Today was just one of those days when everything went just right. We've met most of our learning goals for the month, so we were able to finish everything up before lunch. Today we did tefillah, torah stories, our Bereishis book (copying words from the torah), kesivah (finishing our review book, then on to our 2nd grade book!), vocabulary learning and review for biblical Hebrew, a page of spelling, a reading lesson, three pages of math, a science experiment on high and low air pressure, and two pages of English printing. And yes, our day was leisurely and didn't start until 10:00. We finished all that at 12:00 (and took a 15-minute snack break), then I worked with Eli until 12:30. After lunch, we spent two hours at the park riding our bikes, and then Amirah had a playdate. Then instead of beans, we had hamburgers. Yum. (And it's all MH's fault for making me drool about hamburgers last night...) And Dean went and got a new bed for Raizel. Hooray! Big twin bed! And Avi met his new-to-him toddler bed with a decided lack of enthusiasm. Two chapters of Guardians of Ga'Hoole, and everyone was out. Except me. Heh, heh.
A friend of a friend asked a friend, "But do they have fun?" after seeing what we did for our learning time. The short answer: YES, YES, YES! Lots. The learning itself is very enjoyable. Our pace is relaxed. The kids generally show enthusiasm for what we are doing and I don't push them to do too much at all. Our lessons just don't take very long. Truly 15 minutes per subject, maybe sometimes 20-25 for reading and math. And when learning is done, we're very good at doing lots and lots of playing. :)
The fun learning news is our new science curriculum. I had downloaded pages from Apologia's Zoology curriculum and it looked really good so I went ahead and ordered Book 1 (of 3). This one focuses on ornithology in the first several months. I liked our other curriculum (R.E.A.L. Science for Kids - Life Science) well enough, but Amirah has a knack for science and while the activities were enjoyable we weren't really learning very much that was new information for her. I'm very pleased with our first week or so with the new book. The pacing is good, the vocabulary is much more in-depth than the other book, and the concepts are a little more challenging (meaning I'm learning a lot too!). And Amirah loves learning about birds, and it ties in neatly with our Ga'Hoole series we've been reading (it's about a Jew-ish owl kingdom). This week we've been learning about how birds fly - the faster air on top of their wings creates an area of low pressure, and the air under the wings is normal pressure, so they get lift! Then we did an experiment with a straw in a full glass of water. With another straw, we blew across the hole of the straw in the water, creating an area of lower pressure above the straw. Sure enough, the water crept up the straw and lightly squirted Amirah in the face! Then we went on to learn about aerodynamics and drag. I'm very happy with this book, and looking forward to learning more.
The series includes Zoology 1/2/3, Astronomy, and Botany. Each one is a year-long course, so it could be good through 5th grade. The normal "classical" order would be biology, astronomy/geology, chemistry, and physics (for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4). If this continues to work this well, maybe we'll stick with this curriculum instead. We'll see! The series is geared to be good for up to 6th grade (the books contain extra challenges for older students).
Wishing everyone a happy Wednesday.