May starts tomorrow, and the fields are lush, green and full of wildflowers.
Here is what we’re up to this month:
Our circle time hit a wall last month, and after trying to hold it together by myself for a couple of weeks, I am trying something different. I’ve doubled our walk and halved our circle. After walking about a mile, we come in and sing “This Pretty Planet“, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “America the Beautiful”. Short and sweet seems to be working nicely at the moment.
Inspired by our US Geography block, we have been listening to a variety of patriotic songs, marches and folksongs. The boys sing them throughout the day, and this is taking the place of our more formal poetic memorization and recitation.
Main Lesson Block for 4th Grade:
In addition to revamping circle time, I have also revised our main lesson and reading time. (We were in a funk for a while, and desperate times call for desperate measures.) During main lesson we have been listening to a lot of music and focusing on handwork, which for my 4th grader is embroidering a fabric map of the United States. (Picture the two of us hunched over our embroidery hoops singing “On Top of Old Smoky” or humming “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.) My kindergartner loves to march around and sing along to all the songs as well. This is not how we usually structure our main lesson time, but it has put the spark back into our days. Our reading time has been devoted to regional novels, tall tales and stories. Once a week we write a summary on the area of the country we studied the previous week. Last month, we studied the area of the United States east of the Mississippi, and now we are moving westward. Some resources I plan to use this month include Stories from Where We Live : The Great North American Prairie edited by Sara St. Antoine, Stories from Where We Live : The California Coast edited by Sara St. Antoine and American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne. I plan to do a recap of the entire block when we finish and list all our projects and resources. This will be our last full month of school (!) for 4th grade and kindergarten, and I am looking ahead to 5th and 1st grade. Expect some planning posts soon.
Click to see what we did for US Geography.