So I am very aware I may not even have any readers here but I thought I would update those of you who may browse every now and then on our homeschool progress. I also apologize that this is so long and may contain spelling and grammatical errors. I'm tired and wanted to get it down on virtual paper.
This first quarter has gone really well. We are loving our time together (despite some harder days) and for the most part we are enjoying the education part as well. There is the occasional whining when I say it's time to do school, but that's abated quickly when I threaten all day school at the local elementary school (yep, I'm evil).
Ok, so on to progress.
First off, we had Annika tested for her yearly standardized tests a few weeks ago. We chose the Peabody Individual Achievement Test since it tests to ability vs. current grade. Annika did so incredibly well. She tested above average in all areas reaching the 4th grade level in a couple of areas. If you can imagine, I was a very proud mama that day. It just confirmed that we are doing the right thing for our children.
Annika started off the year doing Math Mammoth level 2, she's doing fantastic and is speeding through it. It's a very user friendly curriculum and I totally approve of it. Bianca began her year doing the 1st grade level Math U See curriculum and while I liked it, I decided to switch her over to the grade level 1 Math Mammoth and we are enjoying it much more. Way more user friendly.
Annika has been doing the Draw, Write, Now handwriting books and we LOVE them. We are a big drawing family and I knew that this would be a hit with her. I love that the sentences she is writing are educational and revolve around facts, rather than just a random statement. Bianca began using this program this week too, and she is less fussy about handwriting now that we've made it fun.
Reading has been a challenge. My kids are good readers, but they don't necessarily pick up a book and read. I've given them incentives to do their reading and it's working very well. I require them to read silently for 20-30 minutes a day and give them the option to read for 20 minutes before bed, or just go to bed. Guess what they choose? Reading! Bianca actually began a chapter book tonight, not sure if she's really reading it but she claims she is. We'll see!
Spelling, I JUST picked up some real spelling workbooks this week and Annika tested into the 4th grade level book. WOWZA. My little smarty. Bianca is at a 1st grade level for that, amazing to see these girls progress.
Science/social studies/art have all been really random, I'm still working on these areas. We've done some unit studies here and there and a lot of our outings revolve around these subjects. We are enjoying our homeschool group activities. Some activities we've done are tree identification at a nature center, daytime astronomy, digging for fossils, photography classes, children's museum and farm classes.
Geography has been a fun thing for us too, we are doing a Road Trip USA where we study a state, find fun facts about that state and get to put that state into our passport. The kids enjoy it, but I think Bri likes it more than they do! He's a geography buff and feels it's important to know the globe. I agree :)
Writing and LA: we do a lot of writing here. I think it's important to learn to express yourself both grammatically correct, as well as just for yourself. I hope that makes sense. I ask the kids to journal each day, I don't care what they write about or how they write it, but then we do a lot of story writing, brainstorming story ideas, poetry readings and illustrations, picture studies and book reports. We use a few different LA curriculum here including Language Lessons for Little Ones and First Language Lessons, it reviews all the grammatical standards for their grade levels but also focuses on speaking, memorization and the appreciation of the classics. I love it. But, I was an English Major, so of course I appreciate it. Currently I am working very hard with Annika on being more descriptive in her writing and using proper punctuation. With Bianca, we are focusing heavily on her confidence in phonetic writing.
Now onto Bennett, we are doing a good variety of K4 and K work with him, think shapes, colors, early addition skills, counting and skip counting, sight words, early reading skills and handwriting. He loves it and asks for more! Imagine that. The only thing I have a hard time with him is actually getting him to READ. Stinker.
So, there you have it, Q1 of our first year of homeschooling.