|This is actually conference projects and notes but looks like school work right?|
|Making a castle out of cereal and marshmallows|
|Handsome boy at the park|
|Enjoying a spontaneous picnic in the backyard|
|Playing with Mom's new toys - Polydrons|
|Little Guy with some polydron shapes|
|Princess LOVES to draw and color. Here she is experimenting with oil pastels and drawing a snowman.|
|Clockwise from bottom left: Princess' lion, Trainboys' lion, Dinoguys' lion, My lion.|
Phonics & Spelling we continue to use MCP Phonics and the accompanying spelling book. Dinoguy wanted to skip book C and work on book D (grade level) and I told him we could try it but if it was too hard, we'd move back down. He has made extra effort I believe to do well at it and it is a joy to see him recognizing suffixes and root words. He spells very well now I believe for his age. Trainboy has finished the Phonics book B already and is working on book C but finishing the spelling book B. It might be too easy for him, but I'm not sure. I tell him we can do as much as he wants each day, that I just ask him to do one page. Sometimes he completes a whole lesson in a day or two instead of a week. The spelling books are activity based and I don't think they would be enough practice if the words were super challenging. So I think the spelling books are more review and confidence building after seeing the information in the Phonics books. Since I won't pay for the teacher guides, I guess I won't know if that is what was intended. I do see the boys
skills improving though and I'm excited to see what kind of progress they have made when I reassess them this summer using the tests outlined in Words their Way.
Grammar and Writing we have continued with the First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease program. I have really come to love the First Language Lesson books. It makes me proud to know my kids are learning grammar thoroughly and memorizing poems as well. This may be because of my own struggle with grammar in middle school. The Writing with Ease program based on narrations and dictations can best be called an experiment to see if it helps. I do agree that young kids don't need to regularly be creating original works but I don't think it hurts occasionally. We spent the month of November doing Nanowrimo Young Writers Program and it was a good experience. Much easier for Dinoguy though than Trainboy.
I bought a reading curricula guide called "Reading Roadmaps" to try and find grade appropriate reading books for the boys to discuss plot and characters. It has some good suggestions but wasn't detailed enough for me who prefers math to English. However my mom has enjoyed helping with this by talking to the kids over Skype. The boys have enjoyed opening their reading horizons to include a wider variety of books also.
Dinoguy chose to continue learning basic Latin and is almost done with the Prima Latina book. I believe it is helpful and he enjoys it so we keep going. Recently we have started to use Quizlet.com to practice spelling words in addition to regular flashcards.
Both boys can practice typing with Mavis Beacon whenever they want. At the beginning of the year they did it regularly but the newness must have worn off because it is neglected mostly now. I am not in a rush for them to be good typers but I do believe it is a skill to learn. I can type 75-80 words per minute easily while my DH hunts and pecks at 15-20 wpm.
The boys' violin teacher moved over the summer and I have had trouble finding a replacement here. I had them continue to practice what they knew for a while but that became frustrating not to learn new material. In January I started teaching them basic piano. They are enjoying it and I have finally found a good violin teacher but only Dinoguy wants to continue learning violin right now. He is going to try learning both!
Lastly the boys are working through the workbook "Discovering the New Testament" which came from the same author as the "Discovering the Book of Mormon" series we did last year. I like that the boys are developing more familiarity with the scripture stories from it and memorizing short scriptures.
The boys work on their "independent schoolwork" in the morning (workbooks) and once I check them and they redo any mistakes we move on to grammar and writing. Afternoons are for other subjects like reading, art, history, science and music practice.
Princess & Little Guy get puzzles, blocks, math manipulatives, coloring and reading time with mom squeezed into the day where I can. She loves doing the art and science projects with her brothers as well. Princess is participating in a mom preschool coop once a week that she enjoys. She is very social and loves playing with the friends. We go to the park with friends at least once a week so we can all enjoy the fabulous Texas winter weather.
And that is a glimpse of what our home school looks like this year.