Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

Another week down.  I really need to find a better way to get going in the morning.  It seems that we just get started and it’s time to break for lunch.  Of course, considering Georgie sometimes doesn’t get out of bed until 9:30 and likes his lunch at 10:30, that’s not just an impression, it’s the reality.  Life would be much easier if Georgie was my early bird and Vicki liked to sleep late.  Then I could do all of Georgie’s school before Vicki even wakes up and we’d have lots of time for fun and games.  I suppose I could work with Vicki while Georgie is still asleep but then I’d have to find something to keep her amused while I’m working with Georgie since he seems to have less and less he can do as independent work. 

Okay, enough whining.  We actually had a pretty good week.

Vicki continued with MEP Year 1 this week.  She’s been almost counting to 20 for a while but had a tendency to skip 15, 16 and 17.  We’ve been working with a number ladder and she’s now got it.

She doesn’t like writing but I’ve been trying to get her excited about her name so I had her build it using the wooden capital letter pieces this week.


Of course, Georgie then wanted to play with the wood pieces too instead of doing his work.  He spent 20 minutes complaining before he decided he was cold and had to lie down in the sun coming through the skylight.


Vicki is still loving her foam puzzle pieces and seems to have a real handle on short /a/ words.  Next week we will be moving on to short /e/ words.

One thing that helped keep her occupied this week was adding a few more educational apps to my tablet.  I picked mainly free apps since their interests and levels seem to change over night.  A big hit was the iStoryBooks app which reads aloud a book while showing the picture and text on the screen.  Vicki “read” the Cinderella story twice.   Another hit (at least for now) was Mrs. Owl’s ABC.

Of course, I was distracted for a few minutes helping Georgie and when I checked back she was watching Spongebob on the tablet through Netflix.  I think it’s time to remove or at least hide the Netflix app.


Georgie is still complaining about math but he is doing really well and it seems to come so easy to him.  He completely understands carrying and seems to have most of the addition facts memorized.  What was a surprise to me is he also seems to completely understand coins, their values and how to make change.   It’s these sudden leaps he makes from not getting it to suddenly showing understanding beyond what we’re working on that sure keep me on my toes.  I had pulled out our Base 10 blocks to demonstrate some problems on his math riddle this week that had carrying into the hundreds place.  He definitely doesn’t need the manipulatives to understand the concepts but he loves to make shelters to protect the little people (the one blocks).


I had planned to give Georgie a print-out of the angle mazes from Beast Academy in a clear plastic sheet protector so we could wipe them off and try again if he had trouble.  Instead he spilled something wet and sticky all over it and I didn’t get a chance to print out another copy for this week.  We will try again next week.

Vicki was given a fun sticker book for her birthday that she had a great time using this week for “sticker school”.  She had a little trouble pulling the stickers off without ripping them so I was helping her a little bit.   I also tried to make it even more educational by asking questions – which letter does cat start with?  How about doll?  At the same time I was helping her with that……


Georgie was working on his math riddle.  This is supposed to be independent work but I sometimes do the writing for him.  He was sitting to my left singing “diddly do, we do, now we’re going on for a 9 and a 3, diddly dee, the answer it’s 93” while Vicki is sitting on my right yelling “mom, doll begins with D!  I need another sticker”.   Working with both at once, doesn’t work.

Georgie finished his Handwriting without Tears first grade book but still has a lot of trouble with letter formation.  I’m going to be moving his handwriting from independent work to something he sits with me to do and start all over with formation for each letter. 

He’s been doing so well with Reading Comprehension, including writing the answers, that I moved that to his independent work.  And now, I get to move it back to something he gets to do with mom since he started reading ahead and discovered the answer key in the back of the book.  I suppose I could pull those pages out.

We are still on a break from the Spectrum Grammar book to practice capitalization.  I printed out some extra practice sheets from Teacher’s File Box and we will keep going over those until he seems to understand it better.  Part of the difficulty is understanding the difference between a noun and a proper noun.

When we got to his Explode the Code he took over with a cheerful “This I can handle”.  Great!  Something he can do independently.  Of course, this was the last lesson in Book 5 and I wasn’t planning to get any additional books.  At this point ETC seems to be mainly busy work for him and since we are also doing phonics rules in All About Spelling it seems unnecessary.  As much as I would LOVE something he’s guaranteed to be able to do alone, I don’t want to load up on busywork.

We did have some fun this week.  Since Georgie was clearly having no trouble with math despite the complaining, I decided we could play a few games to reinforce.

I introduced the kids to Yahtzee.  I played with Vicki and I used the dice from a travel Yahtzee set since I didn’t want to know how far the kids could scatter 5 dice during a game.  Georgie rolled a full house on his very first roll, which got him excited, but then they lost interest pretty fast.    Vicki kept asking to play “the money game” so I pulled out Money Bags and we played that for a while.   This is another game that is great for Georgie to practice math but that Vicki still needs a lot of help with.   She loves to play and gets very excited when she can exchange coins for dollars. 

The other thing I did this week was make some pickles.  Our garden is producing yellow squash and cucumbers like crazy so to keep from getting overwhelmed, I decided to make some refrigerator pickles.   We still have another day before they are ready so we don’t know how good (or bad) they are yet.


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