I realize that last year I didn't write much about doing school at home. I'm not sure why. Oh, now I remember. I was pregnant and nauseated most of the time and didn't enjoy much of anything. It's all coming back to me now.
Maybe this is why I am loving doing school with Sam and Sadie this year. I really am. Maybe it's because it's still early on in the school year, but I think there is more to it than that. I am feeling good, Miriam is cooperating with long naps and contented bouts of on-the-floor-playing and what we are studying is just plain interesting.
All this to say I am going to try to write a monthly post about some of our homeschooling highlights from the month before. For a complete list of all our books, click here. Maybe family and friends will enjoy this window into our school day. Maybe they'll see the titles of these posts and skip reading me that day. That's okay too. It is also for Sam and Sadie and myself to be able to look back on and reminisce about what we studied. Ready? Here we go!
In History, we've been studying Columbus and his voyages, the early interactions between the explorers and the Indians, geography and what early life must have been like for the settlers. We've made the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Nina out of foil, play dough, straws and paper and sailed them in the bath tub. We've read Pedro's Journal by Pam Conrad and Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla. And, we've made maps.
Can I just say that it's a very good thing I am back in school? I did not know that Columbus died possibly never knowing he reached NEW land! Some believe he always thought he'd made it to Asia. And, the Santa Maria sunk before leaving the new land for home. Didn't know that either. Good thing I'm back in school. Good thing.
In science, we're studying birds right now. Sam made an awesome bird map to help him learn to identify birds and we've had fun playing a bird game. I describe a bird to him (from a picture- I am no birder) giving details about the color of the bird's crown or rump or nape, etc. Then, he has to find the bird in our bird guide book- practice for birding in our backyard.
Did you know that after 34 years I finally understand how birds stay in the air/fly? It took a second grade science book explanation for me to get it. In a very simplified nutshell...because of the shape of a wing, the air on top of the wing travels faster than the air below the wing. Air that is moving faster puts less pressure on objects meaning that the slower air underneath exerts more pressure- pushing the wing up. There you have it. Also, did you know that birds lay more eggs if they are living in areas that are infested with higher than normal amounts of insects? More baby birds help keep insect populations in check. I tell you. I am having a ball.
Right in line with our study of birds was a field trip to our friends' home to watch thousands upon thousands of some type of swallow (perhaps?) congregate above the corn field behind their house and then start churning, forming a funnel cloud and then dive into the corn field to nest for the night. Our God is an awesome God.
In art, we've been studying Michelangelo and Norman Rockwell- reading about them and trying to recreate the style of their work. A friend of the family came over and taught Sam and Sadie how to make pinch pots and sculptures out of clay. She will fire them and bring them back for them to glaze.
In spelling, we're spelling. Not too much excitement there. Except, if Sam spells all his words right after doing the workbook portion for that list, he doesn't have to write them three times each. Am I a nice teacher or what?
In Bible, Sam is looking up scripture passages that describe Jesus. Sam is getting tons of practice finding versus. This is helping me learn my way around the Bible better, too. The theme for the year- the different names for Jesus. Jesus means "the Lord saves". I didn't know that one either. Either I didn't pay attention in school and Sunday School or my memory is on it's way out.
Math has been review so far and therefore easy for Sam. This in itself is a highlight because Math is usually the subject Sam balks at the most.
For the first year, Sam is participating in a PE class for homeschoolers. He goes twice a week, one hour each time. He loves it. And I love watching him do sit-ups and push-ups. I cried. I really did. From laughing. Is that bad?
Then, there is Miss. Sadie. Sadie is learning her letters and numbers, doing a lot of coloring and cutting, having picture books read to her and then joining in on crafts, experiments and read-alouds. She flits from the school table to playing with her toy animals on the bench in the kitchen to changing outfits. She's a very busy three-year-old.
So, there you have it- the month of September. I rate it 5 out of 5 pencils. And, if you've learned anything from this post, I hope it's that you don't have to know everything to homeschool. I certainly don't.