A Gentle Feast: Cycle 3 Term 3
Summer is almost here and I really should be packing boxes, but I would rather write up this term review instead :) Where to start. We started Term 3 on Valentine's Day...
E was somewhat nearing the end of this wrestling season and, when he wasn't wrestling, the kids and I were skating. There's no better way to pass a super long winter with energy-full kids than skating at an indoor rink! Taking four young kids skating solo is chaotic but I love skating just as much as they do.
That same month, we acquired a hard-hitting stomach bug - just E and I actually. Thankfully, the rest of the family escaped unscathed! Long c@vid caused some issues for me that hit a little harder that month. I'll just blame it on an extra long winter... we all needed some vitamin D!
On March 31st, E completed his state testing requirements and it went really well. Testing with four kids in the house is a little complicated, as some sections had to happen when toddler was awake and some sections happened while he was napping. Note to self - next year, test on a Saturday or Sunday when dad can help with the other kids. The next school year will be our first time having two state testing students. Overall the CAT paper test has been a great option for us.
And then we sold a house. Things have been a little crazy lately.
Now as far as school details...
What worked well this term:
Tinkering Things: Puzzles, alpharods, counters (and snacks). These help to keep the littlest hands busy during our school lessons. It's a bonus if the older kids help the younger two with their work! Toddler is 20 months now and the attention span has increased a teensy bit. That's been very helpful! C is 4.5 and has some light pre-K pages and then he listens along to all of the 3rd grade reads. (Lucky kids? They all listen to the E's school books but I don't think they mind.)
Geography: E enjoyed the online Map quiz game recommended by A Gentle Feast for 3rd Grade. It's isn't quite as cool as the "Zip Zap Map" I played as a kid on our huge desktop, but pretty close! The "My American GeoJourney" workbook was a great resource for this school year. "Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America" and "My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States" were okay but not huge hits in our house. Just exploring a plain old USA atlas was fun for the kids though.
Sharing the Load: Having the older two, E (3rd grade) and W (K), read aloud has been very helpful. It's easier to keep the group on task when the kids take turns with reading and it gives me a talking break, too. (I like that!) For the nature study books by Clara Dillingham, we listened to them on librivox and often while on the road.
Involving ALL the kids, even toddler, in as many subjects as possible is also a huge help. Children are so much smarter than the education system thinks they are. Can a toddler absorb something from picture study? Certainly! It doesn't take long to admire a piece of art. I do wonder what his babbles mean, as S looks at Claude Monet's work and jabbers on. :)
Curriculum Choices: A Gentle Feast and Dimensions Math were a great fit again this term. They have been good to us in the past but I am open to the idea that, if something isn't working, we may need to change it up. But it's not broke, so there's no need to fix it! Onward we go with AGF & Dimensions Math - and we will continue to move into Cycle 4: Modern Times for the next school year.
Something I did change in Term 3 was my Kindergartener W's school work. He's a summer birthday and technically an older K student, so I just pay attention to what challenges and interests him, rather than being stuck in a specific grade level (a huge perk of homeschooling!). I ended up throwing "Phonics Museum" in the trash (literally) because it was boring for him and switched him to A Gentle Feast's Language Arts Lower Elementary book instead. I had ordered this for the next school year but figured he could work ahead a little! The AGF approach it language arts is very effective and has worked so well for my oldest. Turns out W really enjoyed starting his book as well!
What didn't work this term:
Weather: Yes, it's the weather that didn't work. When snow storms cancel co-op, 4H meetings, church, wrestling practice, etc - you might as well make the best of the situation and just play in the snow! The younger two love that, while the older two would rather play legos or read inside where it's warm. I'm a mix of both schools of thought.
The weather did eventually shape up and we ended our school year on May 6th reading aloud in the back yard. With chocolate chip cookies. Don't forget the cookies!
And for a bonus - this is my Mother's Day picture from W and I feel it fully embodies the joys of spring:
Here's to a summer full of fun!
Explore the A Gentle Feast curriculum here and feel free to email me or comment here with any questions! Disclaimer: This post contains my A Gentle Feast affiliate link. If you click it, and make a purchase I will receive a commission.