Saturday, May 26, 2007

Monthly Recap

This is the first of a new series of posts I'll be making. On the last Friday of every month I will be posting a recap of where we are with our curriculum.

Language Arts - We just finished Lesson 12 of First Language Lessons. We are both enjoying this book very much and the lessons are going very well. Ds has memorized the poem "The Caterpillar" by Christina Rossetti and the definition of a noun. Here is his last narration we did yesterday.

The Lion and the Mouse

The mouse stepped on the lion's tail and the lion almost ate him. The mouse said, "I will help you when you are in trouble, lion." So the lion let him go. The hunters caught him in a net and the mouse heard him and bit the rope. The lion was free! - The End (ds, 6yo)

Reading - We just finished Lesson 9 of our phonics program which focused on cvcc words. Reading is progressing nicely but he really had to slow down with these words and make sure he got the last consonant on the end of each word. He finished the first set of Bob Books this week also. These focus on cvc words and he is reading them nicely now. He has about 12 sight words under his belt now and we've been struggling with "of" for quite some time but it appears he has finally succeeded in remembering it.

Handwriting - Progress with Handwriting Without Tears is going well. His handwriting has really improved with the move to this curriculum. He's gone through the capital letters and now working on the small letters. The last letter done was "w".

Math - We have finished Lesson 18 of Right Start Math B. We are having a blast with this curriculum! Ds is really picking up all the concepts very well. We "camp out" on a few lessons here and there when he struggles before moving on. The last concept we've just started working on is even and odd and he really enjoyed the lessons and games for this.

That is all the official curriculum we are using at the moment. I'll leave you with a painting ds worked on this week.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mini Box Day

First, the results of the book battle: Pippi has won! We are now on Chapter Three and will continue with it. Dad has been doing most of the reading aloud this week and I've had some health issues so we haven't got very far but are back to it today.

Today was a mini box day for us. I decided to order some books from WP Adv. K LA program to supplement what we are doing now so hopefully ds will be ready for LA1 next year (Gr. 2 for him). We are already using the Nora Gaydos readers so I added the last two boxed sets to my order which included the following:

On the Go: Level 3
Let's Play: Level 4
25 Read & Write Mini Books That Teach Word Families
The Word Family Actitivy Book - this is actually on back order so I didn't get it yet.
Spectrum Phonics Gr. 1 - and I just added this one in as I feel we need to be doing some type of phonics workbook to go along with our phonics program.

So now I am 100% all set and do not need to buy anything else until we are ready for Gr. 2!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mole & Toad or Pippi?

So as you can see from the sidebar our new read-aloud is The Wind in the Willows. Well, right from the beginning I knew this was going to be a hard one for ds. It went right over his head most of the time, there are very long descriptive paragraphs and he would get antsy. We've read quite a few classics and he is a good listener with material a little above him but I think this one is over the limit for him. Besides, while this book is certainly good I don't have it up there as one of the books. So 3/4 of the way through the third chapter I asked him if he liked the book and he said "Welllllllll". We discussed it and decided to put it aside and start a different one. I told him it was ok, sometimes when a person starts a book they find out it is not the right book for them.

So we started Pippi Longstocking instead and have read the first chapter so far. He loved it, laughed, and was fully engrossed in it.

So, today he comes to me and says in a very serious voice, "Where is Mole and Toad? Where did you put it?" Oh, no! Now he's upset that we stopped reading it. This is the first time we've ever started a book and then decided not to continue with it and he feels strange about it. So I told him I would read whichever of the two books he wanted me to read. I've got them both up there in the sidebar for the time being and we'll see which one comes out the winner in this battle of the books (LOL)

P.S. The third book over there is the one dad is reading aloud on the nights he doesn't work late.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Went to the local huge book sale this weekend. First we went on Thursday and I bought 2 big boxes full of books for our home library. I'm so thrilled that I found a lot of Canadian History realted books and some great books for read-alouds. Then on Sunday they had a $2 a bag sale so I came home with another 2 bags full of books (and they were big bags too!), this time I splurged and picked up some for me too.

And, big excitement today. I ordered Animals and Their Worlds today! I can't wait. It's been a looong time since I've been this excited about curriculum. I really think ds is going to like it. Right now we are just doing the basics: Math, Reading and all the other Language Arts. Reading is coming along, slowly but surely. Oldest ds was an early reader and I didn't have any problems with him, so this is something new for me to work with a struggling reader, but he's only six and I know it will come eventually. We just keep plugging along.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Alice and Animals

We finished Alice in Wonderland tonight! It was such a quick read. This is my third time with the book. I read it as a child and then read the sequel. I can't remember how old my now 18yob was when I read it to him but probably around 3rd grade. He did enjoy it but I only remember him yelling "stop crying" at Alice, as she does tend to cry quite a bit in the beginning. Ds6 really enjoyed the book, though I must say the first half is much better than the second. This is one of those books that mums may think is too "girly" to read to their sons but I encourage you to give it a try. Other than the main character being a girl it has a lot of appeal to boys.

Some days ago I read Barn Owl to ds6. It is a quick read being an old oop science I-Can-Read book and such a wonderful, sweet, touching story. He just loved the story so much, it was delightful to watch the light his eyes as he listened. He truly has a heart for animals and nature.

And this brings me to another decision. One would think that with 15 years (one way or another) of homeschooling experience I would have got over the curriculum anxiety I am experiencing this year. I have made major changes to the curriculum plan for next year! Again! This time though I am 100% sure of my decision. I will not be using History Odyssey or Apologia Science, instead I am going to use Winter Promise Animals and Their Worlds. This is a science-based program, so for history I will read CHOW. Even though I would have liked to start a 4-year history rotation with him this year, I know that he will enjoy WP-AW much more than anything else and I finally feel at peace with this curriculum decision.

So, to recap, here is the curriculum I will be using for my 7yob:

**Reading/Phonics - Stairway to Reading and easy readers ( Bob books, Dr. Maggie's, Now I'm Reading books)

**Read-Alouds - Living Books from our home library plus the RA's from AW

**Language Arts - First Language Lessons 1

**Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears and copywork

Spelling - Spelling Workout A, possibly move onto B

History - Child's History of the World

Science/Geography - Winter Promise Animals and Their World

**Math - Right Start Level B

**Thinking Skills - Easy Sudoku Puzzles

**Art & Music - no curriculum, implement into real life fostering appreciation and enjoyment

Those marked ** we have already started and we'll start the rest sometime in Aug or Sept. We school year-round. The only time we didn't school year-round was the year my ds18 was in 7th grade. He asked, that year, if he could have the summer off like his friends, so we did. That September when we started back to school he said to me "Let's not ever do that again!" Needless to say, he didn't enjoy it and we went straight back to year round. It's so much nicer to have the freedom to take a day (or week) off whenever we want.