We wrapped up our study of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in late November. We did not dive as deeply into this region as we have other regions for the simple reason that in mere months we will be starting a whole year in the middle east when we begin our Ancient History study!
I took advantage of this simple week to assess our homeschool. As I sat down to plan the week, I made a list of some priorities for the children. Sort of an overall evaluation of where they are in their MFW ECC year. I identified a few strengths to continue cultivating and a few weaknesses to spend extra time working on. My eldest needed additional help in reading strategies (to help kick his dyslexia in the butt) and my second born needed to continue working on slowing down! Anyone else have a speedy reader/writer/problem solver that makes careless mistakes due to the speed at which they work? Sigh.
First we loaded up on books from the recommended reading list in the MFW ECC manual. Then we added more book recommended in the wonderful book of book lists, “Give Your Child the World” by Jamie Martin.
Our favorite read by far was “King of the Wind” by Marguerite Henry. My goodness did the boys ever latch on to every single thing they heard in this book. We watched videos of horse races and read books on Morocco. We purchased a few special spices to smell and cook with. We made Al Kabsa for lunch one day and the boys noted that it is similar in appearance to our family recipe of Arroz con Pollo. Another read we enjoyed was “One Green Apple” by Eve Bunting.
We spent a lot of time reading aloud. I love to read aloud but I always have to make sure to give them a chance to read aloud themselves, which means I need to take intentional listening time as they read aloud and then narrate. I took the most wonderful course on Narration last month by Leah Boden over at Miss Modern Mason. She is about to launch her second class on basics of the Charlotte Mason method. You can find Modern Miss Mason on IG and Facebook. Leah is a wealth of information and more importantly– a relatable, beyond likable person!
All this reading aloud business led to a quiet transformation in their own personal reading. Its a little crazy to watch the level of fruition that is taking place here. You pray, plan, prepare. You read so many books on parenting and homeschooling. You stay at it day in and day out and ever so s l o w l y, you see the fruit start to form. I’m so thankful that they love learning. Their minds are curious and hungry for more. Thank God!
And here is the update on Science. We’ve chucked pretty much all the ECC Science. I wasn’t crazy about it and the kids even less so. The one thing that saved it for us was the Living World Encyclopedia. We still do those assigned pages. What else are we doing? Well, its pretty much Biome study using BBC Planet Earth videos, Pin it! Maps Animal study, Donald Silver’s One Small Square books, Smithsonian Backyard books and all the other living books we can get our hands on from our local living library. The boys are keeping record of everything in their science and nature journals and their tree books (which is recommended by ECC). I’m sure there are many families that appreciate Properties of Ecosystems and the Book of Animals, we just weren’t one of them. The boys are extremely happy to have left those behind and they are really stepping up their game in the independent learning department thanks to their science study this year.
It was a great reminder of one of my favorite Sonya Schafer sayings. These curriculums are our servants, not our masters. If there is an aspect that doesn’t work for you, replace it. Now, I didn’t have the money to just buy an entire new curriculum so I made the best with what I had on hand and it has turned out to be more than enough!
Next up, INDIA. (Though to be totally honest, we are almost on Japan. I’ll catch up on posts soon, right?)