Thursday, January 10, 2008

Year-at-a-Glance Revised

Here is our updated Year-at-a-Glance. Some things are much the same (math, history and science) but there are several changes, too.

I have finally decided to set FLL aside. I have always said that I loved this grammar book, but the reality is I love it in theory, not practice. It took me most of the semester to figure this out. Thatcher is a very visual learner. FLL as written doesn't have enough visual input for him; it is dependent auditory learning much of the time. I could change it, but as I have become sold on Junior Analytical Grammar and Analytical Grammar for later elementary and junior high I have decided to de-emphasize the importance of early grammar for our school.

For the remainder of this year we will memorize the definitions of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. I will introduce the other parts of speech taught in FLL as well and Thatch can memorize those if he chooses - most likely he will since memory work comes very naturally to him. My plan is to write four sentences (one for each school day) on our dry-erase board each week. The first week, he will underline the noun in each sentence as we review the definition of a noun and talk about nouns in our copywork and other reading selections as well. A few weeks later, he'll underline the noun and circle the verb. The grammar discussions will continue across other areas of the curriculum. We'll underline the verb, circle the noun and draw a box around each adjective with an arrow going back to the noun it describes in following weeks. And finally we'll add in adverbs. I want him to really understand these four parts of speech by the end of this year and least recognize the names of the following as parts of speech: prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, and articles. I feel good about approaching grammar this way and have taken lots of comfort from other moms who have said that it really is okay (and even beneficial) to wait and not introduce much grammar until later when they can really understand these very abstract concepts.

Also, last semester our artist and composer studies never happened consistently to get any real benefit from them. I have decided to spend two weeks on every composer and artist to finish Thatcher's introduction to these great men and women by the end of this year. Note to self...I still need to decide what to use next year for fine arts!

Finally I have decided a really fun way to wrap up our year will be to make a lapbook for each content area that will cover the most important things we learned this year. Our Spanish lapbook will review vocabulary, math will have sample problems of all the things he learned to do this year, history will be a big time line with information about some of the most important players in history for that time period....We have never made a lapbook and these will definitely be the homemade variety - not the slick pre-made ones you can buy (although those are really neat, too!). We will spend two to three weeks on these and more if needed. I want to jump ahead and start these now!!!! If you are interested in lapbooks here's a link to a post I did about them awhile back.

What doesn't fit on our chart is the Aesop fable we will be studying each week this semester and the two poems we will focus on memorizing each month. Okay now that the "big picture" is in place I can do our next six weeks of lesson plans. :)


Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

WOW. Not only is it organized and effective... it's pretty too!

I am thinking of doing some ETC with my older boys. It would be mostly review for my oldest, but good stuff for my middle guy. I think I need to cement those phonics rules.

Good for you for trusting the grammar plan. ;) We dropped FLL about the same point you're at right now, last year, too.

Still doing OPGTR though. It seems to never end. I wonder how any people drop that, too, once the reading takes off?

mom24 said...

Hmmmmmm....I was feeling like FLL was a little slow going. And since Jason is good w/ memorizing, it might be good to just learn the defs and practice marking sentences. We'll think about this too.
An Aesop's Fables lapbook would be fun too! Just think of the cute drawings he could put in it!

Rhonda said...

FLL didn't work here, either. Neither one of my children are auditory learners. DD would literally cry when I pulled it out. Not a good sign!

I like your end-of-the-year lapbook idea. What a great way to do a summary of the year!

LisaWA said...

Great plan Jennifer... boy you are organized arnt ya?! *Ü*

It sounds like the second semester is/will flow/ing have a wonderful handle on your sons learning style and its showing *Ü*

You are such a good momma!


~Java Mama~ said...

Thanks for sharing your FLL thoughts! My Superman is not enjoying it and I am not seeing much fruit from the lessons. We are both a little discouraged. Your idea sounds great, I will have to think about that and discuss it with my hubby.

Your ideas all sound great, I haven't ventured into the lapbooks yet. I love how organized you are, I am working on mine.

JOYfully in Him,

Tami, part-time blogger - full time scrapbooker said...

Hi Jennefer!

I love how you are teaching to your children and following your instincts, rather than being a slave to any curriculum! You are a wise woman. Learning the parts of speech incidentally is a breeze with copywork, or whatever means you choose -- very easy! I think you'll be pleased.

If you falter, what has worked for me when I forget to reinforce grammar, is focusing on *one* part of speech a month to look for in reading passages, copywork, etc. Just an idea.

Joy to you!