Equine Science

Decca created this picture on his computer today after his horse lesson.

We started some light school today. I thought we would ease into the school year, starting just two subjects the first week. Decca and I started with his science, which is Equine Science. I let him choose his own science this year, and this is what he decided on. He loves animals and thought this would be a fun study.

Decca working on his notebooking pages.

I have many hesitations about studying horses for a whole year. I feel like one will get tired of horses after a few months. Actually I think if it was me I would probably be done in a few weeks,  but my son does not feel the same way. He thinks it will be so much fun to study horses for a whole year. I wish I shared that enthusiasm.

But here we are on day one, and I have to say I am impressed with the study. Winter Promise has done a great job with this theme. The books are very engaging, the guide is easy to follow, and the notebook is fun. I believe we may be able to spend a whole year on horses while not losing interest.

Here is a sample of the guide. I like that it is only scheduled for two days a week. That leaves us plenty of time for the rest of the week to work on other topics in science.

For today’s work we read from the notebooking pages, a DK book on the care of horses, and a craft book titled Horse Crazy.

A sample notebooking page

Inside view of Horse Crazy – I am happy that they show both boys and girls interested in horses. Somehow horse loving kids are usually depicted as girls only.

The DK book is full of information. You only read a few pages a day which is great. Decca’s attention wouldn’t have held out much longer as it is a bit dry.

A notebooking page that he worked on today.

In addition to the books used in the study, there is also literature suggestions given each week. There was no suggestion for week one, so we started next week’s book early, as Decca couldn’t wait to read it. It is called Leonardo’s Horse, and it is the story of Leonardo Da Vinci and his bronze horse.

An inside view of the book.

There are a few problems with the curriculum in my opinion. They have several notes in the guide about evolution being mentioned in the books and how a parent should avoid those passages or use them as a learning experience. I am avoiding all those notes, and am happy that WP didn’t choose any creationist books for this study. Also there are typos in the guide and notebooking pages which is typical of Winter Promise. Already, on the first day, we have spotted some.

Can you spot the mistakes? I believe it is time for WP to invest in a capable editor.

Overall I am very happy with this curriculum. Decca loves it and is enthusiastic about it. I only hope that enthusiasm lasts us the whole year.

Weekly Update – Spotlight on my Youngest

This week we have moved on to Africa to study animals. Decca read One Small Square African Savanna, Akimbo and the Crocodile Man, and Akimbo and the Snakes.

We have had Akimbo and the Crocodile Man on our shelves for a long time, and Decca never wanted to read it. He thought it looked boring and too young for him. I finally convinced Decca to read it as part of our study this week, and he loved it. On Wednesday I ordered Akimbo and the Snakes for him, and I think I will order the rest in the series for next week. I love when the kids discover a series of books that they love and can’t wait to read. It is one of the joys of homeschooling.

Akimbo and the Snakes is about Akimbo’s visit to his uncle’s snake farm. In it the uncle milks two cobra snakes for Akimbo to see. Decca was very interested in this so we spent some time on YouTube watching videos of snakes being milked.

Decca researched various animals of Africa this week. His favorite was the warthog, which seemed an unlikely candidate to me, but what do I know. I am not an 8-year-old boy, and I do not pretend to understand the inner workings of their minds. 🙂

Decca also continued working through Beast Academy this week. He is working on skip counting and hundred charts. I am constantly amazed at how high the thinking skills are in this book. Anyone who might be worried that their older child might not be challenged by these books are probably in for a pleasant surprise. The workbook questions get very hard very quickly and require a good amount of figuring out. This sometimes frustrates Decca to no end, but when he finally figures out a problem he is very proud of his accomplishment.

Decca also composed several songs in piano this week. Most of his songs that he works on he does not write them out, as it would be too difficult for him at this stage. He composes much more complicated songs than he would be able to write out. For these songs I record him playing, and he takes them into his teacher, and she gives him feedback. However he did attempt to write some songs this week for beginning piano players because he thinks it would be so awesome if he made his own piano books for others. His first song is called Ride.

And just because we cannot possibly go a week without doing something Scooby related (as my son is very obsessed with Scooby) Decca and I created a bar graph of his Scooby Doo books to see what author wrote the most books in his collection.

And that is our week in review.