Wednesday, October 26, 2011

David's School Progress

Some of you have probably been wondering how David is doing with homeschool so I thought I  would share some of his progress. I haven't done a great job of taking photos of school lately, but I will work on that for next time.

He continues to improve, but this is still his weakest by far. We have struggled for the past severl months on the method/curriculum to use for him. We have tried and discarded several. We have very recently settled on Explode the Code Online - we were using the workbooks, but he is continually frustrated and his work was not good. And since he has handwriting issues this was really a struggle. He could do 2 pages in his workbook each day and that was pulling teeth. With the online program he averages 5 pages per day and loves it!

Improvement is continuing here as well. And this is another subject that I had to work to find the right program for him. After tial and error we are using Learning Languge Arts Through Literature. I am very happy with this program and it does a good job of teaching reading and grammar and comprehension and vocabulary and sequencing and writing. The best part is we get to use actual books along wth our readers.

By far and away his best subject. I struggle to keep it challenging for him. We are using Saxon 1 and he is on lesson 64. So far he has gotten 1 problem wrong all year. I supplement this with math games and printables; not that it needs a supplement I just want to do all I can to avoid boredom. We have recently thought of adding the Life of Fred books - I am going through now to see where he should start with them. A friend has the first one and we are reading it now, but the concepts are very beginner. We also use manipuatives and our white board quite a bit and oral exercises. He just talks and thinks in math. And for this subject he is fine with workbooks, LOL.

This is a favorite subject for both of us. We continue to learn about the Church and what it means to be Catholic. The first grade catechism book from Faith & Life is excellent. We also regularly and chronologically read the bible and have a timeline to go with. The other part of our religion study is living and integrating our faith into our daily lives. We are celebrating and learning about Saints and Feast Day and Holy Days. We are very blessed to have several close friends who are also raising their children in the faith and we are able to share many of these special celebrations with them.

Science & History
These both continue to go well. David loves all the stories in history and the experiments in science. We don't do this everyday, usually just once a week and it is a nice change for him. We actually have a 2nd science book that is first grade health. That has been fun for learning about our body.

These are my weakest areas. Spanish has kind of fallen by the wayside, but I am really hoping now that we have settled on a phonics and reading program we will have a better schedule and be able to dedicate more consistent time.

Art for me is actual art, we do crafts in all the other subjects. We have print we study each month that follows special times in the Church and on occasion we study a specific famous artist.

Music is very sporadic. I have a few curriculums, but usually we just pull up a famous composer on the ipad and read about him and listen to his music on youtube.

Sometimes we have a special day and do something like "Angry Birds School". The blogging world is full of wondrful free resources for homeschoolers. We also do things like pumpkin school, fall school, etc. Whatever is the current season/holiday.

All in all it is WONDERFUL, AMAZING, FUN, etc. I wouldn't change it for anything in the world!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Superior Mustangs...

This past weekend there was a band competition in Alex City on Saturday. We missed it due to me being sick, but I was able to "steal" a few pics from Em's friends on FB. And she came over yesterday and I got the scoop. Sounds like a really fun day and the majorettes got a 1 score, which is Superior. Evidently the individual components of the band are scored and then that is combined for the overall band score. So overall they also got a 1!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Family Pictures, Kinda

Dan and I were playing around in the backyard the other night before dinner and we managed to get a few cute shots.

History Loving, it's Hereditary

With a dad, granddad and two uncles who love history - what should I have expected!! David is having such fun with his American History. This week we studied Ponce de Leon and Amerigo Vespucci. He semi-colored a map with Ponce de Leon's route from the West Indies to Florida. And we made our own Little Dipper constellation to honor Amerigo Vespucci - who loved stars!!

Language Arts is another one of our subjects. David is struggling with the phonics and reading portion - due to all his ear surgeries, school absences, possible dyslexia, etc. We are working through that and finally have a program that works for us and are using multi-sensory approaches, but all other areas of Language Arts are a breeze for him. Below is one of his story sequencing sheets.

Another fun subject for David is Science. As we have talked about we do alot of science experiments and who wouldn't love that?? But he also learns alot from his daddy. He and Dan are forever watching documentaries on science, space, etc. They especially love MythBusters. The other day David was randomly talking about the speed of light and that initiated a lecture from Dan :-)

My dad worked a deal on a Go-Kart for his house and along with it came a gas-powered scooter and a youth helmet. Dad has the Kart and gave us the scooter and helmet. I have pics of Hope and Hayden and David on the scooter, but can't get them from a text message... David is especially excited about the helmet because his current Go-Kart helmet didn't have a face shield (or whatever it's called) and the dust always got in his eyes. He loves this new helmet!! And it fits him perfect - thanks Dad!

Totally different subject, but who doesn't love Pampered Chef? Their products have been a staple in my kitchen since I have had a kitchen. I add a piece or two each year as the budget allows. I have never had any trouble with their stuff - great quality!! Well the other night I was baking breaded fish and heard a weird noise from my oven. I opened it to find this!!

Model T Jamboree

Our annual Labor Day Model T trip has come and gone again. It is really fun to see how David experiences it differently each year as he matures and his interest change and grow. This year we went to Marysville, OH. As usual we had a great time seeing all the aunts and uncles and cousins.

Growing Crystals

The last week of August was time for building crystals. We have been having fun with our weekly science experiments, especially when Hope and Hayden come over to do science with us. We tried two different "recipes" for growing crystals. Neither turned out as we had hoped and they both took a lot longer to grow than the recipe indicated. But we finally had success!!! I know I took more pictures of this project, but I can't seem to find them. I'll upload them to this post when I find them.

Happy Birthday Dan

A little behind on updating, but hope to get that fixed today! August 29th was Dan's birthday and we had a nice family day. The kids made him this cake, we watched the movie Rango and then had a little family art and science time. Em and David painted rainbows and Dan painted the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. Though David loves learning about Christopher Columbus and lots of other aspects of history, he is not into the painting and coloring LOL. We also did a science experiment that day showing the differences in oil and water and learning about density.