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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Next Steps: Planning for Spring

I'm starting to feel a bit more confident about my planning abilities... though there's still SO MUCH to learn. A few ideas:

Tom's a very concrete thinker, and we need to spend some time on colonial America/Native Americans. These are fairly concrete topics, but a little "heady" so I'm combining the two into one six week program of study. I'm trying to focus on what/where/when content as opposed to "what is religious freedom" content (though getting a little bit in there) :

  • maps/geography (from Enchanted Learning),
  • readings with comprehension questions and writing prompts (from Edhelper),
  • hands-on activities (indian weaving; colonial crafts);
  • a few field trips (Plimoth Plantation, and probably Sturbridge Village).
  • The plan is to go to the Wampanoag Pow-wow in the summer.

We've already attended a presentation by a Wampanoag educator at the local children's museum (though quite honestly I think Tom got almost nothing out of the experience; I think it was too "talky" and there were too few hands-on opportunities).

For math, we're just continuing with Touchmath, and adding in some hands-on activities and the like that I've picked up from various sources. Right now we're working through the second grade curriculum: word problems and multiplication. I'm also supplementing with pages of add/subtract problems.

Reading will continue with novels of interest; just finished James and the Giant Peach, and we're about to start Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I'm hoping we can do a Laura Ingalls book as well (he doesn't know the story, but it fits in so well with American history!).

For writing, I think it's time to get more serious about organizing thoughts. I've downloaded a trial version of Kidspiration Software (concept mapping), and we'll see if that helps. If not, we can try more basic outlining... need to get him to move from stream of consciousness to the idea of real communication, and that's going to be a real process. If we can get there, though, it'll be WELL worth it!

For arts: continuing with clarinet and piano (I'm looking for simplified versions of sheet music for selections from Little Einsteins -- found Fur Elise, but that's the only one so far!). He and his Dad visited the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and I'm guessing we'll go back for a program. And... we are planning our very own homeschool art show! (wish us luck...)

Science will get serious with units upcoming on The Human Body (also health, of course), and Oceans -- later in the spring.

What do you guys think? Thoughts/suggestions welcome!


Casdok said...

There is so much to learn, but sounds like you are doing a great job!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are working hard and doing a great job!

My sons really enjoy the Bill Nye the Science Guy series. I was amazed at how much the absorbed from the ones we taped from PBS so we invested in a few of them (PRICEY). I think we will be trying to get the rest from the library when it is time.

I think his reading material is excellent. My son is in third grade and he is just starting to read the treehouse, etc. series type of books. I hope he will progress like Tommy is!!!!

Really do appreciate your sharing your journey! Deb