While those back at home have just made their way back to school, we just finished the tenth week of ours. Mostly, we are following the plans we made at the beginning. While our girls have spent many, many hours traveling on buses in the last 16 months, they have never ever ridden a bus to school. Some children, during several months of the long winter, must stand in the cold snow drifts waiting at the bus stop for the big yellow school bus to take them to their place of learning. Just ordinary buses. Absolutely nothing magical about them. But I remind our girls of the luxury they have to learn sitting around the kitchen table or relaxing with a book on their bed.
We are using many books in our study of the early church and the Middle Ages. Here are the main ones: Mystery of History Vol. 2, Our Island Story, Famous Men of the Middle Ages, Trial and Triumph, and Fifty Famous Stories. We study history together with the girls doing oral or written narrations after each lesson. Adriana is also doing some history reading on her own including : Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, William of Malmesbury's account of the Battle of Hastings and The Life of King Alfred.
Besides the map work that coordinates with our history studies, the girls are learning geography as they read another book. I am reading Seabird to Annalise and Alayna. Alexie is reading Kon Tiki, while Adriana is reading The Brendan Voyage.
Annalise and Alayna- The Burgess Animal Book
Alexie- Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science
Adriana- Apologia's Exploring Creation with Biology and The Lay of the Land
We plan to do some nature study of the plants and animals of the Philippines as well but so far haven't done much; the biggest excuse being the rainy season.
Read-alouds have always been a family favorite. This school year we have already enjoyed Just So Stories, Robin Hood, and Peter Pan. We are listening to an audio dramatization of Pilgrim's Progress but this we are spreading it out; doing just a small portion each week so we won't finish until the end of the school year. This helps us gather more meaning from the allegory told in Old English.
Other literature selections:
Annalise is following Sonlight's Core 2 for her reading books. Last week she finished reading to me the Old Testament stories of The Beginner's Bible.
Annalise and Alayna have The Blue Fairy Book and Parables from Nature.
Alayna is also reading Little Duke and King Arthur and His Knights (along with her older sisters.)
Alexie and Adriana are reading Age of Chivalry.
Adriana's books include: The Once and Future King, Watership Down, Ivanhoe, and The History of English Literature for Girls and Boys.
These are the books scheduled for them along with a number more on their free reading list.
Grammarland for Annalise and Alayna.
Daily grammar lessons on the internet for Alexie.
Our Mother Tongue and The Grammar of Poetry for Adriana.
This is one area we are not following the recommendations of the AmblesideOnline curriculum. The girls are NOT studying Latin. They are not learning several languages. Our focus is on learning Ilocano. This is an area we hope to do better in as the year progresses. Since resources for learning Ilocano are very limited, Thomas has put together a computer program for us to use. The girls study four times a week. They are familiar with a growing amount of vocabulary but still don't speak it much. Although they do speak more than Thomas and I.
Besides our hymns, folksongs, and composer studies, each of the girls practice the piano daily.
Adriana being a freshman this year has some additional studies. She is learning economics as she reads Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? For logic, she reads and discusses with me How to Read a Book. She has been reading chapter books since she was in kindergarten. She has the amazing ability to read lengthy books such as Lord of the Rings in a matter of hours. One of my goals is for her to slow down and meditate on what she is reading so she grasps the deeper meanings of what she reads.
Plutarch is a subject we attempted to add to our school studies for the older three girls. But after struggling with it for eight weeks, we decided to drop it from the schedule. The ability to provide education tailored to best meet the needs of our daughters is one of the reasons we homeschool. Any curriculum or book is meant to be a tool to help us. Our homeschool varies from the many other families that choose to homeschool but no one else is homeschooling our Adriana, Alexie, Alayna, and Annalise.
I think that covers the basic snapshot of our official studies for this year.