6 Week Update - Year 2 and Year 0


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Greetings!  I love writing updates to our school mostly because I can come back and read in years to come and enjoy the pictures and moments with my babies!  I just transferred home movies to a DVD this week from 5 years ago and can't believe how quickly they grow.  *tears*  To hear my big 8 year old as a little 3 year old excitedly say "A-queen" when he opens his Lightning McQueen Christmas presents is heartbreaking!  Where did that sweet little voice and those adorable little curls go?!  And the tiny little newborn that Eva Mae was during that Christmas makes my ovaries hurt! LOL!

December 2011
This school year has been a wonderful experience!  Having an official Kindergartner in the mix plus a little harder workload for a 2nd grader makes our days of schoolwork a little longer but not stressful by any means!  It is rich and rewarding!  I love our time together!  If you are interested in how I organized our schedule see this post!

MORNING BASKET

Our day school days start at the breakfast table as we eat and talk about our Bible verse, memorization, and hymn.  The other day my heart was sooooo glad as I read a section in the book "For the Children's Sake" about the author remembering a moment in her childhood where her mom burst into dance and she felt a connection to her mom that was different from her previous feeling toward her.  I kind of wonder if the moment we had together last week will be a similar experience for my kids.  We started a new hymn "Marching to Zion."  Instead of sitting at the table learning it like we normally learn our hymns, I got up and started marching around the house while singing the chorus.  Eva Mae got up first and started following me and then Christian fell in close behind and we were all three singing at the top of our lungs and marching slow while singing slow, then marching fast while singing fast!!!  It ended with all of us in giggles as we went back to the table to finish breakfast!  They thought it was awesome!  It will be fun through the rest of this month to take a brain break from our schoolwork and sing and march around the house!
We also have enjoyed listening to Pilgrim's Progress after breakfast.  We don't listen every day, but about 1-2 times a week we will sit in the living room after breakfast to listen to a track or two of the Orion's Gate audio dramatization of the book.  My kids are loving it so far!


MATH AND COPYWORK

Miquon math is still working magic with my kids.  Eva Mae started the orange book and Christian is finishing the blue book.  His focus right now is on understanding the multiplication tables.  I LOVE how they introduce the tables by creating a book for each number.  Click here to see a sample of the blue book!  There is a sample with the "Pattern of 9s" that you can see how the child writes in each multiple of 9 and they can see how it is a pattern in a grid of 100 numbers.  Eva Mae is working on counting and even though it is a simple concept that she can do, it is great practice for her to work on writing numbers correctly.  We spend a lot of time creating our copywork based on what I see her weaknesses are in her writing for both numbers and letters.  She never complains about schoolwork and is such a light of joy at the table!!!  Here's a few videos of her counting to 100 and practicing her writing!


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Our math is also very timely with reading the book Understood Betsy!  We just read the chapter where she goes to school and talks about her subjects including "mental math" which is reciting multiplication facts.  Christian enjoyed keeping his multiplication books nearby so he could answer the questions that the teacher gave to the students in the story!
Christian enjoys his copywork this year with his cursive book!  He gets frustrated and is a perfectionist so we're working right now on just doing his best and being patient as he learns how to correctly form letters.  I do love how intently he works in his copywork book!  We use the Queen's Homeschool Pictures in Cursive book!
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HISTORY

Eva Mae is not doing any history in Y0 but she will listen in sometimes on Christian's readings.  I think after she turns 6 I will start introducing some 50 Famous Stories to her!  She does seem to enjoy the Leif the Lucky book that we are currently reading.  I might even start her on some of the Y1 D'Aulaire biographies in January.  Christian has been loving the historical period right now.  We love the Little Duke (even though it is technically citizenship, not history) but the connection of William the Conqueror and William of Normandy was a fun relationship to realize!  I've debated switching from Hillyer to Synge for history but right now I am sticking to Hillyer since we have the book and enjoy the readings!  I may burn a CD of Synge's "Story of the World" to keep in the car for short listening sections.
Even though Year 2 doesn't require a timeline, we did start our Book of Centuries and Christian enjoys drawing a picture once a week of his favorite history reading.  I list the events we read and he picks the event and draws a picture in the century page for that event.


GEOGRAPHY

We've been reading a few chapters in Charlotte Mason's geography and several times these past few weeks we've been able to reference the lessons about the shape of the earth.  While we were playing outside Christian noticed the jet stream behind a plane in the sky.  It looked like the stream was going straight up into the air and he said it was a rocket.  I had him look closer and think about the curvature of the earth and how even though it looked like it was a straight line, if we were viewing it from above we would see that it was actually moving east to west from the direction we were seeing it.  It was neat to see that connection being made!  And then also in our readings of the vikings and how they thought they were sailing to the end of the world and how wrong they were! LOL!  I like how our Hillyer chapter and Lief the Lucky match up to make those connections in weeks 5-6!
Tree in the Trail has been fun to follow as we talk about what happens in each chapter in relation to where the tree has been planted.  For example, we followed where the Spanish came up from New Mexico and found the tree, as well as the various Indian tribes.  It's a great book!

LITERATURE

We haven't done a "formal" tea time as often as I'd like, but our poetry every day has been out of a poetry treasury on Animal Verses!  It has some beautiful selections!  All I do is read the poem while the kids listen and have a snack!  It is a great break from listening to a reading and narrating, or working on copywork/math!  I love our tea time cabinet and it is so special when we get out the pretty cups and saucers for our time!  I will take a picture next time!
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Our literature readings have been a lot of fun this term for both kids!  Understood Betsy is easily our favorite so far!  It is a wonderful book!  Shakespeare is also one of their favorite subjects and we are so blessed to have our co-op work on a play for the kids to perform in December and also our local Shakespeare company perform for us in the park!
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We do additional literature with attending our amazing puppet shows at the Nashville library!  Last month we reviewed the story Hansel and Gretel from our Andersen collection before we attended the puppet show.  This month we read a picture book about the trickster spider Anansi before we watched the puppet show about Anansi wanting to own all the stories of the world.  I think it's great for the kids to be able to both listen to a fairy tale or story to have images in their imagination, but also to enjoy a live performance of the story!  I really can't say enough praise for the Nashville Public Library and Wishing Chair Productions!  They are amazing!  Check out their website here!

SCIENCE

We are LOVING the Burgess Animal Book!  I started making some pages to accompany our readings here!  I'll update it as I create more.  I just finished chapter 7 and will update soon!



We also have had an amazing term so far in science with being able to see the total solar eclipse last month!  It was such a monumental experience!  I really want to travel to see the next one in 7 years!  We also have supplemented our science with attending nature programs at Bowie Nature Park, visiting a sunflower field, creek stomping, attending a hummingbird festival to learn about them and watch a banding, and canoeing on the Harpeth!  If I had waited to update at week 12 we would be here forever!!! LOL!  Enjoy these fun pictures of our nature/science lessons this month!

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RICHES

This is my favorite part of school!  To know the importance that Charlotte Mason placed on having a broad feast of liberal arts makes my heart so happy!  We love singing, dancing, creating art, attending performances, and so much more!  I could go on and on but we've already been here a long time! LOL!  Suffice to say that piano lessons, solfa lessons, co-op, visiting the Frist each month, and attending concerts RICHLY blesses our family!  In addition to the co-op we started last year, Eva Mae does a twice a month kindergarten co-op with friends!  It is such a blessing to have all the fun field trips and social events that we can do in our community!

Here are some more highlights from the past 6 weeks!

Kindergarten co-op:

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Charlotte Mason Co-op
Chess Club
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Frist Center Artquest
Also, Christian finished 16 lessons of Mandarin lessons!!! We'll be completing more in Term 2!
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Thanks for reading the update!!! Onward to the next 6 weeks and completion of Term 1!

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