The past two weeks have been surprisingly busy and yet, amazingly unproductive.
We had a 4-H Cloverbud meeting on Symbols of the US/Famous Americans. We discussed the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, and the kids learned about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, the current Flag, the 13 colonies Flag, bald eagles, Liberty Bell, and Statue of Liberty by playing an active trivia game. They also did a penny relay race (with penny on shoe), and a penny toss game. Our craft was to make their own flag, although we definitely had some creative interpretations.
Valentine’s Day we went over a friends house for a tea party. The kids had a great time playing while I really enjoyed chatting with the other moms. Of course there was a lot of discussion about how awful this winter has been for stomach bugs and flu. I completely jinxed us by talking about how my guys never get sick….two days later both had a stomach bug. They were over the puking after the weekend but still feeling droopy, as well as lots of coughing and sneezing. So, we skipped school for a couple days, and jumped back into it right as I was taking my turn with the nasty cold.
I did manage to complete lots of planning for our upcoming weeks. I have been wanting to add more literature and writing to our school but was really torn between the different options. I decided to go with Brave Writer. I already had The Writers Jungle and purchased Jot It Down, The Wand, and a few issues of The Arrow through the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. We are going to start with Poetry Thursdays (better for us than Tuesdays because of 4-H), the fairy tale projects from Jot It Down, and both kids will be doing The Wand. In looking at The Arrow, I decided it would be better to start Georgie in Level 2 of The Wand. Since we haven’t done any dictation or copywork yet, and The Arrow doesn’t offer as much guidance, I thought it was best for both of us to ease into it.
I also decided to dig out my old copy of Evan Moor Beginning Geography. We did a little bit of this a couple years ago but only went as far as map skills. I decided this would be perfect to do while I am waiting for the weather to get warm enough to do all the field trips I have planned for when we start our States study.
We did get through some actual school work even though George told me, “we shouldn’t do school while I’m still sick <<cough>> <<cough>>, it can cause serious problems!”
Vicki still struggles some with handwriting. She’s getting better at writing her name, although she is not at all consistent with the size of the letters. She finished 5 pages from her HWT book in these weeks. I’m curious to see how she handles the copywork in The Wand next week.
She has completed through Lesson 42 in OPGTR. We aren’t running into many words that she already knows, but she is very good at sounding out new words.
She has completely finished ETC book 1 and has started on book 2. Since books 1 and 2 are supposedly kindergarten level, she is right on track.
George completed only 3 pages of HWT but has picked up the amount of writing he does with his other subjects. He still has a tendency to write in all capitals whenever it’s not in the book so I’m curious to see how the copywork for The Wand goes next week.
We tried Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension 4th Grade and it seems a better match than the 3rd grade book. At this level, he has to read more carefully and may even have to reread a little bit, but he is able to answer the questions. It’s good for him to have something he actually has to work at a little.
He did 6 pages from his Spectrum Language Arts book. He is much better at picking the correct verb than he was at punctuation. I don’t think we are going to continue this once we start Brave Writer next week. The Wand goes over quite a few grammar rules, plus our new spelling has a lot as well.
Speaking of spelling….we finished All About Spelling 2. This was too easy for George pretty much from the beginning. I like AAS but it is definitely over-kill for George, who appears to be a natural speller. In addition to going over the spelling rules as they come up in The Wand, he will be doing Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell & Write. Each week there is a list of 10 words, definitions, practice with grammar and punctuation, and some creative writing. I started him in the 3rd grade book, even though I think he may already know many of the words, some of the other activities are at the correct level.
Vicki is continuing to do one page from MM1A each day, as well as one page from Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math Grade 1. MM is mainly all addition at this point, while EMSS adds in some other activities, such as patterns, subtraction, and skip counting.
Since she asked, she also started learning about Time this week. I thought MM might move to fast, so we used a wipe-off book from Leap Frog that we already had instead. Time to the hour was super easy but I’m not sure how quickly she will proceed since she doesn’t know how to skip count by 5’s yet.
George is almost done with his Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy so I’m hoping they have another Dollar Days sale soon, so I can look for a 4th grade book. These have been extremely easy for him for a while, but he really likes doing them.
He is also almost done with the last of his Solve the Riddle Math Puzzles. These have been good for practicing addition and subtraction but I don’t think we need another resource at this point in time. He is doing Xtra math to work on drill.
He completed 3 pages from MM on fractions. He was doing fine with fractions until we started hitting adding and subtracting with conversions to mixed numbers. I made some fraction puzzles using paper plates and they really seemed to help him understand it a lot better.
He did a couple pages of multiplication from MM this week – the x10 and x5 tables, both of which were pretty easy.
In Beast Academy he is working through the hundreds chart chapter. He clearly caught the pattern while marking the multiples of 8 and 12, since he was able to mark them off with no sign of counting.
I’m looking forward to all our changes next week. We have been having a good year so far and I think our new stuff will make it even better.
We will be doing the muscular system in science next week, and the Tlingit in US history.