Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homeschooling: Days 1- 4 (Building a Community)

I am going to try to update at the end of each week some of the highlights of our homeschooling.

Although I've already given a detailed description of our first day of school, here's what else we did this week:


We both got acquainted with the abacus. Learned how to use and handle it properly. We took it slowly this week and only covered quantities 1 - 7. Will learned how to use tally sticks and how to show the quantity 5 by placing the 5th tally stick over the first four. The main focus of this week was to instill the concept that 5 is an easy grouping that makes math easier (ie 7 is 5 and 2 instead of counting from 1 to 7).

Spelling/ Vocabulary

We are doing a unit study on community and his spelling words for the week were: city, home, and map. (I wanted to keep our first week easy.) He wrote each three times and recited the spelling of them each day of the week. There was a "test" on Thursday. He also made a sentence with each spelling word.


Will has a tremendous dislike of practicing handwriting. He can draw all day long, but asking him to do a sheet of writing letters is the worst thing I ask from him. You can see his initial handwriting of the basic patterns of letters on our first day of school post. After that, all I could muster to ask of him was a sheet pertaining to the lowercase "a".


He completed 6 lessons in his phonics book and we read several small readers and began a new Wishbone chapter book which I read aloud.


We began a study of Joseph. We are using a bible time line and a map (both of which are up on our hallway wall). He is really enjoying finding the cities, countries, and bodies of water on the map. The time line isn't that intriguing to him yet, but I love it!

Social Studies / Geography

With our unit on community we created a map of the street we live on. We discussed our new address and the buildings that are on our street. He also figured out which road would take him to Gran's house on our map!

We discussed the many types of buildings that could be in a community as well as the people that worked in the community and why they are important. Then, we created our own 3D make-believe community. Will chose which buildings he wanted (a clock tower, a church building, a train station and ticket station, a bakery, and a fire department). As the community continued to grow, we added a lighthouse, a park, and a zoo. There were both roads, train tracks, and of course, Thomas the tank engine. :)

He played with his community until it was so worn out it had to go in the trash. He loved building and using his community!

After discussing our community, we looked at books that showed other communities and talked about how they were the same as or different from ours, too.

Overall, it was a really good first week. On average, I think each day was broken down into 5 - 6 fifteen minute segments of focused learning time. We had our moments and setbacks, but kept moving along.

So Far... So Good! :)

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Chef Penny said...

Awesome job, Becky! He will learn so much from you. I am proud of you!

Scottish Twins said...

Sounds like you are doing a great job! Keep up the great work. I'm learning a lot from reading your posts. :)