Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up

First the fun stuff….

We began the week with a trip to our local mall to prepare for a 4-H Cloverbud scavenger hunt.  This was part of our Photography unit (the meeting part of which can be seen here).  I went over to the mall on Monday to take pictures which were turned into a check-list of things for the kids to look for.   When found, they took turns taking pictures of the group with the item.  

mall scavenger hunt

The actual scavenger hunt was a lot of fun (and fairly chaotic).  The kids were even given stickers from the girl working Build a Bear.

We started our United States History study this week by setting up our timeline and learning about the first people to come to the Americas.  More on that can be seen here


Coming up…I will be completely scrapping my science plans in favor of interest led.  George has asked to learn about the Human Body (which we did a couple years ago but they don’t remember) so that’s what we are going to do.  He so rarely asks to learn something specific that I feel I should take advantage of it.

Next in US History will be Native Americans. 

I am postponing our Geography study for a month or so.  Since we are going to start with our home state, New Jersey, I want to take advantage of the many field trip opportunities we will have.  Trips to Thomas Edison’s lab, to the shore, to High Point, etc.  Unfortunately right now it is WAY too cold to be running around outside.  These trips will be much more enjoyable in March or April.

On to our core subjects…



For handwriting, Vicki is continuing along with HWT K and practicing writing her name.  She can form the letters well but has trouble aligning them with the lined paper correctly.

For phonics, she is up to Lesson 39 in OPGTR.  We are almost done with the CVC words and will move right into blends.  She does well but is still sounding out most words one sound at a time.    I’m sure speed will come with practice.

She completed 10 pages in ETC this week.  I realized that I was expecting her to do a lot more writing that I had with Georgie at the same age so I let her use some pre-inked stampers to mark her answers. 

I updated our character UNO cards from Kelly’s Kindergarten with high frequency words and she loves playing so it’s great practice for reading.


George read the last 4 Magic Tree House Merlin missions this week.  I borrowed a few other books from the library for him to try.  How to Train Your Dragon ended up being too hard for him but he likes the Bailey School Kids, although I think they are too easy.

He’s been on a notebook kick this week.  He’s been carrying around a notepad and pencil wherever he goes, just to write down random things.   He went through a few of the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers that we have and wrote down a random fact from each of them.

I think this is just one indication about how much better he is getting with handwriting.  We are still working through the HWT 2nd grade book and he is showing a lot of improvement.

We are progressing quickly through AAS2.   He spelled all the words for Steps 16, 17 and 18 this week.

Our Spectrum workbooks for Language Arts (Grammar) and Writing are still going well.  I think once we finish these up we will be switching to Brave Writer.  I want something that combines grammar and writing so they work together, as well as something we can use long-term.  I already have The Writer’s Jungle and am reading through it, and will probably get a subscription to The Wand. 



Vicki is doing both Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math K and MM 1A, and doing well with both.  MM just introduced the concepts of greater than and less than.

We’ve been drilling simple addition using numbered dice, playing cards and a few of the old file folder games I had from George’s kindergarten year.   I think I didn’t emphasize memorizing and quick recall of the facts with George enough.

I hope to start Time with her soon.


George’s math is more complicated.   He is starting multiplication but still needs to work on speed with his addition and subtraction facts.   He understands concepts so quickly that I made the mistake of not pushing memorization, when both are necessary.

To drill addition and subtraction he is doing math riddles involving carrying and borrowing from Scholastic Addition and Subtraction Riddles, playing Xtra Math on the computer, and playing games using numbered dice and playing cards.

Multiplication is being covered in his regular Math Mammoth, in Beast Academy where he’s working on the skip counting chapter, and through a few games I set up for him.   This week he used a Gum Ball Bingo board from one of our Scholastic books, and cardstock gumballs with x2 equations on them.  He matched up the equations with the correct answer.  I have similar boards and discs made up for x5, x3 and x4.


Other topics he’s covering from MM are fractions, time and order of operations.

He is also continuing to do the puzzles from Algebra Readiness Made Easy 3rd Grade.   He completes these in about 30 seconds without having to work through the hints.  I may take a look at the 4th grade book when they have another Dollar Days.  The regular price of the book is $18.99 so I really hope they offer it for $1.

Math is one of the things that George usually likes me to sit with him to do, and do a lot of the writing for him.  But, this week he did a bunch of it on his own.

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