Friday, March 21, 2008

Week 23

I love it when a week comes together! We seem to all be healthy (even kept Adam out of church this past Sunday just so I could have a peaceful week) for once - is it too much to hope for more health? ;-)

We are just running through the Christ Centered Curriculum B:3 with Jefferson. I'm not really doing an entire lesson (which would take about 1/2 hour) since he's reading and we're using to review phonics rules he knows. This also is helping concrete some spelling rules for him. He still runs for his bible when we finish, so he can look up the lesson's verse.

I'm excited about Reagan's readiness to be 'doing school' (as she says)! We are still reviewing the CCC alphabet flashcards, which begin with short and then long vowels, and the Noah Vowel song. Waiting for the work book to get here so we can start actual lessons. Of course these will be kept as short as possible!

She also started using her new "Earobics Home: Sound Foundations for Reading and Spelling" Step 1 software by Cognitive Concepts. This was recommended for her to help improve phonological processing. Here's why: "One of the most compelling and well-established reading research finding is the important relationship between phonemic awareness and reading acquisition." (Kame'enui, et. al., 1997)

Phonemic awareness is not phonics - it is auditory and does not involve words in print (check out this site for more info). Now - maybe you all knew this, but again, I'm just figuring it out as Reagan is becoming kindergarten ready. I have seen recently, that although she can say the sounds of the vowels and consonants to which I point, she can't really 'hear' the sounds well enough to pick out a rhyme or vowel in a blend. So we will be spending 10-20 mins per day on her 'game' in order to improve this skill before stepping too heavily into basic phonics. And the best part is that she finaly has her own computer game - not one that Jefferson can hog!

Jefferson is finaly starting to take off with his reading and it's exciting to watch! He has been interested in using his bible recently, since he can read and is learning the order of the books. We can tell he is happy to have his own bible. So when he read somewhere about a kid getting a nickel for each chapter he read, he thought it was a great idea. I thought that the small size and vast amount of words on each page might deter him. But no! He has not only jumped right into the Word, but he is reading at least 3 chapters each day. I am amazed at how he sounds out the longer words and usually only asks for help with the weird Hebrew names. Not only that, but he is counting the coins daily (actually, almost hourly due to the excitement of having his own money) and keeps telling me how many they would be if they were dimes or quarters. And how many chapters he'd need to read to earn a "whole dollar!" Yes folks - we are covering reading, math, finances, and bible all in one place! You gotta love real-life lessons!

We are moving steadily through First Language Lessons and are working on verbs and memory pieces. I hope that he is understanding the concepts of nouns, pronouns, and verbs but I guess he will get plenty more reinforcement later if not. Also, our memory work has been a little too lax, I think. I tend to forget to have him review the piece on which he's working. I need a better system - maybe I'll try using an index card file tabbed for the days of the weeks. I think this is what the Charlotte Mason site recommends in their Scripture Memory System (which we haven't yet implemented - oops) so I'll let you know when we get that going, if it improves our memory work.

Jefferson really likes math - and that makes me soooo happy! I always felt like I struggled with math (even though my grades were good I wasn't sure that I was really getting it) so I have been nervous that he might also. But this Right Start (by Activities for Learning) has been just what both of us needed this year. Fun for him and easier for me to teach. Heck - I'm even getting quicker at adding in my head as I equip him with different methods to add! Because I like this program so much, I'll be posting about it later for those looking around. This week he learned how to add two numbers by breaking them into two 5's or by 'completing' the 10 (i.e. giving 2 from one number to an 8 to make it ten). And we talked about congruent shapes and symmetry using our geogrids (and rubber bands). He was quite pleased when he realized that he can now skip count by 1's, 2's, 5's, 8's, 9's, and 10's (he's been asking when we would learn to skip count).

Reagan had a fun couple of math lessons. She discovered a dry-erase book I used to use with Jefferson and just dove in to tracing the numbers. I had to ask her to wait for my instruction so that she wouldn't be practicing them incorrectly. Today I pulled out the pizza tray and filled it with sand so that she could practice drawing numbers. Wow - was this a hit for her senses! She was just so excited! Thanks to my bloggy friend Jennifer at Doing the Next Thing for this simple and great idea!

Another fun lesson this week - Jefferson (and Reagan too) loves to learn about animals. He could sit with the Animal Encyclopedia for hours! This week we learned about Clown Fish. Check this post to see his awesome work!

We're continuing through Story of the World (Vol 1) and learned more about Greece this week. Wanted to make a war helmet from a box but didn't have time. Maybe this weekend?

Kinda long! Haven't done a report in a couple weeks and I'm starting to add Reagan in a little at a time. Don't have enough time for photos this week either so the pretty little clown fish will have to do! Until next time!


MommyK said...

I blogged recently about California's ruling that makes homeschool illegal if you are not credentialed. I think the judge who upheld the ruling should take a look at your blog, because I am very impressed with the effort and work you put into homeschool!

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Your opening line reminds me of the A-Team! Used to love that crush on Dirk Benedict.
Ok, back to reality! Great week! I'm eager to read your post on Right Start Math, b/c I like the looks of that and may try it out. Glad you got some things done with Reagan, too. Keep on truckin'!