Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Gentle Feast: Green Year Term 2 Review

We finished up Term 2 of our school year, well, a while ago (March 6th) and I'm determined to get this quick review typed up before Term 3 is complete. Our Spring weather has finally arrived and, aside from all the COVID-19 craziness going on now, we are so relieved. It's been hard to make myself sit down to type this up! 

Because this is a Term 2 review, I am not going to touch on how COVID-19 has affected our homeschooling (that will come for the Term 3 review). It hadn't affected anything here back in early March! Our co-op group still met as usual and the Library was open and well back then. Feels like forever ago. 

We continued to thrive on the A Gentle Feast Form I curriculum for the term and overall everything has gone rather smoothly while homeschooling with a two-year-old in the house. (He is a huge blessing and also one of trickiest parts of homeschooling in this season!) We also found out Baby #4 was on the way at mid-Term 2 and we are all SO excited! I found that homeschooling while being absolutely exhausted and dealing with morning sickness is extra challenging. Thankfully by week 12 of the pregnancy, the morning sickness got a little less intense.

Let's jump into the pictures. 

What I MOST appreciate about A Gentle Feast is that everything is laid out for us to work from and most resources are available in our spiral A Gentle Feast manuals (check out my Term 1 review here). For the information that isn't in the manual, I just plan ahead and pull it up on my phone or the desktop. 

I made a few slight changes to some of the subjects. One being that we follow along with Happy Hymnody's Hymn of the Month schedule and use Children of the Open Air for Solfa lessons. That really doesn't change things too much - it's really just a matter of having the links ready to pull up while resisting any other online distraction.

The full-color prints for Artist Study in the Morning Time spiral is such a helpful convenience. All of the kids, even Mr. Two Year Old, and myself take part in this picture study. We keep it brief and it's enjoyed by all. For our Composer Study weeks, I pull up the song selection on YouTube and we listen, sometimes with it just playing in the background. Classics for Kids is a helpful podcast resource we use for some composers.

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The history read alouds were all loved again this term. I'm not even sure I can say we had a favorite! It's amazing how choosing the right living books can make history come alive! I thought history was boring back in my school days but reading these alongside the kids has really changed my heart on the subject. I will say the illustrations in any d'Aulaire book are impossible not to love. (My opinion at least) Their Pocahantas this term and Leif the Lucky from last term were both amazing.


For natural history, we continued in the Burgess Animal Book for Children and added the Little Flower Folks for this term. For the Burgess book, we listened to the audio of each chapter in the Libravox library. That was so handy and it allowed me to keep the toddler busy or play with preschooler while we all listened. The Little Flower Folks book was hard to find but I did finally find it at a good price on an eBay auction. Whew! The book is gorgeous and stories were interesting but I decided to pick and choose which assigned readings we did out of this. Some of the sections were quite lengthy and a little hard to understand for my very young students - ages 2, 4 and newly 7 years old. We supplemented both the Burgess and Little Flower Folks studies with colorful pictures from our North American Wildlife book. The colored pictures helped with longer readings! 


For geography, we continued on in Home Geography by C.C. Long, did some map study and also read As the Crow Flies by Gail Hartman. I supplemented some of the chapters with books such as "Wonders of Rivers" by Rae Bains, a few other Troll Associates books and hands-on study whenever possible! 




We read some of the Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang stories but intend to finish reading that throughout the summer. It's a great book but keeping up with all of the read alouds on limited attention spans has been a challenge - namely with 2 and 4 year old boys.  Dangerous Journey was too good to put down and the kids often didn't want to stop with our weekly reading. We finished it a little faster than planned because it was that good! After reading The Evergreen Wood last year, Dangerous Journey by Oliver Hunkin was a natural progression for us in the Pilgrims Progress theme.


For our Spanish studies, we followed along with some of the A Gentle Feast song selections for Form I Spanish and then did our "own thing" quite often too. Weekly, we go through the Usborne's First 100 Words in Spanish book and then read a couple Spanish read alouds from the Learning Together series. 


Our first grader moved on to Singapore Math's Dimensions Math 1B books about half way through Term 2. He's enjoying their approach and I enjoy teaching it! We will likely keep plugging through some math (and reading) throughout the summer too. For reading, he is working through the 100 Gentle Lessons in Sight and Sound: Level 2. Just like Level 1, the variety and methods of teaching have been a great fit for my first student. We'll see how this works with boy #2 in a year or so!


Preschooler worked through his own Pre-K workbook because he insisted on having his own "school" to do. When not working on that, he colored. A lot! This kid is my color-crazy artist! (Oldest bro prefers black and white)


And then there's this guy. He's our wild and adventurous Mr. Two. Watching him explore life is sure fun! He learns along side the older brothers and enjoys many of the read alouds. At the end of Term 2, he has been taking part in the poetry recitation and that has been so cute to see! 

With only three weeks left in Term 3, I'll be back soon to write that review. Hopefully I'll be more timely - my goal is to write it up before our summer break is over :) 

Check out all A Gentle Feast has to offer by clicking here!
 

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