Friday, November 1, 2013

Quick update

I have been constantly busy.  This week, I'm fighting off the grumpies (and the grumpies are winning!) because I would rather stay home and leisurely approach my daily list.  Instead, I'm the Time Keeper, shouting at everyone to get thru this, finish that, get ready, and let's go!

Volleyball is over for the year.  It was a good experience, and much was gained through it.

We are finishing up Week 7 of Classical Conversations Foundations (morning memory work) and Essentials (Grammar, Writing).  I really enjoy teaching the morning class.  I feel we have all learned significantly through the program. 

My oldest has been hired on to babysit in the afternoons during CC Essentials.  She has about 5 kids she watches, sometimes 7 kids.  This has been very good for her.  She plans out her time with them, brings materials to occupy them, etc.  She has treated this opportunity very responsibly.

I'm realizing now that Foundations and Essentials would have also been a good experience for her, even though she is older than the ending age.  However, she is learning some of the material with us at home (she is really good with the history sentences).  I signed her up for an IEW writing class outside of the home on Thursdays - and this has been a great class for her.  She manages her time and gets her assignments done.  I've also noticed that her writing is improving significantly.  Part of this is the instruction (thanks, Lisa!) and part of it is developmental.  She is ready to move away from basic Subject - verb - direct object or adjective type sentences ("I love you", "The dog is brown") and into more complex structures. 

Her science is also coming along nicely.  I like the program.  Some days, I hate the time-suck of building.  Some of the building projects take us 2-4 hours to build.  But the end projects are fantastic!  Luckily, we don't build big projects very often, and past projects are re-used to teach new concepts.  For instance, our first project was the racer car, which runs on battery.  She uses the car almost weekly to learn new concepts about motion, simple machines, etc.  The computer text has been good at explaining concepts.  The experiments make a good science lab, and tie in seamlessly with the text.  Most of the experiments she can do on her own, now.  I'm only needed for the building projects. She is using Exploration Education Physical Science Advanced.

Math has been another story.  Horizons Pre-Algebra has flown at break-neck speed.  It throws new concepts at you.  Most of the concepts, I think, require a further breakdown of skills.  I'm learning what sort of groundwork we'd want to have during 5th/6th grade math before entering into any pre-algebra program.  I didn't have this understanding before.  Unfortunately, my oldest has been the guinea pig for my learning benefit.  Right now, I'm pulling in some other resources - printing off some practice exercises for certain skills, Dragon Box kindle app, and we're flying through Math U See pre-algebra.  So far, she's seen everything before that she is working on in MUS.  I probably could've skipped her to MUS Algebra; however, I wanted her to have solid groundwork. 

In addition to those things, we're doing Piano lessons, AWANA, co-op, Kings Kids (church musical), and American Heritage Girls. 

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