Feb 7, 2014

Mid Year Update

So after next week, we will be halfway through our second term, which means we will be half way through this school year. So I thought a little update on how we are doing with our curriculum choices and plans might be in order.

Kaytie and Nate finished up their bit of review and are now charging boldly forth once more. Even though MUS has built in review, sometimes taking a step back and building up the confidence is necessary. They are well on their way to finishing Delta before the end of the year.

Daniel is also on track to finish Beta by the end of the year. Out of the four, he has the most mathematical brain. He is already watching the videos on his own and grasps the new concepts with minimal help from me. Sometimes he doesn't even seem to need the video. Skip counting, for example, is something he seems to just "get" and he laughs scornfully when a new one is introduced. "This is easy!"

Abbie is wrapping up the last Alpha lesson this week and then will start on Beta. She splits her levels because I put her through half a year of Primer. Daniel was concerned when he heard she would be in the same book he is, but calmed down when I showed him that he is still ahead of her and that at the end of the year he will move into Gamma and she won't.

Abbie and the boys are still using Xtramath, but Kaytie and I agreed that it just wasn't working for her. So she made herself some flashcards and is working with them on her own. This method is working for her, which is all that matters to me.

Kaytie and Nate finished Level Three and they are waiting for Level 4 to come in the mail so they can start it.
Daniel and Abbie are halfway through Level One. We are taking it more slowly with them, because they aren't just using it to learn to spell, but to reinforce phonics. Daniel still struggles with hearing the difference between the short U and short O and both kids have to really listen to hear the difference between short E and short I. Although that is mostly because of our accent...

Daniel and Abbie are both making great strides in their reading. Daniel rarely sounds out most words, although he does still read some words backwards (was/saw left/felt). Abbie still sounds out a lot of words, but she uses sounding out tools much more effortlessly than Daniel. Both of them have left the super easy books behind and are reading (in one sitting, for Daniel and two sittings for Abbie) such glorious books as The Littles, Amelia Bedelia, Mercy Watson, and Nate the Great.
Kaytie and Nate are not making much progress with their booklist. They stalled and regressed to abysmally easy books so I'm pondering what I can do that will make them read what they need to read with actually forcing them to do so.

This is the kids' favorite subject and we are right where we are supposed to be. I love Bible Study Guide so very much!

We are enjoying our year of chemistry and physics with REAL Science Odyssey, but right now we are at a bit of a standstill, waiting for me to remember to pick up some stuff for a few experiments. We are still on track to finish by the end of the year.

We are still loving our literary jaunt through History. We have made it to the Civil War and I'm still hoping to make it to modern times before the end of the year. Because wherever we are then is where we stop. We are starting over with Ancients next fall no matter what.

I totally revamped this by pulling out my Geography from A to Z book. I write down a word or two for each kid and they are perfectly copy those words. Just those words and nothing more. It has worked well. Forcing them to slow down and focus on perfection without the pressure of writing an entire quote has perfected Kaytie's handwriting to the point that she will be moving on to dictation and journaling after a few more weeks. Nate's handwriting is now fully legible and Daniel has recovered what he was losing in his hurry. Abbie is still working in her book, and has completed almost all the learn-the-letter pages.

Well, we haven't actually started yet... I sort of know what I want to do... but we have been using the globe in conjunction with our history books, so that's something, right?

We love, love, LOVE Flip Flop Spanish!!! And we are on Lesson 11 I think. But right now we have set it aside to work on Mango, a review item for the TOS Crew.

Who Am I?
Kaytie and Nate read this twice a week and narrate to me. I'm not fully satisfied with this system, but I'm leaving it that way for now. The next book I will tweak our method a bit, I think.

We are still loving co-op and the kids are doing a VERY informal Nature Study on their own, but everything else on our list has pretty much fallen by the wayside, at least temporarily, for various reasons! And Kaytie added in working her way through Artistic Pursuits on her own. She is enjoying it thoroughly and learning a lot.

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