Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Colwyn's Progress Report

Here's the progress report we submitted for Colwyn, for the previous school year:

READING: Our literature based program this year has involved reading to Colwyn a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. In addition to the two dozen or so picture books we check out from the library every other week, we have read several chapter books, including Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series and R.L. LaFever’s Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist series. Besides these family read-alouds, Colwyn reads consistently at a third grade level, and reads a variety of books independently.

WRITING: Colwyn can easily form all lower case and capital letters. He writes notes and letters spontaneously, and also writes thank you notes and birthday cards frequently. Colwyn also enjoys making books, writing and illustrating his own stories. For a book club we attend, Colwyn produces journal entries and reports on the books he reads.

MATHEMATICS: This year, Colwyn completed the Singapore Primary 1A and 1B workbooks. Topics covered include addition, subtraction, ordinal numbers, number comparisons, common shapes, comparing and measuring length and weight, picture graphs, adding three numbers, multiplication, division (sharing and grouping), fractions, telling time, and money. His math workbooks were greatly reinforced by real life applications including cooking, shopping, board games, and using our family calendar.

HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES: We use the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History as a basis for our history studies and progressed through the sections on ancient civilizations. We supplemented his learning through many fiction and non-fiction books checked out from the library. He also read many mythology books, including Roman and Norse myths, and a child’s version of Gilgamesh. Colwyn has also participated in monthly Earth Scouts meeting that have focused on human rights. He has completed several service projects including earning money for Heifer International, making blankets for Project Linus, sending cards and pictures to soldiers overseas, and holding a bake sale to raise money for Save the Children’s relief efforts in Japan. He has studied several modern countries using Highlight’s Top Secret Adventures and has supplemented that learning by planning mock vacations to each of those countries (planning which includes finding airfare, lodging, choosing historic sites and/or attractions to visit, tallying costs, and budgeting).

SCIENCE: Colwyn’s science education this year has focused on earth science. He has studied volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and plate tectonics. He has studied geology and panned for gemstones and fossils, which he then identified. He participated in several science club activities, the topics of which included magnetism, human physiology, and early humans. He supplemented the human physiology lesson with library books on various topics, including the circulatory system and reproductive system. He also studied animal husbandry, physical and behavioral adaptations in wild animals (focusing on African species, but also applying his knowledge to local species). Besides this more formal science education, Colwyn enjoys observing nature (specifically living creatures we find in our neighborhood) and experimenting with a variety of media outdoors. He has also studied freshwater pond ecology and helped plan, install, and maintain a freshwater pond in our backyard.

THE ARTS: Colwyn enjoys creating artwork using a variety of materials, including crayons, markers, colored pencils, water colors, and tempera paints. He also likes to be creative with clay, Play-Dough, and recycleable materials like boxes, plastic containers, and so on. He has made gifts for friends and family, puts on puppet shows, and likes a wide variety of music. He has learned about stop motion and created several short movies. In addition, he has made music videos and helped with the video editing.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Colwyn has completed the Song School Latin curriculum this year. He has also assisted in teaching his younger siblings American Sign Language and continued to grow his ASL vocabulary.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Colwyn loves riding his bike, going for walks with his family, and exploring the hiking trails at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. We attend weekly park days in warm weather where he plays boisteriously with other homeschoolers. In cold weather, we make frequent trips to Monkey Joe's and often coordinate private rentals of Strike One for our homeschool group.

HEALTH: Colwyn understands and practices good hygiene and personal safety. He has learned a great deal about good nutrition and has helped grow nutritious vegetables and fruits in our yard.

FIELD TRIPS: Field trips are an important part of Colwyn’s education. Our field trips this year have included everything from visiting Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut, to the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science, to attending concerts in Boston, to the Essex Ship Building Museum, to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida.

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