Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Homeschooling Report

Even though it is entirely too late, and I am really tired, I thought I would do a quick update of my day.

I decided that I would really work on getting lots of schoolwork done with the kids this week. We will be gone to Utah for the last two weeks of June, so I hate to lose a lot of time hitting the books. I have decided to push through the summertime with the kids, as I know I will be practically forced to stop school for a while in the fall due to #4 and #5. I have explained all of this to Raef and Zach and they are on board. They know they get no summer break. Plus, there really isn't much to do in the summertime in Las Vegas besides going swimming in the backyard. It is just too HOT!

All righty then...we finished Story of the World: the Ancients last week. YEAH! I am so glad I finished it all with them. I am sure they are not going to remember a lot of the details, but they do have a grasp of the fact that there is a big world out there and they are not the center of it. The story unfolds rather nicely and it has been a pleasure to go through it with them over the last year. Now we get to crack open book number two about the Middle Ages. I will probably get really excited when we get to the third year, starting with the Renaissance. It is my very favorite kind of history, but I really like all of it.

We have been steadily making our way through the Math-U-See curriculum, Beta level. They have finished lesson 12 and seem to have mastered all of the concepts so far. I am not trying to go too fast with the math because I want the things they are learning to really settle in. A good foundation in math seems key to me. But they started carrying or regrouping to the hundreds, so they are doing "grown-up" addition. Raef can do it in his head. He is really breezing through it. Today, I had them take a test from an earlier lesson and they both did great. Math-U-See is such a great way to learn math. I am thankful it is out there. We watch the video where he does a lesson and then we go and practice. It really works quite nicely.

Spelling seems to be Raef's achilles heel. He really has a hard time remembering simple things. I don't know what the deal is, but it can get frustrating at times. However, he seems to be doing very well with Spelling Workout A and is about 3/4 of the way done with the book. His lesson today was finished quickly, with no problems. Zach is a spelling savant. I am sure one day you will all see him on ESPN and please don't think it is because I drill it into him. He just really has a knack for it ever since he could talk. He LOVES letters. I am sure I could really push him hard with the spelling and he would rise to the occasion, but I really don't see the point. It would only gratify my ego, and I could truly care less. It is enough for me that he is above his level and aces it everyday. If he wants to push himself, he is more than welcome to put in the time. I am too busy.

I attempted creative writing with them...

Yeah, so let's move on.

Violin practice was a big success today. Zach is on song #5 in book 3. I can't remember the name of it. By now there are like 8 Gavotte's and 6 Minuet's and they all start to mesh together for me. Plus, I am pregnant so it is really hopeless. Anyways, he was having problems with the bowing on the last section. We got into an argument about a missing note and he dutifully informed me that his Dad had shown him how to play it. I countered with the fact that Dad does not go to lessons every week and he reads the music like a piano player and not a violinist. Of course, I was right.

***Note to self: I must explain to Rinar the difference between a slurred note and one that is tied together so that my sanity can remain.

Anyways, song #5 is almost done. That means he will only have 2 more left in book 3 and then he will be ready for book 4.

Raef is pretty much done with song #1 in book 3. This is Gavotte by Martini. The only problem with the song is that it repeats so much and so subtley that it is hard to remember where you are so he is constantly playing the wrong phrase. I am going to have to have him listen to the CD about a hundred times so that he will remember.

We are also about finished with memorizing "The Duke of Plaza-Toro" by W. S. Gilbert. It is a funny poem about a cowardly leader. It is quite amusing.

They did reading time today as well. It lasted about 30 minutes or so. They are getting a greater endurance for it. Zach read more than half of a Boxcar Children mystery book. Raef read a silly cartoonish book and a few others. As long as he is reading something, it is fine with me. I usually have him read challenging things to me about 3 times a week. I need to do it more really.

Grammar is progressing nicely also. We are on about lesson 115 in our two year program. I also bought some Mad Libs for them, which they thought were the berries. They did several stories and then proceeded to read them to every person who walked through our door. They just thought it was sooooo funny. Little did they know that they were reinforcing recognition of nouns, verbs, and adjectives. It is a great supplement to grammar lessons.

This is my homeschooling report. It is a lot easier than it seems.


Likes Chocolate said...

What a great idea to continue through the summer. I was wondering how you were going to do it with 2 more on the way. I am just amazed.

Eve said...

Huh, that makes sense, otherwise, what else would they do indoors all day? I know what you are saying: it IS hot! And if they already have a routine they are used to, why not use that to everyone's advantage. It sounds like it's really working for you all! I'd write more, but Eiden is on top of the van somehow and my neighbor just came to tell me. ahhhhh.

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