Monday, 4 October 2010

Oak Meadow Curriculum

After much discussion Dave and I both felt that, using a pre-planned curriculum would help enormously with our home school journey.  We decided to buy from Oak Meadow and were not only impressed with the speed in which the package arrived but also the quality of the materials supplied.  Oak Meadow can be found here:
Oak Meadow
Our new routine for the week includes Language Arts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and Math Stories on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  After lunch we have a variety of afternoon activities recorder practise, craft,humanities, science and handicraft.  The subject areas incorporate stories, practical activities and a small amount of writing and art to reinforce each concept.  Today's lesson was Language Art and our Animal Story for the next few weeks is The Jolly Robin, to be read at bedtime.
The first chapter was entitled "Nestlings" and centres around the main character Jolly Robin and his nestling brothers and sisters.  We are given hints relating to his temperament, his relationships with his other family members and even his favourite food!  This morning our task was to remember and narrate the story and from that write three sentences and an accompanying picture.  Initially I was amazed by how much we did remember, but upon reflection I should not be so surprised, this just confirms Benedict preferred learning style, which is auditory in nature.  Here is our list of remembered items:
Jolly Robin is the biggest of the nestlings for he loves his food.
His favourite meal is angleworms.
He likes playing tricks on mummy bird, if she isn't moving quickly out of the nest, he encourages his brother and sisters who are nestling underneath her, to jostle and push her out of the way!
We remembered the description of the nest; it was made of twigs, leaves, moss and mud.  Benedict recalled a nature programme he had seen whereupon a bird had used sheep's wool to line the nest.  The sheep's wool helped keep the eggs warm and also acted as a protection; he likened it to the bubble wrap used when sending fragile items through the post.  He also talked about nesting boxes and why the holes in them are small, in order to protect the eggs/baby birds from predators.
To prepare the birds for leaving the nest, one day daddy bird sits on a branch with an angleworm in his mouth.  Since angleworms are Jolly Robins favourite treat he leaves the nest to devour this delicious morsel.  From that day he does not return to the nest.
The three sentences that Benedict chose to say and write are as follows:
The Jolly Robin loves angleworms.
Jolly Robin loves playing tricks on mummy bird.
To get Jolly Robin out of the nest daddy bird sits on a twig with an angleworm in his mouth.
Here is the accompanying writing and drawing:

Our next task was to tackle this week's spelling list.  Benedict used the Rummikub tiles as a tactile  lettering system and did well considering he had only briefly looked at them late last week.  Free time and chore time was next on the agenda, Benedict and Pip played with the modelling clay whilst I caught up on kitchen chores.
After lunch Benedict read the first chapter of "Five go down to the sea" by Enid Blyton.  He also typed out his narration from last week relating to our Ravenglass trip, he did this using Microsoft Word.  We chose our poem of the week and here it is:
An Autumn Greeting
" Come" said the wind to the leaves one day.
"Come over the meadow and we will play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold
For Summer is gone and the days grow cold"
Whilst I worked on finishing tomorrow's Math Story Benedict played with the Lego outside.  
Early days I know but so far so good.  It is the first time ever Benedict has not moaned about having to put pen to paper!  He has worked diligently and quietly.  Our flower garden for Our Lady over  is also shaping up nicely too!

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