My biggest worry for this year was officially adding in a third child when it seemed like there wasn't enough of me to teach two some days. I have to say I was really surprised by how well it worked out. Kindergarten lessons don't take too long and Colin did a little more independent work. I also tried to do as much with them all together as I could. I would still like to start our day earlier, but we did make a little progress on that.
This was our first year having a room just for school. We loved it and I don't think we could ever go back to doing school in the kitchen or dining room again. It was great having everything together and being able to display all the projects the kids did.
The biggest success of the year was helping Molly learn to read. I remember teaching them to read was my biggest concern when I first started homeschooling so having the third one reading feels great. She hadn't been too interested before and didn't even know all the sounds of the letters when we started the year. She picked that up really quickly though. She made it through lesson 109 in Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and is reading lots of books.
Her handwriting improved a lot using Handwriting Without Tears.
She started Spell to Write and Read this year. She completed through list L-4. She's done very well learning all the phonograms, rules, and markings.
She did all of First Language Lessons 1 and about half of First Language Lessons 2.
She started learning cursive with Cursive First. We did all the lowercase letters and worked on learning to connect them.
In Spell to Write and Read, Colin started the year on list S and made it all the way through list Z. He tested at grade level 11.2 after finishing.
I had him start over with Writing Tales and he completed all but the last section. He still doesn't like adding in creative details, but his summaries have improved.
He did all of First Language Lessons 4.
Molly did RightStart A.
Caleigh almost finished RightStart C.
Colin finished RightStart E and Life of Fred: Fractions.
We did Exploring Creation with Astronomy. We learned about the sun, the moon, the planets, comets, meteors, asteroids, famous astronomers, astronauts, space travel, stars, and constellations. The kids really enjoyed it and loved all the experiments. They often said it was their favorite subject. Some of their favorite things were trying astronaut food, making hurricanes in a bottle, making sun bread, a salt dough volcano, and phases of the moon with Oreos.
We also did a few science things as part of some unit studies. We studied clouds, the water cycle, friction, butterflies, leaves, apples, migration, hibernation, pandas, ducks, Australian animals, owls,
groundhogs, and snow.
I'm so glad I decided to combine all the kids for history. When I did Story of the World Volume 1 with just Colin, it often got pushed to the side when we got busy with other things. Having everyone doing it made a big difference. Before starting SOTW Volume 2, we spent a few weeks talking about the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to get the girls caught up. We were able to finish all of Volume 2. We read tons of extra books and did lots of projects. Some of the favorite projects were a medieval feast, making Viking ships, ships in a bottle, sand art, and mosaic cakes.
Before starting history this year, we did a unit study on map skills. It was review for Colin, but I think the girls really needed it to understand.
We used the maps in the SOTW 2 Activity Guide to go along with our history study.
We also did a lot of geography in our unit studies. Some places we learned about were: Greece, Rome, Egypt, England, China, Japan, Australia, France, Norway, Russia, Ireland, and Canada.
This is the only subject where we didn't finish what I had planned. We started out okay, but then it kept getting pushed aside.
We only got through 8 lessons in Artistic Pursuits.
We used Draw Write Now to draw things that went with what we were studying.
We also used Discovering Great Artists a few times.
We studied Norman Rockwell to go along with a field trip to see some of his work. We also studied Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
We did lots of crafts and drawings to go along with our history, science, and unit studies.
Ancient Greece and the Olympics
Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car
Autumn Treasures (DNG): Apples, Leaves
The Story about Ping
Mirette on the High Wire
Katy and the Big Snow
Leonardo da Vinci
Some of the extracurricular activities the kids participated in this year were baseball, basketball, roller hockey, ice hockey, First Lego League, and a geography fair.
Field TripsLinville Caverns and Falls
Yates Mill Harvest Festival
Optometrist Field Trip
Walt Disney World
Christmas activities at WDW
Grand Asia Market
NC Museum of Art
NC Museum of Life and Science
NC Museum of History
NC Museum of Natural Sciences- February, May