Well, the big changes I alluded to back in December are here. The kids are being taught by our new homeschool nanny/private teacher/governess – we haven’t really figured out what the proper term is yet. Whatever we end up calling her (I’ll probably go with nanny most of the time just for simplicity), we are very glad we found her. Jen is a certified teacher, familiar with homeschooling (her much younger brother homeschools), and familiar/comfortable/ amazing with quirky, active, excitable little boys and girls.
The kids are now back to doing school using most of the resources we were using last summer. Math Mammoth, Evan Moor, Scholastic, etc. I’m excited because now I can go back to doing weekly updates! There just wasn’t that much interesting to write about Time4Learning. For anyone paying that much attention – the wrap-ups will be about a week behind to give me extra time to get pictures together and write them up.
Starting with the fun stuff: what have the kids been doing for the past few weeks? Lately it seems to be all about the snow. Like many other areas of the country, we are having a very cold, snowy winter. The kids have been sledding and tubing more this year than they have their entire lives before.
The day of one of the snow storms, Daddy decided we should take the kids down the road to a local golf course to try some sledding. It worked well except for the water trap at the bottom that required catching the sled to make sure they didn’t land in it. (and the fact that it was COLD!! and in the middle of a snow storm!) The kids had fun (good thing they got snow pants, snow boots and new gloves for Christmas).
Jen has a good hill near her house without trees or water traps, and close enough to get inside when it gets too cold, so she’s taken the kids tubing there a few times.
They also ventured out to a local art museum for a homeschool class in collages. They had a great time. Vicki decided her collage needed a coating of black paint and threw herself wholeheartedly into the project.
And on to the important stuff. Since going back to written work is a big change from T4L, they are starting off with the basics and gradually adding stuff back in.
Vicki took some amazing leaps in reading while doing Time4Learning. She literally went from sounding out CVC words to reading Magic Tree House and similar level books. She now has her own caterpillar for her completed books and she’s doing great.
Vicki currently isn’t doing any phonics, but in the next few weeks will start All About Spelling with Level 1.
She started The Wand with Level 1, Stage 1 – Hop on Pop. (I have The Wand from a group buy on Homeschool Buyers Co-op so it may not match up with the current subscription choices).
Vicki is doing Reading Comprehension and Grammar using Scholastic for now, but may drop the Scholastic Grammar if The Wand appears to be enough, and switch to Evan Moor for Reading Comprehension.
HWT: Vicki is back to working her way through Handwriting without Tears 1st grade book, with some extra practice on the lined chalkboard.
HWT: George is doing HWT 3rd grade Cursive book. He’s doing okay with it but when he’s allowed to write however he wants, he still tends to go with printing in all caps.
Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write Gr 4: He’s doing very well with the 4th grade spelling. He never gets more than one or two wrong. I like this program because it also covers various grammar topics – like homophones, contractions, etc.
Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension Gr 4: These are still pretty easy for George. In addition to just passages, they also introduce reading a Table of Contents, Index and charts.
Evan Moor Word-A-Day: He’s currently doing the 3rd grade Word-A-Day and mostly has no trouble with the definitions. He’s also practicing dictionary skills by looking up some of the words each week.
Reading: He’s doing quite a bit of reading. He’s read through the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (multiple times), and is currently reading Judy Moody and Stink series.
Math Mammoth 1A: Vicki is almost done with MM 1A and will move on to MM1B. She’s does one page a day.
Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math Gr 1: Vicki is slightly more than halfway through the Evan Moor grade 1 math. She usually prefers this to MM since it’s much more colorful. It’s great for review of previous topics since it has a mix of problem types.
Math Mammoth: George is currently finishing up MM3B. Once that is done, he’ll be once again doing a mix of chapters, but all from 4A. As he gets farther along it’s much harder to mix between levels, so it’s likely he’ll work within one level at a time from now on.
Scholastic Algebra Readiness Made Easy Gr 5: He has moved on to grade 5 Algebra Readiness. He found much of the Grade 4 easy but he’s having to really slow down and think it out now.
Scholastic Solve the Riddle Math Practice Multiplication and Division: SInce he hadn’t done these in months, I started back toward the beginning. They are a good drill to help with memorizing multiplication facts.
Scholastic Logic Posters, Problems and Puzzles: He enjoys doing these but there aren’t that many so shortly I’ll have to find something new. This has a mix of grid puzzles, poster puzzles, number puzzles, venn diagram puzzles.
Jen has all kinds of resources and books that she’s been bringing for the kids to use. The kids were amazed when I knew a bunch of the songs on the Schoolhouse Rock dvd (and even more amazed that they were actually played on tv when I was a kid).
She’s brought over lots of books for them to try and that’s how George “discovered” Stink and Judy Moody.
Our homeschool journey has changed once again but I think this one is going to work really well for all of us.