Sunday, January 10, 2010

14th Week of School Report

We did a week of school before our computer broke that I never posted about. Then we took a 2 week Christmas vacation. This year was so strange with church services being canceled that if I would have had the motivation then we probably could have even had school Christmas week! I'm reminded that when I was teaching in the classroom that we were almost finished with the second quarter/first semester of school this time of year. Comparing our homeschool to that, we are about a month behind because of our sicknesses last fall. But I expect us to get lots of schooling done this winter and we never have to cancel because of bad weather!
I don't remember what all we did before our computer broke and I couldn't make a report. This last week we had school Monday, on Tuesday our babysitter came but we had school first, Wednesday and Thursday we had school, Friday Lamb 1 had a cold and didn't feel like doing school so we didn't have any school, and Saturday we had school. My MIL was surprised that we had school even on the days that Papa was gone. There wasn't any good reason to cancel. It did feel a little strange schooling on days that the area schools were canceled because of weather though! Here's what we accomplished last week-
Math: Lamb 1 is still working on Math U See. The lesson we worked on this week was adding 9 to a number. We will continue to work on it because he doesn't quite get the concept yet.
Handwriting: Lamb 2 began handwriting this week. I started with numbers with him and we worked on numbers 1-5, one each day of this week. Lamb 1 sort of taught himself to write and now I'm correcting his mistakes. I thought it would be easier to teach Lamb 2 to write instead of fix his mistakes later. When I taught in the classroom I taught cursive to grade 2 and finished teaching printing to grade 1. But the children usually came to me knowing how to write their letters and just needed to fine tune them. I remember one boy in particular that his handwriting was so terrible that even though he was very intelligent, I sent him to tutoring twice a week to work with someone else besides me on handwriting to get double work on handwriting time. Lamb 2 is the first child I've ever taught handwriting from the beginning. We worked and worked on each number this week and in the end we were doing well if he could TRACE the number by the end of our time together. I just kept reminding myself that he is only 3 1/2. When I tried to have him write the number on his own he wasn't even close. He's so excited about learning to write his numbers that I think I have to spend a few more days on this or he won't understand why I only taught him 5 numbers. But my next plan is to use this site to do lots of prewriting work with him. The problem-after our computer was down, we can't get our printer to work. So I think I'll work on 6-9 and 0 with Lamb 2 this week and hope that our printer is fixed to work on the prewriting work next week. He knows all his letters so I can't see spending a lot of time with play doh type letter activities, but maybe this is what else he needs too.
Lamb 1 has worked on one capital and one lowercase letter each day to make sure he is making it correctly and we have done through Pp. Lamb 1 has also been doing the same number practice (Grandma sent Thomas the Train number writing workbooks) and has also done 1-5.
Reading: We still have not gone back to Five in a Row. I'll admit that I'm lazy and I would prefer to just read the books and not do the activities. I'm going to try to motivate myself to go back to FIAR and finish volume 1. We may read some of the books from volume 2 and 3, but I don't plan on purchasing any more Five in a Row. I think that when we are done with FIAR we will spend more time reading aloud chapter books and having Lamb 1 read easy readers.
We are doing well reading volume 1 of My Book House. We read several pages daily because most of this volume is Mother Goose and short ones that we can read several.
We began learning a new poem-The Little Turtle. We reviewed all the Robert Louis Stevenson we learned and Psalm 23. I'm thinking about what we should memorize next-maybe another Psalm?
Religion: Our Sunday School teacher has not given us our next set of Bible verses so we haven't worked on memorizing Bible recently. The CD player in the kitchen doesn't work so we haven't done catechism songs. I'll have to check the CD player out or buy a new one today so we're ready for school next week. After memorizing several Christmas hymns, I didn't pick a new hymn to work on yet. Today I'll try to pick a new hymn to work on. We did several Bible stories this week with Jesus early ministry of teaching and miracles. We are working on the same Bible stories as Sunday School so the last few stories the Lambs have said, "We just did that in Sunday School". I quickly went through the stories and they did know them. But since we do 4-5 Bible stories a week vs. Sunday School doing just 1, I think we will get ahead of Sunday School soon.
Latin: CD player broken so no Latin this week.
Music: The Lambs received a triangle for Christmas to add to their instrument collection. We have had lots of spontaneous parades in our house with drums, tambourines, triangle, and shakers. I really do want to do some music appreciation and music theory (learning music note names etc.) so I need to get organized and start this with them.
Art: Babysitter did play doh and painting with them. We have not gone to ECFE for several weeks.
Phonics: Just like handwriting, most of the students came to my classroom knowing how to read easy words and when I taught first and second grade we worked on reading more than 3 letter words and eventually reading fluency and making sure they understood what they read-not just sound it all out. So Lamb 1 is my first "teach to read from the very beginning" student. We started The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading last year and he just didn't get it a few lessons after he learned all his letter sounds. We took a long break from phonics/learning to read (longer than we took a summer break) and began again this fall. I expected him to get to the point that he was last year and get stuck again. But this time he gets it! I have to type what he read to me yesterday from TOPGtTR page 93.
"The red bug sat on a hill. The bug had red fuzz on it. It did buzz. The red bug did buzz in the sun. The bug fell off the hill. The bug fell on the moss. It did huff. It did puff. Will the bug hop up the hill? Will the bug jog up the hill?"
I know Lamb 1 does not realize how exciting this is to me that he can read this no matter how much I praise him-he doesn't understand my comparison to teaching in the classroom. The other thing that impresses me is that we had about an hour of reading/phonics time in the classroom but each child only had a few minutes to read to me individually and some times they didn't get any turn to read to me individually. In homeschool we spend less than 15 minutes daily on reading/phonics, but Lamb 1 is reading individually to me that entire time (or working on sounds with Lamb 2). I taught at an excellent school, but there were only a few students that could have read what Lamb 1 read yesterday before the end of the first semester of kindergarten.
Sometimes I have been discouraged when I have read blogs of what others are doing in homeschool kindergarten, especially those with girls and especially those with only one child and/or one child school age. But as we keep plugging along in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, I can see that we are accomplishing a lot and it's working even if it seems slow to me.
History/Science: During read aloud time we have spent a lot of time on Christmas books and not as much time on history or science books. The Lambs did receive several books about eagles, owls, insects, etc. for Christmas presents that we began reading. I hope to do more history this winter.
I'm glad I type this weekly report out because it shows me some areas that I need to plan for this week and some areas we need to begin learning after Christmas vacation.


Dakotapam said...

I had trouble enjoying Five in a Row, so don't feel bad. I preferred, and my boys did as well to just read a ton to them. any activities we did were kind of a natural outpouring. You've done a ton! Yay for you! I love reading your reports...but it makes me miss homeschooling more each day!

The Mama said...

We hated Five in a Row. Don't feel bad. I wish you did more homeschool reports- it's always interesting!