Sunday, March 1, 2009

Our MONTH of Learning

I've been too distracted lately to really sum up what we've been learning. Part of it is the looming (we hope) move and all of its stresses (and excitements!), and part of it is that I've been eagerly researching and mulling over Amirah's 6-year-old year (or first grade, or whatever you want to call it!).

Here are the resources I have acquired already, or I'm planning to acquire soon:

Tefillah - Amirah will be getting her very own siddur (prayer book) on her 6th birthday (3 more months). Either the Shilo siddur or the Artscroll chinuch siddur. Tefillah has been going *great*. Raizel knows most of the words now. I'm going to add a couple of new tefillos soon. We've added a little biur tefillah - about 5-10 minutes talking about the meaning of one of the prayers, both linguistically and spiritually. I've enjoyed that a lot.

Hebrew/kriyah - For kriyah, we'll continue with Migdalor and supplement with Shaah shel menuchah (Eli will start with the first book soon). For oral Hebrew, we'll continue with Rosetta Stone, and Shalom Ivrit.

Torah study - just a continued exploration of the weekly parsha, and an in-depth study of the first few parshas of bereishit

Mitzvah/melacha/middah of the week - This has also been great. When we finish going through the 39 melachos, we'll just continue spiralling through them at greater depths.

Reading - This is the only subject for which I don't have a really good match for Amirah. We've taken a break from formal instruction since last month. She has been reading books to me every day and when I am spending 1-on-1 time with Eli, one of her jobs is to read one book to Raizel. We've also been doing Read to the Dogs. It's been really nice to just have some time to soak in what she has learned so far. I think in another month or so we'll try using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (which I already have).

Writing/Grammar - We're going to be using First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind.

Math - We are so very happy with Singapore Math. We'll just continue working with that.

Science - We also are very happy using R.E.A.L. Science for Kids, Life (biology) Level 1. All the kids can hang out and do the science experiments together, and the activities are really fun. The supply list is pretty basic, and it makes it very easy to be organized. When we finish that (6-10 months from now) I'm looking forward to using the Space Science series.

History - We started studying ancient history a couple of weeks ago using Story of the World (Ancient Times). We're supplementing with books from the library and various books of Jewish history that we'll read in chronological sync with the Story of the World. So far we've studied nomadic life and the beginning of living in villages, the fertile crescent, and the city of Jericho (the second oldest walled city we know of!).

Outside of our home learning time, we're continuing our swimming lessons 2x/week, and our Monday art/music class. Those are the only committed times we have. Plus my teaching time. We can add in OMSI classes and Tryon Creek nature classes as we choose. Storytime at the library. Or not. I like the week remaining flexible and low-stress; makes it much easier with 4 in tow. We have a nice amount of learning time, plenty of time for play/free-choice, and plenty of time with friends. It's been a nice balance.

I won't go into all the other details of what we've covered this past month, but that's a little taste of what we've done and a little taste of what's to come. I really love this life.

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