Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up

Another week done and things are going well.  We’ve done school consistently 4 or 5 days a week since the new year, and have even managed to add some new stuff. 

For memory work this week we worked on my cell phone number, since if we are out in public and get separated, this is the number they will need to know.   I have foam puzzle pieces from Walmart that I use occasionally to play phonics and math games with Vicki.   This week I arranged the numbers 1 through 0 as a keypad and had the kids jump from number to number practicing.


George has been reading lots of Calvin and Hobbes and has been asking all week for a box so he could make a time machine or a transmorgrifier.    He finally found a box and they took off to the past.   After a while, they saw a pteranodon flying around, and Vicki was narrating “I’m looking through my telescope…a mean dinosaur is coming!!  I’m ready to go back to the president!”


We learned about the Muscular System this week and, just because I forgot all about it when we did the skeletal system, we put together a model skeleton that I bought along with a book at a Scholastic Warehouse Sale.

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We did another Art lesson on lines from How To Teach Art To Children and read Harold and the Purple Crayon.  George drew his own story about a man, a bear and an alligator.


We worked on numbers in Spanish and used our foam puzzle pieces again to practice, along with pages from our Complete Book of Spanish workbook.  The workbook comes with a lot of exercises for each section so I split them among the two kids, with George doing the pages that are harder or have more writing.  We do a lot of Spanish orally while doing our memory work each morning.

Both of them completed a few pages from Evan Moor Beginning Geography.    George is working on map symbols, while Vicki is working on directions (North, South, East, West).

What else we completed this week…..



Vicki finished three pages in Handwriting without Tears and worked on her name this week.  She still has trouble making her letters a consistent size but she is much more likely to voluntarily write things outside of school.  She did a lot of drawing this week and she signed her pictures and addressed a few of them to “dad”.

She is up to Lesson 45 in Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading and did 5 pages from Explode the Code Book 2.   I’m definitely going to slow down ETC so that it is more review rather than new teaching.   She has been playing on Starfall every day and I think I’m going to get a subscription to More Starfall so she can use it for math practice, as well as having more phonics options.


George is spending a lot of time complaining about the longer sentences in his Handwriting without Tears book but he is also showing a lot of improvement. 

He is really enjoying The Wand activities and asks all the time if we are going to be doing them that day.  He is doing MUCH better with the copywork than I expected.   He thinks the French Dictation is a memory test and doesn’t even want me to read it before he fills in the blanks.   I’m not sure how to get around that without using different passages for the copywork from the dictation.  Since each book is used for two weeks at this level, I might be able to use Week 1’s copywork with Week 2’s dictation, and visa versa, but I’m not sure.

He wanted to read more Frog and Toad than we were doing as part of school, so in addition to Frog and Toad Are Friends he read Frog and Toad All Year Long.  We will be using Frog and Toad Together for The Wand activities next week.  I’m so glad he’s finally reading through some of the many books we have on hand.

He completed another lesson from Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell & Write.    A few of the words were a little harder for him (Finally!) but he was able to spell them all by the end of the week.    This week’s grammar topic was subjects and predicates.

Daily Reading Comprehension Grade 4 is still going very well.  He has no trouble answering the questions, even those where he has to infer the answer.



Vicki is doing well with learning addition.   She continues to do one page from Math Mammoth 1A and one page from Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners 1st Grade each day.  I like the Evan Moor since it introduces a variety of topics like non-standard measurement and graphing.

We do additional drill using playing cards or dice that are printed with numbers rather than dots (so she can’t just count).


George reached 100% for his addition facts in Xtra Math and has moved on to subtraction.   He didn’t start off real strong but he said it was because he kept forgetting it was now subtraction instead of addition.

In addition to Xtra Math, he does a few drill problems each day to help with memorization.

He does well with carrying when doing addition but seems to forget about borrowing in subtraction every single time.   Once he is reminded, he knows what to do but he definitely needs to work on doing it right from the beginning.

He is working on multiplication tables in Math Mammoth.  Next week we will be adding topics from other chapters back in.

He LOVED doing the skip counting mazes in Beast Academy and was upset that there was only two pages of them.  I’ll have to check around to see if I can find more.

He is almost done with his Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy Grade 3 book.  I need to find a new set of logic puzzles for him to do.  He’s been doing some puzzles from the Evan Moor Never Bored Kid books but those will run out soon since there are a lot of other things in those books that we are not using.

Steph is home on Spring Break next week and we have 4-H but we will still do at least a light week.


  1. My daughter used Starfall when she first started reading. She loved it. When she outgrew it, we moved on to T4L has been great for her reading comprehension, among other things.
    May I make a suggestion for the writing? We bought our youngest a Boogie Board at Radio Shack. She LOVES it!! She carries it everywhere and is always writing on it. Here is a link to it on Amazon, if you want to check it out.

  2. oops. Sorry. I forgot that link for the Boogie Board.

  3. That's pretty neat. I'm sure the kids would love something like that.