Sunday, August 13, 2017

Week in Review {Week 3}

You will have to excuse my later than usual post as we were busy traveling on Friday and Saturday. 

We are half way through our first 6-week term! We were able to get a lot done this week and the children were very excited about going on their first field trip of the year. 

Third Grade

Bridget did well in math this week and took her lesson test on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule. Instead of writing her daily schedule on her whiteboard, I'm now writing the entire week so that she may get ahead if she wants to. She also completed her handwriting assignments quickly. 

We spent time learning about King James and the establishment of the Jamestown Colony. We read books about Jamestown and about Pocahontas. We went on an overnight field trip at the end of the week to tour Historic Jamestowne and then the recreated Jamestown Settlement. It was a nice finishing touch to the week. I'll be making a separate post on our field trip. 


George also finished all of his math and handwriting assignments early. I am prepared to move forward at a faster pace if he chooses to. George is doing very well at doing his school work. He gets a lot more breaks than Bridget does because he does not have any independent work (yet) so when I am working one-on-one with Bridget, he gets to go play.


I don't think I'll be doing any formal preschool work with Liam until after the first six weeks of school. I wasn't prepared for the school year to begin and will use our first week off from school to finish my lesson plans for the year and to schedule something for him. I feel bad when he has nobody to play with because I have Bridget and George in the school room with me. 

Final Note

Check back later this week for a separate post on our Jamestown field trip!

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Week in Review {Week 2}

It is hard to believe that our second week of school is already over. I didn't take many pictures this week, and we didn't get everything done either (I blame the beautiful weather for luring us outside). Fortunately, the things we did not get done should take no time to complete this coming week. 

Third Grade

Math went much better this week than it did last week. Bridget did all of her worksheets and her test and got everything correct except for a word problem that she didn't read carefully. 

Bridget also enjoys handwriting because it's super easy and requires no instruction form me. She loves having independent work to do. She's done very well about coming into the school room and getting started on independent work. She often times ends up waiting on me. I'm still working on juggling a third grader and a kindergartner. 

History is starting to get interesting again and Bridget completed all of her reading and narrations this week without whining (she is not a fan of having to write sentences or a paragraph). Latin is still one of Bridget's favorites and this week she listened to and sang along with all of the songs. 


Much like his sister, George loves math and handwriting the most. He's still learning to write lines and circles. In another week, he'll finally start writing letters. It's slow moving for him because he's never taken an interest in reading and writing and is further behind than Bridget was at this age. Numbers, on the other hand, is what interests George. He is flying right through his math worksheets and I'm considering letting him go at his own fast pace rather than the slower pace I scheduled for him. He may get stuck when it is time to write numbers rather than just count and circle the number.

George is gaining independence in homeschool and is so excited to begin in the morning that he comes into the school room still in his pajamas and opens his handwriting or math book to begin. On this particular day, he hadn't even had breakfast yet.


We went to the library at the end of the week and I picked up a few fun books for Liam. Most of them were books I remembered from my childhood. His favorite right now is The Carrot Seed. I read it once to him when we got home from the library, then he "read" it to me. Then again. And again. He loves the book so much but I am having to remind him to be gentle with the pages. It's an old copy from the library and the pages were already falling out when we first borrowed it. It is no doubt that this book has been well loved by many children over the years. We may need to get our own copy for our home library.

Final Note

Next week, we are going on our first field trip of the school year. The children are very excited. We'll be exploring Roanoke Island (Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony) and historic Jamestown. We've been both places already but it's been a couple of years so hopefully it will feel new to them again (especially Liam since he was still in a baby in the stroller at the time).

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Week in Review {Week 1}

We're back! This week we started our new school year with a 3rd grader and a kindergartner. We're starting earlier this year than we have in the past. In the middle of the last school year, I rearranged our school calendar to be 6 weeks on, 1 week off (with a longer break at Christmas), and we also switched from a 5-day to a 4-day week. It was the best thing I've done and so I studied the calendar and got the schedule worked out for the next couple of years and it works perfectly if we start school at the end of July. It did sneak up on me and I wasn't fully prepared, but we went ahead and started anyway.

Third Grade

Bridget had a rough start to the week. She is not used to having to share me during school, but because George is only in kindergarten, his lessons are not done independently like hers can be. We are working with her on being patient, taking turns, and finding something constructive to do while waiting for help (such as moving on to a subject she can do by herself). 

Bridget is studying chemistry this year and this week she learned about atoms. She built a simple model of an atom, complete with protons, neutrons, and electrons. She had fun with the lesson even though parts of it were challenging for her to understand. Learning chemistry is different from learning about animals and volcanoes. 

She is also learning Latin this year and has been using her new words outside of school. Daddy hasn't a clue what she's saying and Bridget said that she and I now have a secret language to communicate in. She is so excited to finally be learning a new language (she's wanted to do this since kindergarten). 

We're also working on world geography this year. It is slow moving because I am making the lessons myself. This week, Bridget is learning about Afghanistan. Tomorrow night for dinner, she'll prepare a meal from the country. 


I took a lot of pictures of George this week, as it is his very first week of kindergarten. He was all smiles with each lesson and proud of anything he finished. 

This week, George learned about Delaware. I made some worksheets for him and bought flag stickers and star stickers to mark the states capital. He did a little bit of the state each day and will be making a peach pie tomorrow afternoon for dessert (Delaware loves their peach pie!). 

For science, George is also studying chemistry (but only for six weeks). His unit starts with learning about solids and liquids. 

History is another fun subject for George because we get to snuggle on the couch and read books from the library and do fun crafts. He is learning about the Native Americans and will be working on a wampum belt for the next few weeks. Here are our "wampum" beads as we were letting the paint dry. 


Admittedly, I didn't do anything special for Liam this week. Once we get a schedule running smoothly for the older two, then I'll know when I have some free time to sit with him and do something fun. Even though he had no structure this week, he did color some of the same things George colored and built houses with the math manipulatives. I also let him sleep in every day and on this particular day, he slept until 9 o'clock! He marched into the school room all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to sit alongside big brother. 

Final Note

In May, we bought these desks from IKEA that have magnetic whiteboards attached to the backs of the desks. I thought maybe I'd buy the kids some magnets for them to put their artwork on display. However, the night before the first day of school, I thought that perhaps a checklist would be the best use of the whiteboards. The kids love it! They're able to easily see what needs to be done and check off what they've completed. I also started putting an asterisk next to each subject on Bridget's list that she can do independently. This has worked well in keeping her on task and from interrupting George's lessons. 


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Friday, July 21, 2017

3rd Grade Curriculum | 2017-2018 School Year

The new school year is upon us and we are eager to get started. My oldest will soon be turning eight and will be starting the 3rd grade. These are the curriculum selections I have made.

Language Arts

Bridget knows by now what is expected of her in these subjects and they have become much easier and she is able to do a lot of it independently or with very little help.


We are continuing with Spelling Workout. Their format is easy and fun and with my additional pre-test and test worksheets, I am able to determine if she is truly learning the material. For third grade, she will begin Spelling Workout Level C.


We'll be using Writing With Ease Level 3 for grammar and starting this year, Bridget has a workbook to go along with her lessons. It adds a little more busy-work to her day, but it is necessary. In her Writing With Ease Level 3 Workbook, she'll be working on sentence diagrams. This grammar program has done well for her and we plan to continue on with it.


Bridget has done well this past year with reading, overcoming a major obstacle of getting glasses to correct an astigmatism and re-learning how to read now that her vision is no longer distorted. She is just barely beginning to read short chapter books, and she does well with reading her scriptures. I will continue to have her read these aloud to me, and to also read any Classic Starts books and chapter books from the library that I feel appropriate for what we're studying.


We will be continuing on with this program and working on narration and dictation exercises. She will be working through Writing With Ease Level 3 this year. The curriculum is based on a 4-day week, and everything is planned for each day. It takes all of the planning work away from me, which is a bonus. 


Bridget learned to write cursive in the latter half of second grade, and this next book by Zaner-Bloser will continue with that.


We love Math-U-See! Bridget is moving right along and will begin using their Math-U-See Gamma level. In this level, she will learn beginning multiplication. When did my little girl old enough to start learning her multiplication tables?!?


We are continuing with The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times. It begins with the Protestant rebellion and the early American colonies and will finish up with the abolition of slavery and the California gold rush, all while learning about the other parts of the world and what they were doing in this time frame.


I am doing something completely new with geography this year. Bridget is eager to learn about the people, food and customs of other countries and so I am putting together a small unit study for each country, customized to what she's interested in plus a little more. We'll spend the first three days learning about the country and on the fourth day we'll prepare a dish (or a meal) from that country.


Bridget is excited to be studying chemistry this year. We really like Elemental Science's curriculum and will be using Chemistry for the Grammar Stage. She'll start off learning about atoms, molecules, the periodic table of elements, physical changes, chemical changes, and organic chemistry.


Latin is a new subject for us. It took a long time to find a curriculum that I thought my children would enjoy and I think Bridget will have fun with Song School Latin by Classical Academic Press. After watching their first lesson on YouTube, I felt as if I had learned something new. It also looks like something the boys will enjoy watching along with big sister.

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