Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School

It's back to school time! We started our full schedule a week ago, though we've been doing a few subjects throughout the summer, along with VBS, camps, and more camps. I actually had a couple days all to myself this summer, thanks to Space Camp for my girls, and the grandparents for my boy! (My youngest tried Space Camp twice, but was just not really ready for a whole day away from home. Though he does just fine a whole day away from home when he's at Grandma and Grandpa's house, fortunately.)

But now we're back to doing all subjects, and I decided I should probably get back to writing this blog.

I was afraid I had planned too many things for this year, for my 3rd grader, but surprisingly, we made it through everything I had planned last week, and it wasn't too long a day at all. We even did our first Latin lesson and have already completed 2 DVD art lessons (I've got to take some pictures to post). It's a little tougher this year since I have added my middle child to the school day, instead of just giving her a lesson whenever she wants one. She's protested once or twice about not wanting to do school, but is really doing quite well. If I can just get her to stop wiggling so much and dropping her pencil every 30 seconds. I know - she's obviously a "wiggly willy" but the constant hopping up and down off her seat is driving me crazy. We're going to try a new chair/desk arrangement soon, so she can at least wiggle a bit without risking injury to herself (or others) constantly. And maybe I should tie a string around her pencil and attach it to her wrist?

After my last post in April about math choices for my oldest - well, we're going with Life of Fred right now, supplemented by IXL online practice. Around the last LightUnit of CLE Math 2, she started to get burned out, and despite her earlier assurances that she absolutely loved CLE Math, now she strongly insists she can't stand it. (this was, of course, after I already bought CLE grade 3 math.) We're about halfway through the 2nd book - Life of Fred Butterflies - and she really loves it. Of course, it is really easy review right now, with a few tidbits of interesting facts she hadn't heard before. But we'll see how it goes when we get to higher levels.

At these early levels of the books, I felt uncomfortable not supplementing with something else too - being afraid that she will forget all her addition and subtraction and multiplication facts - so I signed her up for IXL math. She did some trial problems first, to see how she liked it (you can do 20 problems for free a day), and she thought it was ok. But once I signed her up for real, and she got to earn medals and prizes, she absolutely loves it! And I love that she loves it! She's doing the easy review problems right now, but I'm not complaining (yet). As long as she's loving math, and progressing toward the harder problems, I'll let her do below-grade-level problems for a while. I'm also looking at maybe using a bit of Miquon math with her (and the other 2 - especially my son, when it's his turn).

My middle girl is doing CLE Math 1 right now, and she likes it quite well, and is sailing through it. She loves flash cards and speed drills. We did lesson 35 today (out of 160?), and so far, there's only been 1 or 2 speed drills where she hasn't gotten all the problems finished well under the 1 minute time limit. I'll keep doing CLE math with her until she's ready for a change, I suppose. Or at least until she gets through 3rd grade, since I already have that material? But I'll do Life of Fred with her too, after she's learned her addition and subtraction facts.

She's doing CLE's Learning to Read program too, and is sailing through that too. We're in LightUnit 104 (4th out of 10 booklets), and she is getting 90-100 on every quiz and test. She's beginning to read everything she can get her hands on (and, unfortunately, every sign we see as we're driving - did I used to do that too? It's annoying!).

Anyway, I'm so glad I can homeschool her and not send her to kindergarten this year (which she would be starting next Monday). She would be absolutely bored out of her mind! And she is way too mischievous when she's bored. Sometimes she gets bored with the phonics drills I give her, and she starts giving me the wrong answers on purpose, grinning her sneaky little grin at me. That's when I know I need to speed up the pace a bit.

It looks like it will be an interesting year! I'll try to post more regularly, too....

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