Friday, February 3, 2017

Weeks 11 through 22: Catching Up

Happy Thanksgiving.. um ...Merry New Year....Happy Groundhog Day!

Okay, I really really got out of my trend of posting every week.  I'm hoping to get back into it now that the holidays are over and we are back into our "normal" routine.   Despite not posting, we have been doing quite a bit of school in the past few (3??? eek it's been that long!) months.   This weekend will bring a plethora of posts on 4-H, Science, and History to bring us up to date.

But first!  What have we accomplished in our core subjects?

Vicki has been struggling a little bit with multi-digit multiplication.  We are taking time every day to work on memorizing her times tables and doing extra practice problems outside of the busy pages from Math Mammoth.  We are spending more time sitting together doing her work so I can help her before she gets overwhelmed.  We have taken a break from Evan Moor Skill Sharpeners Math until she has a better handle on multiplication.

She's enjoying Beast Academy.  She is up to the lessons on perimeter and area (so almost done with 3A).  We like how BA presents geometry much better than what's in MM so I'm sure we'll do the same thing we did for Squidy - skip the MM geometry chapters (more on that later).

Vicki is almost finished with Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4.   Most of the vocabulary words she has already been familiar with and since book 5 was unavailable from Amazon, she will be starting book 6 soon.  I had her take a look at Squidy's book 6 and she was familiar with many of those words already so she shouldn't have any problem with that level.

She has started Evan Moor Spell & Write Grade 6.  When she finishes this book, she will be done with spelling except for corrections in writing.

I finally convinced Vicki to give the Harry Potter series a try.  She was very reluctant at first so I told her she only had to read the first one if she wanted.  She ended up loving it and is now on the third book.

She has also read My Side of the Mountain, Black Beauty, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Charlotte's Web, and a bunch of books for Ancient History - Ice Age.    We are working through the Mensa reading lists.  Since she is not ready for a lot of the harder books in the 4th-6th grade list (subject wise more than ability) we are doing the higher level books (or those we missed reading) from the K-3rd list and those she is ready for from the 4th - 6th list.

We've made some changes to Squidy's line up.  We are putting aside Math Mammoth because he felt it was boring and too repetitive. We will pull out the MM if it looks like he needs the extra practice or explanation when we come across a topic in Jousting Armadillos or Zaccaro Challenge Math.   My main concern with this plan is the geometry chapters in 6B.  Like many others users, we don't really like the geometry presentation in MM (it's considered the weakest part of the program) but there is information there that will be needed going forward. 

I found a recommendation for Hands-On Geometry, available as a free download, for 4th to 6th grade.  It should give him all the geometry he will need to be ready for High School Geometry in two years.  Once he finishes Beast Academy 4C, we are going to switch to Hands-On Geometry.  While we really like BA, he's not learning anything new and we're starting to look at what he needs to be ready for Algebra and beyond.

Squidy is finishing up Vocabulary from Classical Roots 6 and will be starting book A next week. 

He is currently reading the Inheritance Series - he has finished Eragon and Eldest, and will be starting Brisngr next week.  He has also read The Red Pyramid series (really LOVED that one), and Tuck Everlasting in the past few months.

We have started Write On! for our writing curriculum.  I wanted something that was gentle, started at the beginning, and increased gradually.  Being able to use it with both kids is an added bonus.

So far they've written acrostic poems, rhyming sentences, descriptive sentences, and riddles.

One of Vicki's riddles:
If you have too little you die
If you have too much you die
I'm in you and all
What am I? (water - I think she remembers my talk about good chemicals/bad chemicals at 4-H where we discussed Chemical X, which was water)

One of Squidy's riddles:
I can go out, but I can't go in.
I can wax, but I cannot wane.
When used, I often shine bright.
What am I? (candle)

Coming soon:  Crime Scene Investigations, Ancient History - Ice Age & Cave Painting, Zip Lines, Pendulum Painting, Edison robots, and a field trip to a Bug Museum.

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