Saturday, April 6, 2013

2 Week Wrap-Up

We were having so much fun last week, I never took the time to write-up a wrap-up, so here we are with two weeks worth of excitement.

Let’s see…..

We did the first of what will probably be many lessons on our home state of New Jersey, moved on to the Digestive System in our human body lessons….


and had a wonderful time at Build-A-Bear after learning about quilting and sewing in 4-H


and explored our next Native American tribe – the Sioux.

We finally had some nice weather so the kids played outside, including digging up some “fossils”.


Grandpa Charlie, an expert bird watcher, came over for a picnic Easter Saturday, and told us about some of the birds we had visiting, including the rarely seen towhee, a cowbird, and white breasted sparrows, as well as our usual visitors.


Vicki had a great time helping me clean chairs before our picnic.  Even when it’s barely 60 degrees outside, the girl loves any excuse to play with water.


The kids had an Easter Egg Hunt in the backyard after church on Easter Sunday.  It was a good thing we do private hunts each year because these guys are really really bad at it.


One of our days outside, I pulled out some sticky collage boards I’ve had for years, and had them make nature collages.  Vicki took her first one and just placed it face-down in the dirt but she was a little more creative with her second one.

 IMG_2088 IMG_2089

Now for what the kids call our “regular school” (as opposed to “fun school”).  One thing has come clear the last few weeks – Mondays really do suck.  Without fail, every Monday the kids are cranky, whiny and uncooperative.  If they ever tested on a Monday it would appear they learned nothing.  Test again on Wednesday, and they are brilliant.  Very frustrating.   I’m wondering if I need to tweak our schedule again to take this into account.  Maybe make Monday one of our “fun school” days instead of a “regular school” day.   Since Mondays are also laundry day, this could work better for all of us.



She has completed OPGTR through Lesson 50.  I may take a break soon to review and work on fluency.

We took a break from ETC in order to get enough ahead so that it will be review and reinforcement.

She likes lower-case letters in HWT and is getting better at writing her name.  (Except, of course, on Monday when she told me,  “Mom, I don’t like your attitude” when I pushed her to do it correctly).

We played a game of rhyming words dominos, and some sight word bingo this week.


Since he decided to get so creative with his handwriting the past few weeks, I sat with him and watched him closely with his HWT this week.  Those letters that he made upper instead of lower-case letters, and those he didn’t do correctly, we practiced on the lined chalkboard.   We will be moving on to cursive when he finishes this book.

We finished up Issue One of Level Two of The Wand.  George enjoyed the activities using Frog and Toad and says he wishes there were more Frog and Toad books to read.  I did point out the same author has written other things, and he actually seems willing to give them a try.  We will be continuing next week with Harry and the Lady Next Door.

He finished his Spectrum Writing workbook.  I wasn’t planning to replace it with anything since we are doing the Brave Writer activities but I may add some Evan Moor Daily 6-Trait Writing.

Spelling this week he had trouble with two words – different and Mississippi.  Any words he misses are noted down to continue working on.

Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension he is up to Week 4.



Vicki is up to page 52 in MM1A, and page 18 in Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math 1st grade.  We should be starting subtraction soon in MM.  She has good recall of her addition facts, with a few exceptions.

She understands time to the hour very well, so we will move soon onto time to the half hour.  We will also be starting some work with money.  Mostly just identifying the coins and their values since I don’t think she has the math skills yet to do much more than that.


For the first time we ran into a problem with the funky order we are using to do MM.   George is currently working on multiplication tables in 3A, although he is almost finished and will be starting division soon.

In addition, he is working on place value from 4A (which is pretty easy for him, he seems to just understand place value), and fractions from 4B.  One one of the pages in fractions from this week, there were three problems that “are for children who already know how to find fractional parts with division”.  Since that note was there, I’m assuming that it’s not unusual for kids to hit that point before doing the division so I’m not going to worry about it.

Since George still keeps forgetting about borrowing and carrying (or at least claims to), he is doing some extra practice pages from the Math Mammoth site each day.  The extra practice really seems to be helping his memory.

He is still working on the skip-counting chapter in Beast Academy.  He did very well with these and seemed to really enjoy working out the word problems.

He has completely finished his Algebra Readiness Made Easy book so I will be ordering some new puzzle books for him soon.  I think I’m going to go with logic puzzles, especially grid puzzles.

He also completely finished his Solve-the-Riddle Math Practice: Addition & Subtraction.

Now that the weather is getting nicer, we will be doing more nature studies, more field trips, and more fun outside, including preparing our garden for a new year.


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