Friday, October 24, 2014


I’m way behind on my updates again.  L  I think I may start doing a Monthly Update for all the general school stuff and then do separate posts when we do fun or interesting things.  That way the long, detailed post is just once a month (which is what I’m averaging now anyway) and I can do quicker, picture loaded posts when we do exciting or unusual stuff. J
So this month’s excuses - the kids have been taking turns being sick for the past few weeks, the weather has been going through allergy inducing changes, and my computer (yes, my new one!) died on me.  (It’s back now, YEAH!) 
We’ve been up to Stephanie’s school twice this month – once to see her dance for the first time with the dance team at half time at the football game, and once for Homecoming where we saw her dance with her sorority in the showcase (Steph choreographed, taught and arranged the routine and did a great job!), and dance once again at half-time with the dance team.  Homecoming was lots of dancing, playing and good food.

Language Arts

Handwriting: Vicki is continuing to practice handwriting using some workbooks that came with her Tag reader, some Draw Write Now (she is not a big fan of drawing or coloring but she gives it a go) and will resume copywork with The Wand and WWE shortly.

 Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension Grade 2:  She is up to Week 12 in the second grade book and is doing great.  The passages these weeks worked on Character and Setting, Fantasy and Reality, Author’s Purpose/Prediction, and Non Fiction Elements like Glossaries, Table of Contents, and reading graphs and charts. 

Evan Moor Grammar and Punctuation Grade 2:   Vicki is continuing along with the nice, quick overview of Grammar rules.  She covered periods, question marks and exclamation marks, capitalizing proper names, places, days of week and holidays, and finding nouns. 
Evan Moor Word-A-Day Grade 2:  Vicki has moved on to Evan Moor Word-A-Day, Grade 2.    Her words so far have been dainty, pounce, generous, rambunctious, inquire, clench, monotone, attire, spectator, omit, brim, grumble. She comprehension seems strong so far.

Some of the bonus questions and her answers: J
Tell about a time you were acting rambunctious. What were you doing? What happened?
I ran in circles.  I got dizzy.

When do you clench your fists?  When I punch my wall.  (huh?)
What was your attire the last time you had to dress up for a special occasion? Last Friday I wore a Hello Kitty dress.

When you tell your family about your day at school, what information might you omit?  I’d omit what I forgot. (stating the obvious, LOL).

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write, Grade 2:  Vicki finished four more units of spelling.  She only missed one word – send.
The first unit she learned about bees, spelling with long e, identifying subjects and predicates, nouns, verbs, and had a writing assignment to describe a new bug she discovered.  Her bugs name was Stan.  He’s thin and small, and brown.  He lives in a jar, walks to get around and looks like a stick.

She also had to describe how it would feel if she woke up to be a bee.   “It feels fine to be small.  Its fun to fly around. Its also fun to sting.”   What a kid. J
Her next unit was about going to the gym and covered words ending in st and end, contractions, and capitalizing days of the week, months of the year and holidays – a good cross over with her Grammar, and using I and me.
Her next unit was on Blue Whales.   She learned about words with oa, ong and aw, contractions, is and are, apostrophes and using a graphic organizer.
Her last unit covered words with ay and ai, identifying adjectives, using the pronouns we and us, and interpreting charts.

I really like the variety of topics this program spirals through.

Reading: Vicki's been reading her way through the entire Baby Sitter's Little Sister series.  In addition to an hour for school, she also reads for about 30 minutes each night.  
Math Mammoth 1B:    She has just two chapters left in 1B – Time and Money.  She pretty much has both down from the other supplemental stuff she’s been doing so she may move on to 2B and do one page from 2B and one page from the Time or Money each day, to reinforce the concepts.

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math Grade 2:  Vicki has completed the first two units and successful did the assessments for units one and two.  These units covered number lines, graphs, time, word problems, adding four numbers in columns, number words, money, place value, tally marks, and measuring.  A very nice spiral review of concepts.
Scholastic Success with Addition/Subtraction Grade 2:  A nice fun way to drill math facts with pretty pictures of butterflies and flowers. J

Scholastic First Word Problems: Time and Money:  She has completely finished this book and has a great understanding of both time and money.

Language Arts

Handwriting:  George has finished his Scholastic Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes and Riddles book.  He will continue practicing using copywork from WWE, The Arrow and his other programs.  His handwriting is looking pretty good these days.  In honor of Halloween, here’s a nice skeleton joke. :-)
Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write Gr 5:  Despite alternating with More Proofreading Practice Please, he is moving through this book quickly.  He has completed through Unit 9 of 12.  Evan Moor only goes through Grade 6 so we may be looking for a different spelling resource by the end of the school year. 

In unit 8, he learned about pollution, how to spell words with ie and ei, the suffixes ly and ness, using I and me.  He missed one word – exactly from this list but correctly spelled: biologist, fierce, worried, angrily, their, pollution, hurried, darkness, pieces, weigh, and happiness.  In addition to listing things he could do to help with pollution, he wrote a persuasive paragraph telling people why they must stop pollution:Let’s destroy pollution that harms animals! Stinks up the air! Dirtys the environment!  Lets help the biologists any way we can before the darkness!  Bring happiness to spare!  
Unit 9 included a passage about the Rafflesia flower of Sumatra.  He spelled all his words correctly on his test: island, patience, mission, wonderful, design, caution, government, addition, plentiful, limbs, predicament, and successful.  This test emphasized words with suffixes ful and ment, definitions of the above words, using can or may correctly. 

He wrote a passage about the poison arrow frog to demonstrate appearance versus reality and had a good time writing his spelling words on the picture.
Scholastic More Proofreading Practice Please: Since George has finished his No Boring Practice Please: Spelling, he has switched to proofreading practice to alternate with his spelling.  This allows him to apply what he is learning in spelling and make sure the concepts are sticking.   It includes grammar and spelling errors.

Evan Moor Daily Reading Comprehension Gr 5:  George has just started the 5th grade level of Reading Comprehension and is doing fine.  This level requires a lot more inferring information.  He had activities for finding the important information from charts, graphs and tables.
Evan Moor Word-A-Day – Grade 4:  George has completed through Week 29.  These weeks have covered the words maneuver, frantic, peer, stagnant, unkempt, humdrum, replenish, agriculture, barricade, betray, complement, defiant, diligent, efficient, outwit, glamorous.   He’s definitely used a few of those words lately.  Like when he and Vicki decided to barricade her bedroom door with books, or he declared his water stagnant, or that Vicki was being defiant and should be punished. 

He was able to name the only two “products of agriculture” he will eat – corn and bananas – without getting into ingredients, and declared “School is humdrum because it’s no fun.”

Writing with Ease:   He has completed the passages on The Happy Hollisters, Pollyanna, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and A Christmas Carol. He is having difficulty narrating in full sentences so he is going to complete WWE1 before moving on to WWE2.

Math Mammoth (4B)
: George has completed 4A and moved on to 4B.  He really solidified his multiplication and division facts over the summer and it has thing going much smoother. 

Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math – Grade 4:  George is up to unit 6 and has worked on completing tables, logic puzzles, estimating, coordinate graphing, time, comparing fractions and decimals, patterns, map reading, and linear measurement.
Evan Moor Daily Word Problems – Grade 4: George still tries to answer these without writing out the steps but every so often he has no choice.

For some fun drill and reinforcement of facts, George has also been continuing with the Scholastic Super Sudoku Math: Multiplication & Division Facts and Scholastic Fast Facts: Multiplication and Division.
For even more fun he’s been doing Sudoku puzzles from Easy Sukoku Puzzles by KrazyDad and logic grid puzzles from Mental Floss. 

BOTH: Extra-curriculars
Vicki is doing amazing in swimming lessons. After just one session as a guppy, she’s moving up again to minnows. 

They attended the first meeting of the Herpetology Heroes 4-H club this week. George volunteered to be the first one presenting a report at next month’s meeting.  He chose to do it on a Blood Salamander.
We will be starting our Geography study to go along with the postcard exchange shortly, doing some art on the weekends.

The kids have started studying Explorers in US History and are back to working on Simple Machines in Science.