Thursday, September 23, 2010
In fifth grade, we are studying the envrironment and our ecosystem. We talked about living and non-living things in our environment. Here, Thing 3 is making a mural of a forest scene and including both living and non-living things in his drawing.
When we have a busy day (like we have today), it's tempting to skip the more artsy aspects of our lessons and get on with Math, Latin and more "school-y" things. I'm trying to resist that temptation and remember that taking time to observe and draw a flower is important, too.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We are still getting used to the idea of creating these Main Lesson Books, and it gets easier with every lesson. Any Waldorf purists who happen upon this post will surely realize how woefully inadequate our MLBs are, but I'm hoping they get better over time. Don't judge me.
Here, after hearing and re-telling the story of Rapunzel, Thing 4 drew a scene to represent the story. She added the happy witch later. And yes, I realize she misspelled Rapunzel one time, but I'm torn between the Charlotte Mason idea that you never leave a word misspelled and the fact that I love looking back at my older kids' early work that has those kinds of sweet mistakes. I went with sentimental this time. Don't judge me.
Her entry about the Kush civilization:
She told me the other day, "You know, I learn so well this way. I hear a lesson, then I tell it back to you, then I write about it and then I draw a picture about it. That really helps me remember it." Success! Go ahead and judge me on this one.
Today's Science lesson about the plant food cycle:
While Thing 3's lesson plans do not call for the use of MLBs, I like them so much that I'm going to start using them with him next week.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
While I have a fabulous language arts curriculum for him, I am finding that I really like, no, I love, the language arts component of 5th grade OM, so I'm using it in addition to our other program. In Oak Meadow, Language Arts (which OM still refers to as "English") and History are integrated, so the spelling and vocabulary words, grammar lessons, as well as the writing assignments (and there are a lot of those!) and art activities are all related to the history readings. Because of this integration, by the end of a week of lessons and activities, the theme is firmly cemented in my kiddo's mind and he can see the broader picture instead of bits and pieces.
The writing was a little overwhelming at first, but it gets better with each assignment. One thing I appreciate about OM is that there are usually several writing options from which to choose. Today's history lesson listed 8 different writing assignments and had the student choose two. We took it a step further and used the other options as discussion questions which we talked about together. In the first two weeks, Thing 3 has completed 5 separate writing assignments.
As a part of the history lesson last week, we spent some time one night lying on the patio trying to locate the North Star because that's how the early explorers navigated. It turned into a family event! We all agreed that using the Garmin is preferable to navigating by the stars. The next day, Thing 3 had to write a poem about the night sky and illustrate it. He really enjoyed that.
This week, as we study Columbus, the OE Dad (what a guy!) is helping Thing 3 build a sailboat which we will try out in the pool this weekend. (Pictures to follow soon!) That's been a fun activity for the two of them.
OM Level 5 Science is fantastic, too. It starts with the basics and will build from there. The first week, we learned about Scientific Inquiry by studying and classifying birds. This week we are learning about the Scientific Method, and we're studying frogs (the barometer of environmental health) and their habitats.
My only small complaint about Oak Meadow is that I feel a little rushed at times with the weekly schedule. I really think we could spend two weeks on some topics. In the future, we may stretch some things out over a couple of weeks so we can dig a little deeper. I know that some families stretch one level of OM over two school years. The other option would be to continue OM over the summer, but, based on my history, we all know that, despite my good intentions, that's probably not going to happen.
I am so happy to have found Oak Meadow. It's perfect for us.