This year, Seth is entering Year 5 (grade 5) and without intentionally doing it, our lesson work lines up almost perfectly with Ambleside Online's Year 5. I say without intention because I went through each of our subjects and the books/curriculum I use and found that we were still on track with most of the Ambleside selections for this year which pleasantly surprised me.
Here is a rough sketch of how our days typically go, with figuring in having Kate and Laura to attend to.
Our Bible time, which I now consider Morning Time since we do more than just read our Bibles and sing begins our day once Shane has finished Seth's math lesson and left for work.
- Hymn singing
- Catechism using Starr Meade's Training Hearts, Teaching Minds which is based on the Shorter Catechism
- Memory work: Psalm 145
- Bible reading, continuing through 1 Samuel
- a variety of readings, one each day: Mr. Pipes by Douglas Bond, Trial and Triumph, historical fiction (current selection is The Minute Boys of Lexington by Edward Stratemeyer),
- Nature guides (the daily reading from Naming Nature by Mary Blocksma and checking the calendar from Natural Science Through the Seasons by James Partridge
- review memorized poems
-art and composer study once a week
-history reading and narration (We're finishing up Story of the World Volume 3, Volume 4 is up next)
Then we break for a snack or lunch depending on when we get finished. Seth has an Independent Work List notebook where I write down tasks or assignments for him to complete on his own. Examples of work in a moment.
|Here are some tasks from last week before we really started our lessons.|
He can work on these anytime that we are not working on a subject together or when I need to take care of the girls, like give them baths or household work that I need to do. Taped to the inside cover of this notebook is his Morning Routine list which reminds him of everything he supposed to be doing before we are ready to start our Morning Time. He has to complete this around Shane's work schedule so that he is available for his math lesson with Shane whenever Shane tells him to be ready. It includes tidying his room, reading his Bible, reviewing catechism questions, Latin vocab, etc.
Other lessons we work on throughout the day include Grammar (First Language Lessons Level 4), Spelling (All About Spelling Level 5, only 2 lessons left), Latin (which is a mixture of Henle, Lingua Latina, and Visual Latin), Classical Writing: Aesop, Level B (new to us this year and so far so good, although it took awhile for me to wrap my head around how to do it, lots of prayer for understanding was sent up), Shakespeare, and Literature Read Alouds, (like Bullfinch's Age of Fable, Arthur Ransome's Swallowdale, and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Since I am only planning for four days a week, this leaves Friday open for things like Nature Walks/Journals, true Science lessons, Handicraft work(whittling), and any catch up work needed. Also we are amassing quite a collection of nature items, some which need preservation or pressing so that takes time as well. And I confess, I'm probably the biggest contributor to our collections, but I really enjoy working with God's creation and learning how to care for all the things we find.
On his Independent Work List, he may have a reading and written narration assignment from George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster, soon to move on to her Abraham Lincoln's World. Or he will have a map drawing assignment, (so far we have completed S. America, Australia and surroundings, and Canada with N. America) or play a geography game online or complete a map puzzle. He will have copywork or drawing lessons to work on, and new this year, typing lessons. Also he will have to read and complete both an oral and written narration from his Nature Reader. You get the idea, work that he can do without my full attention needed.
Laura is clamoring for schoolwork so I have a list of things to be working on with her that require very little prep and can be done anytime. Readings from Leading Little Ones to God, various picture books from our home library, Mother Goose songs and rhymes, coloring, cutting and pasting Kumon books, letter and sound recognition, and Bible story book. She just turned four and in Ontario she would be going to Junior Kindergarten full days, so we do some things, but mostly she just listens in and plays. And listening she is. Tonight after supper, she was playing with some of her little animals at the table and I was working on the computer and I realized that she was chanting part of the list of personal pronouns that she heard Seth and I reviewing today. She asked me to repeat the list and then she would try again, apologizing when she messed up and saying she was "just getting it mixed up, forry about that." I was surprise by how many she could remember like "I, me my mine, you, your, yours..." Crazy.
Seth also has books each week to read, usually two a week, but given our heavier schedule so far this year, he may only have to read one before Saturday morning. This week he is reading The Sign of the Beaver which I pre-read last week and enjoyed.
My goal is to enjoy our lessons and if the joy is gone, I need to find a way to bring it back. The children and I do not always get through the lesson with peace and harmony in our house and for me that is just as important as the lesson subjects. I don't want learning to be fun. I want it to be interesting and satisfying, and at times it will be exhausting, but completing difficult work is rewarding and it stretches our minds in good ways. A well written narration, a carefully drawn map, a successful Latin translation, a verse or poem recalled from memory, all of these take effort but give so much satisfaction when completed.
I know I haven't included many links, so if you have questions about any of the resources I mentioned, please just ask and I can let you know more details if needed.