Rain pelts the window pane above my head as I finish up Avery’s book with him. Suddenly, a cold breeze blows in through the front door as it flies open before being slammed shut again, by a muddy little duo donning mischevious smiles and crooked bike helmets. River nuzzles deeper into my neck. My senses tell me that Autumn has finally arrived.
We finished the summer with a gymnastics camp, an art camp and a trip to the berry farm to pick raspberries with friends, before deciding to get back to our schedule. With the beginning of the school year I had foolishly assumed that the knocking on our door to “come out and play!” would die down, but it hasn’t. It has simply been delayed until 3:15. Between homeschool activities, play dates, sports, classes and neighbourhood playmates the question of socialization blows my mind. Everyday brings hours of outside play with random neighbourhood kids. I was skeptical of the studies showing that there is no evidence of homeschoolers having socialization issues, but now I have no doubts. (Interested in these studies? Message me!)
This weekend we went to Pipestone Creek to check out a dinosaur dig. We hiked up the creek bed, and then up into the cliffs looking for fossils and interesting rocks. It was a lot of fun.
Our school week runs Monday-Thursday. We begin our main lesson block (language arts or Math) around 9am and we usually finish our school work around 1pm. This year we rotate through the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese), however I try to work french into their core wherever I can. We also have some fun unit studies this year: homes & house building, the natural medicine cabinet and herbology to name a few. I started the year with a week-long block of form drawing and nature study to establish a rythm. Then I started into a rotating four week period as follows:
First 4 weeks:
- Nature Study – walk in the woods/nature journal and weather observation
- Language Arts – Christopherus gr.1, Bearth Institute gr.3, Spelling Power
- French – Rosetta Stone, Living Languages, Grammar lessons, eventually a tutor
- Geography/History – I began the year at the beginning. We started with our place in the solar system and the creation of the earth. This works especially well with the Waldorf grade 3, because of the creation theme. It seems to fill them with even more wonder and excitement about the unknown. From here we went into the Precambrian including maps of the shifting continents. We will move quickly through pre-history in both geography and history as I plan to review it at the beginning of every year, and then slow down when we get to the evolved human, where I will begin the Smithsonian timeline. Eventually I plan to work our meal plan into our area and time period of study using resources such as “Eat Your Way Around the World”. We are also using “Geography through Art”, and doing “Story of the World” Activities. We will read corresponding classic literature, and historical biographies.
- Art – Artistic Pursuits Book 1, classes at the Centre for Creative Arts
- Sports/Extracurriculars – Ballet, jazz, acro, karate, skating, gymnastics, swimming
Second 4 weeks:
- Nature Study
- Math Christopherus gr.1, Bearth Institute gr.3, Miquon and Mammoth math
- Spanish – Rosetta Stone, Living Languages, Grammar lessons
- Geography/History (Continuation)
- Science – Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Volumes 1 & 2
- Sports (Continuation)
We have postponed our Costa Rica trip, because our strategy is now to spiral outwards from Alberta, and we haven’t seen the United States yet. Not to mention our short trips around Alberta and B.C.,we are currently in the process of planning three major trips.
The first is to Yellowknife North West Territories for the winter solstice in December. We are hoping to catch some great aurora borealis, and the 20 hours of darkness!
The second trip is a road trip through the United States starting next June. We plan to go down the west coast, across the bottom states, up the east coast, and then through the middle and northern states on the way back to Alberta.
The third is a road trip to Whitehorse Yukon, Dawson City Yukon, and all the way to Tuktoyuktuk and the Beaufort sea once that final stretch of highway is completed. Stay tuned!