Homeschool Glimpse: January 2013

This is a little glimpse into the “Main Lesson” content of our homeschool.  The Main Lesson is the subject which occupies the bulk of time each day for a few weeks, usually two to six.


Ah, January, the long month of cold weather; every year in my planning I strive to make January as uncomplicated as possible.  I try to be home, settling back into our daily and weekly rhythms.  I try to stay away from main lessons that require a lot of prep work because I’m usually quite worn out after the holidays.

Toddler Circle Time

  • Our Time Hello (from Kindermusik Our Time)
  • Snowballs (from Kindermusik Imagine That)

Scoop up a mound of ice cold snow

And mold it into a ball, just so.

Now pull your arm back, nice and slow

And throw that snow….look at it go!

  • The Jolly Snowman (from Kindermusik Imagine That)

I’m a jolly snowman, oh so fat.

Here are my buttons, here is my hat.

I’m a jolly snowman, oh so fat.

Watch me dance, just like that

(circling right)

Come along and dance with me. Tra la la. Tra la la.

Come along and dance with me. Tra la la la la.

With your toes you tap, tap, tap.

With your hands you clap, clap, clap.

Tap, tap, tap. Clap, clap, clap.

Turn around so merrily. (repeat from circle)

I’m a jolly snowman, oh so fat.

Sunbeams shine down on me.

Now I’m melting just like that.

  • Once There Was a Snowman (from the Children’s Songbook)

Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman.

Once there was a snowman, tall, tall, tall. (stretching up high)

In the sun he melted, melted, melted.

In the sun he melted, small, small, small. (melt to the ground)

Grade 2

The King of Ireland’s Son – Language Arts


  • The King of Ireland’s Son by Padraic Colum

Our King of Ireland’s Son block consisted mostly of reading the book!  It is quite a long book to read out loud, and our days seemed to hinge around reading as much as possible before the toddler got fed up and started interrupting.  The following day my second grader would draw a picture from the previous day’s reading and write a little summary and then we’d read as much a possible again.  Truth be told, when we started reading the King of Ireland’s Son I didn’t enjoy the stories very much.  I know it is a very popular book in Waldorf Schools and I wondered what all the hype was about.  Thankfully, the stories got better and better, and by the end of the book, I had gotten a little teary over the plot and my second grader and I were enjoying real conversations about the characters and the way the book was written.





  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Grade 5



  • Key to Decimals

My fifth grader is using the Key to… math workbooks this year.  I do like them.  They introduce material clearly and in a systematic manner.  In addition to the workbooks, she keeps a math notebook in which she records concepts we review from the previous day’s lesson.  Sometimes I worry that we aren’t making as much headway as we need to in the books, but as homeschoolers I suppose I would prefer that she moves a little more slowly but really gets the concepts down.  (But is she moving slowly?! Or normally?! Or quickly?! I don’t know! There’s no one to compare her to. LOL) Next year, I will probably continue to use these books (especially ones that we haven’t finished!), but I’d also like to get the Making Math Meaningful books by Jamie York.  Have you used them for grades 6 and up?





  • The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Thank you for visiting!

Mrs. Mallard

Shared as a part of Waldorf Wednesday

9 thoughts on “Homeschool Glimpse: January 2013

  1. Lisa

    Sounds like you had a good month! I absolutely loved The King of Ireland’s Son, and I thought the way the stories wove together at the end was brilliant. But my husband hated it. He could not stand to read it to our 10-year-old. We didn’t make it in to a main lesson block, but read it at bedtime. I am planning to do it as a block when my daughter is in second. I had to smile at your musings about math–that is exactly what I have been doing this month! Worrying! We had a 2-week math block, and the first week was awful. Mostly because I was picking up on ds’s stress and anxiety, and he was picking up on mine. I worried that he was behind. I tried to push him to move faster. That totally backfired, because he got so stressed and frustrated. I finally decided that we just have to go at his pace regardless of whether or not he eventually goes back to public school. The second week was lovely after we both calmed down.

    1. Mrs. Mallard Post author

      Oh Lisa, I do love it when you come by and let me know I’ve got company in these homeschool things! I’m glad math is going well this week. It’s so easy to get wound up sometimes.

  2. Sheila

    I think if you took all the energy homeschooling parents expend worrying about math, you could power the country. I know I am contributing my fair share!
    We are using the Key to workbooks as well. I love them and so does Vincent. They are short and to the point. We are working our way through the fraction set this year and just finished book 2 yesterday.
    I like your idea of the math notebook – hmmm . . . may have to think about doing that.
    I don’t know if Vincent is on track with anything. All I know is that he is finally! solid in carrying and borrowing and getting there in long multiplication and long division. I feel like that is good – especially while making progress in other areas like fractions. I think this is due to us not doing math in blocks anymore, but rather doing a little every day. NOT my favorite thing to do, but I’m sure it’s building the will!
    I am going to look at Life of Fred. People rave about this series, but I also may just stick with key to. The price is right on that one!
    Love to you.

    1. Mrs. Mallard Post author

      Thanks Shelia! As usual I love your “realness.” We have not finished all four fractions books. I decided to take a break and do the decimals block for some change. I completely agree with you about doing math every day. It’s a will builder. And I even loved math in school! I have heard about the Life of Fred, but never looked into it. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Michelle

    We are going to do our next Main lesson with the King of Ireland. I love your blog and drawings. I was wondering if you could share your lesson. The glimpse left me wanting more. we homeschool but I have to hire a teacher because I work. My time is so limited for planning…It would be so wonderful if you would share. Thanks so much.

    1. Mrs. Mallard Post author

      Thank you for commenting Michelle! As for specific lesson plans, I would calculate how many days you are planning to spend reading the book and divide it up in order to finish reading it in your allotted time – giving yourself one last day to finish the Table of Contents and beautifying it any way. I felt like four weeks was adequate. On the first day I introduced the story and read. On the following days, we recapitulated the content of the previous day, drew a picture, (or you can paint, model, etc.) prepared and wrote a summary or quote, and then read the next section. Academically, do what your child needs to work on. Is that a coherent retelling with you writing a simple summary for him or her to copy? Is that writing his or her own summary and making sure to capitalize the first letter of each sentence and put a period at the end? You get the idea. I hope that helps!


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