Sunday, May 24, 2009

Looking back. Looking Ahead.

Looking Back: Some of what we did over the past year.

A few pages from the kids' United States Notebooks. The top three are from Larkin's. The others are from Miah's.

Other samples of Miah's first grade work. Mostly artwork and a little math and copywork.

Some of Larkin's "preschool" work. It seems kind of ridiculous to call him a preschooler. He was working right alongside Miah in most of what we were doing. He has started reading and always has math on the brain. The first picture on the slideshow is of the first time Larkin wrote his name all by himself, which was July 2008. The second picture is a self-portrait with a soldier helmet.

We discovered lapbooks. Miah made this Thanksgiving one, but Larkin was really not into it. He just made one page, which you can see in the above slideshow.

I asked Larkin if he wanted to do a lapbook on crustaceans, which he was really interested in at the time. He was excited about this one and worked hard on it. It was laid out like a regular book, though, instead of using a file folder. The crab matching game was a huge hit with him. He learned the names of the 14 different crabs remarkably fast.
Larkin also made a lapbook about mollusks, and Miah did one on horses.
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In January, we did a unit on the human body. The kids made this drawing by themselves.
We began our timeline with Creation and made it to about 400 BC. I really enjoyed this, because I learned a lot. (The kids liked it too.)

Looking Ahead: A vague plan for the coming year.

First off, summer break. I have an impossible list of things to accomplish in the next few weeks, but maybe it will at least give me some guidance so I don't sit around blogging the whole time.
I hope to:
finish cutting out all the felt figures for Bible lessons.
prepare some Montessori activities.
sew a couple skirts and aprons. (This will be a big challenge since I don't sew.)
organize the cupboards, drawers and closets.
make some continent boxes.
organize my heaping piles of recipes.
learn how to cook. (Yeah, right. I wish.)
potty train Zahana. (LONG overdue.)
And I'd like to read to and play lots of games with the kids. And spend as much time as possible in the woods, the mountains, the creek.

As for books and learning, we're looking forward to beginning Apologia's Young Explorer Series. We'll be using the astronomy book this year. Let me tell you how long I've been "looking forward" to this. When Miah was preschool age, we were not planning on homeschooling, but I put her in the local homeschool co-op's preschool classes as a cheap alternative to regular preschool. At registration, we were given a little bag of catalogs and coupons, among them one for Apologia science. Looking through the catalog, I got so excited and thought, "Oh my goodness! I have to homeschool so I can use this stuff!" (I like science.) Actually, I'm not really into astronomy, but future books include botany and zoology. And it's all based on a Charlotte Mason style of learning, including narration, keeping a notebook, and super-cool experiments! (Woo-hoo!) (It helps for the teacher to be excited, right?)
We'll continue with our timeline, Singapore math, Rosetta Stone Spanish, and phonics, copywork and reading.
I hope to do a better job with our Bible lessons by making them more visual/tactile. I'd also like to finish the book Leading Little Ones to God with Miah and Larkin.
Nature study and art will always be present, and I'll probably work in a special time for each of these too.

BUT, in the morning, we're going to the beach.


  1. Fantastic timeline. That is on our agenda for next year, I must clear a loooong wall! Yeah for a little summer break!

  2. YOU were not planning to homeschool? That is amazing. You obviously adapted QUITE well!

  3. Oh--and Laurel and I are also going to sew skirts. I found a really cute 3-tiered skirt tutorial that looks easy...

  4. Nice lapbooks! I have a skirt sewing goal...I am not much of a sewer either- but it seems like an easy place to start.Have fun at the beach!

  5. Your children have done some great work on their lapbooks. I had so wished Owen would enjoy doing them but he doesn't.

    We're tackling astronomy here next year too!

  6. Wow! What incredible memories and moments you are creating together as a family - they will never forget the time you invested in them. Cheers to summer break - may all your plans be blessed...