Thursday, May 24, 2007

School's out, school's out...

No I didn't let the mule out but I did see one today!

Maria and I finished up what we called 3rd grade today. It's hard to label what grade since we work at whatever level she needs for each subject. This year the range was from 3rd to around 7th grade.

It was a good year - the "field trips" were amazing! We typically finish in April but all the traveling threw us behind our usual schedule. I only count "book work" towards my 180 days. Field trips are just bonuses. Since we school year-round, we'll start 4th grade this summer in the states. It'll take at least a week to unpack the new curriculum and get some lesson plans going but then we'll knock out a few weeks before returning to Romania.

Here's an overview of our year:

Bible - We're using Balancing the Sword and covered the following books: Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Psalms, Proverbs, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Zephaniah, Matthew, Luke, Philippians, 2John, 3John, and Jude. This curriculum has you read a passage then answer comprehension questions about it. So you systematically read through the Bible allowing God's Word to speak for itself.

History and Literature - We use Sonlight and have for 3 years now. We both love it! We studied the second half of American history. Sonlight uses books to learn about the time period. Some are readers that she reads on her own and some are read-alouds that we read together.

Math - We switched to Singapore Math this year and I'm enjoying the change so far. We had to back track a little to cover some miscellaneous topics that we had missed like volume and graphs. We covered addition and subtraction with carrying and borrowing up to the thousands place. Two step word problems, measuring, estimating and graphs were also included. We also started on multiplication and division with all numbers except 7 and 8s. She can go through the flash cards and only misses typically the 6,7,8 multiplied by the 6,7,8. Sometimes she gets those too, but not consistently.

Science - God's Design for Life: The Animal Kingdom - Wonderful study. I wish we had better access to materials for all the experiments here. Many activities we had to skip since we couldn't find the materials needed.

Spelling - Spelling Power - This is a program that carries you through 12th grade. The student takes a test that places them so the words assigned are challenging. Everyday we test for 5 minutes. She only has to do activities with the words she misses. Maria loves this since she is an outstanding speller. I even did this with her. Thankfully I placed the the 12th grade and finished up about a month ago.

Grammar - Easy Grammar 34 - These workbooks are ok. They're quick and we like that. Maria is usually very good at grammar since she has such strong reading skills.

Logic - We used several workbooks from Critical Thinking Press. She also plays lots of games. Both with us and simulation games on the computer. We also used Read and Think 5 Sheets from Abeka books.

Here is a list of books she read this year. I'm sure it's not complete but this was all we could think of yesterday. She also read several books for a second, third or fourth time but we didn't include those.

The Winged Watchman
The Great Turkey Walk
Across Five Aprils
Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems
Caddie Woodlawn
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Miracles on Maple Hill
Little Britches
Cheaper by the Dozen
The Great Wheel
Moccasin Trail
A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt
Lincoln: A Photobiography
Hero Over Here
In Search of the Source
William Wilberforce
The Story of Thomas Alva Edison
By the Great Horn Spoon
Freedom Train
Shades of Gray
Turn Homeward, Hannalee
Old Yeller
Helen Keller
All-of-a-Kind Family
Thimble Summer
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Plain Girl
The Seventeenth Swap
The Wright Brothers
George Washington Carver
Sing Down the Moon
The Secret Garden
Alice in Wonderland
The Cricket in Time Square
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The Egypt Game
The Gypsy Game
A Bear Named Trouble
Dr. Doolittle
Mary Poppins
The Twenty-one Balloons
Several Nancy Drew Series
Several Boxcar Children Series
Several Animal Ark Books
Several Childhood of Famous Americans
Several of the "Before I Made History Books"

Overall we had a great year. We are both looking forward to what 4th grade will hold for us! Our 60 lb. box of Sonlight books is waiting for us in the states!

If you want to see more information about our curriculum you can click on the links.