Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wherein I actually start writing about what we are doing

This is the end of our 2nd week of homeschooling for the 2006/2007 school year.

How silly does that sound? I really dislike the idea of the school year. We live, we learn. Sometimes we have to deal with learning things we don't really care about, but that get us to a goal. The dreaded math facts, for ex. Anyway, here's what we did the past 2 weeks.

J and E together:

Bible and Catechism - we continued with reading a Psalm and a chapter of Proverbs each day. We are memorizing Psalm 33. Finished Proverbs and are starting 1 Peter. Should have started Friday but it was hard to concentrate with the road work trauma going on outside. In Catechism, we are on question 19. J has them down cold; E kind of follows along with him. But we will be coming 'round again so she should have them next time. Well, that'll be in 2 years... hm.

Math: Continued working on facts via MUS and and theory/concepts via Mathematical Reasoning. We're almost finished with the Alpha level of MUS; just a few more chapters of single-digit subtraction, then time (which ought to be an easy review for J) and then move to Beta which is just double-digit. We ought to fly through that, as theoretically the basic facts are down. Maybe.

Copywork/handwriting: They both write out their catechism answers each week. I am too easy with J on this; he should be writing more each day. But I'm not pushing it, yet. E is actually sloppier than him but doesn't hate it as much. Go figure. Next week we are starting cursive using A Reason for Handwriting. I am not sure how all this writing is going to work.

Reading: We finished up Stuart Little. They would read, then we'd discuss together. I didn't use a canned literature study guide but just went over the book with them. No written reports. Not quite ready for that yet. J's skills at narrating (though we don't call it that) are quite good - that auditory memory. He is working on not rambling quite so much, and keeping events in order. We are also continuing to work on Explode the Code for phonics reinforcement and rules. They don't like it, much, but it's good practice for them so we will press on for now. If I could find something a little more "grownup" for phonics rules, syllables, etc., I would change.

Latin: We started lesson 3. They still like it; it's still fun. And not too much writing.

Science: Have completed lesson 3 of BF's History of Science. E likes the story about Archimedes; J like the reading in The New Way Things Work. As usual we are doing far less of the writing than is recommended. Next year.

History: Restarted/reviewed first few chapters of SOTW. Updated the timeline to show Dutch Revolt, Guy Fawkes and James 1. J told me the story of Guy Fawkes - remembered from previous reading and our trip to UK - before I read it to him. Reading HA Geurber's The Story of the Thirteen Colonies as a review. Started working on History Pockets: Colonial America.

Test Prep: Both kids do work a few times a week in a test prep workbook - 3rd grade for J, 2nd for E.

Spelling: We are still doing AVKO Sequential Spelling, level 1. It is too easy for E, too hard for J. He can't get the patterns down. I'm trying to think of a better way.

Now, individually:

J continues to be very engaged in science and history. He hates the "boring basics" of writing, copywork, spelling, math facts. He is curious and anxious to learn. He occasionally still works on his Maps, Charts, and Graphs book but I think it has become too easy for him. His reading skills are improving greatly. His comprehension is good though I am still concerned because when reading aloud he skips small but important words that can change the meaning of a sentence or concept, such as "not." Maybe he gets it when reading silently. His narrations of books read, and his test prep work, shows he is getting it.

E is reading very well. She is lazy, though in a different way from J. Her printing is more sloppy. She doesn't like to listen to history or science as much. (Of course some of the science is just hard for her to understand, for ex the different classes of levers.) She is weak on memorization but I think that is laziness too. This all sounds so negative. She is also reading very well (though she tends toward twaddle, which I have to deal with) and is very creative with her crafts. She is resistant to math (brings to mind the talking Barbie: "math is hard").

I don't want to get bogged down in page numbers completed each week. Until such time as we live in a state which requires something more structured, I will continue to progress at our own pace.


Mrs. Darling said...

I didnt know you had this blog. I read the whole thing. I like your read aloud list!

Sharon said...

I don't remember the ages of your kids. But I wanted to suggest Mega Words. Very simple, direct.

It is geared to start in the fourth grade. That might give you an idea if it would be at the correct level.

In fact I have ended up with an extra level 1 Teachers edition. I would be willing to mail it to you if you think you might be interested. e-mail me.

Sharon Momn4boys