All Girls School

Mid Year Check Up
December 9, 2007, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Bubba, curriculum

Last summer I looked up the curriculum for first grade in our state. I wrote down the main learning points for each subject and saved them on the computer. Because I knew there would be a long slow learning curve on both of our parts, I didn’t reference it at all. I mean, I remembered some of the items, and I tried to incorporate those, but mostly I just tried to figure out how to make it work for us. But, now that we are hitting the halfway mark in this school year, I felt that it would be a good idea to gauge where we’re at in respect to her peers. I was expecting us to be way ahead in some areas and to not have touched others. I was correct.

We’re well ahead in many areas of math. It has always been her favored subject, so we just keep going and going with it until she’s satisfied. We;re going to continue with fractions for a while longer and move on to multiplication after the holidays. She can do multiplication with her fingers right now, even the bigger ones like 9 x 9, but I’d like her to get to the point where she’s not using her fingers for it.

Her current social studies has centered on learning about different cultures and periods in history. The local first grade curriculum focuses on things closer to home like courtesy, rules and responsibilities. These are things that we’ve worked on her whole life, so I don’t feel very compelled to make a unit study on them. Other things, like map work and identification are things that we haven’t done a whole lot of, so that’s something we can work on after the new year.

I will admit to falling short in science so far. I have no real excuse for this, other than her interests not lying in this subject. As I mentioned before, she chose to study weather for a while, but soon found it held very little interest for her. So, I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to incorporate more science. The local curriculum consists of learning the scientific method and identifying properties of objects as well as observing animals in their environments and watching life cycles. Those are all things that we can easily cover, especially this spring when we can be outside observing these things first hand.

In regards to reading, she’s reading well above her level, but in looking at the curriculum, I see that I need to be going over the specifics of the structure of sentences with her. She intuitively understands these things, but I need to be putting words to the different parts of sentences. Other than that, we’re golden in reading.

Bubba’s writing is good and age appropriate, but I think that if we really work on it, it can progress even farther. Again, just like in reading, I need to be identifying the structure of things so that she can focus on them specifically instead of just writing in a way that feels correct. So, working on reading and writing together should improve them both.

As far as the arts go, she’s continuing her guitar lessons and we do lots of drawing and crafts, as well as some rudimentary biographies on artists.

I hate to compare or progress with that of the public curriculum because I am really happy with what we’ve accomplished this year. But, since there’s still a slight uncertainty that I will always be able to homeschool, I feel better knowing she will at least be at the same level in all of these subjects if she was to return to school. (Plus, I will admit that in my “first-year-of-homeschoolin brain”, I feel better being able to quantify what we’ve done in some way.)


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