Friday, August 31, 2007

Schooling (and Bragging)

I have read some of the first grade curriculum now, and my first thought was, "What have we gotten ourselves into?"

Today's lessons:

Language Arts, their plan: fill out a worksheet called "autobiography" that is a "fill in the blank with one word then draw a picture" worksheet.
Language Arts, what we did: discuss the roots and definition of the word "autobiography." We're reading "Little House on the Prairie," which Caleb identified as an autobiography. Outline an autobiography with one "chapter" for each year of Caleb's life and write the first chapter. Then move on to other topics--edit a short story into a play.

Math, their plan: do online worksheets identifying numbers 1-6.
Math, our plan: introduce the concept and look of long division.

Science, their plan: What lives in the ocean?
Science, what we did: Experiment--which holds better, low temp hot glue or high temp hot glue?

Social Studies, their plan: What are some rules and why do we have them?
Social Studies, our plan: Discuss personal responsibility and talk about not doing things that hurt us when we're angry.

Arts, their plan: draw with crayons
Arts, what we did: Watch puppetry videos (hooray Maxed Out Puppetry!); discuss how different puppets are constructed and where people get puppets. Design your own puppet. Write instructions for how you think you could effectively turn a stuffed animal into a puppet. Discuss what is required to create a puppetry troupe (puppeteers, etc) and name the troupe (Timed Out Puppetry, since Caleb's middle name is Timothy, and Tim is short for that, and when you add an 'ed' that turns into Timed). Plan to build our own puppets and put on a show.

And I was worried that my haphazard, unplanned homeschool was inadequate! None of my lessons were planned. I just siezed the moment and the kids' interests and made sure to talk about them. We covered all the required subjects, and in much more depth, with hands-on activities, and on a much more advanced level.

Now what am I going to do about the "word wall" assignment? They want me to post words on the wall for Caleb to practice sight-reading and spelling. The words assigned this week include "little" and "a." Caleb should be learning words like "homosapien" and "technocrat," and even those he probably would pronounce right (or nearly right) the first try. Maybe we can make the first grade word wall for Anda. She's only 4, but it's really just on her level....


C. Wilson said...

Hi Becca,

Did n't they give you some sort of entrance placement exam on line before you signed up? Caleb is AT LEAST a 3rd grade level, and probably is more like a 4th grade level. It would be much better for him to be doing that curriculum--not so boring for him! But hey, if he has it really easy the first year, at least he won't think school is hard! ;)

(Even Beth-el, who is not at Caleb's reading level, is in second grade this year, and I still think some of the curriculum materials are ridiculous and oversimplified.)

C. Wilson said...

You should definitely use the materials for Anda instead. Then next year, get them placed higher (does the program you chose have that option available?). The program we use had the placement tests available online, so we were able to do it at home, and Beth-el wasn't subjected to the pressure of a teacher-guided "test." It was fun for her, and she didn't feel inadequate or intimidated.

morelightthanburden said...

Right on! This is how I feel (though I admit, I don't do so many lessons in a day. It comes more through conversation and coincidence--though we actually have very similar-type conversations, etc.). Nice to see . . .