Homeschooling Update: Beginning Core A

We’ve finished our first two weeks of Sonlight Core A (more or less). Here were some of the highlights from the past month:

History & Geography

Usborne Children's EncyclopediaMy son LOVES the Children’s Encyclopedia. LOVES it. I catch him flipping through it on his own, and asking when we’re going to read certain pages.

One of his favorite things is the internet links included – I’ve bookmarked the encyclopedia on the computer, and he knows how to get to it and explore the links. So far his favorite things have been putting the continents/countries/cities on the globe, and playing a game where he makes a mummy.

Living Long AgoLiving Long Ago he likes, but not as much as the encyclopedia. So far there have been some fairly easy hands-on activities mentioned in LLA, but we’ve not actually owned the items we’d need to do those activities. I need to look ahead and see if I can get them, because I think they’d both like to do them.

I Heard Good News TodayI Heard Good News Today has not been a hit. I’m putting it aside to try again in a few months.

Read Alouds

(And a clarification: We don’t necessarily read all of the books in the official order given in the Core. They’re not tied into history at all, and so I will move them around and add in other books as we like. So seeing a book from the Core mentioned here doesn’t mean it’s scheduled that way.)

The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother GooseThey like The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother GooseThe Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose: A Treasury of More Than 300 Classic Nursery Rhymes, but I’m a bit burned out on Mother Goose (plus I preferred the illustrations in last year’s A Treasury of Mother GooseA Treasury of Mother Goose). I’m reading what’s scheduled, but no extra. The rhymes are making an impact on my daughter at least: she spent several days reciting Humpty Dumpty after I read it one afternoon.

The Llama Who Had No PajamaI want to hold off on a verdict for The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite PoemsThe Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Betty Fraser – we’ve read so little of it. So far the kids seem to like it, but they’re not desperate for more.

We’d already read The Boxcar Children, so I added the sequel, Surprise Island. We also read Winnie-the-Pooh, and we just started The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, No. 3)The Yellow House Mystery (The Boxcar Children, No. 3) by Gertrude Chandler Warner (book #3 in the Boxcar Children series)

The Story about PingWe finished The Story about PingThe Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack. I loved it and both kids really liked it – enough so that we read it a couple of times, and then read a couple more Flack books. My son especially liked The Boats on the RiverThe Boats on the River by Marjorie Flack, illustrated by Jay Hyde Barnum. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve read it now, and I still don’t mind reading it again – always the sign of a good book.

The Complete Adventures of Curious GeorgeWe also finished The Complete Adventures of Curious GeorgeThe Complete Adventures of Curious George: 70th Anniversary Edition by Margret and H. A. Rey in one day because the kids loved it so much. Every time I finished a chapter they begged for more, and were sad when we reached the end.

Bible

Egermeier's Bible Story BookWe’re working through the Egermeier’s Bible Story BookEgermeier's Bible Story Book. The amount of reading seems fairly inconsistent on the schedule, but I’ve changed it to just read a section every day. It works. I like it more than the 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible101 Favorite Stories from the Bible in P 4/5, but not as much as the The Jesus Storybook BibleThe Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.

Math

Math Mammoth 1AWe’re moving along in Math Mammoth 1A, and just finished through page 50 (practicing adding three numbers). G also decided that he wanted a break from it and spent a few days working in his Mathematical Reasoning B book instead. I let him pick each day which one he uses.

Science

Tadpoles and FrogsWe’re doing Core A science, and have done the readings through all of week one, and half of week two. We have not watched the DVD, or done the experiments. The worksheets we’re doing orally. We’re in the midst of reading Tadpoles and Frogs, and surprisingly for an Usborne book, this one doesn’t have my son begging to finish it in one day. That’s a sign of how high my expectations are for those books that I’m shocked he just likes it and isn’t obsessively crazy over it. 🙂

Language Arts

Chasing HenryWhile I have Sonlight’s LA1, we haven’t done any of it so far. He’s still doing All About Reading 3 (just reached the halfway point of it and finished the first reader, Chasing Henry), and will be starting All About Spelling 2 soon (I was getting us settled into the new Core first). He’s got a handwriting book too.

The Sonlight LA seems pretty redundant from the other materials, and I’m not sure how I want to use it. At some point I’ll have him read the readers at least (maybe maybe interspersed with AAR 3 & 4?), and I’m considering going back to the LAK sheets and going over the writing assignments from it. We were inconsistent with doing them, and they seem like they’d be a good fit for him now.

PE

G had a taekwondo tournament, and finished 3rd in forms and 5th in sparring. He’s belt testing this weekend, and will hopefully pass and get his senior orange belt.

He’s also started baseball, and is right in the middle of practicing. Later this month he starts playing real games, and he can’t wait.

Art & Music

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 1I purchased Harmony Arts Grade 1 plan – it’s designed as an overview year, and is supposed to be good for those new to art and music appreciation. That would be me/us. So far we’ve done the first week of it, and I like it. It’s very doable by me, and it’s fun for the kids. It’s also inexpensive enough that I didn’t feel like I was risking a lot by trying it out.

(and a heads-up if this looks interesting to you: it’s 40% off through the end of April using the code SPRINGTHING40. That’s making me seriously consider buying next year’s program already.)

Extras

Create-a-CalendarI’m a bit disappointed in the calendar Sonlight includes – it’s a blank calendar, and the kids are supposed to add their own dates and stickers and all that. Except it’s got the months listed, and it begins in September. While that might be a typical start date in North America, I’d really have preferred the blank calendar to be completely blank, so whenever we started the Core, we could decide how we wanted to use the calendar.

Sonlight Timeline BookThe timeline though, is a HUGE hit. G wants to add figures to it every day, and we’ve only added about one a week, much to his disappointment.

We’re all taking a field trip today and touring a local ice cream place, to see how they make it. I haven’t told them what we’re doing and they are going to be so excited. I can’t wait to see their reaction. And when they find out that they’re going to get to TRY the ice cream? They are going to be ecstatic.

He’s still doing lots of Legos and puzzles. He’s already planning which Lego set he wants for his birthday, and for finishing Level 3 in reading. Until my Kindle Fire died, he was playing lots of Presidents vs. Aliens and Stack the States on it while waiting for his sister to finish her taekwondo class. I’m wondering how long I’ll be able to hold off on replacing it with another tablet – there are definitely times when it’s handy. And I was surprised at how much he picked up regarding US Geography and Presidential history from playing those games!

Beginning Core A Update 1

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Comments

  1. I just started selling Usborne, so I’m glad to hear of a homeschooling family who uses some of their books!

  2. That is really odd about the calendar… homeschoolers are rarely on schedule like that! And in states like Arizona, school actually begins in August.

    • I know – it really hampers the flexibility of using the calendar, and would be such an easy fix.

      One of the big things with the calendar is that it lets the kids color the pictures themselves. Except my son hates coloring, so I think we’ll just end up skipping it entirely. Maybe in September I’ll pull it out again for his younger sister who adores coloring. We talk about the calendar a lot as it is, and he has one of his own so the lesson part of it is happening. Just not with their calendar.

      And I’ve never lived in a state where school started in September – it’s always been August for me too! That mythical post-Labor Day start date that I heard about, but never experienced. 😉

Trackbacks

  1. […] 6:00 We’ve just arrived home and it’s time to unload the groceries and get dinner going. Right now I’m really wishing I’d put something in the crock pot this morning. Instead we’re having green chili enchiladas with black beans and rice. The kids both want to play a game on the computer and since it keeps them out of the way while I cook, I’m all for it. They’re alternating between a geography game, building a mummy, playing Barbie dress-up, and a race game. The first two are courtesy the links that come along with the Encyclopedia we’re reading as part of Core A. […]

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