Ahhh, the start of a new year. Just something exciting about starting in on new subjects and projects and experimenting with new ways of doing things.
So what have we been up to so far?
Math: Our main focus for this year is algebra. (Which I have to learn all over again...been 30ish years since I had it.) So far, we've just been reviewing things like working with integers, fractions, decimals, absolute values, etc. Should be hitting some new stuff this coming week. Annie's also doing a bit of work with "real world math" and doing math puzzles each week.
English: Annie thoroughly enjoying the World-Building class she took this week at Writers and Books. Like there was ever any doubt she would; after all, this is creative writing we're talking about here. :)
Vocabulary also falls under this heading. Annie judged the first round of the Vocabulary Game, and she had her first vocab test. And we moved on to List 2 this morning by holding our Vocabulary Klatch. Some interesting new words. (I will try to get them posted for this week's game later today.)
Literature: This quarter's focus is poetry. While each week, I give a short lecture about various aspects of poetry, for the most part, the time is spent reading, reading, reading. Annie fills in a sort of poetry log about all the poems she reads, and at the end of the week, she types up her favorites. At the end of the quarter, she'll print these out and we'll bind them into a little anthology. Among her favorites this week were "Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer" by Ogden Nash and "Milkweed" by Michael Teig. We also each choose a favorite or two each week to read aloud to one another.
Science: Rich is handling the first quarter here. He and Annie are doing an entomology unit. She's started an ongoing database on insect defenses using Thomas Eisner's For Love of Insects. They went on a field trip to Tinker Nature Park and got to talk to the beekeeper and witness swarming (the forming of a new colony). The also went on the first of what I suspect will be many field trips to Mendon Ponds Park to do some bug-watching, where Annie started keeping a field journal. She also made some Venn diagrams comparing/contrasting insects with spiders and insects with earthworms.
Social Studies: For the U.S. History portion, we are studying the Civil War. We watched the movie Gettysburg, in preparation for are trip to Gettysburg (which fell through for the time being). And we began watching Ken Burn's The Civil War. (After each section of this, we discuss the highlights and Annie takes notes.) She's also making a collection of famous quotes.
For history through literature, Annie read Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
For the geography portion, we're starting with principles of geography. This week we watched an episode of Principles of Geography titled "Themes of Geography". Lecture and note taking. And she began work on an assignment about language and location.
For the government portion, she read a short little intro book titled What Is a Constitution? and completed a worksheet.
For the document based questions portion, she began work on a packet about Native Americans. This particular packet includes six documents, and Annie completed the short answer section of the packet.
Music: Annie continues to work on her flute using Smart Music and tackling new songs from a variety of books. We'd like to find her a new flute teacher one of these days, but for now she's doing quite well with Smart Music.
Art: Annie is taking a nature photography for kids class at Tinker Nature Park. The first of two class periods was yesterday. Each kid was given a disposable camera, which we have to get developed before the next class. Annie is so excited about all she learned that she begged us to take her to Tinker Nature Park last night so she could practice. We've decided to let her use our old digital camera...and she is loving it! Below the photo of her are a few of the photos she herself took last night.
Phys Ed: Still no wins, but plenty of effort on the soccer field. Hours upon hours of swimming at Grandmother's house, too.
Health: Annie completed the first two pages in Health Science. She also played a round of Trivia Showdown against Rich. She lost, but did fairly well considering she was playing against a biologist. She probably would have beaten me. :) Maybe next time I should let Rich be the moderator, while I play against her.
Practical Arts: Annie learned about woodworking yesterday...planning, measuring, basic use of tools...as she helped Rich build a bookcase to house all our homeschool books.
Library Skills: Annie completed an introduction to the atlas worksheet, and we watched The Animated Atlas.
And that's it for all the required subjects. In addition, we've began a unit on critical thinking using a book simply titled Critical Thinking.