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Monday, February 4, 2013

Mid-Year Evaluation

We are a little more than half way through this school year, and I thought that it would be a good time to look back at what we set out to do, and what we have done. One advice I always give to new homeschoolers is “don’t be afraid to change things that aren’t working”.  It never fails that a few changes are made along the way.
For Preschool:
We made a few changes to the outline that I originally posted, but it was updated accordingly (so you’d never know really).  The idea to follow along in theme with the Pandia Press Life Science curriculum has worked out very well.  I’ve enjoyed putting together a variety of activities for my littles to go with the science program, and they have enjoyed participating and following along on their own levels.
You can see our outline HERE
I post all my ideas (even the ones I don’t end up using) on my Pinterest page
I make Weekly Workbox posts every Monday and a Preschool Wrap Up post every Saturday, so you can see what we are up to and follow along.
I’m working on making a more formal write up for next year’s curriculum, it will be a Montessori, manipulative, literature based curriculum, different themes (for the most part) from what we covered this year.  (See the button on the top left sidebar).
For First Grade:
You can see our original curriculum plans HERE
As planned we finished Math-U-See Alpha and have moved onto Beta.  We really like Math-U-See, but have also used A+ Tutorsoft Math a bit.
We continued with Better Chinese, however, more recently C has started Chinese Class with a native speaker, so we are following her outline.
We are using Pandia Press History Odyssey Ancients I as planned, and enjoying it.  I wish that some weeks there were some more hands on activities, but on the weeks there are some, they are great!  The curriculum uses Story of the World I, part way into the year I ordered the CD’s, which has made it really nice…we will listen to that weeks history lesson while we travel to and from field trips.  It also uses several other resource materials all of which we like. I occasionally supplement this with Montessori Cards.
We are using and LOVING Pandia Press R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Life Science I  most of my weekly first grade posts (this go up on Sunday) have to do with our Science, it is very hands on and we love it.  I have supplemented some with print offs from Montessori Print Shop, and occasionally Enchanted Learning, but it’s really not necessary, I just have issues!
For the Recorder, just recently we decided to ditch the recorder for co-op, we only meet every other week, and it wasn’t enough for the kids to get a good grasp on it.  I’ll admit I never had him practice either. 
We finished the Story of the Orchestra, and continue to use Beethoven’s Wig for Classical Music Studies.  We no longer use World’s Greatest Composers or World’s Greatest Artists curriculums, though we do follow her outline of order to study.  C just is not that much into lapbooking, and these are lapbook based curriculums, that and we only get to do Music and Art studies about 3-6days a month.  I have pretty much just pieced together my own little unit studies, which I post about when we finish.  We also use Classical Composers Monthly.
We still use Little Passports for Geography, I got behind with them, and have a stockpile.  But we still try to cover one country a month.  Now I’m collecting the state studies and hope to add them in as well (if not this year, next year).  We no longer do an extensive study of the country of the month, I wish we did…but we just don’t seem to have the time :?  I need to work harder at fitting it in.  In that case we will do a condensed version of Expedition Earth.  Maybe this summer we can fit one in a week, and go back to using the Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett.
We are continuing with Spelling Workout A – I have not focused to much on Spelling this year, he does his workbook page and that’s it, no tests, no activities.  Next year I’d like to spend some more time on it.  He is almost done with the book, I just ordered Workout B.
Cs reading level has surpassed the Sonlight 2, I pulled out Sonlight 3 and he has been reading some of those.  I have also found for both Reading and Read Aloud, I prefer to find something on his level that goes with our weekly theme.  I use Sonlight suggestions as fillers for when I don’t have a themed book, or he finishes the themed book quickly and we need something else for him to read.
We are still trucking along with Ordinary Parent’s Guide, and I have not begun First Language Lessons…I think I’ll save it for next year.  I also added in Explode the Code, I found a placement test and he just missed level 4, so we are doing level 3.
C finished the Grade 1 workbook, now I’m sort of at a loss of where to go from here.  I’ve been giving him little bits to write for history or science, and am now having him start writing individual letters again to work on his form.  I don’t think he’s ready for the Grade 2 book, the lines are much smaller to write on. 
We pulled him out of Karate, and he has been doing Swimming Lessons and will start Gymnastics this week.  I also have been struggling to make Family Time Fitness a regular part of our school day. 
I pin things we do and other ideas I find to use on my FIRST GRADE Pinterest board. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have a great school day! :-) we are using ordinary parents guide and getting ready to start the story of the world...


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