning recorder playlist, you can easily find that on my own YouTube channel under liked playlists.
On Tuesday, we began studying our first composer, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Alex was so inspired by this, plus the recorder lesson, that he sat down and composed his own music.
It was one of those delightful homeschool moments when your choice to live this life is affirmed. It was soon squelched by one toddler biting another.
We were able to do nature journals once this week. I’ll let you try to guess what our subject was based on Ryan’s drawing. Look for an upcoming post for full details.
By Wednesday, I was very proud of myself for not cutting out any of the fun activities due to laziness. The core stuff is simple enough to get through, but preparing a craft or activity can be draining. But, I put on my big girl pants and did this week’s science experiment. We are using Mr. Q’s Earth Science which includes the text, worksheets, tests, and experiments. This week Alex studied space stuff. I’m happy to say we all now know the difference between a meteoroid, meteor, and meteorite. (LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION)
I began wearing out on Thursday. By mid-day, I was dead tired and just wanted to sleep. The two days of gray sky, cool temps, and soaking rain didn’t help, but I am not complaining about that. It is usually above 100 degrees by now. Still, continuous rain keeps us indoors just like searing sun, and after two days the natives were restless. Josh barely took a nap which meant I was left navigating the afternoon activities with a toddler underfoot. We skipped arts & crafts and drug out the sleeping bags for a pretend campout instead.
I do count Fridays as a school day, but I don’t have much planned beyond math practice, spelling tests, and a bit of history discussion. The rest of the day is for fitting in activities that we missed during the week or just want to add. This morning we are having a playdate with some friends.
First weeks (or quarters) are always petty good. I certainly won’t be declaring this year a success just yet, but I really hope that MODG is the one for us. I would like to get some curriculum consistency in my homeschool.
That’s it for our first week of school. The other big news is that I finished the first set of Pocket Calendar Saints Cards for August 2014. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, check them out. See you next week!
Subscribe by Email. Never Miss A Post.