Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Glimmers

Maybe it's just me, but I often doubt the choices I've made for the direction of our homeschool. Did I pick the right curriculum? Is our pace too fast? Too slow? ..... the questions go on and on.

We have been using All About Spelling for our spelling curriculum since 3rd grade began, and it "seems" to be working, but it is hard to get real proof. I've been using the "Spelling Scale for Home Educators" found in the 1989 Wanda Sanseri guide, "Teaching Reading at Home" to gauge Ben's spelling progress. For 3rd grade, Ben's scores had fallen roughly in the 4th grade range (I usually test him when we complete a level of AAS and at the end of the school year). But having just finished AAS level 3 last week, I tested him again, and his scores fell at a grade status of 7.0 -- woohoo! There was definitely new material for Ben to master in level 3, and I know there will be leaps and bounds of learning in level 4. Have I seen the carryover into his writing? For the most part yes. Since AAS doesn't follow traditional grade level spelling lists, it can be hard to judge, but for the most part, I think he's generalizing quite well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My poor lonesome blog

It is hard to sit down and summarize the craziness that is our life recently. I've become very distracted when I have computer time with Facebook and catching up with friends from high school and college -- a nice distraction, by the way.

The boys have started ski lessons for the next 6 weeks and are loving it, of course. They go with Dad and some neighbor friends who are also homeschooled on Thursdays. Levi and I stay home for Special Levi Days. This week we'll go to the children's museum for a little bit.

School subjects: We're working on our state study, which I had wanted to finish by mid-February, but I see now that it will need to be extended. We will finish it up by the end of February (except a couple field trips that we'll take when the weather turns nice) and then move on to Tapestry of Grace. I'm so in love with the DE version -- I've printed off only the pages that I want, so I don't have to flip through tons of high school level information that will stress me out (teaching high school doesn't stress me out, but all the page flipping does). I've gone through our library's online catalog to see what they have, and I'll begin purchasing books in the next week or two.

Ben: Ben is plugging away with math, and we should be finished with 3B in the next two weeks. We'll move straight on to 4A (mental note: plug it into HST). I do like having the extra problems text to fill in, and I'm going to get Challenging Word Problems 3 to work through periodically. We've finished All About Spelling 3 and I will have him take a baseline test this week. Everything else is plugging along.

Luke: He is doing so good with his reading! This weekend we started talking about silent E and when we were running errands, he asked me if the "e" was silent in the word "Staples." I'm so proud of him.

We've been working on being diligent in our Bible reading, and I'm working through Egermeier's with Luke for the first time. Ben is reading a couple chapters each day, and last I heard he was in Ruth. We've also moved past the Pond People and are reading about Night People for Luke's science. I asked him if he wanted to continue with these readings, and he did, so we'll work through them at his interest level.