December is always a full month. I have set out to keep it as simple as I can over the last years, but no matter how I try it's full. Events and gifts, cards , decluttering, and school.
Yes, school is just about last on the list. And it's good, we do light school. A few more reading aloud, a little less seat work. It's kind for all of us, peaceful December.
My most recent excitement is deciding that we need a school room. It is not an easy interruption, clearing the table for meals or any other thing that needs to take place on the kitchen table. Not only that, but I think it would be lovely to have walls on which to pin my maps and other school wall-art. Mostly, I'd love to have a chalk or white board.
I started dreaming on moving school to the basement. We have a large playroom down there, it seemed the logical place to have school and tables, posters and pencils. However I've since changed my mind, and decided to put school in the room that has no name. It's a small room off our family room. Right now it's a Lego room, home to a large collection of toys sprawled across the floor. A bookshelf, a drying rack, a file cabinet. Nothing much in there but space and window and WALLS. So I'm excited to begin the changes this room needs to work school out of the kitchen. Oh, can you tell I'm excited? I can't stop rambling about it.
The other wonderful part is that my grandmother has asked if I want her old teaching table. My grandmother got her teaching certificate when she was 16 years old. Must have been about 1930. She worked in a one-room school house in Nebraska for 6 years, running the school and the furnace to keep them warm. What a lovely story! Years later after my father was born, she held a Kindergarten in a finished garage off of their home. In these days Kindergarten was optional. So in this Kindergarten she had four large tables for her students, my grandfather made each of quality Walnut. And she would like to know if I want the table! Oh joy! I cannot wait!
I did go to visit my grandparents over the weekend, a very, very sweet time. I wasn't able to bring the truck to move the table though, the roads were snowy and I drove my car.
I will be posting photos of the new school room as it develops.
Reviewing the month of November goes like this;
We stuck to our plan of Unschooling Fridays. We had a lovely time focusing on Nature Studies but also spending time on Autumn crafts and then, snow play!
For all of my three students;
I'm using Start Write to work on Penmanship. I usually copy of the memory verse the boys are working on for Awana and they copy them daily. The boys need plenty of work on Penmanship, all three. We also read through their Awana books for Bible stories and conversation.
The boys continue to practice Classical Conversations memory work as usual, and Joey is doing extra practice work. Joey will try for Memory Master this year, which will require him to have memorized 100% of the facts we've learned this year; English, World History Timeline, Geography, Latin, Science, History, Math. This is a lot of work but memorizing seems to come easily to him and he gets better.
Our Classical Conversations has spurred topics and mini studies in the solar system and constellations, and we follow up with Story of the World learning about Islam and other Medieval Middle Eastern History.
We continue with Nature Studies, Art, and have practiced Tin Whistle in Novemember.
Eldest, Third Grade, turned 9 in November! What a fun month for him.
For his Essentials Writing Class, we're reading through First Language Lessons. He's been writing about Knights and the Middle Ages, and Honey Pot Ants.
For Spelling we've used SpellingCity.com (too fun!) and practice. Luckily, Spelling comes easily to Joe.
Middlest , First Grade
We keep personal Calendars to discuss the format & work on the concepts of time and planning.
Nate is working through Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lesson and improving on his reading daily. He likes to read Bob books and I am working through Writing With Ease with he and Eli.
Eli has been working through various workbooks for Math. Numbers, addition and subtraction seem to come quickly to Eli.
He is also doing daily reading lessons in 100 Easy Lessons. Eli has read a few books, but I think this book is a good place for him to start.
My husband suggested that I begin to create monthly report to keep record of what we're doing, what materials we're using, etc. Truthfully, I'm a little miserable at keeping track elsewhere. In doing this, I'm also seeing some weak areas I'd like to improve upon.
I haven't really taken time to set goals in our work. Perhaps I'll set some sort of calendar to create goals. I'd like to work through our read alouds more quickly, and work more quickly through our Math books too. I will start Eli on Saxon 1, and probably begin 1/4 into the book, and take Nate there with us. Going back a little will reinforce the work that he has done and he and Eli can do the work together. Nate is ready to begin spelling, and it's just time to make some changes. I'll post my plan one day. :)