Friday, March 7, 2008

Week 21 - a Hit!

I love a great week of homeschooling! Jefferson and Reagan both learned so much this week - Reagan had the "Reptile Man" come to her preschool and I found some great books at the library to tie into what Jefferson has learned about ancient Mesopotamia (I think that these need to be on my shelf for sure).

We have been reviewing with Christ Centered Curriculum for a couple of weeks. The easiness of this is building Jefferson's confidence - we're ready to skip ahead to the workbook that challenges him a little more. This will cover character lessons, spelling and phonics. I am so glad the Lord guided us to these lessons! Each one has a verse and picture (from the flashcards which we used lasted) and Jefferson is always anxious to get the lesson finished so that he can look up the verse in his own bible. Oh, how this warms my heart! He is learning so much in bible basics (book, verse, chapter, basic stories) and is excited that he can read the Word on his own now!

I have been reviewing the CCC alphabet flashcards with Reagan for about 3 weeks now. She is our "memorizer" for sure and already knows which ones are vowels and what every letter sounds like. She is so ready to learn to read - I have just not put enough time into her since we had the baby this year. But now is the time for me to buckle down! She's also ready to write so I need to order the workbook for these flashcards before she picks up bad writing habits. She gets a tiny sticker on the calendar for each time we complete our flashcards. Funny how such a tiny little thing can motivate a kid, huh?

We completed Spelling Workout A (our 2nd time through the 2nd half) and since I know the CCC will cover spelling, I may just pick and choose through SWA B. We'll wait until 2nd grade to use a new spelling book. Thanks so much to all who dropped by and gave me some guidance here - it's been very helpful in our planning for next year!

We are about where we need to be in First Language Lessons. Jefferson understand nouns, pronouns, and action verbs so far. Not sure how well he really gets this yet but I'm not concerned, knowing how much he will learn from copywork and repetition in the grammar years. This week he got to draw pictures of people doing "action verbs." I love his funny little stick people!

This is my favorite area right now. I don't have to hold Jefferson's hand any more - just have to be within earshot in order to help with tough words or listen for mistakes. He spells out anything he can't read and I can help him to get better cadence (according to puntuation - which he learns more from reading than even from copywork). He almost grabs the book out of my hand when Adam brings one to me to read! So cute when they jump on the couch next to him to listen! We also finished reading "Prince Caspian" this week - just wishing the movie was out already!

Another great week for Jefferson! With our card game and weight balance, he reinforced the parts which make up 5, 10, 15, and 20 (i.e. 7+8,9+6 for 15) so that he could score the game in his head. He got better at adding by 15 with this game also. He learned to add by 9's this week - the Right Start curriculum is really good at teaching with the abacus and practicing the process until it comes easily out of their head (rather than rote memory or flashcards). By taking 1 from the number and giving it to the 9, he can add 9 to anything! And then he even realized (w/o my help) that this method of getting the numbers to be in terms of 10's and/or 5's, he can add 8, 7, 6 to anything. I love that this isn't something we had to spend much time on and that he looks forward to this lesson each day!

It's also time to start teaching him about how to manage his finances. We have not given our kids an allowance to date, but he is aware of and interested in money and now has the capacity to learn how to use it. We may start here but I have to look into it further.

Reagan has not started anything formal yet for math. I'm pretty sure that I will order her the AL Right Start K pack instead of CCC that I used with Jason. She's been getting a little math at preschool and home but again, it's time to focus her learning now that she seems ready.

We learned about snakes this week - Jefferson was most interested in the King Cobra (typical boy, huh?), so we followed that one in the most detail. One could spend forever on the different types of snakes! Our Animal Encyclopedia has great pictures and lots of unusual info for certain species as well as world locations. I like being able to give the kids a better sense of the globe in any way possible.

Jefferson was adamant about drawing a lump of 'food' in the cobra's body and thought it was neat that this snake is a 'snake-eater.' We were able to find great info online also (and videos, of course are fun too).

The pink snake is obviously Reagan's. She was pleased to find a picture of a garter snake which had a bit of pink in it's scales. I couldn't believe how much she remembered from her preschool "Reptile Man" visit about reptiles and snakes. These lessons are easy enough for me to include her when she shows interest and she loves to be included!


SOTW 1 this week took us to early Crete. Jefferson thought the bulljumpers were dangerous and I don't think he understands why people would do such a dangerous thing! Kids perspectives are always so cute! Ancient Greece should go quickly since we began the year here while waiting for SOTW to arrive.

I found some great DK Eyewitness books at the library. Jefferson really likes the pictures and I can tell that he's making some connections with all that we covered already. We only looked over the "Eyewitness Mesopotamia" so far but will look over the Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece next couple of weeks. I really must have these for our library!
I am so thankful for the week that we had. I am glad that God provides me with joy in this journey of educating these kids! Until next time...


Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

I can tell by the upbeat sound in your "voice" that this truly was a good week - I'm so happy for you. The Lord is always so good to give us weeks like this to encourage us to keep goin' when times are rough! The snake drawings are precious - such a cute illustration of how boys' and girls' minds work differently! You really have me intrigued about CCC for my K-4 and Right Start Math for him, as well as maybe some reinforcement for my 3rd grader ... I'm planning to spend some time on both those websites this weekend. Have a restful one - you deserve it! ;-)

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

I was wondering if you have any suggestions for me as far as a "light" curriculum for this summer? I'm not really looking to start homeschooling full throttle, but I'd like to put a little bit of learning into our days before Will starts Kindergarten this summer. Any thoughts on where I might start looking? Any direction would be appreciated! Thanks so much!