Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Homeschool Progress Report: November 2019

First Grade

Our third official month of homeschooling is in the books! It went by so fast, but it was also very productive.


This month, M. made more progress in Singapore Primary Mathematics 2B focusing on money, including adding and subtracting dollars and cents and making change. In addition, she continued to drill addition and subtraction facts on XtraMath, and she practiced the multiplication tables in both Xtra Math and by filling out blank tables. She also did some review of solving three-digit addition and subtraction problems using the soroban. We continue to read Life of Fred every Friday (we're currently still in book four, Dogs.)


This was a very history-heavy month for M, as we finished Mesopotamia and then spent three weeks studying the Old Testament. Our Mesopotamian studies concluded with a narration on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the information for which came largely from National Geographic Investigates: Ancient Iraq: Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Iraq's Past by Beth Gruber. (M. and I both loved the fact that this book highlighted the work of archaeologists in this part of the world and the challenges they encounter.) We also spent a day or two on the Assyrians.

As we moved on to the Hebrews, we started using our new MapTrek book and CD to place our studies in the appropriate geographic context. M. labeled important cities and bodies of water on the maps "Called Out of Ur" and "The Promised Land" and briefly looked at several others. Our main text for reading about the Hebrews was In Bible Days by Gertrude Hartman, and we also supplemented with Heroes of the Bible by Olive Beaupre Miller. (I had planned to use Miller's Picturesque Tale of Progress but found the Heroes book more engaging and better suited to M's interest in the details of things like battles and the succession of judges.) As I read aloud each day, M. colored pictures related to the day's readings, some of which came from an old Bible Stories to Color coloring book I found among my old papers and others of which I found online.

Independently, Miss Muffet read sections from National Geographic Kids Who's Who in the Bible and The World of the Bible, along with the picture books Moses, Ruth, and Joseph by Maud and Miska Petersham and Sarah Laughs and Benjamin and the Silver Goblet by Jacqueline Jules. She also watched the animated film Joseph: Beloved Son Rejected Slave, which is available on Formed.org.


Our main focus for science this month was reading heavily in The Human Body: What It Is and How It Works. We covered the nervous system, five senses and digestive system, supplementing with videos and activities from Kids Health. In addition to a narration about the five senses, M. also filled out the "Taste Tracker," "The Eye," "The Brain," and "The Digestive System" worksheets, and she watched a collection of food science videos from SciShow Kids.

At the tail-end of the month, M. had a birthday, and she received a microscope, which led to revisiting Greg's Microscope by Millicent Selsam and Arnold Lobel and reading The Microscope by Maxine Kumin (and Arnold Lobel, again) for the first time.


M.'s assigned independent reading this month included: The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting, Here Comes the Bus by Carolyn Haywood, My America: Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary by Patricia Hermes, and Freddy and the Ignormus by Walter R. Brooks. She was not quite done with the Freddy book at the end of the month, but finished it 2 days later.

Memory Work

M. is still perfecting "The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee." I hope she's going to finish it in time to memorize a new poem for Christmas. She also finished memorizing all the countries of Europe, and now she is working on learning more rivers and bodies of water. She also memorized the first five books of the Bible and started to learn the Hail Mary in Latin.


Using the Classics for Kids podcast, we covered Beethoven, Haydn, Johann Strauss, Jr. and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Our hymn for the month was Conditor Alme Siderum, and we also practiced singing Over the River and Through the Woods in anticipation of Thanksgiving. M. continued daily practice of recorder and piano and her musical notes review.


We didn't do many formal art lessons in November, but M. created illustrations for each of her narrations and drew many portraits of family members. She also made a foam turkey and cornucopia using kits from Dollar Tree.

Physical Education

M. visited the playground several times in November, mostly during my OB appointments. She also exercised along with the videos from the Ten Thousand method.


We're still listening to my homemade audio recording of lessons 1-10 in the St. Joseph catechism. In this particular month, our music and history lessons were also heavily related to religion. We also took two field trips: one to The Visit of All Saints at the National Shrine of St. John Paul II, where M. "met" a variety of Catholic saints and learned about their lives, and another to the Shrine of St. Anthony for the Advent Family Festival.



C.'s reading really took off this month. In The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading, she worked on consonant blends at the beginnings and endings of words, including SH, TH, CH, and NG. She also enjoyed reading titles from the Rime to Read series which we borrowed from the public library, and she finally tackled Ann's Hat, a book that was way too difficult for her just a few weeks ago. She also worked on mastering a reader called The Tin Man.

Memory Work

C. learned to recite "The Pilgrims Came" by Annette Wynn and finished memorizing the planets.


C. has begun learning to use the soroban to create single and double digit numbers and to do simple addition and subtraction.


C. continued piano lessons and started practicing "Merrily We Roll Along."

1 comment:

  1. We are in our 3rd month of homeschooling too so I was so excited to see this! Mine is in 4th grade and we had a crazy year so we did a bit of deschooling but are just getting back to more formal schooling. We are using Beast Academy for math and Build Your Library for history and reading. I haven't found a science program I like yet but I've got a couple of ideas. For now he's taking a class at our cover school and we are using Outschool a pretty good bit. All the options can be a bit overwhelming for me. Sounds like your month was so productive and I'm impressed by how many subjects you're covering!