Oct 26, 2011

School Update

It appears as though my blog has become a review blog, and I hate that. I have tons of ideas for things to write about, but they never seem to get past the idea stage. So I'm just going to take a minute and give a quick report on how school is going for us. Nothing polished or thought out, (I'm not even going to link anything!) just a fast post to say, "Hey, there is more to our lives than reviews!"
We are "officially" in our ninth week of school for this term. And the good news is that we are just about caught up in every subject but Geography. We are two weeks behind in that. At the end of the term, I will make the decision to either catch it up during vacation or just not do those two countries.
Kaytie and Nate have started multi-digit multiplication and I am wondering if it is going to be the death of us. Nate loves it and makes up his own problems to solve in his spare time, but he is not terribly good at remembering the steps. Kaytie is somewhat good at it, but she hates it. The irony of life, no?
Daniel and Abbie are doing awesome at their reading. Daniel is charging through blends and reading whole sentences without sounding out any words. Abbie has stopped sighing over books and will often sound out in her head and then say the whole word. We are still using I See Sam books, but I wish I could find something similar that moved Daniel through phonics a little more quickly. I recently discovered that they both think I See Sam books are not the same as "real" books and neither believe they can read a "real" book, so I have checked out easy readers from the library and have been making them read them to me.
I've started Daniel in All About Spelling. He is pleasantly surprised that is is simple, easy, and almost fun. I think Abbie could handle it, as well, but I'm not going to have her do it because of the time factor. They both already spend more time "doing school" than Kaytie and Nate did at their ages and I think there is plenty of time to learn to spell. I see no need to impose such work on my not-quite-five year old. I only started Daniel because he is into "creative writing" on his own, and I don't want him developing bad spelling habits.
Everyone is loving science (Apologia's Human Anatomy) and learning so much about their bodies! I'm glad we skipped Zoology and Botany to do Anatomy this year. :)
Kaytie and Nate finished up their Rod and Staff Grammar (level 3) and rather than jumping straight into level 4, we are reading and working our way through Grammarland. They are having a blast. They were a little annoyed that I only read one chapter at a time and won't read the whole book in one sitting.
I am so very pleased with Handwriting Without Tears' Cursive curriculum! Kaytie is working her way through it, her handwriting is good, and she is doing it 99% on her own. Awesome! Actually, buying a handwriting curriculum for everyone was just a good decision. Everyone is benefiting and I don't have to do any work but correcting mistakes. That is worth the money spent!
Everyone's favorite subject this year is Geography. We are traveling around the world: reading, mapping, discussing culture, and, above all, cooking. They love cooking.
My favorite this year is Latin. Visual Latin was the perfect next step for us and I'm so happy to have found it!
I had Kaytie and Nate doing Dance Mat Typing and they both learned a lot, but now they are done and I don't know what to do next... maybe some "typing copywork"?
Daniel is amazing me with his mad math skills and his love for numbers. I wish I had used Math U See for Kaytie and Nate at this age and managed not to kill their love for math. Neither of them are bad at it, they just have never completely gotten over that year and half of Horizons. Daniel, on the other hand, is effortlessly memorizing addition facts and enjoying every minute!
Kevin is doing a good job learning to write his name. He is enjoying coloring and puzzles and gluing. He and Gracie and Daniel and Abbie are all thoroughly enjoying the Before Five in a Row books! So far, Caps for Sale has been their favorite. They rolled on the floor laughing every reading.
So, I think that is everything, and if not, it is good enough for now. We have four more weeks before we get a nice long vacation. Maybe I'll get a chance to blog a lot more then!

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