Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Daily Report

Latin: We reviewed the vocabulary yesterday and today. I think we're going to do two weeks per lesson for now that way we have time to do the vocab well as well as the workbook work. Faster then that would be pushing it, I think.

Math: More tangrams, (something that is encouraging me to scour around for more books) and number play. Sweet Pea has a set of addition flashcards that she is using of her own volition and on her own time.

Grammar: Sweet Pea has the second poem down well. She also has the definition of nouns down VERY well. She can recite and understand it and apply it.

Writing: She told me today that she likes writing now. Good thing, because we are slowly ramping up to more and more.

Sweet Pea and Little Bird had fun making scarecrows to add to our fall decorations. Sweet Pea's is on the left, Little Bird's the right. Obviously there was some parental involvement in the making of these, but the kids had a great time.

And more of Sweet Pea's favorite drawing topic- space.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Latin: We started Prima Latina today. We listened to the pronunciation guide and the first lesson. I initially thought that it could be adapted to a secular homeschool but now that's I'm reading more and actually using it I think it would be difficult. There is a big emphasis on Christian Latin. That makes it well suited to our family, though and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Even Little Bird was echoing the words!

Math: We started- and subsequantly finished- Lesson 3 in Singapore today. It was more basic addition and grouping. Sweet Pea seems to grasp it well, but it's not mental math at this point, it's counting objects. She's accurate and quick and satisfied, though.
Doing pattern blocks or tangrams is a great addition- I'm so glad we brought them back out!

Grammar: First Language Lessons continues to go well. Sweet Pea is working on her second poem memorization and has nouns down cold.

Writing: This went smoothly today. We seem to be over the slump there. Handwriting is continuing to improve, as is Sweet Pea's ability to properly copy sentences.

Phonics: We're on lesson 108 of Ordinary Parent's Guide. There's really no good reason that we aren't doing this faster. Sweet Pea is capable, it's quick, it's easy. Most days we just prefer to read out of books and talk about new sounds as they come up. We'll continue working, but I am not going to worry if we don't hit goals for where I thought we'd be.

Memorization: I'm coming to realize that we do more then most Well Trained Mind followers. We do all of it in First Language Lessons and we also do a fair chunk of memorization for family and church. I think this is a good thing, though. I think the earlier that you practice and hone the skill the more you can use it as you age.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weekly Report

No daily reports this week- we were busy! Instead I have a lump weekly one. Sorry!

Language Arts: We did the ninth week of Writing with Ease. Sweet Pea is doing well with copy work and narration. The story of the week was E.B. White's classic Charlotte's Web.
This worked really well because both of my children absolutely adore Charlotte's Web. I'm using the student pages included with Writing With Ease- I've seen a lot of complaints that the lines are huge for this age, and I agree that they are larger then those we use for handwriting. It doesn't seem to bother Sweet Pea, though, and she loves the little graphics on the pages. So I just write the sentence in cursive for her to copy. It's been good for my handwriting, as well, having to make such a careful example.
We completed Chapter 9 of Spelling Power. I don't know how I'm feeling about this program. I keep having these thoughts about language arts. I'm not sure why. Sweet Pea can do it, and it's at her level. But I don't know if it's really teaching her spelling, or if she retaining it, or if I even need to expect that at this level. Who knows! Not this mama.
First Language Lessons is going well. Grammar seems pretty basic and simple at this point, and Sweet Pea is starting to be able to accurately pick nouns out of both verbal and written sentences, and can usually differentiate between common and proper nouns. There is a LOT of review built into this, which is good in that I don't have to think of any examples and bad because I'm one of those people who doesn't like to skip things. Chug along!
We didn't do a lot of bookwork for phonics this week, instead Sweet Pea and I just read together. It was nice to see where she was outside of the workbook, and I think will make the next round of digraphs more appealing.
Handwriting is going well now that we've resumed Cursive First. I really do love this program- it's so easy and so perfect to tailor. No doubts about this subject!

Math: Singapore Earlybird 2b is going just as well as 2a and it's predecessors. We also brought back out the tangrams and both Sweet Pea and Little Bird had a great time forming pictures with the shapes.

Tomorrow will be the big science and history day. Monday we spent the day with a delightful gaggle of children (and their mothers). Storytime was unfortunately canceled this week, so we did our own stories at home.
Next week is week 10- the first week of the new quarter! It will be pretty similar to this quarter, except I'm planning on introducing Prima Latina. Yay!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sumer and Egypt

We read about the early writing methods today. Sweet Pea was interested in the differences between hieroglyphics and cuneiform and why each of the early surfaces had problems. We talked about how heavy stone was, how much room you needed for clay tablets, and how paper didn't last very long. Sweet Pea's solution was that they should have just taken pictures of important things. ;)
We also finished the eighth chapter of Spelling Workout- perfect because this was our eighth week of school! We also finished the eighth week of Writing with Ease.
Sweet Pea is doing well with the new Earlybird book. I think I'm going to start having her do more tangrams practice and games during math time to make the lessons last longer.
Other then that, all is well!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily reporting continued + pie!

Not pictured but also done today was Spelling First. I'd like to do some extra lessons in spelling, phonics and grammar to get to where I thought we'd be in my preplanning. If we don't we don't, but it's a nice goal, isn't it?

I restarted the phonograms from Cursive First. I had been just correcting Sweet Pea's handwriting as we went, but I'm seeing now that what she really needed was just a few minutes at a time of practicing individual letters and sound combinations again. I was really inspired by Hunt Classical Academy and how great her son's handwriting is. So here we are again. Good news is that sheets that 6 months ago met a lot of resistance and whining now are easy and quick and joyfully done.

We finished Earlybird 2A yesterday so today we began Earlybird 2B! Sweet Pea was very excited to have a new book.

Today we finished Chapter 2 of Story of the World. Obviously about Egyptian mythology. I saw some interesting parallels with the Cain and Abel story we talked about last week. I'm pretty sure this is NOT a traditional Egyptian coloring scheme.

We are eight weeks in! That means we're almost one quarter finished with our school year! I can't believe how fast it's whizzing by.

And just because this turned out really well and a lot of other blogs I read have been talking about pie lately- this is a panless apple pie. It was SO good and very easy to make.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Today we talked about Tigers. We read the entry from Sweet Pea's Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia and then we read about extinction and animal social behavior from her Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia.
Later I plan to have her either draw a picture of a tiger or color one, depending on what she wants to do.
We also completed the long u sound in the Ordinary Parent's Guide, so now we move onto more vowel combinations. I'm still a little surprised at how many there are- and how instinctive they are as a mature reader. I have a lot more respect for what a complicated process reading is!

Friday, October 9, 2009

First attempt at home lamination

And it went OK. A little wavy, but it'll do the job. These are the review cards for Story of the World. This way I can keep reminding Sweet Pea of the important history she's learned so far. ;)

This is a map of Egypt. We spent our time today talking about the Upper Kingdom and Lower Kingdom, how they were united, why it was important for the Nile to flood, and exactly where in the world Egypt is located.

We also finished Lesson 7 of Spelling Workout. Sweet Pea seems to be an OK speller as long as she takes the time to listen to the sounds that the words make.
And just for fun- we've started putting out all of our fall decorations. Good choice since it snowed today!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today we did SIX lessons in Writing With Ease. That means we are completely caught up! It's starting to combine narration with her then recopying what she dictated.
Tomorrow the plan is math, spelling, grammar, and either history or science.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

daily reporting

Today was another day of Writing With Ease catch-up. We did three lessons. I'll spare the gory details, but after this week we should be exactly where we'd have been if I hadn't begun hating WWE so much and not doing it as written. Future of the program is still to be determined.

For everyone who praises Sweet Pea's handwriting- we are still working on some issues with it! Those lines are to help explain and remind her to slant everything the same way. She keeps doing something weird with her little "n"s.
We read Rikki Tikki Tavi today and Sweet Pea LOVED it. The idea of the mongoose and the snakes was so exciting to her. Little Bird is less impressed with sitting for that long of a reading. It'll come in time. I hope.
Other then that, we baked Peanut butter and oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. Good idea and something the kids enjoyed thouroughly.
Tomorrow I think we'll finish the Earlybird 2A book and then later this week or next week begin our next math book!

This is what Meow Meow looks like when sad. Why is she sad? It's because she can't lay eggs, of course. And yes, Sweet Pea knows that cats don't lay eggs. Just this one, apparently.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Real post- updates!

I've been semi-neglecting this- and I'm sorry. I should be back to more regular posting!
It has been brought to my attention that quickly jotting lessons and abbreviations in daily reports gets confusing, so I'll make more of a specific effort to talk about what we learned, not just what lesson we did.
Sweet Pea still produces lots of pictures of her favorite imaginary kitty (with a really, really long tail) Meow-Meow. When she's ready to share the written story of Meow-Meow I will post that as well.
First- our big read a loud this week was "How the Whale Got His Throat" by Rudyard Kipling. Sweet Pea and Little Bird laid on blankets and listened to the story. Sweet Pea was particularly impressed that at the end, the whale could no longer devour people.

In math we are still working on number bonds- different ways to break apart groupings. Because we are using Singapore the focus is on breaking it into a group of 10 and then ones left over- for example 16 is one group of ten with six ones. Twenty is two groups of ten with zero ones. We also practiced reading and writing the written words for the numbers 11-20.

We had the story of the mouse and the lion in grammar- and after Sweet Pea copied the moral. She's getting much better at pulling the details out of a story and condensing it. She remembered why the lion didn't eat the mouse, how the mouse saved the lion, and then we talked about ways that little creatures can help big ones in other ways. Looking back at what she wrote I can see that we still need to work on controlling the loops that come off the letter o.

We are still chugging along in our writing program. It is still the same rotation of copywork, narrating back a story, and repeating and repeating... yes, I am still finding this to be a drag.
In history we talked about ancient farming practices in the Fertile Crescent. I think Sweet Pea was most excited to color the picture and imagine crocodiles in the water. I'm biased, but I think she did an excellent job of coloring this in.
I'll leave you with one more illustration- what I presume is a panda. I think.


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