Tomorrow we finish our second week of Oak Meadow. So far, I am loving it! I am using OM Grade 5 History and Science for Thing 3.
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.