It’s time to do a monthly wrap-up for my 3rd grader!
To view our 3rd grade curriculum choices this year, head over here.
Our January homeschooling had been a slow-moving month for us. This is usually the time of the year where doubts in my head starts to peek its ugly face. Always wondering whether homeschooling is right for us, or if I can do this thing, or are my kids learning or are they missing out?
Fortunately for me, 1.) I have already laid out our whole year’s worth of homeschooling plan using Homeschool Tracker. It is honestly my number 1 saving grace at times like this. With Homeschool Tracker, it’s become pretty easy for me to adjust everything if need be. So if you are looking for a homeschool planner, you may want to check it out. And 2.) Mr. M is pretty independent when it comes to his studies. I only needed to prepare his lessons for him and have everything ready for when it is time to homeschool.
Needless to say, those 2 factors alone saved me from throwing the towel down and calling it quits! I know it’s probably not what you want to see here but hey, I’m only keeping it real! But if there’s one thing I have learned (finally) through our years of homeschooling is that, we own our time and that we decide how we want to homeschool. So in times like this, I choose to slow down, strip down to bare minimum if we have to. And that was exactly what we did last month. I mean we could probably push through it if we really want to but why? We want quality versus quantity, right?
So with that said and done, come see with me whether Mr. M gained any progress last month.
We finally finished All About Reading Level 3! Whew! Yup, we took our time, you can say! We only do 2 lessons per week sometimes 1. It depends really on how busy we are for the week. Mr. M is doing very well with his reading so I don’t worry too much. The key is to keep going even if we are only moving slowly. 😉 Now, we can move on to Level 4 of AAR and the final level in the All About Reading series.
We do require our boys to read for at least 20 minutes everyday to help them practice their reading and comprehension skills.
To make it easier to entice our children to read, we let them pick the books they want to read. Mr. M got hooked on The Hardy Boys series after we got him his first 2 copies for a present last Christmas. 🙂 Other books he likes to read and have read already are: Ninjago (some copies), The Boxcar Children (the first few books that we can find in our library), Harry Potter (started on this one, have read the 1st book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and the latest one, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
Mr. M and his little brother playing with AAR lesson activity.
Mr. M can spell words usually pretty good but he does need a lot more practice with this one.
For his grammar, we use Growing with Grammar Level 2. This book is set up so that students can work on it alone easily. So Mr. M work on his grammar independently.
I check his work everyday to make sure he understands what he is reading and occasionally asks him questions. And when I find that he is a little bit confused about a certain topic or lesson, we usually go through it and discuss it together. But for the most parts, Mr. M is doing excellent!
Ahh writing! Currently, we are using Writeshop Primary B. This is the first year we tried it and I’m not so sure if this is the right fit for us. I will let you know more later on this year whether we are going to continue using it or if we’re gonna look for a different writing program. Maybe you know a great writing program? I would love to hear if you do, leave me a comment below!
As I was saying, we are slowly going through the lessons in our Writeshop and Mr. M is doing good as far as we are going. Last month, we finished a topic about Outer Space and he really enjoyed that one. He specially liked the publishing part where he got to make a rocket ship!
I let Mr. M do the writing since he’s able to write himself, but I sit beside him so I can help with spelling and offer words he can use for his writing assignment.
Mr. M and I sure need a lot more practice with writing. So we’ll keep going, slowly, and we’ll see what happens.
I started Mr. M on cursive handwriting this year using Abeka Writing with Phonics 2 – Cursive. And he has surely improved over the months that we’ve been using it. He is now able to read cursive writings as well as write in cursive pretty clean. Although, he can still use a lot more practice to be able to write in cursive without copying it.
I can honestly say that math is Mr. M’s strong subject and I am very happy with that! Most finished work he submits usually gets an 85-100 percent results.
We use Math U See and have been using it right from the beginning and we love it. Right now, Mr. M is working on Gamma level. He works on this subject by himself as well and only ask questions when he doesn’t fully understand the concept.
There are 6 activity worksheets that students can use to practice each lesson plus a test in the end. We only do 4 and the test unless Mr. M needs more practice on the topic before we move on to the next lesson.
At the moment, Mr. M is learning about multiplication facts and doing quite well. I like how the program introduces the multiplication facts from the easiest to the more challenging ones. Although, Mr. M is showing incredible marks on his activities, he still has to work on memorizing his multiplication facts to master the concept.
We are using History Odyssey this year for our history and learning about medieval times.
I love how the lesson plans are laid out in History Odyssey. Where before we used to do history everyday, this time we can do it in 2-3 days. It just used to feel overwhelming but now it seemed more laid back which we all enjoy except probably my husband (he loves history)!
It also probably helps that each lesson has additional hands-on activities like notebooking, mapping and crafting which helps to change the pace a bit. Although, we usually skip the crafting part (I’m guilty) unless it’s really something we all want to make. Like the building of castle which we plan to make this month (fingers crossed, Lol!).
Mr. M and his brother enjoys their history especially when they are able to do it with their dad.
Also, we are learning about Canada’s geography at the moment using Canada, My Country. So far, both boys have become familiar with the Canada’s provinces and territories, the oceans surrounding the country and regions. Currently, we are doing 1 lesson per week and then supplementing it with the boys’ individual mapping book. Mr. M uses Canada Map Book 1.
Have I mentioned yet how much we enjoy our Science this year? Yup! We like it so much that I might have to write a separate post about it another time! 😉
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to do so! If you are anything like me and find Science, well, too scientific! (LOL) You might really enjoy it like our family does.
They’ve taken a totally different approach in teaching science to make it a little bit lighter and fun to learn.
And fun we’ve been having! Maybe it’s the story that really catches your interest! Sure! All I know is that my boys are always excited to do science. They also enjoy making their lapbooks, noting what facts they can remember from the lessons we read. What a great way to make sure they are retaining the things they are learning from the lessons!
The scientific demonstrations (experiments) are easy enough to do but are the ones that gets pushed in the back burner when things gets a little hectic. I know I need to make the time for us to do it because they like doing it. So we’ll see!
We are using The Story of the Bible Vol. 1 – Old Testament and just slowly going through each chapter of the book. We read, discuss and ask questions usually once or twice a week.
Mr. M is doing book 4 of Draw, Write, Now and has gotten more confident in his drawing skills. This book is also great for letting him practice his handwriting as well since his other handwriting program is cursive writing. And as always, he enjoys this book just like his little brother.
We also uses Home Arts Studio on times we can make it (Lol)! We don’t follow the order of the lessons instead we started to pick and choose the ones that jumps out to us. And last month we found a lesson on how to make a Chinese New Year dragon, perfect for celebrating Chinese New Year!
His typing practice is pretty much non-existent. Not because he doesn’t like it or are not having fun with it, it’s in fact the opposite. It’s just one of those activities that gets put aside for tomorrow (or forgotten) when we get busy and feel overloaded. But we hopefully get back on track soon.
We have been using Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum. And it’s really a fun and interactive typing lesson for kids! Even you will find yourself enjoying it once you try it!
Our homeschool swimming class has ended last fall but Mr. M continues to enjoy Tae Kwon Do along with his little brother. Both boys have experienced their first TKD tournament last January and Mr. M came home with a gold and silver medal. So proud!
Other happenings: Field Trip to Muttart Conservatory
We have had our 3rd field trip this school year so far! And this time, we went down to the city to join in on the celebration of Chinese New Year at Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton.
During our visit, we learned a little bit about the culture of Chinese people.
Do you know why they celebrate new year at this time of the year instead of the actual beginning of the new year like most people do? I had no idea then so I had to do a little research about it. 😉
Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival in China and is the most important traditional holiday to Chinese. The actual date varies from year to year but usually falls somewhere between January 21st to February 20th. As the name of the holiday states, Spring Festival, is to celebrate the beginning of spring, which also marks the beginning of farm work for Chinese in the past when most people were farmers. It was celebrated to wish and pray for good harvest then. Now, Chinese New Year is celebrated to welcome a new business year, and wished for a successful and profitable year (taken from China Highlights).
Being a part of the Chinese New Year celebration, we’ve had a glimpse of some of the ways they traditionally do their celebration. Often with traditional dances and the appearances of the famous Chinese New Year dragons, and then finishing it all of with a beautiful display of fireworks.
The kids, especially the boys were so happy to have been there and experienced it!
Aside from the highlights that day, Muttart Conservatory is also known for its four glass pyramids which are homes to different plants from all around the world. Each pyramid represents a certain kind of environment and temperature from different parts of the world where these plants would grow.
It is pretty amazing to see! Below you will find pictures of some of the plants you will find there, but honestly, they don’t do them justice! You have to see it for yourself, if you are able to!
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