Catholic Charlotte Mason Homeschool – Year 3 – Term 1
We finished our Year 3 – Term 1 of Ambleside Online about a month ago. Better late than never right?!?!? As with the previous years we added a Catholic twist. Here’s our recap of year 3, term 1.
Faith and Life – The decision to move back to Faith and Life has been wonderful. The kids enjoy the readings, we are digging deeper into our faith without the twaddle. We do not use the workbooks, but instead narrate our readings and I use the teachers manual to help them dig deeper into what we’ve read. We also use online materials to help enhance our learning. One of those sites is That Resource Site – Catholic Activities and Printables.
The New American Bible – We’ve moved to reading the bible by book this year. We made it through Genesis and part of Exodus this first term and will continue. There are some parts that are too much for the kids at their young ages but because I read ahead it is easy to pass over those areas and continue through the readings.
Saints – Sunshine and Mister Man have each read a book on one particular saint this term and will continue to read about different saints as we progress. Mister Man chose to read St. Gregory the Great and Sunshine chose St. Francis of Assisi.
Math-U-See – Delta – We have moved onto Delta which is all about division. I was a bit nervous about moving on, but they have taken to division more quickly than multiplication and it is all starting to click for them. Sunshine has however decided she does not like the videos anymore. She would rather me just teach her how to do the problems rather than take the extra time to watch the videos. This works great for her, Mister Man however still prefers the videos and my teaching when necessary.
Latina Christiana – We have switched our Latin studies to Memoria Press’ Latina Christiana and the kids have already gotten so much more out of the program. I love that it is Christian based and corresponds to many parts of the Catholic mass even though it is not a Catholic curriculum. We review with flashcards multiple times a week and we are working through the workbook as well.
Our Island Story –We’ve been reading one story from Our Island Story each week. The kids enjoy the readings during lunch and have been giving some great narrations for each reading. They are also adding items to their Book of Centuries each week to keep track of time which is helping them see the big picture of history.
A Child’s History of the World – This is not our favorite book, but it does relay history in an easy to understand way which helps with their understanding. Luckily it is spread thin throughout our history schedule so it is not an every week read.
This Country of Ours – This book has been a great addition to our history studies this year. The readings are long but we break it up over a few days which helps them understand and take in all that is happening with the first settlers from Europe in America.
Book of Centuries – We printed our book of centuries out from NotebookingPages.com and so far it has been a great way for us to keep track of the people and events through our history lessons. The kids enjoy adding their timeline figures to keep track and I think it has been a great way for them to keep things in perspective.
Michelangelo – They had the chance to dig a little deeper into the life of Michelangelo as their history biography this term. While I wouldn’t say it was their favorite, they did enjoy getting a closer look into his life and work.
A Drop of Water – We are loving learning about water. The book itself is full of great information and we have found different activities to enhance their understanding. We talked about surface tension, molecules and so much more.
Science Lab at the Supermarket – We have talked about making solutions, why things are packaged certain ways, density, and much more. The kids love the experiments and seem to be getting a lot out of each lesson.
Nature Study – We have been trying to get a nature walk in each week. Some weeks have been easier than others but we have gotten quite a few in so far.
The kids are also outside for at least an hour or so each day exploring and finding all kinds of things. We have had a few pet ringneck snakes which allowed the kids to learn what they need to eat and how to take care of them. Our neighbor had baby rabbits and they’ve spent many hours watching turtles around our house. Sunshine spent a lot of the summer collecting insects in her terrarium and researching to find out what they need to live.
Science with friends – We’ve also continued our science every other week with our good friends. They’ve had the chance to explore electricity, ph and much more as well.
States and Capitals – We’ve finished the 50 states. The kids now know the capitals of all 50 states and have begun working on creating a report on one state every few weeks. So we get to dig a little deeper into 2 states every few weeks as well. We are using the lap book printable Make-A-State Set from Homeschool in the Woods. It’s worked really well for the kids and while we do not use all the printable pieces, the ones they are using make the most sense for their ages and I love that I can customize it to their needs.
After they have created their report, they present it to grandparents or dad. It’s been fun so far and I hope it will continue to be a fun experience.
Marco Polo – Both kiddos are reading about Marco Polo each week. We happened to have The Adventures of Marco Polo by Russell Freedman, but I must admit the book is difficult to understand so we have been taking it slow and talking about it in more depth after they’ve read their assigned reading. I can tell most days, by how well they narrate, whether they understood the reading or missed some of what they were reading. Taking it in smaller chunks has helped quite a bit in that regard. There are other options listed and for Sugar Plum I think we may go a different route for this study.
Pagoo – This was a fun read about a hermit crabs journey from egg to adult and we learned quite a bit about the ocean and sea life. This was a bit of a crossover with science and geography but it’s labeled as geography because we are learning about the ocean so we’ll keep it here.
We’ve also talked about longitude and latitude lines, the poles, equator, prime meridian as well as the rotation and revolution of the earth.
Tales from Shakespeare – Shakespeare is still a favorite of Mister Man’s. We had the opportunity to see Macbeth a few months ago and he loved it. Sunshine is not as excited about it but I think she still somewhat enjoys the readings. We read The Merchants of Venice and Taming of the Shrew this term.
Tall Tales – This is a new favorite. The kids have loved laughing out loud at the funny tales of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Stormalong. We will be continuing this book throughout year 3 so there are many others yet to come.
English Fairy Tales – These have been a favorite as well. These are short stories that they read to Sugar Plum. They’ve enjoyed the tales and reading aloud to Sugar Plum has been a great way to involve her in their learning. It also allows them time to read aloud.
Free Reading – Read-A-Louds
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – This was a favorite read-a-loud from this term. The kids loved imagining the crazy world and comparing it to the movie they’ve seen a few times. We watched the most recent Alice in Wonderland movie and were all disappointed after reading the book.
The Princess and the Goblin – Another favorite read-a-loud. They loved following the sometimes scary story of a young princess and the goblins that live underground.
William Blake – The kids read poetry aloud at lunch each day and enjoyed this time, begging to read “just one more”. I’d say this was a favorite.
Dictation Day by Day – Level 2 – We’re still working through Level 2 but the kids are doing very well with their spelling and writing. Mister Man has gotten so much more proficient in his cursive and his spelling is wonderful. I am always impressed by the amount of time and concentration he takes to make it look nice. Sunshine on the other hand is getting much better at her spelling but tries to rush through the writing which makes it messy and many times gets her writing it more than one time… I’m sure she will get the hint soon, right?
Both kids are doing well in their independent free reading. We have a bookshelf full of books they can choose from and they are reading 2-3 books per month right now. Each book is between 150-250 pages. Mister Man finishes most books in a week because he will sit in his room and just read any free moment he has. Sunshine takes a bit longer but she is reading so much closer than she was before and enjoying the books more as well. Some of their favorites have been My Side of the Mountain, The Saturdays, The Bears of Blue River, The Little White Horse and The Rush Revere Series.
Picture Study – Corot – We have really enjoyed Corot’s work. Each week they study a work and then narrate what they remember from the work. We then hang the work on the wall and they get the chance to enjoy it for the remainder of the term.
Art with friends – I am teaching art every other week and we’ve had a blast exploring color, space and materials. Using pastels, collage, paint and watercolors.
Composer Study – Brahms – We found a great series of books by Sybil Deucher to read about the lives of many of the composers we will study, for Brahms we read, The Young Brahms. They’ve loved learning about how Brahms was as a child and how he accomplished so much along the way. We also listened to his compositions while reading or throughout the day. Sunshine is now a classical music lover and asks to listen to it often, even in the car.
Piano – Our schedule got a bit crazy so we decided to take piano in-house. The kids are using Hoffman Academy and loving it. They’ve been begging to do piano now, which is a change from feeling like I was dragging them to class each week before.
Etiquette – The Etiquette Factory – We have been learning better manners and etiquette once or twice a week. The kids loved learning to set the table, how to be respectful when you meet someone new and manners while eating. Plus it’s made reminding them to put their napkin on their lap, cut their food correctly, etc. easier by just saying “what did we learn in etiquette about…?” instead of nagging. I’m not in love with the way it is written, but the concepts are good and they provide a good base to begin digging deeper into the why, when and how we do certain things, so it works for now.
Typing – We moved onto typingpal.com and the kids are loving typing. They are excelling quite a bit too which makes it fun and worthwhile. I am not as concerned right now with their speed, but instead their accuracy and they are doing 90-99% accuracy right now. We will continue to work on this and their speed will come with practice. I love that Typing Pal has goals set for them so they can continue to work on that section until they’ve met their goal.
The term seemed to last quite a while because we were working through the summer, but I feel that they got quite a bit out of what we did and had fun learning as well. We’re about halfway through term 2 and it’s going very well also. More on that in a few weeks!
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