Progress So Far, Part 1

Halfway through the year, we get ready for the portfolio reviews with the county, to prove we are providing “regular, thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age”. So I’m going to post about it. Part one, this post, will be to compare what we were planning on doing with what we actually did. Plans never survive first contact, but it’s good to have somewhere to start.

I copied my old post, and I’ll mark it up with colors and strikethrough. 

History for 3rd Grade and Kindergarten will be the same general topics, with activities that vary based on their abilities:

  • Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of History – right now it’s our pre-history spine, and will supplement the other books for the next several years. Yes!
  • Story of the World Volume 1  — Yes! Several Chapters, after our prehistory and evolution studies
  • History Odyssey level 1 Ancients — Yes! Some of it, history pockets and craft projects.
  • Gombrich’s Little History of the WorldNo… couldn’t actually find it after I made the post. It’s around here somewhere.
  • Various history pockets, historical coloring books, streaming videos, lap books! — A little. More than usual, but not as much as I hoped.
  • Activities from other subjects that have historical content (see below) — Yep! Some art, music, math. I always hope for more, but did the best I could.
  • Ancient literature, perhaps kid versions when necessary, such as The Odyssey. — Uh.. The Boy read some mythology.
  • Kid literature, such as picture books, Timewarp Trio, Magic Treehouse. — a little. They enjoyed Rick Roirden books about greek and egyptian myths.
  • 3rd grade only: online Mythology class — Yes! It was lovely.

 Language Arts 3rd Grade:

  • Michael Clay Thompson, Town level — this includes Grammar Town, Practice Town, Paragraph Town, Caesar’s English, Building Poetry. — We’re a bit slow on this one so far. We’re not even through grammar yet, and we’ve done a few chapters of vocabulary. (The grammar book is supposed to take 1-2 months tops…)
  • All About Spelling 2 and hopefully 3. — We’re nearing the end of 2.
  • Classic Literature as it comes up. — Maybe another year.

Language Arts Kindergarten:

  • All About Spelling 1 (will probably be done before fall), 2, probably even 3 — finished one! Moving on to 2 if her brother ever finishes.
  • Mad Libs — yes!
  • Reading simple books– yes!
  • Not much else — she listens to her brother’s lessons and absorbs a lot.– Yep.

 Math 3rd Grade:

  • Using a combination of Math-U-See and Singapore Math: Actually ended up mostly in Khan Academy
    • Continue to work on +, -, X, and division math facts — Yes!
    • Continue to work on independently doing multi-step math problems, including long division — Eh… working towards that. We have attention issues.
    • Continue work on fractions — Some, yes.
    • Start decimals? — Not at all yet.
  • Logic problems (Logic Safari and other workbooks) — A huge hit!
  • Living Math books, history, and activities, synchronized with history work — Yep!
  • Read Life of Fred Fractions, The Number Devil, Zaccaro’s Challenge Math — Some.

Math Kindergarten:

  • Using Math-U-See and Singapore Math: Mostly singapore and me drawing things.
    • Continue to work on subtraction and addition — Yes!
    • Continue to work on understanding place value — Attempted….
    • Start skip counting– Attempted….
  • Living Math books and activities, as she is able to participate — Yes!

Science 3rd Grade and Kindergarten:

  • Nebel’s Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding for K-2 and 3-5 — Some, see next post.
  • Prehistory (see history above) — Yes!
  • Science stuff that comes up — nature, farming, space, etc. — Tons!
  • Lots of science videos about space and engineering and nature. — Yep.
  • Hakim’s The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way, synchronized with history lessons — Well, history ended up a bit on the slow side, so we’ve only gotten to one of these…

 PE 3rd Grade and Kindergarten:

  • This is still a little unsure. We have some ideas for classes and such, but many schedules aren’t finalized enough for us to figure out which we can go to. Possibilities include a homeschool PE class, dance, soccer, swimming, and gymnastics. — Dance fell through, so did swimming and PE. But we did have soccer and gymnastics.
  • Cub scouts – includes activities for the little siblings– Yep.

Health 3rd Grade and Kindergarten:

  • Focus on fitness, stretching, what to do in an emergency, eating well, and staying safe. — Yes.
  • Kidpower coloring books for issues with bullies, socialization, strangers, and emergencies. — Yes.
  • Cub scout book for 3rd grader, deals with cleanliness, character, etc. — Yes.

Art 3rd Grade and Kindergarten:

  • Meet the Masters – introduces a master artist and their style and has activties to try out that artist’s style — managed two of these. They’re ok, but not as good as I hoped.
  • Art history synchronized with history class. May use Gombrich’s History of Art (filtered through me). — No. Not at all.
  • Drawing practice, a lot of practice painting and creating. — Sure!

Music 3rd Grade and Kindergarten

  • Singing class? Unsure, due to schedule — Did do it, though he missed about a third of the classes once I was too injured to drive.
  • Music history synchronized with history class — No, but did other music history.
  • Trying out various instruments such as piano, violin, voice, recorder, etc. — Not really.
  • Hopefully someone will learn to play something!! — No. Can’t figure out how to make this happen.


  • Various life skills: cooking, cleaning!!, sewing, yardwork, camping Yes, except the camping was rained out.
  • Foreign language? Not really.

When I wrote this it seemed like a lot. It’s really challenging trying to coordinate history with the history of math, science, art, and music. I did okay — it would have helped if we had moved a little faster on history, but as it turned out we ended up covering prehistory, evolution, ancients, AND more early modern history, so my plans were a bit out the window. You can’t do a whole lot of prehistorical art and music studies. 🙂

I actually kept closer to the plan than I thought I did. It’s nice to do these little reviews just to prove we actually *did* things when it sometimes is hard to see the forest for the trees. We also spent a lot of time out and about seeing people, playing at the parks, and meeting folks. When the weather is good, we go out!

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