Saturday, September 27, 2008

Homeschool Wrap-Up

Despite me not keeping up w/ blogging, for the most part we HAVE kept up w/ homeschooling. The paperdolls continue to work well for Bible time, though the set we're currently working through is on humility & that would be something that is not intuitive (to say the least) for L, daily I hear "but what about ME!!" when we talk about putting others first & such, sigh . . . yes, I was aware of this being an issue and it's one reason I decided this would be a good focus. A seems to at least be getting it in theory, though not always so much in practice.

Reading: The girls are doing well, but I'm finding we need to slow down, while I'm continuing to put 1 lesson per day on the schedule, I'm not going to try to stick to it, we will work through the review portion of each lesson, and if we notice areas they are still struggling w/ we will just focus on reviewing those concepts for that day, and revisit it all the next day, and consider adding the new concept. Complaint about this curriculum, it randomly introduces things not yet addressed, and isn't clear on whether it is INTRODUCING them, or just a random thing they'll actually TEACH later. "Car" was included in the short a words several times (& I just skipped it, since it does NOT have a typical short a sound) and then in a later lesson they introduced the "ar" sound (far, car, etc) and used car as an example. In lesson 10 (that we started through on Fri, and will continue on Monday), they randomly used "look/looking" as one of their -ing examples, despite the fact that we were recently introduced to oo as in zoo, and have NOT been introduced to oo as in look, sigh . . . I haven't looked ahead to see if they introduce the look oo sound later or not.

The phonics workbook I got is . . . odd. Granted it's a 2nd grade book (as recommended by the curiculum site, and confirmed (that this series runs a year behind) in amazon's reviews), but still, I'm rather unclear on how the children are expected to read sentences w/ words like "mother" while the focus of the worksheet is the short a sound. Needless to say, they need much help reading some of the pages, but they're doing well on the actual FOCUS of the sheets. We're trying to do 2 pages per day, and even so, we're still focusing on short vowel sounds, whereas in the curriculum we've moved well beyond that. I figure the slower pace will continue to help them review the various concepts long after we've finished this basic curriculum.

The "easy reading" books recommended by the curriculum, seem to still be abit advanced for where we're at, still quite a few words using phonics rules we haven't hit yet. But I discovered that has printable books that are short & focus on a few phonics rules w/o unfamiliar words, so I'm going to use those for the easy reading books for the next week or so, A & I read through one of them this week, and she did well, and it wasn't as long/overwhelming for her as Cat Traps had been.

History, we're learning about Columbus, etc. When I started reading Pedro's Journal, I thought it might be beyond them, but they are really into it, and often want to read farther than the "assignment" (which is fine w/ me). As happened w/ Leif the Lucky, the Columbus book by D'Aulaire had a long enough wait list at the library that I couldn't get it in time to read along w/ the rest of our Columbus stuff. I'm learning . . . and checking books farther in advance to hopefully get them in time. It's taking a mind shift for me, w/ the curriculum we were using last year we needed to keep books for 6 weeks, which was the max, we could keep a library book (3 weeks per check-out, one renewal allowed), so I had to wait & check them out right when we were ready for them. Now most books are only used for a couple weeks, so I can check them out a week or two in advance and still have plenty of time. So thankfully Pedro's Journal is working ok as our main Columbus reading. I've also decided that This Country of Ours is abit too advanced for them, it doesn't keep their attention and we're reading plenty of other stuff. So . . . I'm not including it from now on. We made Columbus boats out of an egg carton this past week and the girls are having great fun playing w/ it :)

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