Thursday, October 4, 2012

Student Spotlight: Honor

   Up next, Honor! Honor has made us laugh out loud on a daily basis since he was baby. We affectionately call him the class clown, which promptly causes him to do something even sillier. He's a laid-back, easy-going kind of guy, who says he's considering a career as a race car driver.

I ♥ those honey brown eyes!

   Honor is in fourth grade this year. Again, we have the same late birthday/different state/no-standard-cutoff issue. The school year Honor would turn 5 in early December, he was reading. He could do the math needed to compare his brother's age and grade to his own, and determine that he was supposed to start kindergarten that year. On his own, in his head. How do you say no to that? His brother started school in a different state with a different cut-off, but that meant nothing to the 4 year old boy asking me to teach him more.

   This week at Cub Scouts I watched him work and play with his fellow 4th and 5th grade Webelos, and noticed how much younger the 3rd grade Bears seemed in comparison. Honor is right where he belongs. ♥

   Honor's goals for the year are earning his Webelos patch, having a rockin' birthday party, celebrating holidays with gusto, and learning how to write better. His favorite color is red, his favorite subject is spelling, and his favorite book is "anything with Aang in it." (Aang is the main character in Avatar: The Last Airbender) At the time of this post, the book I see him in most is the Lego Idea Book. For quiet reading time he's nearly done with Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, and he plans to read How to Be a Dragon 2: How to Be a Pirate next, if Grace will share it with him. ;-) He's a strong math student, and loves to diagram sentences on a whiteboard.

   My goals for Honor's fourth grade year are getting him writing solid paragraphs, with strong topic sentences and clear conclusions, building the foundations of a strong work ethic, and nurturing his love of science and geography.

   Here's the curricula he'll be using for the '12-'13 school year.
  • Grammar: Rod and Staff's English 4 (includes some composition work)
  • Spelling: Rod and Staff's Spelling by Sound and Structure 4
  • Writing: some Progressive Composition Lessons, and a lot of made-by-mom-on-the-fly
  • Literature: lots and lots of really great books
  • Latin: finish Latin for Children A, begin Latin for Children B
  • Math: Horizons 5
  • Science: homemade human body study, using Kingfisher's First Encyclopedia of the Human Body, Scholastic's Make and Learn Projects: Human Body, Inside My Body Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning, and a few ideas from Otter's Elementary Science. That will be followed by BJU Press Science 4, and if that isn't enough, we'll get into a homemade rocks and minerals study.
  • History: homemade again, starting at the Revolutionary War and moving forward from there, using books like American Pioneers and Patriots, A Child's Story of America (Both from CLP), Sea to Shining Sea (Amy Cohn), Story of the World volumes 3 and 4 (Peace Hill Press), Usborne's The Last 500 Years, and plenty of extra reading books tossed in
  • Geography: Rod and Staff 4: Homelands Around the World
  • Art: Discovering Great Artists (Maryann Kohl)
  • Poetry: Pizza, Pigs and Poetry (Jack Prelutsky)
   Language arts, Latin and math are done daily. History is done on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and science is done on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Geography, art and poetry will take turns with each other, so that only one is done each day. For Honor specifically, I think there will be 5-10 minute geography work on a daily basis, with a larger lump of it on Fridays, where history is usually lighter than normal.  

   The science, history, geography, art and poetry are combined with Grace, but Honor will be held to a higher standard; he is capable of more.

   Eventually I'll get these spotlights linked to their names on the side bar, but I haven't figured out how yet.

End of the year curricula comments, added June 2013

   English, spelling and writing all went well. By the end of the year I started doing some Classical Writing Aesop assignments with him.
   This wasn't a good year for Latin. If he held his memory work for previous lessons I'll call it good.
   Once we replaced the Kingfisher book with The Way WE Work, he was much happier with the human body stuff. He read lots of Horrible Science books, The Library of Subatomic Particles series, and gobs of random topic science books. He did countless experiments on his own. We added Thunderbolt Kids to finish up the year, which he gave two thumbs up. In short, he ran away with science and I didn't have nearly enough materials to keep up with him. 
   History went well. Then we went back to our trusty Veritas Press and it went even better.
   We tired of the geography book before we finished it. It teaches well, don't get me wrong, but the interest level just wasn't there.
    That art book barely left the shelf, and he adored that poetry book in spite of himself.

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