Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fourth grade and Pre-K plans

Better late than never! Here's what we're studying this year:

I am delighted to have found this program. It presents history as HIS story and examines man's beliefs about God and humanity and focuses on how those beliefs affect every aspect of a society. (Very Francis Schaeffer) It uses living books and teaches through stories - no dry textbooks here! Because there are books listed for multiple grade levels, I plan to include Little Man, to some extent, so that he can be part of the discussions. In addition to our reading, we'll keep a timeline, do some map work and throw in some History Pockets when we can.

Science and Pre-K - Five in a Row
Oh, the joy of being able to do Five in a Row again with Little Man! And since I know Z-Man will not be able to resist listening in on books that he has come to view as old friends, our science program this year will be based on Five in a Row. We'll group books together that have a shared science theme and do science units - weather, light, simple machines, oceans. Each boy can participate at his own level. One thing I know they'll love is doing LOTS of experiments. For the weather unit, we'll be using Exploring Weather from the And God Created Science series. Tornadoes in a bottle, make your own clouds, rain gauge and barometer - good fun!

Language Arts - I really like the Charlotte Mason approach. We'll be taking passages from Bible readings, poetry and other reading to use as copywork and dictation. We'll take our language arts lessons, spelling and vocabulary words from those passages. Z-Man will continue to work on cursive. We'll also read poetry that relates to our studies. Z-Man will work on narrating after we read and he'll either write those narrations or dictate them to me to type. Little Man is working on letter sounds and is doing great.

Bible - We're planning to use Bible Study Guide for All Ages again. They just love those stick figures! We'll continue to learn some new hymns and work on character qualities using the online Character Journal. It really bothers me that we only do that during the school year. The Bible is not a school subject. I want my kids to know that it's infinitely more important than that and we should be seriously studying it all the time.

Art - In addition to the Five in a Row art lessons, we'll focus on early American artists, starting with Benjamin West. Many of his paintings will tie in very nicely with our Bible reading and American History. We'll read some biographies too.

Math - mostly Saxon, but I have found some football math that Z-Man loves. I'd like to transition to more of a math unit study format but Math on the Level wasn't in the budget this year and I don't feel quite confident enough to plan that out on my own. We'll just try to supplement with a lot of living math books for now. Little Man has lots of math manipulatives to play with - that really could be a whole separate post.

That's pretty much it. We'll be listening to various composers and reading the occasional biography as well as listening to Classics for Kids. We plan to read poetry at lunchtime and are focusing on Christina Rossetti first since her work is a good, kid-friendly introduction to poetry.

Oh! I almost forgot one of the most important things! Z-Man now has time scheduled every day to pursue studies of his own choosing. Right now, he's chosen to study World War II so we made a trip to the library and found a very intriguing book about trickery and deception in WWII:

We've had three days of "school" so far this year and so far, so good!

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