Each of the children has individual teaching time with me (we call it Office Time because it takes place in my office) but we also do several subjects together.
We usually begin the day with copywork. Each child copies the same passage (usually one of the review poems from our memory work binder, a stanza of the hymn we’re learning, or a piece of poetry we’re working on memorizing), but at his or her level. Sarah prints, Jack prints but in smaller letters, and Hannah writes in cursive. Copywork counts for Sarah’s handwriting as well, but Jack and Hannah each have additional cursive handwriting practice.
Each morning, we review five catechism questions and answers, and read one section from Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism–basically these work through the scripture proofs for each question with one question per week. We also sing one hymn we’re learning and one for review. Or maybe two. Or maybe we sing every hymn we know. It varies. At bedtime we have worship and read a chapter or section from the Bible (we’re in Acts at the moment), work on our Bible memory chapter (Philippians 2 now), sing a Psalm or hymn, since the Doxology and Gloria Patri, and talk about any topics that come up.
We’ve been working through Tapestry of Grace Year 3, reading all of the Lower Grammar and most of the Upper Grammar assignments (and supplemental assignments) out loud. We like to read together, and I’ve been feeling confirmed lately in our choice to do this, thanks to reviewing some research on the benefits of hearing texts read aloud. Anyway, what this looks like in practice is that often I read from several chapter books while the children are working on handwriting or doing an art project or eating breakfast or lunch, or we sit on the couch and read all bunched up together. Usually both, at different times of day. We have several books and chapter books going at once, and it’s delightful when the kids make connections between subjects and topics this way! We’re also going through the US Presidents song once or twice a week.
We’re reading the Tapestry of Grace Year 3 Lower Grammar and Upper Grammar literature selections together, plus our daily dose of Aesop, Mother Goose, poetry, at least a few picture books unrelated to school work, at least a few board books for Eliza, and we’re also studying Hamlet this term. The moment when my children intelligently discussed the question, “Should Hamlet have avenged his father?” was a high point in my life thus far. Because really, what young kid has NOT wanted to get revenge at some point? This is an issue between siblings at times in our house, and so they are really tracking with Hamlet’s dilemmas and I am loving it. More details on our Hamlet study to come! We’re also working on some poetry memory and memorizing a few short pieces from Hamlet. At bedtime we read aloud a few chapters from a book unrelated to our school reading.
We’re doing Apologia Astronomy again this year because the topic is cool and I didn’t think the kids would remember it from a few years ago. I was wrong. But I think there is value to going over it again and they are really into the topic, especially Jack who would like his own telescope. I like the book we’re using for its conversational tone.
We’re reading about Benjamin West together, but I wasn’t successful in my attempt to get prints of his paintings so we haven’t done a proper artist study yet this fall. I’m hopeful that the other artists I selected for study this year will be better for real picture study. The kids have done a couple of art projects from Deep Space Sparkle (this one was a hit) and my mother-in-law plans to give them drawing lessons intermittently from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
Our composer this term is Beethoven. We love him. We’re listening to his works every day, and have greatly enjoyed The Story of Beethoven in Words and Music from the Music Masters series. I really recommend Music Masters if you want to get the basic story of a composer’s life and influences plus an exposure to their major works. Jack is beginning cello lessons this fall, and Hannah is back to piano lessons.
I bought PowerGlide Spanish but to be perfectly honest we have had a hard time getting to it most days. I like that the program is intuitive and story-based, but it’s just hard to find the time to fit it in. I’m thinking this over.
We do the map work from Tapestry of Grace together and go over the Classical Conversations states and capitals song a couple of times a week, or at least as much of it as I can remember, which is only through Baton Rouge, LA. I need to load the song back into my phone. We’ve also reviewed the continents a couple of times.
Look for more on what each kid is doing for individual work in upcoming posts.
If you homeschool, what subjects do you work on together?