Nathaniel School

I had to get the photos from Tony’s computer of Foster child A and I found this on his phone. How can you not love it? It is perfect! I think it was taken on the first day of German school this year.

Nathaniel is doing “circles” this year a bit more formally.

Nathaniel has the primer level of the same math program that Max has. At this level he is dabbling in several different areas of math but he doesn’t need to master them like he will next year (which how fast he is going will probably be in the spring). Right now Nathaniel is on lesson 9 as compared to Max who is on lesson 5, so Nathaniel is flying through this as he already knows how to count.

The math program centers on some rods that represent 1 to 100 depending on the size and color. Both boys will use these for quite a while. Eventually fractions will have overlays, algebra will have some sort of connectors. Every year (except for primer) focuses on one area of math and you work on it till mastery. First grade is addition, Second grade is subtraction, third grade is multiplication, fourth grade is division, fifth grade is fractions, sixth grade is decimals and percent, seventh grade starts pre-algebra and so on.

Every section has videos that go with every lesson. So for Max I let him watch the video’s then do the worksheets. The program has more then enough worksheets to insure the child masters the topic before going on. There are also tests for every lesson. The worksheets also include review of the items covered prior in both the current book and prior books. Nathaniel does have worksheets and review, but his doesn’t have tests.

Math has always been a weak point in our schooling. I am not sure why. I think it might have to do with how Tony (someone really good in math) and I (I am probably better then I think I am… though that isn’t saying much) think about math. This program I looked at a while ago but Tony didn’t like it. I looked at it and thought it looked great. So far it is working, but most programs we try work good for 6 months, then something happens. We will have to see with this one.

Nathaniel this year is doing All About Reading Pre-reading level. Now I sort of say this with a wink and a smile. It is fairly clear that he is reading some things. He has just picked it up somewhere. But this is what he is using formally. It focuses on the letters, first uppercase, then lower case then letter sounds. Today Nathaniel did lower case j. So he is about half way through the program. He seems to be enjoying it and he learning clearly so that is good. When he is done with this, he will go on to All About Reading level 1, which Max did a few years ago. They did update this recently, and I am undecided if I want him to have the new version or if the old one is “good enough”.  Max is finished with his reading program. There are 4 levels (not including the pre-reading level) to this program.

This is the last subject that Nathaniel is doing. With Max, I pushed writing and it backfired on me badly. So with Nathaniel I am taking it easy. He will not start writing till he turns 5 at the earliest. That isn’t to say I don’t make him hold a pencil correctly but he isn’t doing lines and lines of writing everyday either. We do classical method of educating. So that means that the boys rotate between Biology, Earth science, Chemistry, and physics every 4 years. For simplicity’s sake (and since it is clear our next child will be at least 4 years younger then Nathaniel… I think) I think we are going to wait till Max does Biology again before Nathaniel starts in on formal science. Max is currently in the middle of Chemistry and will be doing Physics probably in the spring.

Nathaniel’s science is a combination comprehension and science. It is called Everyday Literacy – Science. Some of this is WAY basic for him. After all he lives in a science rich family. However he seems to have fun with it and it is only taking about 10 minutes a day to do.

I think next year I will have him do Intro to Science from the same people who Max does his science through.

Other future thoughts
I am thinking that Nathaniel will do Zaner Blosser handwriting next year. This is what Max learned cursive with but didn’t start out with. Nathaniel will also start history once Max gets back to classical era history. In the classical education framework, you have classical, medieval, early modern and modern history that rotates every 4 years. Right now Max is at the end early modern history.