Jitterbug is six and in grade one this year.
I’m continuing to take it easy with Jitterbug, he will only take so much school. In fact, if it’s anything that can be considered schoolwork he may be allergic to it. ;)
Reading: Jitterbug is still learning to read and I’ve floundered a bit with him. What’s working right now for us is a combination of The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading and I See Sam Readers. He also loves Reading Eggs, but I don’t have a lot of faith in that since he’s figured out how to trick his way through the levels without reading everything. He is continuing in the Explode the Code series, he’s currently in Book 2. I require two pages a day from him. It’s a really good fit since he can do it mostly independently, it follows a familiar format, and doesn’t take too long.
Handwriting: Jitterbug is working in the yellow grade one book from Handwriting Without Tears, My Printing Book.
Writing: Jitterbug will soon be starting Writing With Ease Level One. I like to start this partway through the first grade year, that worked well with his older brother and seems like it will be good timing for Jitterbug as well. It has both copywork and narration and is a gentle introduction to writing. I’ve got some additional copywork for him to complete on the days it isn’t included in WWE.
Grammar: No plans for formal grammar with Jitterbug yet. I’m going to wait until he’s reading well before I consider adding it.
Math: (I almost wrote Maths! Almost! You know you live in Australia when…) Jitterbug is working in RightStart Level B. To tell the truth, I don’t do math often enough with him. He’s picked up a lot through life but it’s time to make sure we are doing his math lessons daily. He loves the games in RightStart. We also have a subscription to Dreambox for Jitterbug that he makes use of a couple of times a week. I like Dreambox because the abacus works so similarly to the RightStart abacus. The games adjust based on his performance so that he is working at just the right level.
Science: This is conspicuously missing from Jitterbug’s lineup. He likes to participate in the Introduction to Science that I’m doing with his younger sister even though it’s aimed at a younger age group. He’s too young to get much out of what I’m currently using with his older brother. I have two other things ready to go for him: Apologia Swimming Creatures with the Junior Notebook, and Science in the Beginning. I can’t seem to get to either of them, but I have high hopes. In the meantime we read books. We have quite a few from the Let’s Read & Find Out series, and the Sonlight science books and DVDs.
Geography: Jitterbug was using Evan-Moor’s Beginning Geography earlier this year. I’ve cut out some workbook-y things and this was one of the things I cut. I’ve got Legends & Leagues which we started last year but only completed a couple of activities. I’m going to work through it a bit with him and see if it’s a good fit. We’ve also dappled in map tracing.
Read-Alouds: At the beginning of the year I determined to use Sonlight books as Jitterbug’s read-alouds. As the year has gone on I’ve strayed from their list, but it’s nice to have theirs to fall back on.
With his siblings:
Bible: We’re working through Part 4 of Grapevine’s Old Testament series. Jitterbug uses the Level One Traceables. He is capable of drawing without the tracing, but he does it much faster if he’s got something to trace. I can use the same teacher guide for both he and Skeeterbug.
History: We started Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages this year. We haven’t gotten far in it but I hope to do more as the kids have all enjoyed the bit we’ve done. I’ve also got some Australian history plans for later this year.
Memory Work: Jitterbug is memorising some poetry, Bible verses, and a history timeline.
Art: We are using Home Art Studio’s First Grade DVD. We meet fortnightly with friends to complete our projects.
Jitterbug only does schoolwork for about an hour or two each day, and not all in one chunk. Days that we do history or science take longer. Generally we do our basic subjects in the morning (Bible, Handwriting, Reading, Math) and other subjects in the afternoon (History, Science, Read-Alouds). The rest of the time he is playing. Hard. :)
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