The Books We Read Together
As last year, we read a fair number of books together. We had a rotation going at breakfast, and another at teatime. I have not included the books we read at bedtime because they were not narrated and we don't think of them as "school books". Some of these books are ones we are reading over several years.
The Little Woman
Canadian Wonder Tales (ongoing)
The Blue Fairy Book (ongoing)
Trial and Triumph (ongoing)
The Ocean of Truth
Drummer Boy for Montcalm
The Story of Canada (Brown et al) (ongoing)
Great Canadian Adventures (selections. ongoing)
The Story of Canada (Marsh) (selections, ongoing)
Famous Indians (section about Joseph Brant)
Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson (selections)
Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson (selections)
A Lakeland Anthology: William Wordsworth (selections)
Mathematicians Are People, Too (selections)
SA(9)'s School Books
Since several of the books we read together were from SA's Year 4 (Trial and Triumph, The Ocean of Truth, Robinson Crusoe, Kidnapped), his stack looks a little short! Not pictured are Plutarch and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. We read Shakespeare together with an audio production, and I read Plutarch aloud to him. SA's favourite books this year were George Washington's World, The Map-Maker, and Julius Caesar.
Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
Shakespeare: Julius Caesar
Madam How and Lady Why (ongoing)
Bullfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable (ongoing)
The Story-Book of Science
George Washington's World (incomplete)
JJ(7)'s School Books
JJ is a very strong reader, and though I was reading some of his books aloud to him at the beginning of the year, by the end he was reading all of these on his own. You may notice that we left out several of the Year 2 books. This is because we were reading a number of books together (above) and I didn't want to overload him. JJ's favourite books this year were The Little Duke, The Wind in the Willows, and The Blue Fairy Book (not a Year 2 book, but I have fairy tales on constant rotation in this season of life).
Stories from Shakespeare (selections)
The Little Duke
The Burgess Animal Book for Children
Robin Hood (ongoing)
The Wind in the Willows
The books above do not reflect everything we did. We studied Dutch artists De Hooch and Van Ruisdael, early Canadian artist Thomas Davies, and French artist Jacques Louis David. We listened to music composed by Telemann and Corelli, Copland and Gershwin, and Beethoven. We read French children's books La Chenille qui Fait des Trous, Ours Brun, and Trois Souris Peintres. In the Bible, we studied Joshua and Judges, Mark and part of Acts. The boys also did a number of paper sloyd projects. Outside the home, they participated in a children's choir and took swimming lessons.
SA was well into grade 5 of Singapore Math (Primary Mathematics US Edition) by the end of the year. He started KISS Grammar and did well with it. We did not begin Latin this year, as I wanted him to know more grammar before beginning Visual Latin. Studied dictation also went amazingly well, and we could see definite progress from the beginning of the year to the end. He did well with learning cursive italic handwriting, but did not gain ease with it yet. We did not begin written narrations, as he was just not ready. However, I started to write down his narrations from George Washington's World so he could begin to get used to the feeling of having his words written down. That was hard for him, as he is a perfectionist and it would take forever for the words to come out (a problem I understand all too well!). I ended up teaching him an oral version of freewriting, which is the technique that helped me break out of that paralyzing perfectionism myself. He made progress, and the words started flowing more easily by the end of the year.
JJ completed book 2A in Singapore Math. We switched from Miquon part way through the year. He prints with ease, so he began cursive italic this year as well.
MM(5) started to learn to read, and insisted on doing math while the other boys were doing it. I printed off Year 1 of MEP Math and he completed it. I tried to have some one-on-one time with him every morning before the school day started, and we read Charlotte's Web, Little House in the Big Woods, and part of Little House on the Prairie. Of course, he also listened in on all the reading we did together and enjoyed the pictures, music, and Shakespeare.
Writing about all we accomplished makes me feel good, even though I dropped the ball on several things (again.). We dropped piano. Once again, we did very little in our nature notebooks after the first term. French was a failure, other than the children's books we read. We could have done more of several things: dictation, poetry, map work, timeline work. I could have written an entire post on what we missed and what we could have done better, but I'm making a choice to give thanks for what we were able to accomplish. It was a good year.