learning together: a new school year (AOY3 and AOY0)

so i've done a horrible job following through on my plan of posting a weekly school recap this past school year.  yes, there was that whole moving across the country thing, but really, that's not an excuse.

with a new school year starting this week, i think it's a good time to reattempt that plan.  the recap's mostly for me.  if i do this consistently, i'm hoping to have a nice record of what we've done for the year.  we'll, though.  we'll see.

we're still following the charlotte mason method (please look here if you're curious about what that is), and will be using the ambleside online curriculum again.  emma will be in year 3, and i'm planning on introducing gibson to year 0 (which he'll be in through part of age 6, or maybe longer if needed).  as a side note, each year doesn't necessarily correspond to grade levels.  if i recall correctly, completing year 10 (the curriculum goes up to year 12) is actually sufficient for high school graduation.

okay, here's a review of what we did for the first week of school...


if you're curious to see what year 3 will hold, you can go here and check out the booklist. i tried to keep it a little lighter for the first week back to our school schedule, so we skipped spelling, and only did 2 days worth of copywork (as opposed to 4 days).

history (books in brackets):

she was introduced to henry VIII [our island story], some of the post columbus explorers, including magellan [child's history of the world], martin luther [trial and triumph], and john cabot [this country of ours]. she will also be learning about leonardo da vinci, but i haven't gotten the book yet. we also traced the journey of the ship victoria (the only one of magellan's ships, and the first ship ever, to sail around the world) on our wall map, and found the location of where john cabot possibly landed in north america (either cape breton or the coast of labrador in canada, if you were wondering).  she chose to do oral narrations for all the readings, and was pretty thorough with all of them.

i also did a complete overhaul of her timeline binder.  i was doing terrible at helping her keep up with it, partly because it was so time consuming for me to prepare all the things necessary for her weekly timeline updates. as it turns out, i was making things way more complicated than they needed to be. ha! after doing some research on how charlotte mason actually had her students complete their timeline, i decided to start over.  there will be some catch-up involved, but since the timeline is actually quite simple, i don't think it will be long until we're up to speed.


she began reading the book marco polo by george makepeace towle, which took her to the city of venice.  again, she chose to do an oral narration of her reading.  we also watched the travel with kids: venice episode, to give her more of an idea what the city was like.  side note: we LOVE the travel with kids show!  it gets us all (as a family) excited to travel and explore the world.  it's aired on some pbs stations, but you can also find episodes on hulu and amazon prime.  sadly, our local pbs stations don't air travel with kids so we often use hulu and amazon to watch them.

natural history/science:

much of the nature study stuff will be covered a little bit further down, since we often do nature studies as a family. she also has the book pagoo to read for the next 2 terms, but i haven't gotten the book yet.  emma is a voracious reader, so i'm not too worried about being behind on some of the reading.  many of holling c. holling's books have short chapters, so i'm pretty sure she can catch up quite easily.


i probably won't include updates for copywork every week, since it's pretty straight forward.  i'm trying something different this year, and giving her a comp notebook which will have all her copywork in it.  this week's copywork were excerpts from one of her literature books and a poem from her poetry schedule.


she did 2 days of math this week, and it was a review of telling time. i'll be doing 1 more week of review, and then she'll be starting the next life of fred book.


for term 1 (12 weeks), she will be reading poems by william blake once a day.  she only did one poem this week, which was untitled, but about the pied piper.  poetry is pretty straightforward as well. just read one a day!


she read part 1 from the heroes by charles kingsley, and chapters 1-6 from the princess and the goblin.  for the heroes' narration, i had her write out 5 questions she would ask on a test about this part of the book.  for the princess and the goblin, she verbally narrated chapters 1-5 (narration after every chapter...this wasn't done all in one day, by the way), and sketched out a scene from chapter 6.  she is totally loving this book, and asked to read more. this week's schedule only has her reading chapters 1-3, but if she's asking for more, why not?  and it always feels good to be ahead of schedule.


you can go here and check out what year 0 looks like.  it's actually pretty low-key. in these early years, and there is more focus on helping the child discover the world around him naturally. i think by providing many opportunities for kids to this, especially in their early years, helps prepare them for more formal learning in year 1.  what this looks like for gibs: plenty of time for play, but providing opportunities for more formal learning (i like using the term table work), when i see him express an interest. compared to last year, he has shown an increased desire in doing more formal learning, though i still try to keep it short.

we're continuing our letter of the week theme, and adding pages to his alphabet binder.  i use the alphabet lapbook print outs from here.  they're pretty simple, and only take one up one page.  this week's letter is the letter "G."  he was totally stoked, because (obviously) his name starts with a "G."  he completed his G notebook page to add to his alphabet binder, and practiced writing his upper and lower case Gs.

i didn't plan much for him this week (and i may not need to for the rest of the month), since he's been happy to work out of some workbooks i got him a while ago.  there have been many mornings where i've seen him working out of one of his workbooks (i got him 3) without any prompting.  it's pretty neat to see his interest in them naturally develop.  not that all kids will develop a natural interest in doing workbooks for fun.  i personally think it's genetic...i was that kid who really enjoyed doing workbooks.


these two love to be a part of "doing school." while lani is happy to have markers and a sheet of paper to draw on, cash sometimes will insist on getting his own worksheet.  much like last year, i used a "worksheet" from here, and i corresponded the print out to the letter gibson was learning for the week.  cash also enjoys cutting and gluing things, and both cash and lani like to use stickers.  LOTS of stickers.  they're definitely working those fine motor skills.  i have a feeling that i'll probably end up having these two start school at the same time, since they're so close in age.



this week we read from exodus chapter 1, and did a short discussion on the reading.  sometimes, i'll have emma do a worksheet to go along with the reading, but since she's already familiar with the chapter, i didn't think it was necessary.

memory verse:

this week's memory verse is genesis 1:1.  i'm trying something new with verse memorization this year, and implementing this system.  we have been fairly inconsistent the past few years in verse memorization, and that's really my fault.  i don't think i had a good system, and i was inconsistent in having us review the verse every day (probably because i didn't have a good system!).

nature study/walk:

we are going to try and follow ambleside online's nature study schedule, plus a weekly, weather permitting, nature walk.  for the fall, AO has cultivated crops on their nature study schedule, and this week's crop was the green bean.  emma did a lovely sketch and watercolor of some the handful of green beans we harvested from the garden.  and then that night, we cooked them for dinner! we'll probably focus on as many crops from our garden first, and then continue to things we find at the grocery store.

we went to seahurst park for our nature walk this week.  heading to the beach is one of our kids' favorite things to do, and thanks to some amazing weather, we were able to do a pleasant stroll along the water.


we're using the pimsleur language program to learn conversational french, and a free, online language course through our public library called muzzy.  like last year, we listen to the pimsleur cds in our car when we're running errands, and watch a few video lessons from muzzy on our home days (a.k.a. the days we don't need to use the car in the morning).  this week, was review since i did not do any french lessons over the summer.

composer study:

for term 1, we will be listening to music by hildegard von bingen.  this week and the next, we're listening to antiphon, o quam mirabilis.  this music sounded much different from the music we studied last year.  emma observed that there were no instruments, just a voice singing, but it didn't feel like you were just listening to a singing voice.

aaaannnd...that's a wrap! thanks for hanging out until the end!


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