Thursday, February 14, 2008

Week 23 Report

Happy Valentine's Day!! Here's a picture of the kid's Valentine bags and cards for the kids in our gym class; we're having a little Valentine party tomorrow after gym. Aren't they cute? Oh, sorry, can't say cute with the boys around. Aren't they, uh, umm, great?
And happy end of the week. Ben didn't have ski lessons this week (it was a planned off week because of the winter breaks here in New England), and I enjoyed the taste of "normal" homeschooling without him being gone for a whole day. I know I've said this ad nauseum, but I am just amazed at what we can accomplish with our new homeschooling plan. I am really enjoying Core 3. We finished Pedro's Journal, which was a great historical fiction account of what it might have been like on Columbus' first voyage. I was one of those who grew up in the protective shell of the midwest and we just thought Columbus must've been great -- not ever really learning much about his relations with the natives beyond catchin' a bad cold or something.

I think I've finally gotten into a groove with our language arts -- FLL 3 is going very smoothly right now, and I can see that Ben has learned a great deal about diagramming sentences. I still have to cue him about adjectives and adverbs, but that isn't really a big deal; FLL has you walk the child through each step of diagramming, so that the teacher is still providing alot of support to the child with parts of speech. We're in the mid 40s for lessons, and are about half way through.

All About Spelling is just great. Marie has added a new feature to analyze a word or two at the beginning of each lesson; this analysis helps to integrate the phonograms and key card "spelling rules" the children have been quizzed. I think this is a fanastic way to review the concepts in a practical situation and I can see that Ben's internalized the rules much more by going through his process.

Math is also progressing swimmingly. He's easily adding and subtracting 4-digit numbers, and the speed at which he's completing his computations really shows great improvements. We're working on speed and accuracy with x5 facts, and he's doing amazing with it. We'll soon be moving into mastering the rest of the multiplication facts, and I'm going to begin to have him do some copywork of these facts to get prepared.
We're also trying out a one-month free subscription to ALEKS, which Ben has really enjoyed. I look at it as a supplement for all those math skills that don't fall into the Singapore Math scope and sequence at this stage. There was one thing that Ben knew how to do, but SM doesn't use the same terminology as seen on ALEKS. For example, it asked him to use expanded notation for 9,347. Ben was clueless as to what expanded notation was, but once he saw an example of it, he recalled just using that a couple weeks or so ago in our math program (9,000 + 300 + 40 + 7).

I just really feel on top of all his skill subjects right now-- praise God. Life is calm in nearly all other areas of my life, and I feel like I've got time to prepare for school, teach the necessary skills, and really maintain a pretty good flow for our days.

Kindergarten: Luke's kindergarten skill subjects are moving along. I've decided to bag Sonlight K LA program. Even for Luke it is too slow. I guess I could speed it up, but instead I'm going to use one of my phonics programs with him. I'm trying Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons right now, and I've also got Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading to pull out if need be. I'm not totally sold on either of them, because I think Luke might need something more hands-on, but I'll give what I have a try for a little while.
For "social studies," I've decided to fuse What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know & Galloping the Globe. WYKNTK will be our guide, and I'll use some of GTG's material to flesh out 1 or 2 country studies for each continent that is introduced. Since my mom was on an Asian cruise in the fall, we'll do both China and Japan for Asia. And, I'll pick a couple of animals to study from the lists in GTG to flesh out some science, too I think that and our spring/ summer garden and lots of library books will work out great for him. Plus he'll be learning American History by osmosis with Ben's Core 3 studies.

We're also using his Singapore Math 1B book, which is going well now that I've reaquainted myself with the S and S of it. (Can't say enough about teacher prep!) And, we're just working through on additional workbook program at a time -- right now it is Visual Perceptual Skill Building book 1. When we finish that, I'd like to return to the Developing the Early Learner books to continue to develop Luke's perceptual skills. I certainly have enough to work on with him for the next year and a half!
Off to cuddle with my Valentine.


Anonymous said...

Awww, those valentines are uh, umm, great! :o)

my5wolfcubs said...

Very masculine valentines. :)
You sound like you've got a great groove!! I also grew up in the midwest protective shell -- Columbus & Lincoln were demi-gods by our text books.

susie said...

What level of AAS are you using? We haven't run into the analyzing of words yet.

susie in tx

Alane @RaH said...

We're using the new level 3. Marie mentioned in the book that it is a new feature at this level and beyond. It is just getting better and better, and I'm so glad to have heard about it!

susie said...


I have Level 3 waiting in the wings... I love AAS. I don't always make enough time in the day to do it, but I love what it's doing for the two girls I have using it.

susie in tx