Some classical homeschoolers are posting weekly reports (HT: Willa), many of which contain fancy photobucket slide shows. I don't have time to learn how to make a fancy slideshow right now, but I like the whole "week in review" concept. (I like the fancy slideshows, too, so if I have time this week, maybe I will learn how to make one.)
I keep our daily learning notes on my other blog, Show Your Work, but I also like the idea of doing a bit of postgame analysis out here on the big blog where there's more opportunity for conversation. (And I imagine Grandma will like seeing pictures of the kid's work, too.) Overall, our first week turned out well and gave me a lot of food for thought as we forge ahead. I have a couple of goals this year for myself. The first is to relax -- and by that I mean to stop worrying so much about how I think I'm supposed to do things and focus more on being open-minded as to what really works. That may mean that my ultra-relaxed way of presenting Montessori materials is actually okay for us -- or at least it's what I am capable of at this point in time. It also means that using workbooks for grammar and math is okay, too. (The kids do these independently at quiet time in the afternoon.)
Aother goal that I have this year is to have fun. I want to work with the the kids' strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses. (And hopefully in the process we'll be able to cover the weaknesses in a less painful way.) What this means in my house is that if an activity (especially for Gareth) can be made more imaginative and creative, it probably ought to be.
Anyway, here are some photos of what we did this week:
Picture Books of the week
These were Farmerboy's tools last week. He started pouring his own juice and learned to use the crinkle cutter to slice cheese. He also worked with a hammering activity and listened to Usborne Farmyard Tales read over and over again.
Here's where that strength/weakness thing comes in. Gareth is quite good at geography; it comes naturally to him. He was the four year old who used to sit and watch the Weather Channel with a big laminated map of the US in his lap so he could follow along. Katydid, however, is a different story. Our informal approach to geography just doesn't work for her, and we'd like her eventually to get the difference between a city and a state and a continent and a country. So I decided to introduce a study of geography with a little bit of imagination, by having them invent their own islands. (I think that this is a Montessori activity but that it usually doesn't begin the study of geography.) It was written on the whiteboard as an option for choice time, but the kids both jumped at it.
Some additional skills this activity promoted:
- attention (I had to encourage them to color the ocean surrounding the island, in order to finish the map.)
- math (in Gareth's case, since we discussed scale)
- study skills (I had them look in the book Geography from A-Z to add specific features to their islands and to find out how to spell them.)
Hopefully this week we'll get to salt-dough land forms. We'll also (I hope) continue to work with the invented islands, deciding on climates and habitats and populating them with animals and cultures.
Feast of St. Michael and the Archangels
For our "Friday Fun Day", we made shields in honor of St. Michael. (I know others were making angels, but have I mentioned that I have a lot of boys??) The shields are just sheets of cardboard covered in aluminum foil. The kids drew emblems on cardstock, then cut them out and taped them to the front of the shield. (Katydid's is The Sacred Heart of Jesus from A Catholic How to Draw.) Katydid and Gareth both used cardboard book envelopes with built-in handles, but I had to poke a hole through the middle of Farmerboy's and thread in a fabric handle.
And here is what happened right after they finished the shields:
You could probably have seen that coming, couldn't you?