We spent the morning playing outside before it got brutally hot and now the kids are watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood while I scurry to get this post written. We have had a speedy summer and I am not quite sure where it has gone. We completed the Declaration! eCourse and are still plugging through our bird unit using Thornton Burgess's Bird Book.
I wanted to update you, in case you were thinking about including a study like either of those in your fall schedule. I will give you a lineup of our fall curriculum later this month. First, I wanted to share my thoughts on the studies we did this summer.
The Declaration! course was great for us this summer. Ella could grasp bits and pieces and enjoyed learning about our government. There were a few topics that were a bit difficult for her, not because the course was lacking, but rather because the content was a bit abstract. I printed off a student book for her and a teacher's book for me. Both were provided with the course, so all I did was print and put in a 3-ring binder. It required very little on my part as far as prep and we would spend about 30-40 minutes on the class/day.
The bird unit... well, I realized early on that we wouldn't get through all of the birds. The book keeps the study interesting, but I did have to choose a select number of birds to make sure we could complete a narration journal on all of them. I printed off black and white photos of each of the birds I chose to study and after we read about the bird Ella would paint the bird according to the description given in the book. Then, she would write down the facts that were talked about to learn how to brainstorm for a writing project. The last task for her was to take the facts and put them into sentence form and write them in an appropriate sequence to make sure her reader would understand the information given.
A little tip with the bird book... when reading, give the different characters their own voice and personality. When I was chatting with a friend, she said that helped keep her kiddos' attention, and it did for us, as well. I usually do this when reading, but I was a bit exaggerated for this book so that the qualities of the birds could be easily remembered.