Sunday, December 5, 2010

Re-evaluting Our School Subject Focus

Re-evaluating History and Science

This year (2nd grade), we began using Sonlight's curriculum where there is a large focus on History. This year we are studying World History and so far most of our focus has been on early civilizations, Egypt, mummies, pyramids, and geography. While this has been a good study (that we are both enjoying), I am finding it hard to work in Science on a regular basis due to time constraints.

And then it dawned on me: When you have a child with a #1 Christmas wish being a kit that will let him build a steam powered engine,

it's time to minimize History


emphasize Science.

Now, we are NOT eliminating history, we just aren't going to do every story on every early civilization. That's one of the beautiful things of homeschooling: tailoring your child(ren)'s focus of study to fit their talents. (Which also happens to be one of the reasons homeschoolers are preferred by some colleges and universities. yay!)

I have finally grasped the big task of taking cues from and nurturing his God-given talents while also enhancing the wonderful world that is outside of them. To put it mathematically (lol!),

Focus = (Bible+Science+Math)

Focus + everything else = a good education for Will

Of course that is over simplifying it, but you get the idea. ;)

Re-evaluating Math

With all that I just said above, I have a confession to make. Although on paper, it looks like we're doing one lesson/day, we're actually doing (easily) 1 - 3 lessons each day and then taking 1 - 2 days of a math break.

Will just gets math and he loves it. I want to get back into the habit of math every day for him. Even if we do 3 lessons a day, we need to pick up on the next lesson(s) the following day. It's enjoyable for him (and me), plus it keeps us in routine, so why not?

Confession over. :)

Re-evaluating Reading

In following Sonlight's reading schedule, 100% of his reading assignments come from The Beginner's Bible for about the first half of the year. I LOVE that they take the Bible stories and use those to teach language arts as well. He reads the story first and then has a corresponding LA worksheet about every other day.

What I don't like is that although he loves to be read to, he is not finding a love for learning to read on his own. The Bible stories are short and his knows most them already. It's more like "school" instead of "school plus enjoyment".

So I'm also revamping his Bible studies to also include a lapbook. He just finished the Old Testament and this lapbook on "Who is Jesus?" is a perfect fit for starting the New Testament and gives him a creative outlet.

I'm also starting him on the next reader that is scheduled after The Beginner's Bible. So basically, I have doubled up on his "alone reading". I started this last week with Frog & Toad are Friends. Each chapter is 10 pages long. I scheduled him to read 1/2 a chapter a day just to get started, but he wanted to continue and finished the entire 10 pages of the first chapter and he ENJOYED it!

Mission accomplished! (Hope it stays that way!)

Once he finishes the book, I will introduce him Book Adventure where he can take a short online "test" for comprehension of the book. Also, since he only has LA worksheets every-other-day with the Bible, it is very possible that we can fit in the every-other-day LA sheets that correspond to Frog & Toad and make LA a daily activity...

But before we add more LA to our schedule though, we need to first make sure we have the time to fit in more science (and math).

If you are interested, here's a sample of our weekly schedule.

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1 comment:

Sweetie said...

Or maybe its time to use his love of engines and steam engines to focus the history lens of how and what was happening during its creation and the social, economic, inventions, people were like during that time. Themeatic instruction works to help build a solid picture of what was happening while you're still focusing on the things he loves!