Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wrapping Up Term I

Next week will be our final week for the first term of our homeschooling year. Following that we will take the week of Thanksgiving off; then the month of December and Term II will commence! Soon it will be Advent, and before we know it, Christmas. Before the frenzy begins, take some time to reflect upon how your fall term has gone and what adjustments you may wish to make going into winter.

I'm very happy with the progress we have made so far in this 6th grade year. I've posted many of our loop schedules so you can see how we've tweaked the layout of things as we've gone along. My key word right now is diligence. Slow and steady wins the race!

There have been a few changes made to the schedule. This year Beezy has been reading Newberry Honor novels for literature. I hit a bump for a couple of weeks trying to find the next book, as she wasn't keen on my choices. She wants to read about girls her age (certainly not younger!). We finally settled on The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, with a 13-year-old female protagonist. 

I took Spanish out of the Daily Core. Not only was it not getting done daily, but the lessons haven't been enjoyed as well as I had hoped. The Everything Kids Learning Spanish Book was helpful for getting us in the groove, but it moves along too quickly. So we have switched to the flash cards set from eeBoo, which offers six categories of words with pictures. Each card contains a complete sentence using the featured word. I think this approach will be more Charlotte Mason aligned.

In addition to the Language Arts Loop, which forms part of the Daily Core, I replaced the "Expanded Loop", which had four items, with a Religion Loop and a Humanities Loop. Each of these has four items, as Spanish is to be looped twice. After getting comfortable with the pared back schedule, I felt ready to add some news things in. 

We finished The Baltimore Catechism, No. 1. Rather than buy No. 2, I decided to see what I could get through the library. To my delight I was able to order Father Connell's No. 3 version, "OFFICIAL REVISED EDITION 1941 OF THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM No. 2 AMPLIFIED WITH SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS".

I have decided not to continue with Emma Serl's Primary Language Lessons and instead am reverting back to a more "pure" CM language arts approach. Copy work right now is coming strictly from the cursive writing workbook, as Beezy's printing skills are excellent. We are focusing on dictation for spelling, using poetry and selections from literature, the Bible, saint quotes, etc. 

I put written narrations back into the loop. I don't like the composition assignments found in the CHC grammar workbook. I would rather follow the Charlotte Mason method of having the child do written narrations from her readings. So the CHC book is being used for grammar only. We begin our lessons each day with prayer and finish with a poem from L.M. Montgomery.

If you have any questions regarding the current schedule or how to apply the vintage methods with the living books approach, please ask in the comments!

Daily Core: (open with prayer)

- The Poetry of L.M. Montgomery        
- Hamilton’s Arithmetic
- Piano practice
- The Wanderer by Sharon Creech (Newberry novel)

Language Arts Loop:

- dictation lesson (poetry, Bible, saint quotes, literature)
- grammar (CHC, Language of God, level C)
- cursive writing (Seton Handwriting 3)
- written narration (from literature, history, geography)

Religion Loop:

- The Rosary in Art (Seton): picture studies     
- Bible History for Young Catholics (Seton)
- The Baltimore Catechism
- Catholic and patriotic hymns

Humanities Loop:

- Handbook of Nature Study (Comstock, notebook narrations & illustrations)
- A Child’s Geography of the World (Hillyer); Usborne Essential Atlas of the World
- Spanish Flash Cards (eeBoo, twice per week)

Piano lessons
Religious education class
Nature walk

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