For school we are breaking the year into four or five week sessions and taking a week off in between each session. During out weeks off, I'm sure we still will do some school stuff, but are going to forget the structure for the week and not make a big deal about it...and go on lots of adventures!
We have just finished up our first five week session!!
Every day Kyle and Emily start out working on a daily notebook page. They practice writing their name, the day of the week and the month. They also fill in a circle for the date. They look outside and see what the weather is and circle that was well on their page. Once we are done for the day, they come back to their notebook page and circle what we worked on and get a sticker for completing their work. On the back of each notebook page is writing practice. This session they worked on writing their whole name, the days of the week, months of the years, and numbers.
We are using a program called Explode the Code for phonics and also using 100 Easy Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read. I am trying to do both every day. Emily seems to learn more with the Explode the Code, and days when Kyle can focus, he seems to do better with the 100 Easy Lessons, but both do seem to be making progress in their reading and writing. The Explode the Code is more independent and shows what they really are learning, while the 100 Easy Lessons is done with me and it all reading aloud. The two seem to compliment each other in the way we are using them.
For math we are also using a few different things. We have been reading Life of Fred and doing some worksheets that go along with each chapter. Life of Fred is a completely different approach to teaching math. It's more of a story than a text book and the kids learn math concepts through the story. On top of Fred, we are also doing math worksheets and using Khan Academy online to master basic math skills. We've covered things like adding, greater than and less than, patterns, and time.
We've done units this session on the four seasons, our five senses, and the zoo. We've read lots of books and watched a few shows (Sid the Science Kid, Magic School Bus) to help us learn. For our zoo unit, we did two field trips to two different zoos and each kiddo made their own zoo. They picked out what animals they wanted in their zoos, drew their habitats, figured out what kind of food their animals need, and made a map of their zoos!
Colby has been tagging along for our units and doing some of his own stuff. He's doing a lot of the same letter worksheets that Kyle and Emily did when he was their age, working on some preschool work books, and doing Before the Code (the primer for Explode the Code). He seems to be enjoying "doing school" and is learning too! With him, I'm just going with the flow and letting him decide what he wants to do and how much he wants to do of it.
Unfortunately our first week off has included scarlet fever, so we haven't been able to go on any of our planned adventures yet. Hopefully we'll all be healthy enough on Friday and Saturday for some adventures!