Well, we are in our 27th week of Sonlight P4/5 and *loving* it. Homeschool this year has been wonderful for all of us. This is a Middle Of Year 2014/2015 Update.
We love Sonlight and have enjoyed most of the read alouds immensely. So far our favorites (and by “our” I mean Max-2yo and Lexie’s-4yo) have been Uncle Wiggly, Milly Molly Mandy, the art book, The Berenstain Bears’ Science Book, and they both love the Bible storybook we are using this year-101 Favorite Stories from the Bible.
I will say I was a little annoyed with the Berenstain Bears book by the time we finished reading it, but the kids loves it! And The Favorite Stories from the Bible book is very honest and straight forward, which I love. I only chose to skip one story, about Cain and Abel, but the rest we have read and discussed openly. Lexie has been able to answer all the questions at the end of each story, and Max has been able to answer a few, too. But they both ask to get it off the shelf often.
Lexie’s Homeschool (4yo)
Lexie is reading so much- she brings me books from downstairs that she has read all by herself, and rereads them to me. She is learning to read th and sh words in All About Reading. We really love this program!
Her handwriting has improved drastically- we began writing on just blank pages (which is developmentally appropriate), moved on to large lined dry erase board, and now practice on both first grade lined dry erase board and on lined paper. Her copywork consists of practicing letters, words, and writing simple sentences at this point. She loves to write and writes letters to everyone about everything, for every occasion. She also enjoys drawing pictures. HWT has definitely helped us accomplish this!
Math is still just number sense; she has been coloring graphs, working on perception, and counting backwards. We have also introduced number lines in a very simple manner, and she understands them. She can do simple addition using manipulatives, but we haven’t worked on number sentences yet. She is still only 4, so while we do things she enjoys & she would probably enjoy that, I don’t think we are ready for that yet. To me, getting a good foundation in number sense is very important before moving on.
Science is random activities, youtube videos, books from our SL core, and anything the kids show an interest in. We will use a science curriculum next year (Elemental Science) as an intro to sciences but we won’t do it very strictly. It will introduce nature studies more formally, and how to keep a science notebook.
Max’s “homeschool” (2yo)
Mister loves joining us for learning time. His favorite things are definitely: sorting by color, glueing, and using scissors.
We are working on reinforcing his letter recognition and learning to identify his numbers. I have started introducing the “little” letters along with their “big letters” when we play around with IDing letters of the alphabet. Lexie was just so visual; You told her what a letter was one time and she knew it. Max doesn’t seem to learn that way, so I am trying to find his learning style.
He listens in on our read alouds and enjoys that time snuggling (or running around, building with blocks ..). I am actually amazed when he is “writing” and coloring, he holds his markers and crayons correctly, naturally. That was not a skill that came naturally to Lexie, I still have to correct the way she holds her pencil at times.
It has been such a mild winter, compared to the previous two years in NE. But, I think January got confused with March, because it has been colder in Feb and march than it was in January and December. So, outside time has been a little limited this winter. We haven’t done any nature walks or nature studies lately. We cannot wait for spring to finally arrive (and stick around..)!
I am planning out our curriculum for next fall. We will continue SL P4/5 through the spring/summer, taking off the month of June for vacation, and then continue with some learning time here and there until fall. In the fall, I plan to start Sonlight Core A with Lexie, Max will sit in while also enjoying BFIAR books. I will use my favorite free online curriculum from ThisReadingMama, for his PreK (OMG how is it possible he will be 3?!). Together we will all do Bible, history, and read alouds, science activities, and some art. Then they will each have their own “work” for reading and math.
That’s it! This is our middle of the year update; I can’t wait to see how we end this year.