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Saturday, February 23, 2008

CM Schedule this Week: With Photos

I have each subject on a strip of paper and instead of everyday doing the same subjects in the same order, we're mixing it up to keep things fresh each day. I read about this in More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison and Christy does it in her homeschool at Close Academy.

I know I'm talking about "Charlotte Mason" a lot but I wouldn't be unless I saw the way I want to do things and what is on my heart in her method. I'm not looking to follow anyone blindly anymore, it is refreshing to see the items I do feel convicted about important in a useable method that doesn't necessarily mean I have to change all of our curriculum.

Next Friday will be our first Nature Study, with or without the Handbook of Nature Study. I hope it gets here before then. I know it also seems like I'm purchasing a lot of items lately, that's going to end once I have everything we need for this year and hopefully, next year other than books. I can't order books yet because the book list has not been made available for Year 4 yet.

I might come back and put more details in about our week just to document how we've changed.

Monday's Lessons:
- Read Jesus, My Shepherd, answer questions, pray
- Lesson 85 of Horizons Math 2
- Assigned Reading: I can read about Magellan
- Poetry: Once I Saw a Little Bird, copywork
- History: The Awakening of Europe, chapter 1
- Grammar: Oral narration of Aesop fable
- Phonics: 2 pages of lesson 9 in ETC 5
- French: Écoutez, Parlez! Unit 1
- Piano lesson at 3:30 pm
- Read aloud: Saint George and the Dragon
- Bedtime read aloud: Around the World in a Hundred Years

NOTES after Monday's lessons:
Amazing! Absolutely, utterly amazing. We had a slow start to our day, but once we got going we breezed through our lessons. From 8:15 to 11:45 am we have been non-stop, with only 1 break. Guess what Camille did during her break? She pulled her Bible out to work on memorizing the Old Testament, all on her OWN!

We had 1 hiccup during math but when I realized she was in a "I'm going to be difficult" mode, I told her to put it aside to we continued on. We went on with our other lessons and when she wanted a break, I told her to do her math. She finished it quickly and we kept moving on. All she has left today is piano practice and her lesson at 3:30 pm and our bedtime read-aloud. Time to clean house and eat lunch! :)

Tuesday's Lessons:
- Lesson 86 of Horizons Math 2
- continue reading I can read about Magellan
- Grammar: Picture study lesson
- Read Jesus, My Shepherd, answer questions, pray
- History: Renaissance Artists: DaVinci, narration, art project
- 2 pages of lesson 9 ETC 5
- Illustrate Once I Saw a Little Bird
- French: Écoutez, Parlez! Unit 1
- Piano practice
- Read aloud: The Awakening of Europe, Chapter 2
- Bedtime read aloud: Around the World in a Hundred Years

NOTES after Tuesday's lessons:
Camille is loving the switch around subjects. Math was first this morning and she took longer than she should have but I was taking care of Danny today so I couldn't intervene. Today was Danny's first day in underwear and we've had a couple of messes. The other subjects have gone well. Our history/art took longer but you cannot rush art, sorry. I'm really enjoying reading The Awakening of Europe aloud. It doesn't try to squeeze tons of information into one chapter like SOTW. This transition is hard for me, using living books instead of a more sequential textbook or book like SOTW. Although some would say SOTW isn't that sequential, lol!

She finished I can read about Magellan today and I'm so proud of her. She read very well, she did rush through a few words mispronouncing them but her confidence is higher. Today we've read about how the Netherlands impacted the Middle Ages, about Leonardo Da Vinci and we're reading Around the World in a Hundred Years by Jean Fritz from beginning to end. Does it all fit together nicely? Nah. Look at this week of reading from Ambleside, week 30 of Year 2:

Week 30
The Bible
An Island Story ch 56 Edward IV - The Story of Queen Margaret and the Robbers
An Island Story ch 57 Edward IV The Story of the Kingmaker
Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley
Seabird chapter 17, 18
Pagoo: ch.10, 11
Poetry of Christina Rossetti
Robin Hood - Little John goes to the Fair at Nottinghamtown
Pilgrim's Progress

It doesn't fit together all nice and neat either! Well I don't have An Island Story to know whether reading Joan Of Arc does tie in or not. Breathe, Jessica. Do not doubt this! It's going well. If I want something more sequential then I should use our Usborne History Encyclopedia, see easy fix. Sigh. I don't know how I put up with myself. Knee-slap laugh.

We're doing well. In fact Camille wants to know how a car engine works (answer found in How Things Work by Childcraft volume 7), and check out the questions she wants to answer about our nature walk in the above post. Are you kidding me? This natural learning stuff is turning out to be more work, FOR ME! I say that with a happy smile.

Wednesday's Lessons

- Reading: Francis Drake by Goodnough (shared reading)
- 2 pages of lesson 9 in ETC 5
- Recite One I Saw a Little Bird
- Lesson 87 of Horizons Math 2
- Moon lesson
- Read Jesus, My Shepherd, answer questions, pray
- Observation lesson on cats
- French: Écoutez, Parlez! Unit 1
- Piano practice
- Read aloud: The Awakening of Europe, Chapter 3
- Bedtime Read Aloud: Around the World in a Hundred Years

NOTES after Wednesday's lessons:
This week is going very well! The Francis Drake book that she is reading has 47 pages and it is a challenging read for Camille but I am so proud of her for accomplishing 25 pages today. Words like Plymouth, Mediterranean, reputation, channel, Portugal and East Indies tripped her up but only because she didn't attempt to sound them out by syllables. I'm very please however that she didn't take one look at this Troll Associates book and say, "I can't read this."

Camille is still astonished with using Primary Language Lessons, she can't believe that it is "all" we have to do because the lessons are short, sweet and focus on one element each day. I'm happy because the progression is very natural. This week she narrated a fable, did picture study of a portrait of cats and answered questions, today (Wed) she answered general questions about cats and tomorrow she'll take the same questions she answered today and write them in complete sentences.

Our Moon lesson was a success, we have decided to only use The Space Book for our lesson and use the other books we have for further exploration. We are both very happy to read one text that contains the information we need plus experiments. This is simpler than the Astronomy lessons I planned out and it keeps science in perspective with a short lesson. We read about the moon phases and what the difference is between a new moon and a lunar eclipse. When we observed the lunar eclipse, I was able to easily reinforce what we had learned with what we were seeing. I'm currently in deep thought and prayer over our science studies.

French is going well with Écoutez, Parlez! each day for 15 minutes, we are listening to Unit 1 as we repeat after the audio cd and follow along in the book. Each day Camille gets better at pronouncing and more confident in what she is saying. She corrected me today! We're doing 1 unit (10 pages) each day for two weeks and doing the workbook at the end of each unit to determine if we need to keep repeating it or move on to the next unit. This is perfect for us.

I am finding that taking the focus off creating notebook pages and putting that focus on the skills she's building is working much better for both of us. She doesn't feel overwhelmed to complete notebook page after page to document her learning and I don't feel like I'm pushing her anymore. Notebook pages are nice as a representation of what we're studying but if they are getting in the way of learning, I'd rather leave them to be done at an older age. I'm still thinking and processing all of this, I'm sure reading the Original Series by Charlotte Mason will bring clarity as well as more things to be in prayer about!

Thursday's Lessons

- final 2 pages of Lesson 9, ETC 5
- Read Jesus, My Shepherd, answer questions, pray
- continue Francis Drake reading
- Composition, write answers from Observation lesson
- Moon lesson, experiment
- Recite Once I Saw a Little Bird, review last 2 poems
- Lesson 88 of Horizons Math 2
- French: Écoutez, Parlez! Unit 1
- Piano practice
- Read aloud: The Reluctant Dragon
- Bedtime Read Aloud: Around the World in a Hundred Years

NOTES after Thursday's lessons:
"Mom, is school going to be like this from now on?" Camille asked me. "Yes, I think so but I'm sure there's more changes coming too." I told her. She loves the shorter lessons and she's actually making an effort to work through her math more quickly and she's staying on task more. She absolutely loves having a different focus each day and having to check the schedule (I printed out our lessons) to see what's next.

She did very well with the Francis Drake reading, she had problems with these words: Strait, commander, whispers, Argentina, supplies, confidence, importance, disobedience, Marigold, nobleman, wounded, experience, suspicious, surrendered, and Portuguese. I did have a slip up, I couldn't find our copy of "The Reluctant Dragon"! I KNOW I put it somewhere but it evaded me.

Danny is playing and loves it and when I'm reading aloud he's coming to sit by me to see the pictures, even if it is a book for Camille. This is an improvement. For science we finished our Moon lesson by working in our nature journals to record the lunar eclipse we saw- it is rudimentary but I wanted Camille to have fun with it without comparing hers to mine so I went a little sloppy. After we finished our lessons, Camille and Danny played with playdoh while listening to Themes to Remember.

Friday's Lessons
- Read Jesus, My Shepherd, answer questions, pray
- finish Francis Drake book
- Lesson 89 of Horizons Math 2
- Renaissance Artists: Michelangelo, Raphael (art projects)
- French: Écoutez, Parlez! Unit 1
- Nature Study
- Bedtime Read Aloud: Around the World in a Hundred Years

NOTES after Friday's lessons:
Everything has been finished but the "Around the World in a Hundred Years" by Jean Fritz. We're continuing to read this. Today, Camille finished "Francis Drake" and narrated it. She said the book was too long to narrate all of it so I wrote questions on our dry erase board that I had her answer in complete sentences after she had time to think about them. We studied Michelangelo today and decided to leave Raphael and Anguissola for tomorrow (Sat.) we're going to finish reading about them in "Renaissance Artist Who Inspired the World" and do the corresponding picture study and art project in Artistic Pursuits K-3, Book 2. Today Camille sculpted a turtle out of clay as a way to understand Michelangelo, she also did a watercolor drawing of herself angry.

Danny is growing up so they are having more spats because Danny is more vocal. She asked to be able to play with playdoh while she did her French today and I didn't see a problem with that at all so I allowed it. Friday has also become our day to watch a StoryKeeper DVD and the kids watched the last one. Camille asked if there are any we don't have and I told her the only two we don't have are the Christmas and Easter one. She said that we need to look into getting them. Danny was so cute, I asked him something while they were watching and he said, "Shhh, Mommy. I'm watching Jesus." LOL!

We had thunderstorms all day today so doing nature study wasn't possible like I had hoped. I actually wanted to take the kids to a State Park nearby. Hopefully next week. I'm so proud of Camille this week, her reading is showing improvement and she has responded well to the short lessons.

This Week in Pictures



judahmo said...

Looks great. I understand that the lessons are supposed to be short, but what are you supposed to do if they are being dragged out by the child for some reason? Do you think you should complete the lesson or move on to something else? (I'm not talking a few extra minutes, but really dragging it out. )

Trivium Academy said...

I have a dragger in math, so I understand. First, I would figure out if it is because your child needs you to explain more or they are unsure how to go about doing the work. If that is not the case, consider whether or not the task is suited for your child's learning style and development.

Camille, 7 wants me to show her on the white board AND do the first problem with her in math. For a while I was showing her on the white board, asking if she understood but when she looked at her worksheet, she suddenly didn't know how. This was frustrating, esp. if I had taken 15 minutes to show and teach her something.

If your child is just being disobedient, switch tasks to something not related. If you're doing math then switch to reading and go back to math afterwards.

Another thing I've done is to give the work for homework. In our house it means I will not help her with the work and she's allowed to play until the work is done and right. It is a good deterent but switching tasks is confrontational.

I have a friend that makes her children do exercises when they have a bad attitude or waste time. 20 jumping jacks can be a good motivator but I haven't resorted to that just yet.

I've struggled with Camille, even considered changing math programs but really she just needed me more, that's all. I hope this helps.

:) Jessica

Christy said...

You're going to love Nature Study. My advise is to take it easy the first couple of times out. Just look and explore. Learn to sit still and observe. and you really don't NEED the Handbook, it's a great book, don't get me wrong. If you have a half-price books, go and get some pocket field guides that are specific to your area. The Handbook was pretty useless for us in Texas. It did have some great "lesson," though.

Anonymous said...

HI Jessica~I am sure our children will appreciate all the hard work and research we have given to plan a homeschool curriculum that fits their learning style. It might not be until they might decide to homeschool their own children in years to come. God bless, Rose

Chris said...

Hi Jessica,
Could you tell me where you got your wonderful picture for No Child Left Inside (greenhour)? I went to the greenhour site, but didn't see that particular picture. And I want to copy you--is that ok? lol

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...


Thanks for adding a link to the Green Hour challenges. I think it is going to help a lot of families. I hope you will be joining us, at least in spirit. Don't wait for the Handbook of Nature Study to come to get started! Take a walk and just enjoy what you find.

I love your new "tree" themed blog. Very nicely done. (as usual)

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

~Java Mama~ said...

Looks great! We love nature study when we get outside for them. I was just thinking the other day while sitting outside in our front yard how many exciting learning experiences were all around us, it was amazing as always.

I am so glad that you are sharing your heart and ideas in this adventure of learning more about CM and her philosophy.

Something that I just read late last night while reading her Education Philosophy and found interesting is that she didn't believe we should have to motivate or discipline our children in learning but that their natural given "desire for knowledge" or curiosity would be enough. She does talk about the 'disiplinary subjects'. I have always thought that they, discipline and motivation (rewards and such) were neccessary at times but now whith this new idea for me about learning being delightful I am rethinking things.

I am trying to understand all of her amazing ideas slowly through others thoughts and her books, but I am a rather slow learning so....
Thanks so much for sharing.

JOYfully in Him,

judahmo said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful, detailed reply! You've given me some practical ideas.

my5wolfcubs said...

Glad your first day was good -- isn't there a saying that success breeds success?
For your subjects on a strip of paper, do you mean you wrote each one down and rearranged each one each day and then wrote that down into the schedule you have posted? I remember one hs mom telling me she had all her subjects on slips of paper in a pretty teapot -- her dd (1st grade, I think) reached in and pulled one out, they cheered and did the subject and then repeated. It seemed like such a sweet, enjoyable idea.
PS I'm looking forward to hearing how "observation of cats" goes...sounds like fun!

Michele said...

I am so enjoying your blog. I am learning lots! Has Camille seen the Magic School Bus about engines? It explains about car engines- even car engines with peanut butter stuck inside!


Diane said...

Love what you are up too. I'm very eclectic, and change things things up all the time. Our schedule is a lot like this. I always come up with what I think are my own original ideas and then find out CM thought of it first, etc...:)

Happy Schooling- you guys look like you are all having a blast- that's what it is all about.

LisaWA said...

Jessica... what a great update! I like the way you write out your thoughts.... you summed up your thoughts wonderfully....

So were you comparing Ambleside because of flow or because you are thinking of going that route? I think I confused myself...

Your posts make a great portfolio! *Ü*


G said...

Thanks for this great post! We too are heading down the Charlotte Mason path, and it helps to see someone using the ideas so well. I am glad that Camille (love her name btw - one of my favorites) is enjoying her education. I am hoping that focusing on more CM and less WTM will help my son recapture that snse of enjoyment.

Tonia said...

It looks like you are finding a way to integrate what works for your family - it's great when you find that groove, isn't it? Enjoying your blog. :0)

Rhonda said...

Jessica: It looks like you had a great week. Integrating Charlotte Mason methods seems to be working very well for you all! I enjoyed reading your update.
~Have a blessed day.

my5wolfcubs said...

I loved following along w/ your week! I went through the Class I (1-3 grade?) schedule and wrote down what subjects we had that fit those, to see what a PUS day would look like for my 2nd grader...I liked it! :) Hope you find The Reluctant Dragon! That is a dragon book I don't think we've read!

School for Us said...

I love how you shared your week so completely. It's nice to get a glimpse into someone else's school. I've been trying to figure out what to do with my daughter when she dawdles, too. I think I might try your "homework" route. Or, stop the subject and give it to her right before recess and tell her she can't play until it's done.