Friday, December 11, 2009

Have we accomplished anything?

Yes, we've been moving forward, but it seems like a ton of work lately!

Math has been totally restructered. Instead of one book, or set of workbooks, we're feasting upon three. Challenge Math, Fabulous Fraction Stories, and Geometry the Easy Way (this links to a newer version) are our three books. The Challenge Math is really incredible. Who knew a 3rd grader could understand pi? Fabulous Fractions is taking the sting out of fractions. Andrew was getting very frustrated and this is in story format, making it more interesting to him. Geometry the Easy Way is actually for adults, but it does explain things clearly and I'm sure that he'll handle his CAT5s well once we've waded through the first section. It's amazing, but all these things work together well to make math less of a chore and more of something we spend a good deal of happy time on.

Latin is going well. He continues to enjoy Latina Christiana I. We don't have any of the frills, just the workbooks, but we're progressing nicely.

Greek is a little different. Andrew has finished through John 1.4, and is moving on nicely in Hey Andrew! 3, but I'm completely lost. At least I can still sound out the words and I have the teacher's manual, so I still "know" all the answers. Thank God for that!

There really isn't much to say on the English front. First Language Lessons is so easy on me, except for writing out his workbook, and Andrew doesn't seem to feel much of anything about it. Writing with Ease does give me more room for stretching. This week we're using Colonial American Medicine as our resource. He has learned quite a bit from that! For reading, we read "A Christmas Carol" together, and I think we'll move on to "The Cricket by the Hearth." Andrew has finished the biography of Abigail Adams, as well as a few other random books. I rely so much on the generic list from "The Well-Trained Mind" for our library trips, I cannot imagine going to the library without it! I forgot about Spelling, but then there's not much to say. We do a lesson a week, his grades have been great, except for two words, "throat" and "group." It's amazing, every week he spells them differently, every week he says them, spells them out loud and writes them, repeatedly. Next week will be our Review and I'll be glad to be done with them!

Science is at such a sad stand still. I just haven't had the time, ink, or paper to get the lessons done. This puts us two chapters behind, which is just what we needed.

History, however, is looking like triumph! We will complete the "Middle Ages" by Christmas, which means we will be caught up to the history cycle!!! I'm so excited. January, we'll start the "Early Modern Times." I never did get the activity book for the Middle Ages, I'll have to order for later, but I'm hoping to scrape together enough to get the whole kit-and-kaboodle for this next era. I loved having everything for the Ancients and there's been a big hole where the activity book should have been.

Andrew is working through his 'New Life in Christ' booklet from church for devotions. We worked through all 10 Commandments in the fall and now we're memorizing the books of the Bible. It's really incredible how much he's learning, and myself too!

Now for Luke! We've started two-letter words. He can read them... if I can get him to look. Up until we really dug into reading, Luke was happy to do the work. All of a sudden he's looking everywhere, except the book. I'm not worried, he's three and there's plenty of time, but it can get frustrating.

Math is getting easier. We're using Miquon Orange, Cuisenaire Rods, along with various other blocks and flash cards. He's getting much better at identifying numerals, connecting them with a specific number of objects and matching one-to-one.

The hive posted a link to a list of suggestions for what should be accomplished in each grade. Luke has covered nearly every Pre-K requirement, but the ones he hasn't covered are going to be difficult. I think I'm going to make three lap books, not an easy task by far!

One will cover personal information, a lap book of Luke. He needs to be able to identify his name, write his name, know his birthday and address. He's supposed to know his phone number too, but we are without phones, so I guess we get a pass.

The second book will be for things like, empty-full, top-middle-bottom, more-less-the same. That book is getting exciting. I want to use velcro, for m-l-s, magnets for t-m-b, and something like a pouch and beans for e-f. I think he'll love that one!

Finally, I'm going to make one for zips, snaps, buttons, ties, lacing and velcro. For the life of me I cannot find those dolls we had as kids where you had to dress the doll. Zip his jacket, tie his shoes, that sort of thing. The only thing I can find is a purple kangaroo. So, I'm going to try my hand at a lap book with all this stuff incorporated. I included lacing, because it's something he enjoys and must have some impact on fine motor-skills.

I think that's about everything. Links to all the stuff I could find links for and whatever we've got going on in class! I'm going to try to be a better blogger. Now that I've got the generic info down, I'll try to come back and put in some more meat.

Here's to God's blessings, even (or perhaps especially) those that don't seem like blessings on the outset!

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