I know many people do a weekly wrap up but it felt like more of a day to day check list of what we did and I honestly didn’t see the value in it. Because I saw no value, I never did it regularly. Recently, I saw on another blog (can’t remember which, sorry!), they did a monthly wrap up. What a great idea! A month is enough time to see actual progress in something, or lack of progress. It’s a great way to reflect on what you’ve done with the intention of adjusting it if it needs to be. My favorite though, its a chance to really see those leaps you may not see on a week to week basic. So, rather then a day to day recap, here’s our monthly recap which I’ll be doing in sync with our ES check in meetings every month. It’ll help me get my thoughts in order when creating our learning records so double bonus for me.
Language Arts – We’ve read Mr. Popper’s penguins and enjoyed it so much we made a lapbook to go along with it as well as a comparison with the movie that came out a few years ago. Still plugging away at handwriting but we finished our handwriting without tears kindergarten workbook so I’ll be going back and reviewing trouble letters and numbers, numbers first. We have some reversals going on but he’s got the basics down and can write any number I ask him too. We just need to work on the alphabet in general, upper and lower.
We put reading on hold this month completely. It wasn’t working. So we backtracked and worked on more phonemic awareness skills, specifically rhyming. It was a struggle, even at the beginning of this month. I’m proud to say that things he would cry about the beginning of the year are finally clicking though! He can finally tell a rhyming pair when I say it out loud. E.g. when I tell him to stand up if they rhyme, or scream out no if they don’t for house/mouse, bat/car, fox/box, etc. He’s also able to see three words and tell me which one DOESN’T rhyme. And biggest of all, he is JUST starting to be able to tell me rhyming words when they are in context. E.g. There’s a purple bunny. Doesn’t he look _____. (funny). This last one is really hard for him still so I know we aren’t done yet. When he’s able to start telling me words that rhyme, even made up words, with a word I supply, then we’ll move back to All About Reading and see if we can make any progress at that point.
History – We’re using Story of the World Vol 1 and made it through to ancient Greece. This is one of my favorite areas in history because I just find it so exciting, especially the myths. We learned about Sparta and Athens and their fundamental different outlooks on life and how it should be lived. Green Bubbles decided he liked Athens a lot better because he didn’t want to have to be a solider! We talked about the Greek Gods and their myths including The Golden Apple. If you don’t know it, it’s when Zeus creates a golden apple with the words “For the most beautiful”. The three main Goddesses, Hera, Aphrodite, and Artemis all fight over who is the most beautiful and a human is chosen, Paris from Troy, to judge. Trojan war… Green Bubbles and Little Miss made golden apples after we read the story. We also talked about the Greek war against Persia and how they were was a temporary peace between Athens and Sparta, for a short time at any rate. We made a Greek boat out of ice cream on a blue frosting ocean (in the picture above) when we learned about the battle. Our ice cream boat isn’t that authentic, especially since it’s missing the sail, but the kids LOVED making it and Green Bubbles had no problems talking about history during our meeting this month.
Math – We hit an easy section with math so Green Bubbles wasn’t really challenged that much. I like when that happens though because it gives him a confidence boost which I feel like everybody needs at times. It always feels good when your learning something new and your able to say “I already knew that!”. He kept laughing at how ‘easy’ everything was. We covered shapes, specifically 3d vs 2d and flat surfaces. We also went over creating shapes out of other shapes, e.g. two triangles put together can make a square. There was also measuring length and width, coloring the tallest something, or putting an x on the longest thingamabob.
Science – We have been going really slow in science lately but I’m ok with that. We’re very near the end of the book and still have a few months left of school! We spent the entire month of birds, partly because of Mr. Popper’s Penguins. We learned the characteristics of birds, feathers and hard eggs. Some birds don’t fly, like penguins. Where penguins live, what they eat, what eats them. There were a couple really cool field trips involving the safari park! The second time we went to the Safari park we got a chance to go to the Butterfly Jungle which is there only for a limited times, so we were able to add butterflies into science this month as well.
PE – Green Bubbles kept getting sick on our swim lesson days so we have a LOT of make ups stacking up right now. That also means we didn’t have many lessons this month so I counted our ‘official’ pe in other ways including all of our nature study hikes, riding his bike, climbing all over the playgrounds, and playing catch with me or his sister. Next week will be busy because we’re going to double up his swim lessons and add an extra day in for swimming just to catch up and not have such a huge back log of make ups that we haven’t been using.
Little Miss – She’s decided she wants to do school as well! I bought a leapfrog preschool workbook at Target for $1.21 on clearance. When she brings it to me we’ll do a few pages here or there, focusing on following directions. She loves it but I’m not expecting her to really learn from it beyond listening skills. My goal is for her to keep the book clean and when she just wants to color I direct her to her numerous coloring books, wet erase boards, or blank paper, all of which is in her own official school shelf within her reach. She, of course, sits on anything I do with Green Bubbles as the mood strikes her. She did make a golden apple with us for history, loved visiting the zoo, and pretends to know what we are talking about when we practice rhyming words.
Megatron – Not that we’re doing anything structured but…. he’s turned 1 this month. He’s just started clapping and blowing his first kisses. Pointing is one of his favorite things and does it every morning at the window to show me it’s daytime and I need to get him out of his crib now. He’s adding new words as well, including bird, tree, book, and bye. Of course, I’m not sure anyone besides myself would be able to understand that’s what he’s saying!
Overall, I really like the way this month went. I think we had many more good days than bad. We took some rabbit trails in science that led to some fun activities and an awesome lapbook. We’re making progress in language skills and that always makes me happy. It’s taken almost the entire school year, but I think we finally found our groove for math where I feel like we’re getting a decent amount of work done without spreading it to far out or adding on to many extra activities. The math games suggested in the instructors guide are great, but I never seemed to fit them into our days without stretching our math out to entirely to much time. Most of all, I’m excited we did so many of the activities for history. We started off doing them but got out of the habit and they really are so important in keeping Green Bubbles engaged, interested, and having fun.
Linking up to Weird Unsocialzed Homeschoolers.