This summer I am really working hard to incorporate activities that we didn't get to either because we were doing something else, or the activity got pushed aside. This summer we decided to read " A Little History of The World" By E.H. Gombrich from cover to cover. Usually we take pit stops along the way and use other history readings alongside, but this time we are just using one book for our adventures in history.
We went outside to begin an activity that I have seen all over blog land. They had fun breaking a small pot into pieces to feel just like an Archaeologist, digging for remains of history so it can be pieced together to tell the story.
They really enjoyed breaking those pots into pieces!
After the pots were broken we went back inside to read the first chapter again in the book. This activity definitely lends itself to great questions and focused attention while listening to me read.
They used clay to adhere the pieces back. This activity has proven to be a close as we can get to actually going out on an Archaeological Dig with the resources that we have. They are still working on the remains and I will share with you the results when they are finished.
For a long time now I have been really searching for a Latin program that would be easy to implement and incorporate grammar lessons that gently challenged Ken and DJ. Now it is time for me to share with you all that we have been reviewing Prima Latina published by Memoria Press as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew and we are having major success while using this program.
For just three days a week Ken and DJ have been learning new Latin vocabulary, how to identify derivatives, incorporating English grammar lessons, and being introduced to conjugations and declensions while using Prima Latina. We received the complete set, which includes a Pronunciation Audio CD, A DVD collection that consists of three discs that include all the lessons with a Latin teacher who happens to be the author of the program the lovely Leigh Lowe ( 9 hours), Teacher's Manual, Student Workbook( 25 lessons), and Latin Christiana I Flashcards. I was really excited to get going with this program and after watching a lesson on DVD and reading the need to know information in the Teacher's Manual we started working with this program the next day.
The first lesson I sat right alongside with Ken and DJ, and I learned plenty. About the third lesson into it I had to work with another child and let them know that they were going to be doing Latin on their own for the day, they loved it! I loved it! I found the DVD to be a valuable component and wouldn't dare try to implement this program without it. It made having to use the Pronunciation CD minimally. Due to a previous Latin course that we were using they were getting confused by how Leigh Lowe was pronouncing the words that she introduced. Now the kids were discovering the different pronunciations that Latin can be spoken in Classical, Ecclesiastical, Christian and Medieval. Prima Latina uses the Christian Pronunciation and the DVD and Audio CD only teaches this way, but if you are still interested in learning Latin with Prima Latina but like the Classical pronunciation you may still use this program. Prima Latina teaches Latin from a Christian perspective so naturally all of the prayers and songs are done using the Christian pronunciation.
The lessons always includes reviews of the previous lessons and after every 5 lessons Ken and DJ learned how to say a new prayer in Latin. Ken commented on how short the instruction was and how much she still was able to remember the past activity lessons. In our case each Latin period was about 20 minutes. Using this program every other day was perfect, just enough Latin and Grammar that kept them challenged and feeling confident at the same time.
The flashcards have Latin on the front.
English on the back.
They also have enjoyed learning through the songs, and appreciated the style of the workbook. They especially like that the workbook had headings for each section, this made it easy for them to follow along with their instructor. The flashcards were used daily, even though they worked on their Latin instruction for just three days a week. I did use the Teacher's Manual to help me prepare for the next upcoming lesson. Once I found out that the lessons could be done independently of me I would do the DVD lesson alone and follow along with the manual. I liked knowing what was being covered and learning Latin too. This program made me feel comfortable teaching Latin and made me want to learn before my students. Knowing what was included in the lesson, what was being done in the lesson prepared me throughout the entire lesson, which for us each lesson took about two weeks to complete. I didn't have to use the manual for answers that were included because I had instructions right at my fingertips, and a bonus no heavy binders or books to carry from one study room to another, therefore I knew the answers. My kids were starting to give me compliments on my Latin too. It just took me only one hour prepping and learning to help assist with two weeks worth of work.
This program is targeted for grades 2-4 it was just perfect for Ken who is entering seventh grade and DJ who is entering fifth grade. I bet if I had found this program earlier they would of been capable of completing this program in their younger grades too. The grammar instruction has been awesome, in fact I have replaced our previous grammar work with this one until we get to the grammar lessons that our Montessori Grammar materials will compliment this program, I can't wait until we get there! It is going to be so much fun using these two approaches to grammar together.
The cost of the complete set of Prima Latina is $90.90, but you can buy all of the items individually as well. To read samples and watch a DVD sample of the curriculum go here.
To get a great answer to Why you should study Latin? go here.
The kids on Friday spent their day making various gifts for their Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Father. You won't see any gifts that they made for their father because they have sent it to him and just in case he reads this post they want it to be a surprise.
Ken hand sewed a wallet for Gramps, using the style of how I make wallets for three part cards.
Wood burning done by DJ.
Using Legos, superglue, and watercolors DJ created a canvas art.
Michelle used a manikin and made a superhero and then wrote "My Superhero".
Using fabric,felt letters,and glue Ken made a banner.
These are all of their ideas and I had fun watching their work unfold.
I have officially nominated this week's learning Review Week (especially with the Montessori math materials), probably next week's learning will look the same.
In Math Ken needed me to give her another introduction presentation with the Checkerboard. I am glad that it was her that said "if you don't use it, you may lose it", it let's me know that some things that I say they are listening to. LOL. In her defense the materials were not accessible to them for about a month. Never again will I put them away, to make my life easier for the moment. On one hand I am glad that we are not slaves so to speak to the materials, but if you need them and have them you should be using them:)
DJ and I spent a lot of time with the Large Bead Frame I think he remembers now(fingers crossed). He asked if I could show him something new with the Stamp Game, luckily I had some equations using the distributive property. He absolutely loves this work, and I was pleased because in reality I was flying by the seat of my pants this week. Our Summer goal for math is to focus on Geometry and Operations.
We have been reading a lot! DJ is just about done reading the Jungle Book and Ken and I are still reading Grimm's Fairy Tales. We have replaced Montessori Grammar materials for now with our new Latin Program that we were able to review, you can learn more about this curriculum tomorrow when I share our review. The work above is Michelle doing some Latin work of her own.
In our cultural subjects they have been learning more about how to forecast the weather.
DJ did this canvas painting of the Parts of the Frog. The art supplies have been used a lot! I appreciate their use and didn't realize how much they enjoyed Art until now. There was no down time, just only when we made trips to the park if you can consider that as down time.
Ken spent quite a bit of time using fashion plates to create some fashion designs for her her latest project.
DJ tried wood burning for the first time now he is hooked!
They left United States History and went back to Africa. DJ did the King Tut tracing, and Ken did the Animals of Africa work.
They have done a ton of research finding names of host plants to butterflies. Which reminds me that I need to print the parts of the caterpillar that Ken requested.
All of the kiddos have done a tremendous job introducing new children to the environment and setting great examples, plus helping me out with chores at the Studio and at home. In the Summer we don't do "school" on Friday and this helps me to keep organized, do a bit of planning. For the kids they feel like they are free to explore. I wonder what they are going to do tomorrow.
I would like everyone to know that I appreciate all the supportive comments you have left here, on the other blog, and on Facebook. Well I am on my way to read some blogs that I have missed. I am down to just three more must do tasks and then let the summer begin!
Well enough about us! How has your Summer been? Any vacations planned? Please share with me in the comments.
I received a couple of emails asking for my humble opinion on using technology in the classroom.
First, I strongly believe that children should not use a computer until they know how to READ, again this is just my opinion. I know there are a lot of "learn to read" computer programs out there I don't know if they work or not because I have never used them before, but I have taught a lot of children how to read without using the computer. I like computer devices to be available in the classroom for research work, and learning computer related skills like power point presentations,learning about digital photography,computer programming, etc. These are skills that I feel are necessary to know in living in a technology based world. I promote real life learning where a child must use all of the five senses to learn and being on any computer device all day prevents this from happening. With that being said anything that is overused turns out to be a bad evil, limiting what they use the technology for in our classroom prevents the technology from being this evil. Again this is just my humble opinion.
As a parent it ticks me off when I see my kids on the computer when it is a beautiful weather day outside when "school" time is over. Being 40 I appreciate play time, computers hadn't taken over outside play time when I was growing up.
We had the Grand Opening of the Studio on Saturday and had major fun! Now it's all about routine! It has been over ten years since I had to actually leave for work. It hasn't been all that bad considering the Studio's location is less than five minutes from home, still in the neighborhood.
After working in the basement for so long, I bet you can imagine my new interest in windows. LOL. We are able to actually observe birds effortlessly.
The kids have also been interested in knowing more about the weather, thanks to to the weather stick that was purchased from Imagine Childhood.
You can expect to hear more from us now that things have settled down. I have an awesome review coming your way, and something to share that has helped DJ master those multiplications in such a fun way. If you are interested in seeing our new learning space click here.