The one thing I am doing different this term is combining more subjects for group time. Someone had asked if I had posted what I do during group time, and since I hadn't, and since I changed it up some, I'll go ahead & describe it.
We used to just read a bible story, bible verse, poem & read-aloud and then I would send everyone to their individual tasks. This would then entail me trying to work with Conman, while the other two were lining up with their little "Help, Please!" signs. So, if I felt Conman was ok for the moment, I would dash off to help one of the others. This did not result in a lot of productive work. Especially when Conman saw me otherwise occupied. He would then wander off to do whatever he felt like at the moment. When I finished helping one of the other kiddos, I would then have to redirect Conman back to his work. I got to thinking, "There has to be an easier way to do this!" I decided to spend more time teaching them together & then have them work on Math, History and Science (the older kids use Apologia in accordance w/their grades) individually. I also wanted to introduce/review some areas. Here's how today went:
Bible Story Book: We've been reading through the 10 volume set of "The Bible Story"
Review OT books of the Bible & start on NT
Read our character building book & worked on memorizing verse of the week. This week our character trait is generosity.
Read a couple poems from "Favorite Poems Old and New" by Helen Ferris. Usually a poem that has to do w/the season, holiday or something we're studying.
Did a dictionary skills page
Did an Easy Grammar 6 page & a Daily Grams 6. This is new for us. Although I ordered it for Lulu, the other 2 were very interested and participated well. I think this will take place of Blakester's Rod & Staff for now.
Started the unit study "On the Loose with Dr. Seuss"; read a short bio of Dr. Seuss and his book "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" I had never read that before & I love Dr. Seuss books! Oh, and the kids liked it, too!
Introduced healthy eating by reading "Oh The Things You Can Do That Are Good For You". Another Dr. Seuss type book. We'll be studying the food pyramid over the next few weeks.
Read, discussed & mapped some of Blakester's new Ca. history curriculum. I had Conman & Lulu listen in also. Lulu says she doesn't remember studying any Ca. history in 4th grade at public school, and come to think of it, I don't remember her studying it either.
Alot of this we were able to do orally, and with the white board, which made it so much more interactive. The older ones chose to answer some questions on worksheets or in their grammar notebook, but it was nice to be able to discuss the answers & have the youngest join in, also.
Some of the other things I plan to cover in group time are: Wordly Wise Vocabulary, It's About Time workbook that covers calendars, clocks, time zones, etc., an Analogies workbook I picked up at the thrift store, library skills assignments and art. Since I had a lot of these resources on hand, I wanted to start incorporating them into our day.
We started about 9:00 and we were done with group time at 12:00. After lunch & a short break for outside play in this chilly weather, they came in and worked on their individual items. I read to Conman about the brain & the 5 senses, and I noticed that when I'm reading out loud to him, the other two tend to migrate to the room we are in, even when I'm reading something way under their level! I'm glad they enjoy listening.
Everyone finished their assignments this afternoon and we read a chapter of "Mary Poppins" and two chapters of "A Child's History of the World" tonight before bed.
I was even able to play on my computer a little this afternoon. I figured out how to create a cute signature line, and grabbed a couple of buttons from blogs that I enjoy reading. You can see them on the sidebar.
Our first day back to school has come and gone. All in all, it went very well. Work was completed, corrected & we're ready for tomorrow. Now, the kids are in bed and there's silence. My favorite part of the day!