it's been 7 weeks since we started with ambleside's year 1 curriculum. i have been meaning to post weekly summaries of what we've covered, but here we are in week 8 with no school updates until now.
better late than never, right?
the ambleside curriculum is divided into three 12 week terms. obviously, we're in term 1 right now. we operate on a four day school schedule using this curriculum. i had planned the 12 weeks to go through the second week of december, but it looks like we'll be done by mid-november. sweet!
i try to limit the structured school stuff to about 2 hours max monday-thursday, with friday left a bit more "unplanned." any daily table work that emma has to do is limited to 30-35 minutes. that would include any copywork, spelling, oral reading, journaling, bible study, french and math. of course we don't do all of that each day, with the exception of copywork. we also have daily readings from the year 1 book list. that's usually something all the kids like to do together.
realistically, any of our structured school stuff (including the readings) takes only about an hour. but if you count some of the little "breaks" we have in between (like changing a diaper, putting dishes away, getting a snack, tending to the wee babe, etc.), some days the school stuff end up taking about 2 hours. if it's nice outside, we usually end up doing some of the readings during lunch or as the "bedtime" story before naps so that we can enjoy some precious outside time. then there are those "off" days where we just bag the day's plan and go with what works.
so to re-cap the past 7 weeks...
we've learned a bit of early british history and ancient greece and rome through the books Our Island Story, Fifty Famous Stories Retold, and Trial and Triumph. some of the people we've read about include cornelia, horatius the cocles, blandina, and leonidas and the 300. the short stories presented in these books have been a great way to teach history. next week, we'll be learning about benjamin franklin through the book benjamin franklin by ingri d'aulaire (i still need to buy this...it's a hot commodity at the library with 2 holds on this one particular book).
emma keeps a timeline folder which we fill with some information and a picture of each person we've read about thus far. it has been a great way for her (and me) to visualize the order in which all these events have occurred in time.
we've got some great books we've been reading for literature. literature reading is done almost daily and there's usually at least one reading a week from The Aesop for Children. Other books we've used so far this term include Just So Stories (which was Aaron's book from when he was a kid), The Blue Fairy Book, Parables from Nature, Tales From Shakespeare and A Child's Garden of Verses. one of emma's favorites is an Aesop story called The Boy And His Filberts, and all the kids like the Aesop stories so much that we've re-read some of the stories quite a few times.
we do a geography reading once a week from the book Paddle-To-The-Sea. coincidentally, this book is about the geography of the great lakes, and we live right by one of them. so cool! a few field trips to lake erie are in order!
when we first got the book, the kids wanted to read it so we've already read through the whole thing. but it's nice to go back and re-read it at a slower pace. i've been meaning to do a big map of the great lakes region so we can map out Paddle's course, but i haven't quite found what i'm looking for. i kind of want to just make my own...
reading, writing and arithmetic:
we use mcguffey's readers for her oral reading practice (upon a recommendation from my dad), although she can read quite well independently. the "problem" (but i guess it's not really a problem) is that now she reads so fast that she'll skip words. so the short, little lessons in the mcguffey reader is perfect to "slow" her down a bit.
we also use mcguffey's for her spelling words. i just pick out five words on the list (e.g. went, sent, spent, felt, melt) and we do a quick daily run through of them on paper.
other writing stuff include her daily copywork and not-so-weekly-but-should-be journal writing. but she writes enough in her free time that i'm not too worried about it.
math has been great with the life of fred series. she LOVES it and has devoured these books in her free time. the stories are funny and the practice exercises are short and sweet. we do a fred reading once a week, and if needed i'll find activities during the rest of the week to reinforce some of the things she learned from the fred book. i think after this term, we'll start reading fred twice a week. although that means we'll blow through the rest of the book very quickly, but that's okay. we'll just get the next one.
my original plan was to do 3 lapbooks each term, but i think i was a bit ambitious in thinking we can complete 3 lapbooks in addition to our other school stuff. and there's that whole just had a baby thing...yeah...
so, we've completed one and will most likely do one more before term 1 ends. we FINALLY did a spider lapbook, which emma had been asking about doing since the beginning of summer. and for gibson, we did a mini one for him since he seems to enjoy the whole lapbooking idea as well.
i try to stick to charlotte mason's approach so "everything else" would include narration, art study, music study, language (french is what we're doing for now), scripture reading, nature study, handiwork and habit "training."
additionally, the kids have plenty of free time which has been used up
with paper crafts, painting, drawing, dancing, clay art, making blanket
forts, playing outside or going on walks (that counts as exercise time) and the occasional field trips here and there.
while i would love to expand on all these other topics, this post would end up very, very long if i continue. so hopefully by the end of this week i can post our week 8 school round up, which will be shorter but with a bit more detail.
wondering why we're on the road that we're on? here's some background...
::part 1:: ::part 2:: ::part 3::