Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our First Week of Home Schooling

As you know, we are using the free curriculum guide provided by Ambleside Online, which follows the Charlotte Mason method of education.  I'm starting DS off in Year 1, since he is already beginning to read and will be 7 in December.  (He would also be in 1st grade in public school, but the Ambleside year's don't necessarily correspond to grade levels.)

Here are some school room (dining room) pictures.

 The shelf containing scripture memory box, readers, Peter Pan (bedtime story), Bible, and field guides
 The Year 1 books we are working through for literature, science, history, geography and poetry.
My new-to-me chalkboard! (Thanks, Robert for not throwing it away like your mom said to, and to DH for hanging it)

I followed my planner and got almost everything done that was scheduled (although a few things out of order, but that's what freedom is for!).  It felt easy and natural to teach him with this method, and I was pleased with our beginning.  He had a couple days where resistance led to tears...probably because he was expecting to not actually have to learn at home.  The first day he couldn't understand why I didn't want him in pajamas all day, but he did comply.  Hopefully, these things will work themselves out as we continue with the plan.  As we get used to this way of learning, I will slowly lengthen the math lessons, which is currently 12 minutes of Funnix lessons followed by computer games or hands-on activities to reinforce adding and subtracting.  I will also increase the amount of time he will be reading to me.  While he can read many words that surprise me, he has no love of reading and is very resistance to reading out loud.  Thankfully, he does like me to read to him, since that is the core of the Charlotte Mason method in the younger years, along with lots of outdoors time.

As the summer heat subsides, I will be increasing the outdoor time as well.  We did "walk" the baby turtle each day and create a terrarium for him, and purchase a new ball to toss around the yard.

We hunted for sticks to make this nature journal.

We captured grasshoppers and even a dragonfly, which became our nature notebook entry for the week.  The Handbook of Nature Study blog has the pond as the August focus, which worked out great for us!  I need to figure out how to dig deeper with the nature notebook than only examining the creatures we find, and this website tells me how.  Now to apply what I learn...

For handicrafts, we are learning sewing from my mother-in-law.  She is a former home ec. teacher and I am needle-challenged, so this worked well.

We watched Spanish videos on Speekee and Salsa, using immersion before using some conversational software we have from The Learning Company.
We did some phonics and learned some new words, using Free Reading, which I found through Lesson Pathways.  (I'm also using Lesson Pathways to supplement math, science, and other things in the future.)
At our trip to GenCon earlier this month, DS fell in love with the ocarina, so we purchased an inexpensive plastic one for him to learn on.  This week we learned finger placements and practiced a scale.
We listened to Mozart, the composer for this term.  Listen here.
The only thing I didn't get going was art and artist study (Fragonard this term), as my printer is out of some toner colors, but I will get that started soon!


  1. Wow! It seems like you had a really good first week. The method that works for you should feel natural like that. Luke will get used to the routine, but the whining never completely stops. ;-)

    That is so funny about the ocarina. I had never heard of such a thing until last week when our new homeschooling group met for the first time. Two boys bonded when they realized that they each had an ocarina.

    I may have to tap your brain at some point on the Spanish curriculum you are using. Bailey will probably start Spanish in 5th grade, and I keep vacillating on what to use. I have a little more time to figure that out.

  2. My son is starting Y1 this year also. My daughter went through it 3 years ago, but I'm so looking forward to doing it again! I miss the books! He is just learning to read, so not too much reading aloud right now. But yea, the whining never completely stops! It's a habit you must continually work on. Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to jump in this year! Oh, and we just discovered the ocarina too! My Y4 girl is using it this year. She loves it!

  3. Sounds like you're off to a great start!

  4. Hi...this is fantastic, well done! We are also homeschooling using AO in Australia. Nice to meet you! I have a son doing y3AO and a daughter doing y1AO! We are loving it! Drop by my blog sometime! xxx