W is for Welcome to a New School Year!

Blogging Through the Alphabet

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I mentioned in my preschool week in review post that we had started our new school year.   We have now officially completed our first full two weeks! I didn’t want to dive into our regular curriculum for the year while I was so close to my due date, so instead we kicked off our year with an unit study from Amanda Bennett.

We had a lot of fun last month learning about the beach and oceans for Poppins Book Nook, that I thought it’d be a great idea to use the Whale Tales study.

The first week went relatively smoothly.  Even with the pregnancy discomfort and fatigue, I set my alarm for 6:30AM every day so that I could get up and showered before breakfast.  We’d then eat, clean up, do our morning chores and we successfully got every day of schooling started by 9AM.  The second week didn’t go quite as smoothly. 😛  We still got our work in and that’s what counts.  I’ve learned to be flexible!

The children really enjoyed learning about the different kinds of whales, where they lived, what they ate, and other fascinating facts.  This study is designed to be used in one week, but I tend to stretch them out over two to make for shorter school days.  This way, we are finished by lunch time.

Holding the origami whales they made

We had some great discussions about the food chain when they discovered that there are differences between baleen whales and toothed whales AND that some whales actually hunt and eat other types of whales.  They were fascinated by the videos included in the study.

Reading a book about whales together
Their imagination was truly sparked.  During bath time one evening, I found my son “swimming” and declaring that he was a killer whale.  A few minutes later, I had to remind him that we could NOT breach in the bathtub! 
Pretending to have horns like the narwhal whale
By the end of the two weeks, they could identify several species of whales including the killer whale, blue whale, narwhal whale, beluga whale and more.  They liked to measure how big each whale is by counting how many Daddies it would take to equal the length of the whale (Daddy is 6ft tall).  

As usual, they really enjoyed making their own lapbooks to help them remember everything that they had learned through the unit.

In their other individual studies, they are doing well.  For some reason, I somehow did not get pictures of Aron doing any of his work.  He’s the type to not sit still for long, so it can be hard to catch him “in action.”  My main focus with him this year is to get  him reading well.  We took quite a bit of time off of his phonics studies last year because of debilitating morning sickness and he’s eager to learn, so I want to go with that while the drive is there! 

Gabriella is really excited to start learning cursive this year, so she’s been very diligent in practicing her manuscript in anticipation of beginning the “fancy writing” (as she calls it). 

We have carried over our reading list from last year and will finish it out before beginning this year’s list.  She finished reading One Small Square: Backyard by Donald Silver to me as her nonfiction book and I finished reading aloud to her, our humor selection, A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond.

She then read her humor selection to me rather quickly as she greatly enjoyed the book and hated stopping.  She read Capyboppy by Bill Peet. She’s now started her second humor book and I am reading a realistic fiction book to her.

We have been reviewing nouns, pronouns, and verbs since it’s the beginning of the year.  She had fun making this visual to help her remember linking verbs and what they do. The first link has the noun, the second has the linking verb, and the third has an adjective. 

She’s also been doing a basic review in math.  We are working on math facts and making sure she has her addition and subtraction facts down.

Playing a game of “Pyramid” to help cement math facts

She told me that second grade is definitely harder than first, but that she’s having fun anyway. 🙂

Since my due date is the 21st, we will be paring down to basics until after baby’s arrival.  After I recover, we’ll be jumping into our year of world geography! 

Have you started your school year yet?


  1. I love the whale unit study!

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