Posted in Curriculum - Robinson

Reflections on Robinson, Month 1

As I look back on the past month of homeschooling, I can honestly say that this has been our best year to date.  Our house as a whole is more relaxed and everyone feels less rushed and less pressured as we go about our day.  The children are enjoying their schooling, and we have accomplished so much in just the past few weeks.  Here is a brief outline of what we do each day and week:

  1. Mathematics — the number of lessons depends on the child and the particular text
  2. Logic — we include logic as part of “math” time because the children do their math lessons very quickly and they really enjoyed the logic text we did last year.
  3. A brief writing lesson from Understanding Writing by Susan Bradrick
  4. A page of writing a day and correction of the previous day’s writing (includes spelling, grammar, and penmanship)
  5. Keyboarding
  6. Vocabulary
  7. Poetry
  8. Reading — includes literature, history, geography, theology, and science
  9. Biblical Greek
  10. Latin
  11. Westminster Shorter Catechism memorization
  12. Personal Devotion
  13. Family time:  physical education, art, music, nature study, science
  14. Extracurricular activities: Lego robotics competition, guitar, piano, Heidelberg catechism class

Our progress to date in each subject is as follows:

  1. Mathematics — Gentle Giant is on his second textbook, Life of Fred-Pre-Algebra I with Biology.  He will be done it soon.  Spunky is also on her second textbook: Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra.
  2. Logic — Both children have been really enjoying The Fallacy Detective and are about two thirds of the way done the course.
  3. A brief writing lesson from Understanding Writing by Susan Bradrick — we have almost completed Unit 3, which we started this month.
  4. A page of writing a day and correction of the previous day’s writing (includes spelling, grammar, and penmanship) — the children have successfully done this and have demonstrated an understanding of descriptive, narrative, informative and argumentative writing.  They have also delved into fiction writing.
  5. Keyboarding — the children are working diligently at improving their typing speed and accuracy.
  6. Vocabulary — the children are working on the second Robinson list.  I did add the word “Brobdingnagian” to the list since I came across it and thought they would be interested in seeing what it meant.
  7. Poetry — the children are each memorizing their second poem.
  8. Reading — includes literature, history, geography, theology, and science — the children have read to about book 15 on the Robinson list.
  9. Biblical Greek — Spunky has almost completed this course, which she started last year.  Gentle Giant finished it last year but practices the chrestomathy to keep up his fluency.
  10. Latin — Spunky has not yet started this course.  Gentle Giant is on unit 3.
  11. Westminster Shorter Catechism memorization — the children memorize at least one song a week.  We are on Holly Dutton‘s second CD.
  12. Personal Devotion — the children have been reading through the King James Bible starting in Genesis.  They are done Exodus.  They have been recording their insights in their notebooks as they read each day.
  13. Family time:  physical education, art, music, nature study, science — For physed, we have gone to the park and done physical activities with friends such as hiking.  For art, we have been working through Drawing With Children and are finishing lesson 2.  For music, we have been listening to the works of various classical composers in addition to taking guitar and piano lessons.  For nature study, the children have been studying the life cycle of a local frog pond.  We have also been identifying edible plants using Of The Field‘s resources.  For science, we have been studying Lyrical Life Science 3: The Human Body.  We sing one song a week.
  14. Extracurricular activities: Lego robotics competition, guitar, piano, Heidelberg catechism class.

My children were recently asked if they find it boring to sit at their own desks and work with no teacher intervention.  Gentle Giant’s response was, “No way!  I like it better because I get done faster” (all of the above, minus extracurricular activities, takes from about 9 am to 2 pm).  Spunky’s response: “It’s fun!”

We haven’t had homework yet but the children have been caught reading Robinson books during free time as well as writing stories and researching topics of interest.

In sum, what I have to say is: Thank you, Dr. Robinson, for giving me back my sanity; for giving my children back their mother; for giving my husband back his wife; and for giving all of us confidence that we can and will succeed in homeschooling.  I am excited to see what the future holds for us all.

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