Friday, August 8, 2008

Weekly Report 1 (T1) 2008

So we made it through our first official week of 2nd grade/Kindergarten! I've had plenty to blog about prior to this but with all the prep to get here, I just couldn't do it. I know that I really only need to have the first 9 weeks planned, but I wanted to get as much done over the 6 week summer break that I could (anything to lighten my load for later). I managed to get almost everything planned except for history (don't have books and projects gathered yet), science (again - project materials), and memory work (I need a more focused system this year). Oh, and cursive copybooks aren't here yet.

(When things don't fit on my desk, I add a little wooden desk. Then I add another desk! I seem to need more space as I continue in this hs venture.)

Our only hitch this week was having to take Jefferson to the er for Friday afternoon. He decided to wolf his fish down for lunch (Haddock, I think it was) and got a bone stuck IN his throat! It hurt like crazy and kinda freaked me out. I mean, what do you do about a tiny little bone that you can't see and don't know if it's really there or not? Thankfully, with much prayer, we got an ENT that fished it right out (after much whaling and howling on Jefferson's part - he's not too keen on the numbing medicine in his nose/throat or the scope in his nose!) with a pair of MEGA tweezers. Now he carries it around with pride in a plastic cup! Bummer about the fish though - he was the only one of the kids that liked it to begin with....

So these weekly reports will be long since Jefferson has so many different subjects this year and since Reagan is starting Kindergarten. Boring for all of you, but good progress journaling for me.

Jefferson - 2nd grade

Bibletime is something new this year. I'm glad that I waited until he could read to try a program for him (last year we just spent time reading the Bible to him). He loves the workbook format ofr Explorer's Beginners II, although I am not yet sure about it. I like that he can do it on his own. But I want him to have more of a quiet time of reading the Word, reflection, and prayer rather than a 'lesson.' I guess this is a step in getting him used to spending time reading the Bible on his own. Although I have a Big Picture Bible Timeline (Carol Eides) to use with this, we didn't have any to work on this week.

RightStart Math C is going well, starting with review and easy warm-ups. He still loves this subject and always wants to play the card games that it offers which strengthen specifuc skill sets. This week it was "Go to the Dump" (aka 'Go Fish') where, instead of matching identical cards, we had to match parts of 10 (2&8, 3&7, etc.). Easy and fun review! However, in one of our warmups I noticed he couldn't count odd numbers by 2's very quickly. So I ended up writing then in color on the board so that we could give him a little right-brain help with them. I must remember to review these so that he doesn't revert to counting.

Language Arts this year consists of grammar, phonics, spelling, reading, and writing (penmanship/cursive through copywork, and this year, dictation).

Grammar was just a couple easy lessons from FLL and also from LLVY. Last year, he was barely remembering sentence parts and if given a sentence could only pull out the nouns (this - after all year!). So I've added a little color/hands-on stuff to the lessons and also 2 short LLVY lessons per week for him to do if he has the time.

Phonics is just very short lessons from CCC. These are a review of the sound/rule, a small bit of spelling, and then one sentence from dictation using the sound.

Spelling was easy for him since he's used to the Spelling Workout series. We are going back through half of SWB again just for review - this seems to be easy for him so I guess that means he really did learn it last year! But my favorite was finding some scra.bble squares and letting the kids go to town with them! They had a blast and didn't even know they were learning. Jefferson amazed me with his spelling skills and was challenged to see how many words he could spell and connect.

Reading is going well since Jefferson has started using the microwave timer to get his reading done. This way I don't have to keep asking him to sit down with a book and he gets a good amount read each and every day. Our read alouds are another story, however. This time seems to be what gets pushed off or ignored if we run out of time. Hmmmm... I've gotta make this work better and should probably place it in a better place in the day. Thankfully, dh is reading to him at bedtime too.

Writing this year will add something new for Jefferson -cursive. But right now we are just continuing with copywork until our Veritas Press Classically Cursive copybooks. I don't quite have all our copywork planned out yet either so this week was light on penmanship.

Memory Work
I don't have our memory work all printed out yet. But this week we continued our work on God's Beautiful World since we didn't get it memorized last May. I have the 6 days of creation ready for next week (with a.m. bible time). I hope our new system will work better for us this year.

I don't have history quite ready for this year either. But with SOTW, we can always be learning something anyway. We took this week to read the last 4 chpts of SOTW 1 before we start the next volume. Jefferson enjoyed just listening rather than feeling like he had to accomplish something this week. I had he and Reagan close their eyes to envision some of the events - this seems to peek their interest and hold the information in their memory better! I haven't gotten to the library for the extra books for next weeks SOTW2 chpt. yet so we'll have to push history to W/F instead of M/T. Jennefer at Smooth Stones Academy has done some good work on her book list for this - thanks!

No science lessons ready yet - Astronomy is in the works as we finish up a plants lapbook. Just trying not to freak out about this and reminding myself that we have more time this year as well as a better plan than I had last year.

Only got one lesson done this week due to not having the program installed in time for Monday and missing Friday (er visit). BUT - Jefferson loved the lesson he had and went for quite some extra time with it. Rosetta Stone seems nice but I need to figure out how I can repeat lessons when he doesn't do well (at first). I would also like to do the lessons myself so that we are learning them together. I also haven't figured out how/when there will be writing lessons.

Reagan - Kindergarten

What a great start for Reagan this year! She was VERY excited to be part of school and have my undivided (well - as undivided as I could be with a 2.5yo screecher and 9mo crawler!) attention. She thrives on positive encouragement, so I laid it on as heavily as I could. We had 3 lessons this week (4 if you count the fun time on the floor Sat with the scra.bble cubes) and talked about the letter A. I know that she has learned this in pre-k, but I really want to focus on the short vowel sounds pretty hard so that she can hear them better when we start blending. We did some fun penmanship sheets with lots of finger tracing. We also named her left thumb "Mr. Thumbkin" to help her with directionality of letters and numbers (her right thumb is 'busy' holding the pencil so it can't be Mr. Thumbkin). This has been a great cue for her! When we are playing with any letter squares or cubes, all I have to due is mention him and she corrects any mistakes.
My favorite part of the week was realizing that she can already spell short vowel, 3-letter words! I only discovered this when we were playing with the scra.bble cubes on the floor. She just beamed at the praise and wanted to play all day! I think that she will be reading sooner than I thought!

We started with very simple lessons for math. She knows how to count but I want to give her a good foundation in proper directionality (her mixed dominance causes easy switching - ie. 5's and 2's) and I don't want her to do mental math by counting (this is common in kids and will slow her down later). So this week we started with review of 1, 2, 3 using dots cards and fingers and objects, and the abacus. This was easy for her but gave her confidence as she started kindergarten. I also used some of the Semple Math program to teach her about "Mr. Thumbkin" when writing these numbers. She loves the tactile lessons and responds very, very well to added silliness (ie. "Start at Thunbkin's head and go down to his shoes. Then RUN AWAY from them!" for visual cue in writing a 2)

Auditory processing
Since we have Earobics scheduled in, it was easier for us to be consistent with it this week. This program was recommended by the psychologist who evaluated her last Feb to develop her ear and help her with sound awareness. This only takes 10 minutes each day and is fun since it's on the computer.

And there it is! An entire week late, but better late than never (hey, wait a minute - I think I've written that in more than one post this week! I guess my "No bloggin' after 10pm" rule is catching up to me.... *sigh*), right? Seriously though, I can't wait until the kids are headed off to college and they can read this post to see how far the Lord has brought them.


Mary@notbefore7 said...

Keeping my blogging in check as well, but have been reading your posts and looking at pics of those cute kids.

I loved this! It was so fun to read. It is like being a support group for homeschool moms, huh? ;)

I am posting our plans subject by subject right now...and love seeing what others are doing.

Thanks for sharing!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

*oh - what is CCC?