Friday, August 12, 2011

Long Overdue Weekly Update

My last Weekly Update was July 15th and covered pretty much dance and camping.   Although most of my posts in July were field trips and family time, we did spend some time doing academics.

HANDWRITING – We are continuing along with Handwriting Without Tears.  This is easily the subject that Georgie resists the most but we are averaging two new letters per week.   Usually there’s a two page spread per letter so this means we’re doing about one page a day.  I usually start with this since I figure it’s best to do it while he’s fresh.


READING/PHONICS – We are up to Lesson 55 in Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.   So far all of these have been pretty easy for Georgie.  I usually make up a sheet for him of just the words he needs to read since he doesn’t seem to care for the look of the text in the book.

Georgie is just about done with Book 2 of Explode the Code.  He could probably be moving through these much faster but I usually only give him 4 pages to do at a time. 

I finally gave in and moved our reading books onto a shelf that can be easily reached by the kids.  I had resisted doing this because Vicki has been very very bad about ripping pages.  So far it is working well, we haven’t had too many repairs and Georgie is spending lots of time practicing reading.  We have a good collection of Dr. Seuss-type books and I’m working on adding more leveled readers.  He’s definitely reading far in advance of what we are doing in either OPGTR or ETC.    I figure there are probably some gaps so we will continue doing both those programs in order.


I love checking on the kids when they are too quiet and seeing this -



SPELLING – We have started up again with All About Spelling.  We did a review of all the cards up through Step 11.  When we started our break from spelling we were up to Step 14 but I’m going to back up to Step 12 and do a little review as we get going again.

GRAMMAR – We are continuing with Scholastic Grammar, Usage and Mechanics and McMillian Treasure Grammar.  Both are free online, both are intended for use in classrooms but are easily adapted and both are a nice, easy introduction to Grammar.  So far, Georgie has had no trouble with any of it.  We’ve covered nouns, verbs, sentences, questions and exclamations.

We’ve also been using Scholastic 1st Grade Basic Skills: Reading Comprehension and Reading Skills that I picked up at one of the Dollar Day sales.   We are doing the Reading Comprehension pages, which consist of a short story (5 to 6 sentences) then six  questions to answer about it.  The first few we did I had to read the story, read a question and then read the story again especially the part containing the answer.   But one day Georgie suddenly was able to answer all the questions without any prompting or rereading of the story.  Now, he can read the story himself and answers the question right away. 

MATH – We are loving Math Mammoth.  We are done with 1A and will be starting Addition/Subtraction within 0 to 100 very shortly.  We are almost through Clocks in 1B and will be starting 2A soon but it’s mostly review.   Georgie can pretty much tell time to the minute now and do lapsed time if it’s just minutes or just hours.  I have a bingo-type game for him to play to match clocks with digital read-outs.


Georgie seems to really enjoy all of Math Mammoth that we are doing so far, except Shapes and Measuring.  For some reason, he doesn’t like to do those pages.

He loves word problems and on one page containing 8 word problems he answered each question and then decided to do a cumulative sum for the entire page.  He added 10 + 4 (14), +6 (20), +6 (26), +4 (30), +7 (37), +5 (42), +8 (50).  Pretty good considering we just covered adding three single digit numbers this week.  Although these little side trips do make our day longer.

Each week we are attempting to complete 8 to 10 pages in Addition/Subtraction (1B), 6 pages in Place Value (1B), 1 to 2 pages in Clocks (2A), 1 to 2 pages in Shapes and Measuring (1B) and 1 to 2 pages in Coins (1B).

SIGN LANGUAGE – We are still working on American Sign Language.  Georgie is doing very well with the alphabet and his name and we are getting ready to learn conversation words (excuse me, sorry, thank you, please, my name is.., hello).

Vicki celebrated her 4th birthday the end of July.   I’ve slowly started adding a few school-like activities to her day.


I made up a unicorn-themed generic game board that we used to play a game identifying starting letter sounds.


We have done a little work with MEP Reception.  We usually do about half a lesson (or one worksheet activity) each day, only on the days she’s feeling cooperative.

Mostly Vicki has played with her Melissa & Doug Pattern Puzzles, Wooden Magnetic Dress-up Dolls, Wooden Word Puzzles, Word Whammer…..


and her wipe-off books.


In the past few weeks we did get to the next chapter in our Prehistory study – the Devonian and Carboniferous Periods.  Check it out here.


  1. I love when they read, just to read !!!! It is a wonderful milestone. Emma is rough on books on occasion too. Quince's are down, and her hard backed books are but not her readers. She is just to tough on the paperbacks. ;-)

    I sure wish we were closer !

  2. Isn't it fun doing this again? I mean w/ the elder daughter in h.s....I'm having a good time w/ my Ker this year, since my eldest (Baby) is in 10th grade. Too sweet!

  3. Tina - definitely sweet, even without the available babysitting. :-)

    Jana - once they start reading it's soooo much easier. They can actually do something educational completely independently. I think we'd be doing a lot of playdates if we were closer. :-)

  4. The picture of the little ones holding hands while they look at the book is so sweet. And, gotta love free resources!

  5. My 6 year old son is in love with your son's Garfield shirt.

  6. LOL, Kelly. He loves that shirt. He has a matching one that is Tom & Jerry.