Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend

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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

PR3 Week 26 Days 1&2

Day 1: Read and take notes from the day's reading. I reminded her to include descriptive writing in her notetaking and to remember to note the details of the author's writing. Here are Diva's notes:
  • in the garret
  • sunlight through windows
  • Grandpa Pierson's sea chest
  • stood pictures inside the lid
  • lost in creating a picture
  • growing trees and building waterfalls with a apaintbrush
  • hummed like a tea kettle
  • whenever he painted he seemed happy
  • lived in teh garret
  • didn't want to eat
  • foliage of a hickory tree
  • learned secrets of Grevling 
  • Momma likes it
  • Hapiness seemed to bubble up inside him
  • learned to make water ripples in teh wind
  • learned to make the sun touch of the underside of leaves
  • never thought about school
Day 2: take your notes and remodel in paragraph form. I told her to include the similies or metaphors, but to make the rest her own. Here is her work:
   Benjamin climbed the ladder into the garret. As he opened the shutters, sunlight came dancing in throughout the garret. Grandpa's sea chest was used as a stand for Benjuamin's pictures. Ben soon became lost in the adventure of creating a picture; he began growing trees and building waterfalls with a real paintbrush.As he pained he hummed like a tea kettle , practically living in the garret, and never wanting to eat!
  From studying some of Grevling's pictures, Benjamin learned some tricks like how to make water ripples in the wind and how to make the sun touch the underside of trees. That's also how he learned to paint the foliage of a Hickory tree.

Not perfect, but pretty good! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

PR4 a quick view of writing assignments

PR4 incorporates grammar and writing into the literature study, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, which also takes care of reading and comprehension. Here's a quick list of the order of activities listed as writing assignments. There are other Non-Writing specific assignments
  • Summarization of Author and Illustrated
  • Remodeling, "What is a biography?"
  • Timeline (graphic organizer)
  • Family tree
  • analyzing a Theme: define, synonym, biblical perspective
  • notetaking
  • expanding notes into sentence
  • finalizing notes into paragraphs
  • reading old English
  • cluster diagram
  • composing a paragraph from cluster diagrams (mulitple paragraph essay)
  • character descriptions
  • writing directions
  • analyzing expressions of speech
  • identifying steps in plans
  • character comparison
  • giving directions
  • remodeling a quote
  • LOADS of dictation used as a tool for many aspects of the study
  • writing quotations
  • outlining
  • composing paragraphs from outlines
  • creating charts
  • compose notes from reading
  • comparing similar situtations; contrasting their difference
  • notetaking
  • labeling maps
  • words in context
  • remodeling
  • timeline
  • filling out a logbook 
  • summarizing a situation
  • notetaking
  • character study paragraphs from notetaking (5 paragraph essay)
  • paraphrasing
  • Who phrases (teaching clauses) as a character sketch idea

Friday, March 25, 2011

A (longer than usual) Day in the Life of PR3 - Grammar Week 5, Day 4; Spelling Week 5, Day 3

PR3's spelling is split into three sections:
  1. Weeks 1-16 spelling lists + Building Codes, which are single pages dedicated to practicing one spelling rule (rule families, if you will); with Mega Spelling Tests weeks 8&16
  2. Weeks 17-33 spelling lists 4-days and word study on the 5th day
  3. Week 34 is review of weeks 18-33 spelling words and a final test on day 5
Today, our spelling was a Building Code Assignment. There are 18 such days in the first 90 days of PR3. The Rule we worked on was,  BC 10 Two-syllable words with the accent on the last one...
  • Dictate a list of 11 words and told them to write them with syllables and markings.
  • Discuss what 2-syllable words meant (we clapped out each word); including the reminder that every syllable must have a vowel
  • Discuss what "accent" means (I said each word with the accent on the first and then the second syllable and asked them which sounded correct. Then I wrote an accent mark on each word, which I had them spell orally to me, as I wrote the words on the board)
  • I had them define suffix; tell me the 2 kinds of suffixes; and then dictated a list of vowel suffixes to them, that they would add the the list of 11 words. This was "fill in the blank" in their PR notebooks, so the page looked like:  be-gin' + -er =  (with markings and syllables written for each word)
  • I wrote the 3 criteria on my chalkboard
  • I had them go to the chalkboard and they took turns writing out the word + vowel suffix, then we went through the criteria for each word, as I pointed to each criterium: 
    • be-gin --- How many syllables? TWO 
    • On which syllable is the accent? The last one
    • Are we adding a vowel suffix? Yes
    • Then begin meets the criteria and you must do what to spell this word correctly? Double the final consonant.
    • Correct. Do you remember the Rule Tune for diving double consonants? Yes...they sang the song, then wrote the word on the chalkboard. 
We went through this spelling catechism for 4 words each. At that time, I felt confident they understood the application of words that meet the criteria.

The Building Code also gives words that do Not meet the criteria. 
  • I dictated 3 words to them and then 3 vowel suffixes to fit the equation like the first set of words, so it looked like: pro'-fit + -able =
  • We walked through the criteria as I pointed to each one on my chalkboard and noted that each of the three words didn't fit b/c the accent was NOT on the last one. 
  • We concluded the rule does not apply, so we did Not double the final consonant. 
Finally, the last group of words exemplified what happens when there is a consonant suffix.
  • I dictated 2 words and we did the same drill as above, concluding the words did not meet criteria #3, the suffixes were not Vowel suffixes; therefore, we do not double the final consonant.
I told them to put the paper aside, that they would finish the word on their own after instruction.

This was a long lesson for PR. It took 30 minutes of instruction, which as you saw, included review of several things (definitions, other spelling rules, markings, etc) and also single word dictation and spelling practice.

Next, on to grammar instruction. It was a breeze today, thankfully, b/c the spelling was a long lesson! We have been working on verb forms. Yesterday, we took 5 verb forms from a chart we created and wrote original sentence for each. We parsed each sentence they created. Today, they had to take the same sentences and use a different form of the same verb, then parse the sentences.
  • An example of Ax Man's work: The sled dog pulled the cart across the snow. The sled dog is pulling the cart across the snow.10 minutes to complete the assignment.
  • An example of The Ant's work: The knight will rule the kingdom. The knight ruled the kingdom. 15 minutes to complete. 
Axel: Spelling 8 minutes + grammar 10 + instruction time 35 = 53 minutes total language arts time.
Tony: Spelling 20 + grammar 15 + instruction time 35 = 70 minutes total language arts time.

There was another half to the grammar lesson plan, which I will work on tomorrow b/c it took so long for spelling. I will instead, introduce Irregular Verb Forms tomorrow. That lesson will involve them creating a chart with verb forms:  We lead; Yesterday we _____. for a list of 15 base verbs.

In all fairness, The Ant is likely ADD, so it takes explicit and slow instruction to help him "see" each spelling rule. He needs the repetition of 4 words. He's also only in 2nd grade and in PR3 to make my life easier. I could probably have cut 10min. off of the time if I were only instructing the Ax Man. The combination of the ADD and immaturity does increase teaching time. I'm not complaining and Ax Man deals with the extra time by working ahead on his independent work while I talk to The Ant. It works out :) I just make sure I review definitions daily with The Ant to ensure retention.

We're in week 7 of the literature study, as they can't get enough and love the story. We spent yesterday doing a cluster diagram to sketch the relationship of Bob and the Schoolmaster after Bob makes his very own pencil. It was a lesson in graphic organization, research and dictation...all skills for writing instruction. We dictated 8 clusters and it took about 30 min. The Ax is actually slower in dictation! So, it all works out! It took us about 25 minutes. Keep in mind, as a whole, Mrs. Beers balances well the workload, I'm just in different places, and I only do 2 subject areas per day b/c I'm slowing down the pace! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If TOG were a skeleton

Props first to Katrina, whose dedication to figuring out home schooling is admirable and lovely to encourage. It was her idea to see TOG as a skeleton, so I have borrowed from her to share with you today.

If you liken TOG to the skeleton I would say that TOG allows me to work on which member of the body needs exercise. In other words, sometimes, TOG flexes the feet of history (geography); the hands (activities); the mouth (literature and original works); the head (history); the body (church history); the legs (history in depth). Each is an important member, and the body of humanities cannot be whole without the other.
 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12:22-26
I find TOG also allows me to work on the spiritual bodies of each of my children, as they are different members in the body of Christ, I can use the body of TOG to refine their purpose in our home and hopefully, refine their purpose in the body of Christ, but always keep us in a place of agreement (if you will) since we're on the same page.
Iron sharpens iron,
 So one man sharpens another.
He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit,
         And he who cares for his master will be honored.          
Proverbs 27:17-18
 When you become comfortable with TOG, you realize it is a powerful tool, but that it remains just.a.tool to help you accomplish your goals in your school and family. Initially, it does take over, particularly at the Dialectic stage and beyond, but then you realize, that's because you're not just doing history, you're exercising the body of humanities. Then, as all things have a dual manifestation (in the natural and spirit), by allowing yourself a longer workout, the strength and endurance you pursue will be evident in the prevailing sharpness.

Why do I share so much about TOG and PR?

I find Titus 2,
"But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." 
fits right into home schooling communities.

It's funny, but over time, because each minute does influence the flow of a large family home schooling, I have learned where to dig deeper (fundamentals like phonics, the Whole of language arts, and math understanding) and where to enjoy (science, history, art, music, etc.). The enjoyables are important enough to never drop, but I have found the contribute to love of learning at first, while the hard work of fundamentals will allow the love of learning to become independent over time.

Now that I'm in high school and K (at the same time), I am seeing so many things differently. Trial and error adds to the experience, while success and failure help me to identify skills versus content, learning styles, patience over progress, dig over touch, et. al. What was once rigid is simply consistent and what was simply left out is at least dabbled by tiny fingers. I have learned the difference between structure and obsession, between fun and necessary, and have come a long, long way in this home schooling journey. Glory to God for His unending patience and to gratefulness for my husband, who has always stood by me in this home schooling journey.

So, if you take what I've learned and you understand Titus 2, you know why I share so heavily. If I can save a sister in Christ some time and misery, I'm everso thankful and blessed to honor the Lord. TOG helps me fulfill the goals in my house and my goals as a sister in Christ.PR does the same. So, while the little affiliate bonuses are nice, they are surely not the cause for my unending posts about the two, they are simply great tools this Master Teacher appreciates as she follows the path a Carpenter, her Master, has set before her. 

Sonlight and TOG booklists - coordinated Year 3

I got this list from the TOG Loose Threads Yahoo group.The numbers show where the books are used in SL, while the "week" is for TOG.

Click to join TOGLooseThreads Click to join TOGLooseThreads
TOG Year 3

Week 1 The New Nation (History of US book 4) SL 100
       Island of the Blue Dolphins SL 5
       A Tale of Two Cities SL Brit Lit
Week 2 Robert Fulton, Boy Craftsman SL 3
       Eli Whitney SL 3
       Scarlett Pimpernel SL 6/7
       In Search of Honor SL 6/7
Week 3 Napoleon (old SL 6)
       Napoleon and the Battle of Waterloo SL 7
       Abe Lincoln's World SL 7
       Betsy and the Emperor SL 7
Week 4 Oliver Twist SL 200
Week 6 If you Were There When they Signed the Constitution SL 3 
       Stream to the River, River to the Sea SL 100
       Naya Nuki SL 4
Week 7 Lewis and Clark Expedition SL 4
       Old Yeller SL 3
Week 9 Simon Bolivar SL4
       Louis Braille SL 4
       Pride and Prejudice SL 200
Week 11 William Carey: Obliged to Go SL 5
Week 12 the Erie Canal SL 4
        Walden SL 400
Week 13 Sequoyah and the Cherokee Alphabet SL 100
        Only the Names Remain: The Cherokees and 
          the Trail of Tears SL 7
Week 14 Faces: Australia Through Time SL 5
        A Christmas Carol SL 200
Week 15 On to Oregon (old SL 7)
        Stout-Hearted Seven SL 100
        Patty Reed's Doll SL 100
        Samuel F B Morse SL 100
Week 16 Liberty for All? ( History of US 5) SL 100
Week 18 By the Great Horn Spoon SL 4
        Bonanza Girl SL 100
        The Secret Valley SL 2
Week 19 God's Adventurer: Hudson Taylor SL 5
        Commodore Perry and the Land of the Shogun SL 5
        Born in the Year of Courage SL 5
        The Big Wave SL 5
        Li Lun Lad of Courage SL 5
        Uncle Tom's Cabin (old SL 100)
        Tom Sawyer SL 100
Week 21 Freedom Train SL 4
        War, Terrible War (History of Us 6) SL 100
        Caddie Woodlawn SL 4
        Turn Homeward, HannaLee SL 100
        Two Tickets to Freedom SL 100
Week 22 The Monitor and the Merriamc SL 4
        Across Five Aprils SL 4
        A Photobiography of Abraham Lincoln SL 4
        Red Badge of Courage SL 100
Week 23 Robert E Lee SL 100
        Behind Rebel Lines SL 4
        The Perilous Road SL 4
        Shades of Gray SL 4
        Slopes of War SL 100
        Rifles for Watie SL 100
Week 24 Reconstruction and Reform (History of US 7)
        Dragon's Gate SL 100
Week 25 Little Women (old SL 8)
        Sing Down the Moon SL 4
        Moccasin Trail SL 4
Week 26 Thomas Edison SL 4
        Alice in Wonderland SL Brit Lit
Week 27 David Livingstone SL 7
        Mary Slesson Forwar into the Calabar SL 5
        Heart of Darkness SL 300
        Anna and the King SL 7
Week 28 A Glorious Age in Africa SL 5
        Rat Catcher's Son SL 5
        Beat the Story Drum SL 5
Week 30 Age of Extremes (History of US 8) SL 1100
        Up From Slavery SL 400
Week 31 A Little Princess SL 2
        Heidi SL 1
Week 32 Toothpaste Millionaire SL 2
        Around the World in 80 Days SL 5
        Whatever Happened to Penny Candy SL 5
Week 33 The Call of the Wild SL 100
        The Terrible Wave SL 4
Week 34 George Washington Carver SL 4
        Black Beauty SL 200
Week 35 Marie Curie's Search for Radium SL science 2
        Louis Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes SL science 1
        The 21 Balloons SL 2
Week 36 We'll Race You Henry Ford SL 100
        Bully for You Teddy Roosevelt SL 4

Sonlight and TOG booklists - coordinated Year 2

I got this list from the TOG Loose Threads Yahoo group.The numbers show where the books are used in SL, while the "week" is for TOG.
Click to join TOGLooseThreads Click to join TOGLooseThreads
TOG Year 2

Week 1 The White Stag (6)
       Aladdin and other Favorite Arabian Night Stories (5)
       Shadow Spinner (5)
Week 2 Flames over Tara (6)
Week 3 7 Daughters and 7 Sons (5)
Week 4 Beowulf (SLBL) SL uses a different edition than TOG
       Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky (2)
       The Viking Adventure (2)
Week 5 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (SLBL) SL uses a different 
       edition than TOG
       Black Horses for the King (6)
       The Sword in the Tree (2)
Week 6 Adam of the Road (6)
       Castle Diary (2)
       The Canterbury Tales (8) SL uses a different edition than TOG
       The Great and Terrible Quest (6)
       Taste of Chaucer (8)
       Canterbury Quinlet (SLBL)
Week 7 Otto of the Silver Hand (6)
       A Minstrel in the Tower (1)
       Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest (1)
       Tales of Robin Hood (2)
       The Whipping Boy (2)
Week 8 The Samurai’s Tale (6)
       Marco Polo (2)
       Genghis Khan- Mongol Emperor (5)
       Genghis Khan by Lamb (5)
       The Mongols (5)
Week 9 The Door in the Wall (2)
       The Proud Taste of Scarlet and Minver (6)
       Joan of Arc (2)
Week 10 Morning Star of the Reformation (6)
        Fine Print (2)
        The World of Columbus and Sons (6)
Week 11 The Trumpeter of Krakow (8)
        I, Juan de Pareja (6)
        Leonardo da Vinci (6)
        Michaelangelo (2)
        The Apprentice (2)
Week 12-13 The Second Mrs. Giaconda (6)
           Pedro’s Journal (3)
           Magellan (2)
Week 14 Incans, Aztecs, and Mayans (3)
        Walk the World’s Rim (30
        North American Indians (3)
        Secret of the Andes (3)
Week 16 The Hawk that Dare Not Hunt by Day (6)
        Martin Luther: Hero of Faith (6)
        Luther: Biography of a Reformer (6)
        The Monk who Shook the World (6)
Week 17 Mary, Bloody Mary (6)
        This was John Calvin (8)
        Twelfth Night (8)
Week 19 The Shakespeare Stealer (6)
        Good Queen Bess (2)
        Hamlet (SLBL)
        A Murder for Her Majesty (8)
Week 20 Pocahontas and the Strangers (3)
Week 21 Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims (3)
        The Landing of the Pilgrims (7)
        The Thanksgiving Story (3)
        A Lion to Guard Us (3)
        Down Rayton Water (7)
Week 22 The Sign of the Beaver (3)
        The Witch of Blackbird Pond (3)
        Paddle to the Sea (3)
Week 23 Paradise Lost (SLBL)
Week 24 The Pilgrims Progress (8)
        Peter the Great (2)
        George Washington’s World (6)
Week 25 The Crucible (10)
        A Parcel of Pattern (8)
Week 26 Isaac Newton and Gravity (6)
Week 27 Calico Bush (3)
        Chimney Sweep’s Ransom (2)
Week 28 Amos Fortune, Free Man (7)
        Justin Morgan Had a Horse (3)
        The Courage of Sarah Nobel (3)
        Gulliver’s Travels (SLBL)
Week 29 What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin (3)
        Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia (3)
        Ben and Me (2)
Week 31 Meet Thomas Jefferson (3)
        The Matchlock Gun (3)
        Calico Captive (7)
        Meet George Washington (3)
        Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison (7)
Week 32 Can’t you Make them Behave, King George (3)
        And then What Happened, Paul Revere (3)
        Mr. Revere and I (3)
        Johnny Tremain (3)
        Toliver’s Secret (3)
        Early Thunder (7)
Week 33 Winter at Valley Forge (3)
        Guns for General Washington (7)
        Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold (7)
        Phoebe the Spy (3)
Week 34 Daniel Boone (3)
        The Scarlet Pimpernel (6)
        Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (3)
        In Search of Honor (6)
Week 35 If you were there when they signed the Constitution (3)
        Robinson Crusoe (8)
        COFA Martha Washington (3)
        COFA George Washington (3)

Sonlight and TOG booklists - coordinated Year 1

I got this list from the TOG Loose Threads Yahoo group.The numbers show where the books are used in SL, while the "week" is for TOG.

Click to join TOGLooseThreads Click to join TOGLooseThreads
Year 1
Weeks 1-2 – The Golden Goblet (6)
            Mara, Daughter of the Nile (6)
            Ancient Egypt (6)
Week 2 Tut’s Mummy Lost and Found (1)
Week 5 The Church of the East (8)
Week 10 The Cat Who Went to Heaven (5)
Week 11 Li Lun, Lad of Courage (5)
        The Great Wall of China (1)
        Eyewitness Ancient China (5)
Weeks 13 D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (6)
         Greek Myths for Young Children (1)
         Til We Have Faces (8)
         The Ancient Greeks in the Land of the Gods (6)
         Adventures of Greek Hero’s (6)
Week 14 Trojan War (6)
        The Trojan Horse (2)
        The Children’s Homer (6) Old Sonlight
Week 17 Hittite Warrior (6)
Week 21 God King (6)
Week 24 Theras and His Town (6)
        The Aesop for Children (2)
Week 26 Archimedes and the Door of Science (6)
        The Greek News (1)
Week 27 Alexander the Great (2)
Week 28 Detectives in Togas (1)
Week 29 Mystery of the Roman Ransom (6)
Week 30 The Ideas of April (6)
Week 31 Augustus Caesar’s World (6)
        Cleopatra (6)
        Beyond the Desert Gate (6)
Week 33 The Flames of Rome (8)
        Pompeii: Buried Alive (2)
Week 34 The Eagle of the Ninth (6)
        The Bronze Bow (6) 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

being mindful

Glick also mentions the growing alliance between Russia and Turkey, "Russia’s announcement that it sides with Iran’s ally Turkey in its support for reducing UN Security Council sanctions against Iran indicates that the US no longer has the regional posture necessary to contain Iran on the international stage."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Planning time for PR 1 & 2

Seriously. What you're about to read will sound waaay to easy, but it's for real! (I know I'm very silly)

To learn how to use the program took me watching a few weeks of videos, with both the TM and student NB in front of me. Since you've uses AAS, you'll be ahead of me and take less time to catch on, I imagine.

Now, it never takes more than 20 minutes to watch the DVD for the entire week for all 3 Section Titles of the program (Spelling, Grammar, Literature). The spelling portion I fast forward (b/c she literally spells out for the "Class" every single word. Think MUS.) When a word needs to be added to the Building Code (BC) or Framing Code(FC) section of the notebook (NB), it is flashed on the screen, so I can stop, listen, jot the BC down, then fast forward right through the entire spelling list. That means about 3 minutes of spelling planning per week.

For grammar instruction, I listen and at this point, most of the time also takes about 5-10 minutes. I jot notes in my teacher's nb b/c in the teacher's nb you have a completed copy of the student notebook, so not only will you have your notes, but you'll also know what's it's supposed to look like.

The literature portion of the DVD gives a lovely introduction to each chapter (I'm actually going to have dd listen to the intro for Y3 every week b/c they're so sweet), then shows anything you need to know.

No kidding, at this point (using the program for a year and some change) it takes me nov more than 20 minutes with the DVD remote in hand to plan for an entire week.

45 minutes after one is comfy with the program seems waaaay off base for me. It took me about 3 weeks to fall into this groove of 20m planning.

I also planned out a great deal over the summer b/c I had 3 levels to get through this year. That was awesome too b/c now I really can grab and go -- 2 min. teacher prep time for that level!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Movie Lists for TOG

Do you have Netflix? If so, Macrina compiled some wonderful movies lists that coordinate SOTW (Story of the World) to Netflix. Since TOG uses SOTW as an alternative source, the list is applicable to TOG!

SOTW Vol. 1
SOTW Vol. 2

Friday, March 11, 2011

Two days in the Life of PR3 - Grammar through Literature -- Becoming a better Teacher

Well, yesterday we learned the 3 ways in which to use quotation marks (Robert Fulton Literature Study, Student Notebook pg. 41). We read aloud in unison 3 times the usage of quotation marks as on the top of the page, then we dictated the rules as noted in the teacher's manual. As directed in the DVD, we went through the excerpt from the story, adding quotation marks and discussing which rule applied and showed us "why" we were putting q.m. in the first place.

So, today, I thought I would insert a mom created lesson to reinforce. They are so young, so we are going rather slowly through PR3. I plan on taking about a year and half to complete it all. My boys are only in 2nd and 3rd grades and this is a complex lesson when you approach it as a whole learning lesson (all three reasons at once).

Back to my teacher created lesson. Not much really. We turned to page 36 in the student notebook and I had them highlight every quotation mark. Then, we kept our hand overotp pg. 41, so we could quickly reference the rules. As we read through each quotation mark, we would stop and identify which rule applied. Perfect assignment to cement their learning. We will be sure to point it out in our reading every day by simply pulling up an example or two of each rule in our daily reading. No big deal, just showing that application, application, application to the whole of Language Arts.
GO PR! Mrs. Beers has taught me how to use real literature to teach language. It has long been my desire and now, from teaching training in PR, is attainable. What a difference a good instructional program makes.

PR1 meets PR3 a surprise day of he Little League United!

We have been reading light this week and instead watching some "remember this" video work this week. I'm kind of winding down our K4 year and preparing for a real boost of K right around the bend. Well, I thought I'd throw AtG into the PR3 spelling session today because I saw him standing there, making limeade with Diva. The words we are using are all review from PR1, so while I knew there would be a couple unfamiliar teams, there were certainly a lot of sounds he knew. It was worth the try.

I was so surprised at how quickly he went through words in the presence of his big brothers. When a team arose, I asked the two bigger brothers, "Help out your little brother. Which team will we use here?" They'd give me the team, then all together, the three of them would repeat along with me the sounds of each new team. You should have seen Al's face! He was so happy to be doing school with his big brothers.  We sang Rule Tunes together, then Diva jumped in while continuing in the kitchen to make lime icees. The boys stood up, danced, singed, and we all laughed as I air fought them for the sounds of the Vowel Team of Pain. It was a nice home school moment. It was a taste of the one room school house that is always so precious in my mind. 

A Relieving Revelation

You know, lately there's been this calm in our school days and it finally occurred to me it's because there hasn't been any remediation in a while. All the gaps or regrets have been filled and I don't have to pile anything into our day, save "where we are."

Now, I know I didn't have to do it in the first place, but I did and now, I'm finished! What a huge sigh of relief at this revelation.

Even better, I doubt there will be that pressure in the Little League's life. By now, I have elementary school worked out
and own way more curriculum than I will ever admit publicly so I can fix anything that arises. 

What a wonderful, peaceful feeling.

Week in Review 3/7/11--3/11/11

We've been wrapping up and moving on over the past month or so. I seem to get to this place each year by spring. The onset of beach season is a real motivator to jump into high gear and crank out what's leftover. Additionally, as I start to plan for next year, the panic of, "You can't start that until you finish this!" rolls in and I get serious in school. Serious actually means different things in different levels.

My high schoolers are being blocked scheduled right now. We are working on: Math, History, and HOPE. Until they finish HOPE and Year 3 of TOG, they will work double time each day. They'll finish in time to change their block to Math (which never goes away), Science, Latin and Write Shop. Whatever isn't finished by end of May, will carry over into summer school. Essentially, they either earn respite or not. My guess is, they'll be some science summer school and a little Latin.

Specifically, RoGD favorite subject is Track. He's running on the long distance team of the local high school and doing well. He's getting Personal Records at weekly meets and even getting up early to run on Sundays. Geesh, if only he'd get up early for church or school! :P

Bard has finished Life of Fred Algebra and was given some Saxon Algebra tests yesterday. I'm looking for results. I'll let you know how that worked out. He's flying through his history. I expect he'll actually be finished early!

My middle schooler (Lil' Mother) finished up Chalkdust Algebra I Wednesday. I also gave her the Saxon Final Exam and will be grading it this evening or weekend. I suspect she'll do just fine. Then, I'm trying to decide if she'll go right to Chalkdust Alg. 2 or Art of Problem Solving. I already own CD Alg. 2, so that is more likely, but I am intrigued by AoPS, so we'll see. I may just have to look at that at convention in May and move forward with what I already have. No money to spend and all that.

Diva is wrapping up Phonics Road 3. She's in a real growth spurt right now in real life, so I'm getting a lot of sleepy/lazy from her. I'm trying to let her sleep more and work less in school. She continues to move forward in all of her studies. She has begun to rival her brother for the title of Book Devourer. She reads crazy fast. As a result, I gave her the book list for all she has to read in Tapestry for the rest of the school year. She has the option finish early and enjoy more free time. I'm sure she'll take advantage.

The Little League continues to move forward in all their studies. We added Intensive Practice to The Ants Singapore daily line up. He needs more practice. The Ax Man is finishing up Challenging Word Problems 2. I like to give the  CWP a level behind their daily work. It seems to offer encouragement and not exasperation, which is the general attitude with word problems. We are underlining every "key word or phrase" in the word problems. I suspect they will both be much more comfy with word problems than their predecessors.

We are in weeks 5 or 6 in our Phonics Road 3 studies. I'm really taking our time. The concepts are tough in level 3, so we go slowly and before we do the seatwork, I'm sure to do many examples on the board. This makes them happy. They like the privilege of marking sentences on "Mom's board." They are doing well and able to identify Predicate Nouns and Adjectives pretty well. They learned all about quotation marks yesterday, so I will reinforce that as we do group read alouds by pointing out the quotation marks and asking them which of the 3 rules apply in each situation.

For science, we actually had a nice week. A neighbor caught 3 catfish, so we dissected them before we cleaned them for the neighbors to eat. We studied all the parts of the fish and explained the usage of each body part, pointing out their same use in the human body. They had a blast. We also used Netflix on alternative days for animal studies. My plan for the rest of the year is to alternate topics based on child led interests. We're tired of physics alone, so we'll work it in our rotation. I am never quite satisfied with grammar school science, so I think I must accept that unit studies are our preference. I'll have to get used to weekly unit studies, though, and not drag them out.

AtG took the week off of reading and focused on science and play time. It was a nice weather week, so the makeshift sand hole (not in a box) was his favorite thing of the week. They made a lot of bricks and tried to build a house...not just a castle.

We're very busy with extracurrics right now, so Thurs. nights are the only night of nothing. It makes for a tired Momma. 5 in basketball; 2 in Scouts; 7 in Easter Production; 1 assistant Coach/Dad for two teams (covers 3 of the dc); 1 Seamstress for the production (I'll be utilizing my helpers, aka 2 daughters); I'm tutoring reading twice weekly; on top of general church attendance and continued studies. I decided to let loose a bit and spent a day at a friends for the boys to have an airsoft war and some chat time for the girls. It was nice.

That's our week. Profitable, yet relaxed. Full, and bordering on too full, but not quite overflowing. I hope yours went well!


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