I've been hesitant to look back in fear that I would realize we didn't do enough. I've forgotten all we did do, despite plans to keep it all sorted and categorized. It doesn't matter except that I feel better if our learning is quantifiable. So this post is certainly incomplete and I'm making plans to keep better notes next year.
Furthermore, this list represents only a fraction of what actually goes on in our lives. There's much more to it that text books and a lot of gains aren't quantifiable regardless of how organized I am. My children are very active in extracurricular activities and I'm not going into any of that here.
My daughter was in 7th grade this year, or something like that. She completed...
- Math-U-See Algebra
- Second Form Latin
- Two geography programs from Memoria Press, one African and a review of the United States.
- Most of a US HIstory program beginning with The Story of the 13 Colonies and The Great Republic and ending in the 1940s. I don't feel too badly about not finishing. Every single history class I ever took finished in the 1940s because we always ran out of time.
- Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science & continued on to Exploring Creation with Physical Science
- Literature, beginning with American poems and short stories and ending somewhere else entirely. I shall write a list of all she read below.
- Current Events! We added this as a writing course and we both really enjoyed watching and discussing the news together. She got a lot out of it. Our favorite source ended up being CNN Student News - a daily segment that was age appropriate and kind of adorable AND skipped most of the gore of the nightly news.
Holes... Writing. Though she did loads of journalistic style writing I realize at this point that I cannot teach writing and we are going to hire that out next year somehow.
Her reading was very random this year. She read many of these just for fun in an afternoon but I'm including them anyway. She read and reread many of these. I did a quick scan on my Kindle and her bookshelves to try and jog my memory and I know I'm leaving off several. I starred the books I felt were on 7th grade level.
- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (favorite this year for both of us)*
- All of a Kind Family Downtown
- Number the Stars
- Sarah, Plain and Tall
- Around the World in Eighty Days*
- Journey to the Center of the Earth*
- Across Five Aprils*
- Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring*
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers*
- Lord of the Rings: Return of the King*
- The Mozart Question
- The Borrowed House*
- The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Interrupted Tale
- Betsy In Spite of Herself*
- Betsy was a Junior*
- Summer of My German Soldier*
- To Kill a Mockingbird*
- The Borrowers
- Charlotte in Paris
- Charlotte in London
- Charlotte in New York
My feelings overall... She excelled in science. I consistently tested her and she consistently scored very well. She did the same with her Latin studies. I could have done better guiding her history and literature courses. As I said yesterday, I'm having trouble finding challenging reading with the kind of content that would suit her.
I was told early on that grammar was sort of redundant if you are going to make Latin a core part of the curriculum and I didn't believe it. It's true. Her knowledge of English grammar is deep and comprehensive because of Latin.
I'm most impressed with her (drum roll) time management skills! We have been working on her ability to manage her time for years now and this year it all clicked. She gets up, takes care of her responsibilities, practices piano, exercises, and moves right on to her lessons with no word from me.
My son is wrapping up 3rd grade. He completed...
- Math U See Gamma
- Prima Latina
- US Geography
- US History - we began with a time line from Barefeet Books or something and, as with my daughter, spent the rest of the year studying the Revolutionary War. He read several biographies, listened to a few audiobooks, and watched all of Liberty's Kids. Nothing to brag about.
- Literature - Memoria Press English Recitation, Introduction to Composition - both good programs
- New American Cursive/ Prima Latina Cursive copybook
- States & Capitals
- Apologia Flying Animals of the Fifth Day with the Junior Notebook*
- CHC Spelling Level B*
3rd Grade Reading List
- Farmer Boy
- Charlotte's Web
- The Trumpet of the Swan
- The Magician's Nephew
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- King Oberon's Forest
His strengths are math, cursive writing, and science. He still hates spelling but is improving. I have to trick him to narrate anything but he does it well if he's not trying.
Overall impression: I'd like to do more fun stuff with his education while he's still young. I had the time and energy to do all kinds of crafts and supplementary activities when my eldest was his age and he's missed a lot of that.
*We haven't quite finished these yet
So that's a quick sketch of what we did last year. I did still struggle quite a bit with my own time management, a demanding toddler, and our outside obligations. My biggest concern is challenging them enough, particularly my daughter who is in her last year of elementary education. She has high hopes to major in science in college and needs to have a strong science and math foundation to get there.
Gold star for anyone who actually read this!