Monday, December 14, 2009

Been a bit crazy around here

I realize it's been a little while since I've posted.
It's been a bit crazy around here. Our little Ember is now 7 months. She's a darling baby but also the kind who refuses to nap once put down, so that does somewhat limit me a bit. You simply have not enjoyed cleaning a toilet unless you've tried doing so while wearing a baby in a Mei Tai carrier. LOL

School wise, yet again I find myself making changes. I have to say that homeschooling is something that I think is always a work in progress. By that I mean that if something just isn't clicking here with either the kids or myself (as far as my teaching needs) then we are so blessed to be able to make that switch and make it now. I'm sure every homeschooler would agree that we are very lucky to be able to do that on a whim to suit our kids/family needs.

Both girls will "graduate" from their perspective grades after Christmas. Skylar will be in 3rd grade in January and Summer 1st grade. We enjoy doing a ceremony of sorts with my parents when they are visiting.
What an amazing improvement I've seen in Skylar's reading over this past year. It's been fantastic to be a part of helping her along that journey. She is now reading books like The Beginners Bible and the Magic Treehouse series. This is a girl who hated reading just last year.
Summer's handwriting is developing beautifully, what a huge change that's been to see over the past year and I've enjoyed reading over her stories (she likes to make up stories and jot them down).

Now for the changes:
Skylar and I seem to be having a hard time with Math, in that it's hard to find the perfect program to suit her needs and to suit my teaching style. She seemed to really like certain elements of Christian Light Education's Math. So since I have that, we are giving that a revisit today. I personally love MUS but I feel that I am a bit lax with lessons because of the set up. I'm thinking of meshing the two styles a bit and seeing how that goes for us since MUS has some great ways to approach solving. And I have to say that their teaching of place value via decimal street is amazing and lasting.
We just talked about it again today and she said "I like the one with the speed drill the best" (which is CLE).

I've also realized that we are not using the whole Sonlight LA 2 program, I find I'm just using it for readers and copywork (and even copywork not so much since I have Queens Spelling through copywork for Skylar to use each day). So when I think about it, I'm using it just for the schedule of the reader package. So since that's the case, I'm setting it aside and just going to keep on going with the readers, Skylar doing a chapter a day, and still using Queens for copywork. I'm going to add in Spelling workout, since I don't feel we need to be doing phonics at this point. And we're working through a grammar workbook together, but I don't feel a huge love for grammar for younger kids so that's just a gentle intro I guess you could say.

For Summer, she does need more work on Phonics so she'll be using The Complete Book of Phonics. She worked up to Explode the Code 2 already but I see there are some things she needs review on and I didn't want to cover ETC again and wanted a colorful option. I love ETC though but just in this case I thought a switch and adding color would work well for her at this point.
I'm thinking for her, quite possibly she might enjoy MUS but I'm not going to start that up right now. She's using Kumon for math and seems quite happy with it.

So other than that, the only other changes I see for now at least are adding in things like creative stories, which I have been very lax on. I think it's great to have the kids narrate a story to me once a week so I can journal it for them. The keepsake it creates is amazing to look back on.

History we'll be using some Christian Liberty Press once we finish up reading about the Pilgrims. And I plan to get Skylar some of the Famous Young American Books which I think she'd enjoy reading about famous women.