We now have over a week of school on the books. After defining individual objectives for the year, we dove right into studies. Maeby wants to learn to read and spell this year, Micah wants to be able to read an entire chapter book by himself, and Abram wants to work on the alphabet and writing. We had a summer filled with what seemed like nonstop conversations about science and geography, and we are continuing those conversations with a more academic approach. Micah is already becoming well versed in state facts and abbreviations, and can be caught reading maps randomly throughout the day. I enjoy being able to adjust our lessons to focus on what my children are excited about learning. It definitely cuts down on the amount of protests. We already have a list of ten field trip ideas, including a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (tentatively in the spring, so we have some time to adjust to traveling with baby #4). I know that we will face our own share of struggles throughout the school year, but we are happy to be on this journey together. Without further adieu, photographic proof of how much my children have grown in the past year. A look back on homeschool 2014.
As a young child, I loved watching Mister Rogers. I greatly attribute my love of cardigans to his casual, at home style. One of things that always stood out to me on his show were the tours he took of factories. He understood that it was important for children to know not only how things were made, but also that people work hard to make things we use in everyday life. That was a great takeaway for me; that I should value and appreciate things more because of the hard work that goes into manufacturing and production. This was definitely something I wanted to instill in my own kids, so off to Nottingham, PA we went!
We weren’t allowed to take any photos while we were on the actual tour. We got to see pretzel dough being formed and conditioned, tortilla chips being made and packaged, and potato chips go from potatoes to chips packed into boxes. I know for certain, without having to question them, that my kids’ favorite part of the tour was when they got to sample warm potato chips.
I would recommend a visit to the Herr’s Factory to anyone that is in the Lancaster area for a day or two. We were given bags of chips to sample, and we purchased a 10 pack of their new products for just $3.75. (This includes the GO LITE! popcorn I posted about on instagram. I can’t wait to find it in stores.)
You can find out more about the Herr’s factory tour here.
Yesterday marked our first day back to homeschool. While we never really stop learning here, we stick to a structured day from September-June. We started homeschooling three years ago, but this is our first year of compulsory learning and the first year we have had to declare intent. Micah started first grade, while Maeby began her final year of preschool. Abram is along for the ride and has been very enthusiastic to chime in.
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This is our first year using textbook curriculums for Math and Reading. We have mostly used workbooks and printouts, with supplemental books depending on the topics we were learning about. We chose to go with Math to Learn because it introduces mathematic concepts and gives detailed examples of mathematical processes appropriate for grades 1-2.
I have finally stopped saying that Micah can read x amount of words. I figured it is safe to say that he can read. He reads anything and everything he can get his hands on. We chose Jacob’s Ladder because it is geared towards advanced and gifted children. We decided to start with Primary 2 (grades 1-2) because Micah already has the foundation for Primary 1 (kindergarten-grade 1). The main objective of the book is to get students to think more critically about the text, in turn building comprehension and analytical skills.
In the next coming weeks, I’ll be giving updates on how these books are working out for us.
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