Monday, August 25, 2008

Homeschool, 5th Grade - Day 1

Today was a successful day for the first day of 5th grade.

Jake was very open to his new books and subjects we will be studying for this year, as well as new things we will be implementing at home.

Just in case anyone is curious, I thought I would let you know the curriculum we are using this year. For those of you who don't know, I like to pick and choose what works for us. I do not use one company and study their curriculum across the board.

Bible: I ordered Sunday School material last year, called Bible Teaching For Kids, that we did not finish. We will finish that this year and then do a study of the free online devotionals for kids.

Spelling/Vocabulary: I decided last year that Jake's vocabulary was very limited. I wanted to add to his repotoire so I decided that we would do a vocabulary curriculum and use those words for Spelling also. I use Wordly Wise 3000 and we are using Book 4 this year.

Reading: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sonlight. I only use the Reading portion. Totally love that they use actual Children's Literature. The only thing I would ask them to improve is their discussion questions. I feel they could spend a little more time and make the Teacher's Guide a little more worthwhile. I always read the books before hand and come up with more indepth questions.

English: I use Shurley English. Used it last year, loved it, using it again! We are on Level 5 this year.

Writing: Ok, let's face it, I suck at writing! I have known this before and really knew it last year when I was trying to teach my son how to write. I decided this year to enroll Jake in a Friday School writing class. I am hoping someone else, who loves writing, can teach my son how to write well.

Math: Now remember, this is the subject that Jake was not doing well in that helped me make the decision to home school. We spent all of last summer and last school year getting Jake on level. I loved the curriculum we used last year and will use it again. I use Math U See. This curriculum is not based on Grade levels, instead it is based on concepts...things that go together. This year we will be studying fractions...from naming them all the way to multiplying them. It kinda scares me. I will let you know how we fare.

Science: Once again, last year, we started something that we will finish this year. R.E.A.L. Science, Life Science. Last year, I 'beefed up' the lessons so much, that we only got through the animals in life science. This year, I will beef up the plants portion of that curriculum...even thinking of planting a vegetable garden.

History: Last year Jake showed a lot of interest in presidents. He would ask various questions about when they were born, died and what they did in office. I decided that we could come up with a curriculum to study them by. I have purchased various president books and teaching aids so we can learn and learn! We will study a President a week.

Along with his school curriculum, Jake is also participating in a Broadway class (singing, dancing and acting) Chinese Lion Dancing, and Children's Choir and Royal Ambassadors at church.

It will be a busy 5th Grade year!


Georgia said...

I am curious: are you a former teacher? If so, do you find it helping or hindering as you go along?

Thanks for sharing your picks. We are starting our first official-unofficial year. (My oldest daughter is 4.)

Cammie said...

Hi Georgia,

Yes, I am a former teacher. I taught for 8 years before staying home with my son. Then, when he went to school for K-3, I subbed to make some extra money.

I think it helps me achieve what I want to achieve. I am a pretty organized person. I like things ducks in a row, as my cousin tells me. We have a classroom and a pretty tight schedule. I like it that way...not that it has to be that way for everyone. I know some great homeschoolers that have great lessons in the car going from one place to the other. It is totally whatever works for you and yours.

I have heard about former teachers that get totally bogged down in doing 'school'. They cannot let certain things go and feel their day should go just like formal school. I am not that way, I can have discussions that chase rabbits and go when there is something we want to do.

Is that clear as mud?

Christine said...

As you probably know - I also super puffy heart LOVE Sonlight!

Granted, their initial intent was that parents and children discuss freely as the reading unfolds. They've added more supplements and questions over the years to appease those that felt they needed it. I don't get it - we can't STOP talking about the stuff we read!! They really do have some of the most amazing selections. The stories are rich and we learn so many "extras" from the content. I have never actually even looked at any of their discussion questions! ha! In fact, with all the kids in the room, I many times have to say, "Okay, hold the questions so I can finish a page!"

I feel like I'm learning American History again for the very first time. :)

I'm certainly ENJOYING it for the first time! ha!

Luke said...

Hi Cammie. I just discovered your blog and look forward to getting to know you and your family better as I read along [smile].

But as a blogger for Sonlight, I just have to ask: What would make the Instructor's Guides more useful? You mention more indepth questions, but could you elaborate on that more? If you'd like to email me directly, please do so at lholzmann[at]sonlight[dot]com.

We're always looking for ways to improve Sonlight, and I would love to hear your ideas!

Thanks so much!


Cammie said...

Hi Luke!

Honored that you stopped by!

Here is my thought...yes, my son and I read the books together. Yes, we discuss them as we read. Then, because I discovered last year that my son had no idea how to find an answer to a question in a book, I decided I would use the comprehension questions Sonlight offered in the Reader Study Guide. I go pull it out and discover that there are only 2 or 3comprehension questions for each chapter of the book.

For instance, this year, I just finished reading 'Sing Down the Moon' (I am a book ahead of him so I can read and write questions). For Chapters 1-5, the Reader Study Guide has 6 comprehension questions and I came up with 28 comprehension questions for those same chapters.

This is important to me because I am trying to transition my son into working on his own. There are certain things that we do together and certain things that I feel he should be able to do on his own. Comprehension Questions is one of those things I feel he should be able to look up and write the answers for with little help from me.

Thanks for asking. It makes me feel great about using your curriculum knowing that Sonlight has people that care to ask!

Shan said...

Hi Cammie! I was just going to say how wonderful your fifth grade year sounds! I only homeschool in my mind, sad but true, but I am considering looking up the Sonlight books for MY fifth grader and seeing if we can't read some of those together as I have heard nothing but "puffy heart" talk as Christine says. ;) And, wow that they want to hear from you.(eyes bugging)

My boy would also love those Broadway classes and how fabulous that you can fit in such variety into Jake's day. Great going! :)

Denise C said...

Ooooo!!! Sounds great! WE pick and choose curriculum as well....I think that is what works best for us too! I just love getting to know other homeschool families..and sharing /gleaning tidbits from them!
I will pray for your family as you begin another year of homeschooling....will you pray for us too?
Now...I added you to my sidebar list of "Sweet People".....I hope that is ok....???
Have a wonderful weekend...and thanks for letting me be funny on your pizza delivery issue..hee-hee!

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed