Monday, July 13, 2009

Homeschool Happenings v. 3

I haven't posted several things this past week because I have been getting ready for today. It's the first day of school for us. We are going with a 6 weeks on 2 weeks off system this year. I am kind of excited. Here is a run down of the stuff we are using.

Phonics/Spelling The Writing Road to Reading
I would not necessarily recommend this to everyone, but my son really struggled to get a handle on sight words in kindergarten so we went to this system where there are extremely few sight words (like the word one) and you learn many word teams and all of their sounds.

Math Right Start Math Levels B and C
Both of my kids are in the middle of a level so we are starting out where we left off in June. I highly recommend this for anyone. The lessons use lots of games. Almost all of the stuff comes with the kits. The lessons are varied so its not 50 lessons in a row on one thing, but all of the things are covered and reviewed.

Writing Handwriting Without Tears
Both of my kids have a problem with handwriting. (One because he wants to write with his hand upside down and the other because she doesn't have the fine motor coordination yet.) I got the workbooks and the chalkboard (helps with the fine motor stuff), but not the whole shebang. We will see how it works.

Grammar Daily Language Review
I wanted something fast and simple that would reinforce grammar for my son in 2nd. I got the first grade one because I wasn't sure if it meant a review of what was learned in 1st grade or a book for first grade reviewing what you learned in kindergarten. Each day has a little exercise that he can do himself, so we'll see how it goes.

Bible My Father's World and a Bible reader of my own design
You have to call MFW if you want to order individual things instead of the whole curriculum. The reader is good (the illustrations could stand to be better). I got it for the ease of reading. I also got the workbook where the student draws a picture about what he/she read and writes a sentence. I got a little journal type thing with a space to write and a space for pictures at Wal-mart. For my daughter I am writing short (about 6 sentences) Bible stories and letting her draw the picture.

Science How to Teach Science, DK First Human Body Encyclopedia, Apologia astronomy
We are doing an element a week somewhat following the How to Teach Science e-mails. We doing one human anatomy lesson a week starting with the skeleton. My kids love bones and such. I borrowed the Apologia astronomy from a friend to do bits of because my in-laws generously gave us a telescope. We will also be attending star parties with the Fort Worth Astronomical Society. We will also be doing little weekly science experiments.

Texas Geography Lessons made by me.
This year we are learning about the various regions of Texas as described by the Texas State Parks people. Texas is such a huge state we are taking the whole year on it. We will also be playing Great States Jr. to gear up for next year's America geography.

Weekly Wisdom Lessons by me
I am doing a "wise trait" each week. This week is discipline.
Getting a better mind, body, and soul takes training.
Keep moving forward.
"Anyone who loves to be trained loves knowledge. Anyone who hates to be corrected is stupid." Proverbs 12:1 (NIrV)

Big Fat Lies Lessons by me
We are also discussing some of the Big FAT lies Satan has saturated our culture with. The first is that the earth is billions of years old.

Art Lessons by me
We are going to have one lesson a week on observing and then drawing. For example, look at a person. Do the arms come out of the head? We will also have one creative art lesson a week.

Quilting Lessons by me
The kids wanted to learn about quilting. So I found an "easy" pattern that I think I could do and my mother-in-law said we could have one of her sewing machines. We are starting with a lap size quilt so we (read me) aren't too overwhelmed. Maybe I will post some pictures of our progress.

I think that about covers it. I am excited about this six weeks.


OneMom said...

The writing road to reading is new to me. I glanced at their website, but couldn't find a quick synopsis of the method.

We tried Handwriting without tears, but ultimately the most beneficial resource was their block paper which helped Hannah in learning to keep her letters of more uniform size.

You've mentioned right start math before, and I really need to look more closely at it. This is our area of greatest struggle.

We aren't doing as much formal school over the summer, but are learning the 50 states and capitols. Also continuing reading and working on comprehension. I am moving her up a level in her reading. I picked up an Amelia Bedelia book (I loved Amelia as a kid) which is in the next level and she did great reading and understanding it. I was fortunate to find a set of 14 Amelia books on ebay for less than $1 each!

I really like your idea about Big Fat Lies.

Applied Christianity said...

I can't give a really good synopsis of the WRR method because all I used it for was the extensive phonics and the spelling lists.

I may have to order the block paper.

If math is a real struggle, you might start with Level A of Right Start.

That is so great that you can move Hannah to a level of reading that suits her. E-bay is great for deals if you have the patience to endure the auction process.

I would be interested to hear what Big Fat Lies you would cover.

Karen said...

I switched from "Sing, Spell, Read, and Write" to "The Writing Road to Reading" for spelling when my son was in second grade. It was a very smooth transition at that age. I'm not sure if he would have been able to understand the "vertical" phonics format of learning all the sounds for a letter at once at a younger age, but was ready for that in 2nd. I love the method! I've watched my son's spelling ability really take off. Someone on the internet had recommended getting the 4th edition instead of the 5th, so when I was first checking it out I found a used copy of the 4th ed. on Amazon. I'm glad I did. It was written by Romalda Spalding, and I really got to see her philosophy and she shared a lot of stories about using the method. I could see that her ideas and this method lined up with my goals. I later bought the 5th ed. and it appears to be written by the committee of educators that runs her company since Romalda Spalding passed away. It's much thicker and is full of edu-speak. It would have turned me off right away. But it's a wonderful method. Romalda Spalding developed it while working with a neurologist named Dr. Orton who was studying and helping people with dyslexia. It reduces the English language to 70 common phonograms (and a few uncommon ones), and 29 spelling rules. Anyway, now that I've written a book, we like it.

I also forget now what the rest of your post said. (Ha! Ha!) I did see some other things we use, too. Have a good school day!

Applied Christianity said...

As always, it is nice to hear from you. I didn't realize you were a homeschooler. Thanks for the input on the Spalding method.

Pam said...

Thanks for mentioning the How to Teach Science website, I had forgotten about that one. I have extra block paper if you would like it. I also have a printing teacher's guide for grades 1 & 2. I got it for free at a used book sale but it is very similar to my kindergarten teacher's guide so I don't need it. I can put these in the mail to you.

Applied Christianity said...

I would love your HWT stuff. Thanks for the offer.

You are welcome about the How to Teach Science. I tried doing it every day last year and that was a little much. With all that we are doing, I think once a week will do better. How are you planning to use it?