Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fall 2017-2018 - Term One Wrap-Up...

We finished Term One of the 2017-2018 academic year a few weeks back. Today, I'm going to share some thoughts as to how we fared.

Year 8

Bible - Riley's working through AO's Year 7 Bible Reading Plan. She also continues to copy the Book of Psalms using Do You Journible? This seems to be a good pairing for her.

History - Riley's been diligently working independently on her Intermediate Beautiful Feet Medieval History study. I posted a review of her first term with that program here. In addition, she's been reading The Story of the Middle Ages by H. A. Guerber and In the Days of Alfred the Great by Eva March Tappan. Both of which are going well. The second of which, she writes a narration after each reading. She's also keeping a Book of Centuries.

Literature - Riley started the year reading the following lit books:

The History of English Literature for Boys and Girls by H. E. Marshall
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

I am reading along with her independently so we are able to have discussion. Approximately four weeks into the term, around chapter nine, we mutually decided to scrap The Once and Future King. Neither of us were enjoying it and it seemed like overkill with our other King Arthur readings. We are continuing the other three books much to our delight.

Poetry - Riley read 2-3 poems per week from The Oxford Book of English Verse by Arthur Quiller-Couch. She then translated one poem per week of her choice into modern English. This was a difficult exercise in the start, but became much easier as the term went on. She will study a different poet in the second term.

Grammar - Last year, Riley picked up Easy Grammar 8 from our shelf, after Jensen's Grammar failed. She's continuing it this year until it's finished.

Spelling - Riley's continuing with IEW Phonetic Zoo. I am noticing correctly spelled words carrying over into her narrations!

Penmanship - Riley enjoyed Prescripts by Classical Conversations last year so she is completing another book this year on Poetry. The books offer a combination of cursive and drawing, both of which are lovely.

Math - Riley is taking Pre-Algebra online with Jann Perkins through My Homeschool Math Class. This is a win-win for both of us!! I can't tell you what a relief it is not to have tears and a battle over math. Riley has really taken the bull by the horns and is doing great with this online class.

Natural History - Riley's using AO Year 7 science this year. She has read and notebooked through the following books this term:

The Lay of the Land by Dallas Lore Sharp
Eric Sloane's Weather Book by Eric Sloane
Secrets of the Universe: Discovering the Universal Laws of Science by Paul Fleisher
The Wonder Book of Chemistry by Jean Henri Fabre
First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson
Adventures with a Microscope by Richard Headstrom
Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy by Jay Ryan and accompanying Field Journal
Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball

Riley's really enjoying Lay of the Land and Adventures with a Microscope. Signs and Seasons has been somewhat of a bust. She started the year by reading it aloud to Ruben and working jointly. However, that didn't go over as well as I'd hoped so she is now working independently, albeit, very loosely from the plan. I think if we are to use that book in earnest, I would need to take the lead, but I just haven't found time. It may very well be a title we set aside for now. 

Handicrafts - Riley is knitting a scarf. 

Year 7

Bible - Ruben's working through AO's Year 6 Bible Reading Plan. In addition, I have him copying random passages from Proverbs. 

History - I settled on reading Famous Men of the Middle Ages aloud to Ruben this term. I read a chapter each Monday and Wednesday. He then notebooks a page each Tuesday and Thursday. This seems to be a good fit for him. He is also listening independently to What in the World?, Vol. 2 by Diana Waring. You can read more about Ruben's history study here

Literature - Ruben's literature works in conjunction with his history study. We read the following books in Term One:

The Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite de Angeli

All of which were hits. The Black Fox of Lorne, I ended up reading aloud in the evenings to the entire family. It's a fabulous book if you can get your hands on a copy!

Ruben is also reading Watership Down by Richard Adams and Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott along with Riley and I. 

Penmanship - In addition to Ruben's Bible copy work, he's also working through Let's Write and Spell by Mary R. Johnson and Warren T. Johnson two days per week. 

Composition - Ruben's using IEW's Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons this year. He worked through the first eleven lessons in Term One. I'll be doing a separate post on the status of this program.

Natural History - Ruben read Whitetail and Major: The Story of a Black Bear, both by Robert McClung, which he greatly enjoyed. He tried Secrets of the Woods and School of the Woods, both by Long unsuccessfully. As noted above, Signs and Seasons didn't work for him either. We're still working through how to go about science for the second term. 

Math - We began term one, with Strayer-Upton Primary Arithmetics. Then switched to RightStart Mathematics the last week of the term. Given the games, I think RS is a better fit. We'll see how Ruben progresses in the second term. 

Life Skills - Ruben learned how to run the chain saw this fall. 

Morning Time

I posted a 6-week reflection on our Morning Time here. We are still progressing and nothing has changed since that time.


I haven't done much in the way of formal lessons with Levi up to this point. Most days, he listens in on Morning Time. We've read picture books, harvested the garden, picked apples, baked pies, canned, and made sauerkraut. He began writing his name and a few random letters. We worked on memorizing The Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge, as he's a Cloverbud this year. We've looked at various art prints and listened to a few classical music pieces. I did start reading Egermeier's Bible Story Book aloud to him. He also has a coloring book with Bible story pictures that he likes to color while I read. We've went on nature walks and he participated in a local Kitchen Chemistry Class, where he learned about cohesion/adhesion, physical/chemical change, acids/bases, and density through a variety of hands on activities and experiments. He might tell you this was the highlight of his term. Overall, his first term of Kindergarten has been pretty relaxed as far as formal academics are concerned. 

There you have it!...Our first term reflections. Truth be told, I've been feeling very guilty about Levi's education or the lack thereof. It seems I did so much more with the older kids when they were his age. However, in putting together this post, I was reminded of all the wonderful hands on activities he's participated in over the past twelve weeks. The photos show just a smattering of the totality. What seemed lost in the day to day, turned into a beautiful collage of living and learning experiences. I have come to see, this post has a whole lot of God's grace written all over it! 

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