This week the topic is Language Arts.. or the use of words. I thought I would touch on some of the things we do.
To start off, one of the fun things we do is called "word of the day". What we do is pick a word in the dictionary. Learn what it means, and then come up with a sentence for it to show our understanding. :) I then post that sentence to facebook. It's a lot of fun. We picked up the idea from a Tiffany Aching book where a young lady reads through the entire dictionary and exponentially expands for knowledge base. Sometimes people join in with us. :)
We do a lot of reading in this household, I read to my lad, my lad reads to me, we also listen to audio books. It's a great way to combine history, science, vocabulary, with the love of the printed word. We have three reading times scattered throughout the day.
At breakfast we read through a chapter book...usually history in a story form, but sometimes just an interesting book that we want to have a regular time to read.
Throughout our schooling time we'll put down our learning materials and lay on the bed for a bit. The lad will play and I will read. As the lad plays he will often interject comments when he doesn't understand something, or if he wants to add some knowledge to what we are reading about it. I find it particularly fun when I am reading something and suddenly whatever it is appears in his playing.... like when the octopus came out and pulled one of the characters under water scaring everyone around with his puff of ink. (made me laugh). :) It's a good break to our day, it continues our learning and gives the lad a mental break which he needs.
We also read about five books at night before bed, history, science, geography and a chapter book and the lad has a "read it to me" book that he does one page a night.
We take a low key approach to grammar and phonics around here, as these subjects are difficult for my lad. We've also added spelling this year as he's ready for it. We use a program called Logic of English for this. This program comes with a large number of flash cards. We pick three a week and those are what we work on for one week. This past week it was proper nouns, I and Y, and the sound aa. We actually had to look up what that sound made as their cue word wasn't working for us. :) It's easy to interject three cards into everything you are doing over the course of a week, to find spelling words that go with them, other sound words and such like.
Reading Comprehension and Narration.
There are a couple of ways that we do this.
1. Can you remember what happened yesterday? I frequently ask my boy this at breakfast before I start reading. Gives him a chance to test his recall.
2. Read from this book. Now tell me what you read. He chose to use a book we received for a review. A simple page a day read.
Last year it was our delight to pick up a program called CursiveLogic. My son now knows how to write in cursive. He still struggles reading different forms of cursive and my style drives him crazy unless I take my time to write neatly. :) But it's a great way now to add history, science and geography to his day in the form of copywork. He's still gaining confidence, particularly with capital letters, but the CursiveLogic flipstyle book makes it easy to find the needed page. :)
My lad is always in the process of doing some type of writing so I don't have a formal writing program for him. He'll frequently ask me style questions ... should I start a new sentence, would this be a new paragraph, how do I write this thought mom?
Every other week we do a poetry lesson where he needs to write a poem following a particular style. For instance An Animal Prayer Poem.