Monday, January 3, 2011

The First 100 Days

We've loved our first 100 days of this school year, and it's about time for this blog to start serving its intended function.  It will take me a few posts to bring us from September to the present, so consider this the whirlwind tour.  We've "fallen in luck" with many, many great books, websites, videos, and project ideas.  I hope their mention here will make them easier for someone else to find and use.

Colonial America
Almost all of September we devoted to America leading up to the Revolution.  Our accompanying art unit dealt with folk art (artful objects that also serve a useful daily function).  For example:
--stenciling (not on our walls, thankfully, as in colonial times)
--felt applique
--homemade potpourri (orange peel works with anything!)
--weaving a pot holder on a handmade mini-loom (Exhibit A)

(Who says homeschooling doesn't take you out of your comfort zone?)  

Our more historical projects included:
--reading American Girl series books about Felicity, a fictional character from Colonial Williamsburg (VA).  One of the books in this series became P's 1st "reading-a-whole-book-in-one-night-under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight" experience.

--making a technicolor model of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America.  (This is a marvelous project--thanks to  

Lost behind the Governor's Palace

--taking a family trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.  Before our Williamsburg trip, we gained a lot from the childrens' activities and maps on their website:

--memorizing the 13 colonies and part of The Declaration of Independence.  P did well with the difficult vocabulary in the Declaration, altering it now and then to suit her needs.  Think "unalienable rights."  Here's P's creative version:
“That they are endowed by their Creator with certain rights that no alien can take away”


(Those are my favorite highlights on Colonial Times.  On to the Revolution next time...)  


I won't say much about our first science unit of the year, except to recommend the book that I used as our anchor: The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane.  This book has a full elementary school curriculum on basic weather, hurricanes, and tornadoes.  Not all children's books are comprehensive unit studies, but I couldn't find anything this book left out.  Thanks, Ms. Frizzle!!

Finally, A Word About Spelling
This year, I have organized our spelling program around common prefixes and suffixes. Each week, the spelling words all begin with the same prefix or end with the same suffix.  I discovered a few weeks ago one evidence of the new age in which P is experiencing life.  When I announced that the prefix of the week would be “trans-,” as in “transport” or "transcontinental," she lit up: "Oh, and like trans-fat!”

1 comment:

  1. That girl just cracks me up! It seems fitting that she would think of that. You seem to be enjoying it as much as the kids are.