My friend Kellie recently asked me how we do Ambleside… She thinks we have it all together… boy have I got her fooled!
I thought I’d share, and that it’d be good to keep it for future reference. So this is the email I wrote back…
HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Yea– Donna just THINKS I have it all together with Ambleside. (She emailed me last night and told me she "met" you… you’ll have to meet her IRL this summer, they are a neat, neat family… many common bonds in child rearing and other areas there.).
As for Ambleside, first, I have them all right now in year 2 of ambleside, we like the family integration. (Although we are thinking of moving Princess, to year 6 or 7 or all of them move up to year 4or 5). But honestly not sure we want them to miss the history readings. (If we only move Princess, I’ll still read at breakfast, and she’ll read her assignments on her own). Right now, I read an assignment, or maybe two, at breakfast, then do devotionals, using the hymn of the month, or another if I don’t know it and just can’t figure it out from cyberhymnal, and then another assignment at lunch, I may read at other times as they are playing quietly, yeah that happens a lot 🙂
Princess does Math MWF and English TTH. The reading assignments basically include everything but Math and grammar. We’ve used Rod and Staff grammar with her and have been pleased, except for the repetition. She is well advanced in English at this point, always testing out well ahead of grade level. So next year we are probably not going to have her to English and will let her use an old copy of Harbrace for reference if she needs it. Bubba will begin R&S grade 3 next year. We use Saxon for her math. We’re going to look at Singapore (and maybe saxon) for Math for Bubba (and maybe Little Bit, he seems happy right now in Horizons) at the conferenence. I have also started Bubba doing a workbook assignment in Math 3 days a week and copying times tables 2 days a week. I am just not good at working with them with flashcards, so we’ll see if this method works. 🙂
When we do it, we listen to the folk song and sing it after devotionals. (was very good at this last fall–hehe). They do a lot on their own, with me nearby. Math/English on their own, with my help if needed. We use Copywork for Boys/Girls (I think queen publishing) it’s just easier than finding my own copywork. (I break down the lessons further for Little Bit, as I think it’s too much for him to handle right now). Bubba and Little Bit also use Handwriting without Tears. (LB has finished his workbook this year, so he only does copywork now) They do copywork 3 days a week and handwriting 2 days. I give Bubba a list of 10 spelling words from the blue back speller and he copies them MWF and then on friday I have him spell them orally, if he has them, then new words, if not then he spells them the next week, he continues this cycle until he has them all down, LB will start spelling next year. I have the poetry printed out and the older ones read a poem a day out loud, usually one of them will read theirs to LB. LB is now in McGuffy’s readers (Yippee!!!!! I thought that day would never come). And he read with me every day (in a perfect world– usually 3-5 days a week).
We have added Plutarch recently, and I try to do that on Fridays every week. I have not done as well on Art with them as I would have liked, usually at the first of the year, we look at the Artist and I get the recommended books at the library for them to read, and then we fizzle out.
Oh, and some of the reading, we have decided not to do. Like, we’ve read "Pilgrims Progress before and they listen to it on CD all the time, we’ve bypassed Marco Polo for now, they weren’t getting it, and we also stopped reading Parables of Nature because none of us was understanding the point of any of it. We may add Marco Polo back in later.
Ideally, they bring their work to me when they are done for me to check it… Princess is the only one that I don’t check as regularly.
We do not utilize the Handbook of Nature Study to it’s potential. I’m going to look for the book "a pocket full of pinecones" at the conference, heard this will help me know how to use it to it’s potential.
I usually get several of the free reading books from the library (higher lists for Princess) and have them handy for them to read in free time.
We also want them to go through English from the Roots Up, but I haven’t incorporated it very well either.. maybe next year.
This summer, they will all continue Math. LB will read every day and we will continue through the 36 week schedule and hopefully get close to finishing the reading assignments for year 2 by September. And ready to start whatever year we decide on then.
I have them all give me oral narrations, basically I ask what has happened in the story from before, and they all give me their part. Next year, Princess will start written narrations.
I think I covered everything that we do. Hope this makes sense for you 🙂