Friday, April 25, 2014

School Update and Some Random Pics

It seemed to me that it would be a good time to catch up on how school is going around here, so, without further ado, an update on our 2013-2014 school year:

We are absolutely loving Easy Peasy ( Dale is on track to finish year 5 by the end of May. Which is pretty impressive, considering we didn't really get going on it full swing until January. Among other novels he has read Alice in Wonderland, and is currently working on Little Men. He's developing his writing skills, learning how to write a five-paragraph essay and be aware of creative language and complex sentences. He already  has a whopping vocabulary, so it's nice to start to see that come out in his writing now and then. The biggest hurdle we have with school is quality control. He is able to do most of his work independently, but I have to stay on my toes checking it or things get a little less than his best.
Accidently matching for church a few weeks ago.
Pretty much since the beginning of his "official" school career, Alan has been on a January to December calendar instead of August to May. Which is one of the beauties of homeschooling, really. He has never been behind or ahead, but right on schedule. That hopefully explains the fact that he began his 2nd grade work in January. He will not finish Easy Peasy level two in May, but will be able to complete the work with flying colors in November/December. He is learning a lot of grammar (nouns, proper nouns, action verbs, linking verbs, subjects, predicates). He gets frustrated with me for making him write exclusively in cursive, but his cursive is steadily improving and is already better than his print. 
The look on his face when I asked him Easter Sunday if he wanted go hunt eggs.
After letting Khan Academy fall by the wayside for several months due to web layout frustrations, I decided to check it out again recently, and I'm so glad I did! It's all different, and I love the changes. It's so much easier for me - and the boys- to see what they have done and what they need to do next. Also, lots of lower elementary concepts and exercises have been added, so Alan can do it too. Very, very pleased with that.

We are doing our usual read-through-the-Bible again this year, pretty much the same way we have done all but one of the last 5 years or so. We are currently mid-way through  II Kings, pausing a bit there to cover the prophets. Not sure at what pace I want to proceed through the rest of the Bible, whether to start the New Testament in August and take two years, or pack it all in to finish by early summer. Dale and Alan notebook most of the Bible lessons. They also (Alan particularly) like worksheets printed from Calvary Chapel Curriculum. 

We have covered a few science/history/social studies topics together this year, including animal habitats, Russia / the Olympics (which has made the boys interested in all of the news in Ukraine this spring), and currently, earthquakes.

For Tyler and Brooklyn we have been loosely following Hubbard's Cupboard's Bible and Rhyme curriculum - working our way through major stories of  the Bible and the Alphabet, along with appropriate matching crafts and occasional nursery rhymes. We sometimes sing songs, do hand rhymes, play with playdough, or get out special puzzles and games. We spend about 30 minutes of each day devoted to "Preschool Time." Tyler is ripe for learning to read. Not sure yet when I'll start official "lessons" with him. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has picked up on most of the letter sounds herself.
(I don't think she found any letter sounds in these giant eggs, though.)
I make it a point almost every day to read to Daniel and Brooklyn individually (and often Tyler, too), and then Tyler, Alan, Dale and I spend half an hour in a chapter book. We've read a couple of "Little House" books recently, and currently, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. It's one of my favorite times of day, and I think everyone else's, too!


Kristin said...

On a roll!

Betsy said...

I was surprised tonight to find 3 (t-h-r-e-e) blogs I had not read, guess I got out of the habit of checking in while you were not blogging. Anyway, glad to see you back.

Anonymous said...

pretty nice blog, following :)