Tuesday, June 30, 2009

more reading babble

We've now covered all of the sounds in the First Grade phonics kit, so I'm just spending some review time and finishing the stories. Sweet Pea is getting much more fluid in her reading.
I think that we're going to spend some time finishing the McGuffey's Primer before moving on to the second grade kit. We've been letting it slide a little and this will be a great opportunity to catch up.
For handwriting we've begun Memoria Press's cursive copybook. I'd originally intended to use it this fall but then I sat down and actually LOOKED at how much I had for the fall for Language Arts- and realized it was too much. Way, way too much. I have First Language Lessons, Writing With Ease, and Spelling Workout. All of those require handwriting in varying amounts, as does history.
So since we've finished Cursive First we'll chug through this for the rest of the summer.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I know it sounds silly

But I'm itching to get to this fall. I want to start- to dive in and enjoy all of the great and fun stuff that I have planned. This feeling is especially strong on gloomy, rainy days like this.
I know waiting is better and that I'll be happy this fall that we stuck to the schedule- and I know that good things are happening this summer. Sweet Pea is nearing the end of another level of phonics and can now write all the lower case letters in cursive. She's closer to easily counting to 100. I feel like it's all prep work - good prep work, but still more prep then actual schooling.
Almost everything is ready in binders and arranged. I do need another cabinet to hold everything as we keep expanding. But otherwise? I think we're good to go.
Fall, hurry up!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3 ending sounds left and Sweet Pea will have finished her Hooked on Phonics 1st grade! We just need to go over -ed, -es, and -ly. Yay! According to the Sonlight Quick Reading Assessment she's at a 2nd grade level, so I'm pretty pleased.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mostly artwork

This is a dragon with the four of us- mommy and daddy at the bottom, Little Bird flying through the air, and Sweet Pea on the dragon.

This is possibly the coolest fish I've ever seen.

Charlotte from Charlotte's Web. She's spinning a web in case it's unclear. We're reading the book outloud together.

It says, "The dragon saw the princess." I'm so pleased that cursive is going well.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm so excited- we only have 15 more ending sounds to work through to finish the 1st grade Hook on Phonics level! I'm letting Sweet Pea have a McGuffey bread while we finish this level. Once we get through it I'd like to do 30 pages or so of the Primer before beginning the 2nd grade level.
I've started researching our next move after that and there are a few directions that we could go in. I'm not sure where we'll go- some of that depends on Sweet Pea's comfort level after we finish what we have.
We could get the Hooked on Phonics Master Reader- but I honestly don't know if I'd like this as much as I do the other levels. My understanding of it is that it's computer based and I don't want to use any computer games for her at this age.
We could do one of the upper levels of Explode the Code- but I don't know offhand what level or if that would be really beneficial or not.
We could just use the McGuffey's readers. I know that my husband and his budget would like this one. ;)
There's Abeka and McRuffy and an almost infinite number of other programs. I need to start narrowing it down, obsessively researching, and then planning.
That's my speciality.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More exuberant praise for Hooked on Phonics to follow. ;)
Sweet Pea is now reading the included chapter books! She's on her third. The title is Picnic at Black Rock and it comes in at 64 pages and 6 chapters.
She already knows all the sight words for the K level and both parts of the 1st grade level, so once she's through the workbook and the included stories we'll be all set to begin 2nd grade phonics!
We've moved through short CVC words to consonant combination beginning and ending words. Next up is vowel combinations. We'll be through the simple digraphs then!
Where we head after that I don't know. But I'm excited to see. It's amazing to me that less then six months ago Sweet Pea couldn't sound out "cat" and now she's reading books. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our dining room looks more and more like a school room, and less and less like the formal dining room I'd like.

The posters are cool, though. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Organizational post

You can click on any of the pics to make them large enough to read clearly.

This is the worksheet that I used to slot things by day and then time of day. I also put time estimates down for everything so that I could tally the total estimated time spent per day to make it even and not too long.
Writing it all out in a spiral notebook helped. It's also an easy way to divide up how much should happen in each week to finish books.

This is a general outline of what I'm planning on using for 1st grade.

The cleaned up daily schedule. This is the first item in my planner binder.

A blank school calendar. I plan to circle the days that we school.

Next is an attendance form. I won't need to file this with the state until Sweet Pea turns 7 but I like to practice skills before we need them. And try out different forms.

Next I include a course of study- which is a fancy way of saying I write down all the books I plan to use and what subjects we'll use them for.

Then I have a sheet to keep track of the abbreviations used for each subject. This way when I record keep I don't have to write the full titles everyday- and so when I look back in time I remember what the acronyms mean.

I plan by semester each subject on it's own worksheet. It's broken down into specific days for each week. I do one semester at a time so that if we're ahead or behind I can reevaluate at the semester's end.

The forms I use for much of this I've found at http://www.donnayoung.org

Also in the binder are reading logs, library books lists- including when to request books needed for Story of the World, and daily schedules.

I also have the binders suggested by the Well Trained Mind ready for language arts, history and science. They're pretty blank right now, though, since we aren't starting until this fall.

I'd also like to make a household management binder at some point, but that's a ways off.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We're making good progress through our summer goals. I'm also pretty close finished with my planning. Now all I need is to see if it works out the way I hope it will- that the plans on paper work in real life.
It's going to be more structure and work, but I think that it's all age appropriate. And I think it'll be fun.
Otherwise, all is calm. We're working on just little snippets- reading Charlotte's Web out loud, continuing phonics, some copywork and math. Other then that, it's free time and play time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm chalking that math freakout to temporary insanity. I'm sticking with what we're doing. Why wouldn't I? It's working. Sweet Pea is happy. I'm happy. Breathe in, breathe out. Whew.
On that vein, we're getting the Challenging Word Problems before they sell out. I'm so bummed that they aren't going to keep publishing them. I can understand it, but I'm disappointed.
I'm also happy to say that Sweet Pea's reading is increasingly fluid and coherent. She's also retaining what she reads and can answer comprehension questions when she's through.
We've begun to use those questions to lead her into a Charlotte Mason style narrative practice. She's doing pretty well, and I'm pleased that we're starting now and that I've read enough about it to know to keep it short and to the point.
Little Bird successfully completed her first tanagram today! So proud. I didn't get any pictures, though, because we were out of the house all day.


Related Posts with Thumbnails