Apr 8, 2009

Moving right along -

is what our week has been doing. I can't believe it is Wednesday night already! Our spring session began on Monday and it is going really well. KM seems to be enjoying doing science everyday. We are using a new series for us from Usborne called Adventures of the Human Body in Ten Terrific Weeks. She really likes the shorter lessons and the hands on charts, projects and interactive websites. We are also making a collage on an area of wall in the playroom where she can display all that she is learning - kinda like a HUGE lapbook. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the program and am going to be looking into the Knighthood one once we get into the Middle Ages. It gives a really good outline using books that you can easily get through most library networks.

Another new thing we are trying is doing the Writing Tales lessons twice a week - we had been doing the full weeks lesson all in one day on Friday, so that it took her two weeks to get through the story as it is meant to be done. Now we are doing one on Wed and one on Fridays so that she gets the first and second drafts of the story done all in one week. This will allow her to finish the program by the end of this spring session and then she can decide if she wants to move on to level 2 or go onto a different writing program. KM has always detested writing! She would dictate things to me with no problem so I had always thought that it was the actual physical writing,but I am beginning to think it was more about the pressure of it being accurate and creative that would get to her. With this progymnasmata writing program she really seems to be becoming much more confident in her writing. It doesn't take her nearly as long to get it done and there have been fewer and fewer mistakes lately. That is why we decided to move it up to twice a week - she feels she can handle it. Although this curriculum is below "grade level" in comparison to everything else that she is doing, it has really been a perfect fit for her to gain the confidence that she needed. I think I am going to try to convince her to do the second level starting next fall and then move on to more essay and expository type writings after that. I don't think she will give me much of a hassle with it, but this is one area that I feel I don't want to rush through as I am seeing such a huge amount of progress.

We also decided to do away with spelling and vocabulary in the traditional sense. We are incorporating vocabulary into literature, using Number2.com daily and we are continuing with Latin using the Minimus program which I managed to get through Paperback Swap - SCORE! It amazes me how much she has already picked up and how quickly she has begun to really get the roots. She has also been using Word Coach on the Wii and Spelling Challenge for her DS. It amazes me how many educational games there are out there for things that I never would have thought of! It makes life so much easier when they are truly enjoying the things that can get so monotonous!

Our local homeschool coop is finishing up for the season and we will be having our closing ceremony this coming Monday, which will include the older kids performing in Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream. They have been working on it since January and have really done a great job! They are all so excited about the upcoming performance and are already talking about doing one again next year! It is so amazing to see such a truly great group of "tweens" who are thoroughly enjoying Shakespeare!

Our other programs are all pretty much moving along the same as they had been -
  • Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra is still holding up to our expectations and likings
  • we are continuing on in our timeline of history - we are just getting into the First Humans and the beginnings of Civilization and are supplementing the text with lots of living books and projects from Ancient Science.
  • KM is moving right along through the Piano Adventures series and still loving it!
  • Next week we will for Health will be starting another NIDA free program called Brain Power! and KM will starting an astronomy unit - hopefully as a cooperative thing with one of her friends.
All and all things really are just moving right along! Now if the weather could just move right along into spring we would all be perfectly sublime!
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