Friday, April 30, 2010

I always feel so late with my Weekly Report

Although it is technically still Friday, I always feel so late posting. Especially when you see other posting  weekly reports Thursday, friday morning etc, all way before I even think about it. This was our week back after a nice break to visit my parents last week. I think she was on over stimulation mode this week though, because it was hard to get her back into the groove. I'm tired and it is really stuffy hot in here so I'm sure this will be short and to the point. Roo lost her second tooth last week with a little help from her Nanny;)

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Here she is displaying her two missing teeth while wearing headphones to ignore me.

We are on lesson #128 in the OPGTR Phonics and we have really slowed down in order to try to get these rules to stick. I honestly don't think I even realized how many rules there really were until I opened this book. She has been reading a few pages of Green Eggs and Ham by herself everyday and the sounding out is getting less and less. With Spelling Workout A we finished lesson 16 which still has easy enough words to spell that she hasn't had any wrong on her spelling test/review yet. I get immense satisfaction from seeing the growth like the words she struggled with last month are now offering no issues.

In an earlier post I decided that we were going to stop with the Saxon Math. I picked up workbooks last week and decided we will use those over the summer until the next year begins and we stat Singapore. It wasn't worth the fight or tears anymore and it was frustrating for both of us.

This was week two for L'art de Dire for us and it is enjoyable and short. At the beginning of the week we go over a new concept and then we repeat and practice is everyday. It usually takes about 5 minutes and there is a review of last weeks stuff as well. This week were learned introductions and the use of he and she. Il s'appelle, Elle s'appelle, Comment s'appelle-t-il and Comment s'appelle-t-elle. The book comes with flash cards to use and as I held each one up, she then had to tell me if it was Il s'appelle or Elle s'appelle and then say the name of the person on the card. It was fun.


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In front of the library posing with the first fully bloomed flowers I have seen this season.

In art class this week she made a wooden spoon person that had a bottle body and various things for decoration. She chose to give it clown features (cut from a magazine), feather wings and a halo (which she lost). I think she called it a fairy clown. I call it a little bit creepy:)


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I just got a call to say my book I ordered from inter library loans came in and I am excited to read it to Roo. It is book one of a three books series on evolution. This one is called Born with a Bang by Jennifer Morgan.


Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story (Sharing Nature With Children Book)

Book two is on order because who knows how long it will take for it to arrive.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Back from break!

We just got back from a 5 day visit to my parents house. I was nice to get away for awhile and we hadn't seen them for way too long. It's funny how you always come home with way more stuff than you left with. I try to pack light, it just doesn't seem like something I am good at. I guess we will have to go through and purge the house again to make room for the new stuff. A few things I noticed when I got home: 1) My husband missed garbage night last week, 2) It's not even hot out yet and my house it getting really warm and stuffy. I am not looking forward to the summer heat, 3) I swear the dishes that were in the sink when I left are still there plus extras, 4) We need to buy groceries.....badly.
We didn't really do any school when we were gone. It was a break technically, so we just read and stuff. Although we are planning on schooling year round at the moment, I am thinking about ditching Saxon math right now. We got a really good workbook that will be easier to get her to complete. I don't want her to grow a hatred for math. So since she is only in K this year, I think what she has learned so far using Saxon plus this workbook will be sufficient until next the next school year starts.

Some extras: We found a nice new globe at Value Village for cheap. I needed to get one so that was a score. Last thing, Roo lost her second tooth this week, it came out while brushing her teeth. She was very excited to see if the tooth fairy would come to Nanny and Grandpa's house.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekly Report 4/12/10-4/16/10

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you feel like you have accomplished nothing? School was completed, but as the week progressed, there was some fight in getting her to do some things. Next week is going to be lighter, with a little bit of a break. I did accomplish things, but when I gaze around the house I am overwhelmed with what needs to be done. So any things that I did, seem so small in comparison to what actually needs to be done. Sorry I'm rambling, I think I am just trying to motivate myself.




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Out enjoying the cool, wet weather.

Phonics this week had us up to lesson #123 in  The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. We worked on ou, oy and oi sounds. After each phonics lesson we read a lesson from McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader. These are nice and short, but tie in a variety of sounds we have been working on. I noticed this week that she was able to sound out a few words that were 2 syllables like sunset, supper, after and carrot. This is a big step for her since only a few weeks ago she sounded out pretty much every cvc word she read. In spelling she passed her test with her only mistake being she wrote her d's as b's in the word did. After she passed the test we finished lesson 16 this week (actually one page left for tomorrow because she was being crabby today).




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This was 2 seconds before she moved a rock from the corner that had a family of ugly bugs under it. She screamed and ran into the house quickly.

In math we are still working on double facts plus one, and counting and regrouping money in lesson 86 in Saxon Math 1. She was sitting quietly the other day so I asked her what was wrong. She said that she was trying to figure out how many more days until we visited Nana and Grandpa. She got the answer right and I was impressed that she was able to figure out the names of days in proper order while counting them at the same time.

Art class began again this week, which she was looking forward to. Class was smaller this time around, but most of the kids that are in it were the same as last time which was nice to see.  They made a painting of a pond and added animals they made from a variety of supplies. I would have posted a picture but the painting was left to dry at the class.

We started our Nallenart French L'art de Dire this week. She wanted to start as soon as we got it even though technically it is for next year. I like it, it is short and easy. We repeated the same lesson everyday this week and it literally only took 5 minutes at a time. I read the lesson, go over the words/phrases and explain them. We listen to the audio pronunciation and then we practice. We did the greetings Bonjour, Je m'appelle, Comment t'appelles-tu?, Comment vous appelez-vous?, and Au Revoir. I am excited to see how this program works long term.

We finished our Mary Poppins read aloud this week and it was funny to have her question the differences between the movie (which is one of her favorites) and the books. The differences are vast, so there were a lot of interruptions during reading time. Tonight we are starting Pinocchio which I am a little apprehensive about because of the mixed reviews.



The Adventures of Pinocchio (Creative Editions)


After being put away for awhile because she wasn't treating it properly, I finally let Roo have her Fisher Price Smart Cycle back. She was on it so long that when I came back in to the room she added some padding to the seat 'because her butt hurt'.




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A pillow for the butt!

On another note, I am on lesson 28 in Getting Started with Latin. I am really liking Latin, this book was a great way to introduce myself to it. Thank you for the recommendations on the WTM Forums. I am determined to become fluent in another language (French possibly) and I can really see how Latin will help that. If it wasn't so expensive I would take a night course at the college (or online through the College) for French I, as an additional learning tool. Maybe I will save up for the end of summer time because they have courses starting every 2 months or so which makes it a lot more convenient.

I intend to post my Year at a Glance Spreadsheet this week (maybe;), all I need is to reconfigure it to fit the columns better. I might not have a Weekly Report next week, but I will definitely be reading them.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nallenart Arrived! Weekly Reports 4/9/10

What started off as a glorious easter weekend became a cold, dark and drizzly week. I actually love rain, but not when the temperature drops to the point of almost freezing rain/snow warnings. We got to bust out our rain boots though, which Roo interprets as a free pass to jump in puddles and mud.


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A beautiful, warm day at the zoo on Easter weekend.

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The rain begins!

This week I finished my Composer Study Guide that I have been working on. I posted it to my blog this week. It can be found here. It's all ready to go for next year, and we are getting excited to put it into use.

We plowed through this week and managed to get to lesson 120 in The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. Some concepts she grasps quickly and others she seems to forget 20 seconds after explaining it. I guess that is the joys of a 5 year old that feels the need to constantly be moving, playing, singing, or dancing.....you get the picture:)  In Spelling Workout A we have reached lesson 16. This is good reinforcement for her phonics because these lessons are a nice review of what we have learned over the last couple of months. It is helping to improve her handwriting as well, because it is hard to get her to do her Handwriting Without Tears pages. Sometimes there are tears, so we don't do them as much as I would like.



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Oh Saxon. I wish I could love you, but there just seems to be no future for us. At least I can look at it as a lesson learned though. Not the right program for us be we are getting through. We finished lesson 83 today and played around on the Geo boards to make congruent shapes. She enjoyed that the best and wrote her name with elastics on the Geo board just to put off doing her fact sheet a little longer. Her ability to count by 2's, 5's and list odd numbers to 19 has gotten really good. She even counted by 5's to 130 by herself before she got stuck, which is neat because she hasn't even count by 1's to 130 yet.



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Our cat Iza. I think that she enticed the c at to sit on her math book to get out of doing the work:)

Geography was skipped this week in favour of watching Mary Poppins. She got it for Easter and was absolutely thrilled. I received the book Children Just Like Me in the mail this week. I plan on using it as a geography supplement over the next few years, just to show her how children in different areas of the world live. It is a really well put together book and I have noticed her flipping through it frequently over the last couple of days.

Children Just Like Me



The last of the main books I will need for next years plans showed up this week including to my surprise, the Nallenart French.



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More books arrived! We love getting new books in the mail.

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Our Nallenart French books. She was so excited, that we decided to start them on Monday. 

I have been waiting for its arrival for awhile now (slow shipping), and now I have everything I need to finish my Year at a Glance spreadsheet. I will post it as soon as it is finished. I ordered both the L'art de Dire (K and up) and L'art de Lire 1 from Nallenart because I didn't know how fast she would go through the lessons. I am glad I did though because when we were looking at the books, she said she wanted to start her french lessons on Monday. So what I may do is go through L'art de Dire from now through summer and then redo it again as a review and to solidify the information. I plan on learning along with her because I did terrible in French when I was in school. I am still trying to figure out if it was because I was actually bad at it or because I didn't care to learn. I still kick myself over that wasted opportunity.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Composer Study

I have been working on a composer study to use next year, but it took me longer than anticipated. I uploaded the final copy to Scribd and it is located below. Please let me know what you think.

Composer Study 2010-2011

Friday, April 2, 2010

March 29-April 2 Weekly Report and the Piconator

It was a 4 day week for us, but an overall productive one. One noticeable step this week was that when Roo is reading her Bob books, she is not sounding out nearly as much. I also find that she seems sound out some of the words in her head instead of out loud. This is a big step for us and I love being able to witness the growth first hand. This week I received some of my language arts books for next year. New curriculum is so exciting and I can't wait to update my year at a glance spreadsheet with these subjects. I feel a little geeky about how excited I actually am....
This week in Phonics we worked on the short-oo sound as well as the words could, should and would. We also worked on aw and finished the week with a scavenger hunt (lesson 115 in OPGTR) with many of these words used in small sentences.  In the Spelling Workout we completed lesson 14 short vowel a words. We will start out next week with a spelling test to see if she retained these over the long weekend.




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Carrying her "Pinconator" which she swears can find pine cones.

On our Nature walk/coffee shop run;) this week Roo decided that a stick she found on the way made a perfect Piconator. She told me this with a serious face before she turned on her heel and went where "the Piconator was taking her". A slight detour, and a purse full of pine cones later  I finally got my coffee.
In math this week we went through 3 lessons that were all focused on doubled +1 facts. Flashcards, fact sheets and problems on the white board were all part of trying to learn these. I read an interesting post on the Well Trained Mind boards this week about a mom wondering if if she should switch from using Saxon.  She got many great responses, most of which agreed in consensus that she should stick with Saxon because it is a great program. I totally agree that it is a great program too, but for us it doesn't fit right. One of the posters said:

     "The most glaring difference between Singapore and Saxon is that Singapore requires the student to *think* whereas Saxon is actively trying to train the student to complete large numbers of problems to the level of automaticity--that is *without* thinking." 

That statement pegged my concerns perfectly. I can see Roo learning her facts, getting the right answers consistently and grasping new concepts, but I feel she is memorizing these. I don't necessarily mind memorization for math facts, but what I would prefer out of our math program is to have the why. This is a big reason why we are changing our math program after we finish Saxon 1. I'm even scared to take off to long a break from school just in case she forgets all she has "memorized". If she understood the why behind the math, then I wouldn't have to worry. I apologize for the rant. Now for the rest of our week.




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Relaxing break with a little serenade.

We watched Eyewitness: Prehistoric life which is a DVD by BBC Scienceworld. It was fairly short and kept her attention span for the duration. She has been using the word DNA for the last several days from these movies but never remembers what it is. She will write DNA on some paper and then say, "what's DNA again Mom?". I think she has done that about 7 times now over the last two days. In geography we learned about New Zealand and Australia and she now has a fascination with Dingoes and Bush Babies (although Bush Babies are from Africa, that particular fascination came from our new Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia).

Both Roo and I are really enjoying the MusIQ Homeschool piano lessons. This week her lessons were about rhythm and rhythm patterns which she totally didn't get at first. What I love about this program is that you can do the lessons over and over until you get it which is much more convenient to us than out of home piano lessons would be. So on Monday she did her lesson, Tuesday and Wednesday were practice days and on Thursday she redid the lesson. At the end of the lesson she had a complete understanding of the concept and was able to apply it.




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An example of the rhythm lesson.

I have been slowly working on making a composer study for next year. It is gradual, but I hope the end result is what I intended. I will post it when it is complete.

Today the weather was ridiculously warm for this time of year, so we all went out for a long walk and then to the park.  I thought we would enjoy this warm weekend while we could because starting Sunday it is suppose to rain for most of the week (I personally love rain, but have learned over the years that I am a minority with this feeling) with a gradual decrease of temperature and a chance of snow on Friday. So tomorrow we are off to the zoo!




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On the way to the store for icecream
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Enjoying the ice-cream in the sun
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Sliding down the pole at the park with dad. I had to put a star in front of the guy on the bench, because I didn't realize he was in the shot.