Thursday, April 08, 2010

Blasting Back into AO

School vacation is keeping all my kids very busy.  K went back yesterday, J's Catholic school friends go back Monday.   K went to the beach after school (it was 90 degrees!) and J went to an early premiere of Glee in Manhattan with her friend last night.  I finally caught up with all of last season's episodes and I can't wait for the new season (next week, yay).  She said it was fun - a glee club from NJ came to sing for them.

3rd quarterlies are going out next week.  No testing this year - J's done and W will do his in 5th grade.

We're jumping back into AO with both feet.  He was satisfied with the break we took from it, but he's ready for it again.  I'm glad.  I know it was a major factor in helping him overcome his reading block - all that great literature can cure anything.  Dyslexia doesn't really go away, but the progress he's made just since the beginning of the school year is remarkable.  And I know AO is the reason why W has such a sharp memory now.  It requires (and thus, creates) such good listening skills, and that spills into great narration skills, which is supposed to create great writing/composition skills.  Now that W is 9, we'll be starting some written narrations in a month or so.  We plan on keeping the AO schedule the same as we did before (pretty much).  We also incorporated a few more workbooks on our hiatus, and we're keeping those.  So, for example, today's schedule (for W) looks like this:
  • 1 AO Reading (me reading aloud 1 chapter of An Island Story, w/narration).  We use an atlas during the reading and then add people, events, and dates to our timeline.  It's fun.
  • 1 or 2 chapters (me reading aloud) of a Free Reading book (we're continuing with Abraham Lincoln by d'Aulaire.  No narrations with the free readings)
  • Finishing up the rest of Times Tales (Part 2 - 1 page of multiplication and review of division)
  • I read a poem out loud (from a Year of Poems), we discuss it, and he does some of it as copywork
  • A page or 2 from Learn at Home Grade 4.
  • W reads 1 chapter of Tree in the Trail aloud then narrates back. (we used an atlas with this book, too)
  • 1 page of the Maps/Geography workbook. 
  • Another readloud from me if we feel like it (Understood Betsy)
It is now Term 3 of AmblesideOnline and we will be learning about garden flowers & weeds in Nature Study, Maurice Ravel in Composer Study, and Claude Monet in Artist Study. Monet is one of W's favorites. He picked "The Waterlily Pond" to do a reinterpretation of a few years ago at a homeschool art class. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few months later and saw that painting right up close. My 6-year-old yelling out, "Look Ma! There's the Monet!" brought on a few stares our way, lol.

J is plugging away with her academics as well (see post on March 9th).  Things are smoothly sailing along here.  W has a couple of homeschool group trips coming up and we're planning on hitting some museums soon.  We're ready for the Met again, actually.  Now that the weather is really beautiful, I just wanna get out a LOT.   I'll have my camera ready!

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