Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Preliminary Progress Report

READING: Our literature based program this year has involved reading to Colwyn a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. In addition to the two dozen or so picture books we check out from the library every other week, we have read Pippi on Board by Astrid Lindgren, The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean by Alexander McCall Smith, Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit by Joan Carris, the first two books in the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling, and Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Besides these family read-alouds, Colwyn has also mastered phonics, reads consistently at a second grade level, and will read a variety of early readers on his own.

WRITING: Colwyn can easily form all lower case and capital letters. He writes notes and signs spontaneously, and also writes thank you notes and birthday cards frequently. Colwyn also enjoys typing stories on the computer, which he then prints and illustrates.

MATHEMATICS: This year, Colwyn completed the Singapore Earlybird 2A and 2B workbooks. Topics covered include reading and writing numerals and number words through 20, recognizing sets in relation to less than, more than, or equal, ordering by height/length, estimating weight and balancing scales, comparing capacity by emptying and filling, understanding tens and ones, fractions (one half and one quarter, and relationship to the whole), addition and subtraction of one digit numbers, basic reading of time, sequencing days of the week, counting by fives and tens, recognizing coins and dollars, and totaling money amounts. His math workbooks were greatly reinforced by real life applications including cooking, shopping, board games, and using our family calendar.

HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES: We began working our way through the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History this year and progressed through the sections on early humans. Through various fiction and non-fiction books checked out from the library, Colwyn also learned about life in ancient Egypt. He also watched a PBS documentary about archaeologists recreating an Egyptian sea-going barge. Field trips to places like Hammond Castle, King Richard's Faire supplemented our history studies. For social studies, we toured the Salem Post Office, the Beverly Fire Station, and the Danvers Police Station. We also caroled at local nursing home.

SCIENCE: Through the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, as well as through monthly science club meetings with our homeschool group, we covered topics such as the formation and composition of the Earth, plate tectonics, the start of life, early life forms through the prehistoric mega fauna, and evolution (supplemented by How Whales Walked Into the Sea by Faith McNulty). We also hosted science club meetings that involved engineering challenges, human anatomy, and optical illusions. Colwyn has been especially interested in human evolution, so in addition to our reading in the Usborne Encyclopedia, we also watched several PBS, BBC, and National Geographic documentaries on prehistoric humans in addition to finding additional books at the library and interactive websites. Besides this more formal science education, Colwyn enjoys observing nature (specifically living creatures we find in our neighborhood) and has participated in monthly Earth Scouts meetings that focus on the interdependency of life and our role in protecting the environment.

THE ARTS: Colwyn enjoys creating artwork using a variety of materials, including crayons, markers, colored pencils, water colors, and tempera paints. He also likes to be creative with clay, Play-Dough, and recycleable materials like boxes, plastic containers, and so on. He has made gifts for friends and family, puts on puppet shows, and likes a wide variety of music.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Colwyn loves riding his bike, going for walks with his family, and exploring the hiking trails at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. We attend weekly park days in warm weather where he plays boisteriously with other homeschoolers. In cold weather, we make frequent trips to Monkey Joe's and often coordinate private rentals of Strike One for our homeschool group.

HEALTH: Colwyn understands and practices good hygiene and personal safety. He has learned a great deal about good nutrition and has helped grow nutritious vegetables and fruits in our yard. Through my pregnancy this year and the birth of his baby brother, Colwyn has also learned about human reproduction.

FIELD TRIPS: Various other field trips we have attended this year: canoeing on Ipswich River, wildlife tracking at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, blueberry picking at Russell Orchard, apple picking at Brooksby Farm, Mahi Cruise out of Salem Harbor, and multiple trips to both the New England Aquarium and Museum of Science.


At 1:13 PM, Blogger Lu Stazzu di La Funtanazza said...

How interesting! So how are you children doing now?


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