Yes, it's been awhile since I last posted an update but here I am! As you already know, we're using Evolution Homeschool for our second year of homeschooling and we are still enjoying it! We absolutely love Singapore Math and Evolution Homeschool's Reading and Social Studies curriculum. I hate to admit, but we no longer use Evolution Homeschool's Spelling. It's a great program but we're just too busy focusing on other stuff.
I have both Roscoe and Ellie doing 4th grade Social Studies. Each week, we deep dive into a different facet of American History. The kids were so engaged that we had to take a quick detour and find out how and when people came to the Americas. Evolution Homeschool really inspires them to ask questions and seek out answers. The Reading Comprehension is really engaging, too. Each week, we head to the library, select our books for the week. Then, those are the books we use to do the Reading Comp. assignments. Last week, Ellie (3rd grade) worked on a really cool lesson categorizing characters like the protagonist and the antagonist. She read one of her favorite books and then answered questions about the plot, setting, characters and the conflict. She analyzed 5 different short reader books last week. Not to mention the chapter books she reads every day.
Roscoe's lesson last week focused on informational features in texts, such as the table of contents, the glossary, the index, etc. Honestly, Roscoe did a great job on the lesson but I'm not sure how much he loved it. Roscoe tends to like fiction and he had to choose books that were informational, nonfiction books. Oh well, such is life!
We're still moving along with our curriculum and generally, still really enjoy it!
Happy Thanksgiving! Due to some alternative family schedules, we are actually celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 29, so guess what we're doing on this beautiful and sunny Thanksgiving morning?? Yes, we're homeschooling! I know, I know... what a cruel mother I am, right?? But, I promise, we are taking off tomorrow and the weekend, of course. We are doing only fun stuff today. We are starting with 30 minutes of Reading Comprehension (Roscoe is reading Goosebumps and Ellie is reading Horrible Harry). Then, we'll do 1-2 pages in their Math workbooks. Then, I've found some fun Thanksgiving worksheets online. The kids are excited about coloring the turkeys for our table centerpiece tomorrow. Anyway, have a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving! Until next time!
I am so tired today... I really don't care whether Roscoe and Ellie learn anything today! Okay, that was a bit extreme but I'm just not in the homeschool mood today. The kids have finished their Math textbooks and workbooks. Roscoe is doing mixed and improper fractions and Ellie is working on multiplication. Next, we did some Social Studies. Roscoe is studying Slavery in the U.S. Colonies. (I didn't feel like helping him research online today so I just printed out several pages for him. Bad mom!) Ellie is working on The Legislative Branch of the Federal Government and how a bill gets passed. The kids also worked on Reading Comprehension. They read their books and then answered some of the Evolution Homeschool Workbook questions. I hope their answers are right because I didn't check them... too tired! Until another day :-)
I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks since my last post! Well, I can tell you that we are still enjoying using Evolution Homeschool's secular homeschool curricula.
Here are the highlights from our past 3 weeks:
1. We use Singapore Math and Evolution Homeschool's Reading Comprehension daily. The kids love the math but we've noticed a few minor issues with the 4th grade math. There are several lessons where Singapore Math does not give, in our opinion, a full explanation of the concept. Additionally, several of the workbook problems were far more difficult than what had been covered in the textbook. Our solution: I gave Roscoe my own lesson so he could complete the problems. The workbook problems that were way too hard... we just skipped! Ellie is using 3rd grade Singapore Math. We used that last year for Roscoe, so we already knew it was really great.
2. Roscoe loves Evolution Homeschool's 4th Grade Social Studies. As mentioned previously, he's been studying and researching the US since before Europeans arrived. He's learned a lot about Native Americans in our state, early settlements and what colonial life was like. He loves being able to 'research' topics that interest him. Sometimes, when he's being lazy, I find articles or sites on the internet and print them for him. Other times, we go the library and just sit for a few hours and read books about early colonial life.
3. Ellie has been doing some of Roscoe's social studies workbook, too! It makes it easier when you're teaching 2 kids just 1 year apart in their studies. We did do a few lessons from Ellie's Evolution Homeschool Social Studies workbook and they all seemed pretty good. She liked the lessons on the structure of government.
4. We are rarely using the Writing and Grammar workbooks. We only do Geography about every other week. We just been spending so much time on Reading, which the kids love, as usual, Math, Social Studies and Science. They'll be super smart but won't know what a verb is or where Asia is located.... mama's fault!
5. The kids love Science so much and love using the Science Lab Activity Book... so ordered the McGraw-Hill Reading Comprehension Workbook, too. So, on Science days, we read the lessons in the textbook, do an experiment and document our work in the Lab Activity Book, and then reinforce what they've learned with the Reading Comp. Workbook. It's great!
6. Now in our 2nd school year of using Evolution Homeschool, we're still enjoying it.
Roscoe is really excited about his fourth grade Social Studies lesson this week. Lesson 4 - The First European Settlements has him researching the history of St. Augustine and Fort Caroline in Florida (wish we could visit!). Roscoe found some information online (all by himself) and printed a few pages out. He's currently reading and later will answer several questions and then compare and contrast the 2 settlements. He seemed most excited about the imagining the Plan Your Own Voyage section.
Roscoe just opened his Evolution Homeschool Social Studies workbook, read the lesson for this week, and started jumping up and down! I asked him why he was so excited. He said that he really enjoyed researching and learning about Native Americans last week and this week the lesson was asking to him to research more Native American nations but right here in our own state!
So, we immediately set out on the internet to find information about the Native Americans that lived in our state prior to European settlement. Roscoe then choose 3 nations to read about. He printed out 3 fact sheets on the Cherokee, the Lumbee and the Catawba Indians.
The fact sheets are each 6-7 pages, so he'll spend 2-3 days reading those and then do the lesson: comparing and contrasting the nations. We already have a museum trip scheduled for this week to see the Native American exhibits!
As far as a parent review of Evolution Homeschool, thus far for our second year, I can only give it two thumbs up... and Roscoe concurs!
Today was Roscoe's first day of homeschooling for this school year. As ya'll remember, he was homeschooled last year but decided that he wanted to try public school for 4th grade. Me and Dad said, "Ok" but after 3 weeks he HATED IT!
So, today we kicked off homeschooling with Singapore Math in the morning (factors / multiplication), a geography lesson longitude and latitude, and then, Social Studies.
Evolution Homeschool's 4th Grade Social Studies covers U.S. history from about the 1400s (pre-Europeans) to 1865 (end of the Civil War). The first lesson asked students to select 2 Native American nations that interested them and to basically "research" them and then compare/contrast them. The Evolution Homeschool social studies workbook asked about 10 questions about each nation.
First, I printed out a map of Native American nations in the United States prior to European settlers. Then I asked Roscoe to pick 2 he would be interested in learning about. He picked the Shoshone and the Powhatan. For some reason, he seemed interested in learning more about Sacagewea and Pocohantas of those nations. I then helped him find some age-appropriate information on the nations on the internet. We printed out a few pages of information and 2 pages that he could color (pictures of Sacagewea and Pocohantas). He really got into his lesson today. He was excited to learn about these 2 nations.
He answered questions about the Shoshone in his notebook today. Tomorrow we'll do the Powhatan Nation. Later in the week, we'll build a model of one of their homes, as the workbook instructs. I'd like to find a video or movie for Roscoe to watch, too. I think that would be a great end to the social studies lesson on Friday!
Oh yes, Ellie is happy to have her older brother homeschooling with her again! She really enjoyed her math lesson this morning (adding and subtracting 4 digit numbers), geography (intermediate directions) and reading comprehension (reading one of her many chapter books and answering questions about it in the Evolution Homeschool Reading Comprehension Workbook).
We're really having fun homeschooling!
So, we're in the 4th week of school and Roscoe is already begging to be homeschooled again! I asked "why?" and Roscoe's response went something like this.... "I'm bored out of my mind! We've been doing the same math lesson for the past 4 weeks. I hate the 2 books that we're reviewing in class. I want to pick my own books to read like last school year. I like the other kids but the day is too long and I hate waking up early. The stuff we do at school is boring and the teachers says we're only going to have like 2 field trips this entire year. I want to be homeschooled! I learned more and it was more fun!"
After laughing for about 10 minutes straight, I sent his teacher an email and told her he would not be returning to school on Monday. Roscoe actually said that he missed Singapore Math and missed Evolution Homeschool's Reading and Social studies lessons! He said Singapore Math is the best math he's ever done. He says he loved Evolution Homeschool's Reading Lessons because he got to select his own books and the work seemed more challenging and interesting. He missed the Social Studies Lessons because we always incorporated field trips into the lessons and he got to choose how he "researched" topics (i.e., internet, books at the library, asking family members and taking notes, etc.).
Well, Ellie and I will definitely enjoy having Roscoe join us for Evolution Homeschool lessons this year. Ellie is enjoying her second year of using their curriculum. In a nutshell, she's been reading a 3rd grade level chapter book every 1-2 days. She truly has fallen in love with reading now that she gets to select her own books for the reading lessons. Generally, we still feel we've made a good decision by using Evolution Homeschool's curriculum for another homeschool year. No homeschool curriculum is perfect but we really enjoy it. We like that it provides structure where we need it but is flexible enough to allow us to figure out how we want to learn topics and use hands-on learning and field trips for the lessons.
The 3rd grade Reading and Social Studies are quite similar to 2nd grade, and there are still a few typos, but nothing major. We haven't been using the Spelling as much this year. It's a great workbook but I want Ellie, and now Roscoe, to focus more on Math, Science and Writing this year. Oh yeah, in addition to the Activity Lab Book that the Science Textbook comes with, we bought the Reading & Writing Workbook that McGraw-Hill sells just to ensure that Ellie is having the most engaging Science lesson possible. So, first she's been reading the Science textbook and answering questions in the reading/writing workbook. Then, after we discuss what she's learned, we do the experiments and write the results in the Activity Lab Book.
Anyway, I know this is a really long post but I promise to try post more and keep the posts shorter!
So, we're getting off to a great start with Evolution Homeschool's 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum. Ellie loves the Reading Comprehension, mostly because she gets to choose her own books and she finds the activities pretty interesting.
I probably won't be posting as much this year. While I'm only homeschooling one child this year, I am driving Roscoe to and from school everyday and we've joined 2 other homeschool social groups... so, needless to say, our days are SUPER BUSY! Plus, Evolution Homeschool's 3rd grade curriculum is pretty intense!
If anyone has any questions you want me to answer, feel free to shoot me an email.
Ellie began her Evolution Homeschool 3rd Grade Reading Comprehension today. While she did tons of reading this summer, I don't think she was quite mentally prepared for how much harder 3rd grade reading was going to be! We worked on reading for about 1 hour this morning! That's pretty long for Ellie. She usually completes her reading and writing assignments very quickly. She did well and, again, I really love Evolution Homeschool's Reading Comprehension workbooks.
As you know, Evolution Homeschool allows homeschool kids to self-select their reading materials. So, Ellie picked a book called "Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid" by Suzy Kline which was actually a chapter book. She read this book in 2 days last week (she is becoming quite a voracious reader!) and used that book to complete her Reading Comprehension lesson today. I feel like she was more interested in the lesson because she picked the book and really enjoyed it. She thought the Evolution Homeschool Reading questions were challenging but not overwhelmingly difficult.
We are excited about starting our second year (1st full year) of using Evolution Homeschool's secular homeschool curriculum. We've used other homeschool curricula before but I really feel like Evolution Homeschool's curriculum is the best! I like their philosophies of self-selected reading, research-based methodology and workbook style learning is really phenomenal!