This week is our first official week of 3rd grade! We started back at our homeschool co-op two weeks ago, but decided to take some extra time this year between summer school and the new grade. We deep cleaned our tiny school room, consolidated and organized all our supplies and gave away tons of things that are no longer useful for us. Then we enjoyed a few “not back to school” playdates where the playgrounds and parks are empty because the majority of the kids are at school.
Day one went by pretty smoothly actually, minus the many la-la-land moments where sitting and focusing on school was just not what her brain was in the mood for. It is always the worst after a long break, but man! I think we spent at least 15 minutes today just getting/keeping her out of the dazed zone. I mean…I can relate though, it does take some time to get back in to the swing of things.
I am really excited about the science curriculum I have worked up and after going over it with her today, she is too. The experiments and models we have planned look like fun and the topics should keep her interested. She’ll be learning about the Earth’s structure, atmosphere, landforms, rocks, gems and minerals and erosion in Earth Science. Then we move to Physical Science to learn about force and motion, types of energy and simple machines. We will also continue with the interest led nature study and journal that she has been keeping for the last few years. There is always some animal, bug, bird, plant, etc., that she sees or hears about and wants to learn more. Its my favorite and has been the core of our science up until this point, but it is time to move forward into the other areas. I looked and looked for a good curriculum, but I just wanted more variety than they were willing to offer. I selected our scope based on one of Maryland’s best plans for 3rd grade and created our curriculum from scratch using the Kingfisher Encyclopedia and Usborne’s 365 Science Activities.
Last year we learned prehistory from the birth of the planet up to the rise of mammals which is technically science and history. So this year we will also be continuing our prehistory science to include the evolution of humans, fire, early tool makers, hunters, explorers, the ice age, early families and tribes and eventually farmers. I decided last year to teach history linearly, so 2nd and 3rd grade focus on prehistory and we head into ancient civilizations in 4th grade.
Out of all the subjects though, she is most enthusiastic about Sign Language and Cursive. Originally, we had planned to introduce a foreign language this year, but I found out that our co-op will be starting a Spanish class that she will be old enough for next year. I think it will be much easier to teach Spanish at home if it is being reinforced at co-op, so I decided to wait until 4th grade. She is fascinated with sign language and I am amazed at how much information can be found on the web for this subject. We are using this great primer book, but there is free curriculum and wonderful videos all over the place to supplement.
Cursive is going slower than I had imagined (we started it over the summer), but she loves it and I am surprisingly patient about it. For some reason it is just not as frustrating as teaching her how to write initially in print, so it feels easy breezy…like I know she will get it when she gets it and there is no stress.
Just typing it all out here makes me more excited! 🙂 So here we go! Setting off into our fourth year of homeschooling…wish us luck!