February 05, 2008

Home School Update

It's been awhile since I actually wrote much about home schooling, so I'll take some time for a little update before I have to go work on dinner.

We are in Week 24 of Sonlight Core C, and it's going great. The kids are absolutely loving our current read-aloud, In Grandma's Attic, which I highly recommend. There are follow-up books which I hope to get for the kids for a birthday or something like that, because the stories are just too good! Ted is also thoroughly enjoying these chapters. I love hearing him laugh out loud with the kids.

Science has been a big hit these days. We just finished the Usborne First Book of Nature, ending with the chapter on moths and butterflies. We ordered a butterfly habitat and caterpillars from Insect Lore, and this has been GREAT! We all love watching the caterpillars--they grow noticeably each day. Any day now they will be crawling to the top of their little jars and morphing into the pupa stage. Then we'll carefully place them in the butterfly habitat and watch eagerly for when they begin emerging as butterflies! Hopefully we'll be able to capture some on video. I'm taking pictures daily so we can see the changes. It will be fun to go back through and see the slide show, which I will be sure to post.

We've also enjoyed "Science in the Kitchen" experiments. Fridays seem to be our experiment days, which works out well. Overall, science is probably one of the favorite things to do and read about around here.

In history/social studies we are going through the Usborne book Wild Places and are nearly finished with the jungle section. I had to suppress a giggle when Charis commented that the ladies drawn in various jungle life activities "weren't very modest." We did have a little discussion about how cultures vary in what is the norm!

We've also read some bios of Christian heroes, including William and Catherine Booth, Adonirom and Ann Judson, and Hudson Taylor. In our Bible story book we just finished the Old Testament and are moving on to the birth of Jesus. AWANA keeps the kids busy memorizing verses, but we also have at least one home school verse per week that we work on together. Charis is actually finished with her handbook and will likely earn her review patch in the next week or two. I'm not sure what she'll do after that for the rest of the year! Tobin will also start working on his review patch before too long.

In math, Charis is on lesson 18 out of 30 in her Math-U-See book (Beta). I need to order the Alpha book for Tobin and the Primer book for Arden, but I'm trying to decide whether it's urgent or if I should wait a little longer and just order Charis's Gamma book at the same time. She is working on column addition now, adding such things as:


She does quite well at it when she takes her time.

Tobin's handwriting continues to improve, and he's much more willing to do written work these days than he was even a couple of months ago. Charis struggles with writing assignments, mostly because they aren't her idea and I think they overwhelm her a bit. Once she gets going she usually does all right, but this is the area where more tears are shed than any other!

Arden is on lesson 78 in his reading book. He's at the transition part where they are trying to wean the students from the markings over the letters, and it's proving to be much more of a challenge than it was for the older two. I'm not too surprised, though, because he IS quite young. I'd be glad to shelve the book for awhile, but he wants to keep plugging away. He's not doing too badly, but he's definitely not going to be ready to make the leap into other books when we finish this lesson book. I may pull out Phonics Pathways, which I used for awhile with Charis, and see if that helps him some more.

Charis and Tobin continue to enjoy their weekly PE class, which lately has included archery, volleyball, and tennis. They come home each week full of stories of all their friends, which include the teens in the group! I love that they get the chance to interact with all different ages of kids. I suspect that Charis has a little crush on one of the older boys, but she doesn't even know how to voice it. She just keeps saying that he is her friend and he is so nice. He's 15. :-) I know the mom, and the family is so neat. I'm generally impressed with home school kids anyway (why else would I be home schooling, ha!), and watching the older kids look out for the younger ones and be good role models for them really warms my heart.

Arden and I enjoy some special time while the older kids are at PE. We usually read and play some games together, and then I give him a TV treat while I get some extra work done around the house or on the computer. Kenna is usually napping during that time anyway.

And speaking of our youngest home school student, Kenna has been battling sickness for almost a month straight. She had finally gotten over whatever virus she had previously when she got hit last Thursday morning with a terrible fever that lasted for over 2 days. She mostly slept and thankfully did take quite a few liquids. Saturday afternoon she broke out in a horrible rash, and after much research, we concluded that it was roseola and we didn't need to take her to urgent care after all. The next two days she didn't want to sleep at all, but once we got past the Super Bowl party, she slept great that night and is back to her normal schedule, praise the Lord. The rash is all but gone, but she is obviously still recovering. Her voice is scratchy and pathetic-sounding, and she isn't quite herself. But at least there is no fever, and her appetite is slowly getting back up to speed.


Ski said...

Tabitha just came around the corner with only her shirt half on! Let me see if I can remember what I was going to say . . . Oh yeah, you might want to make sure that Kenna doesn't have strep. When Meghan had rosiola she had a low grade fever for a few days and then a rash, when she (at 19 months) had strep she ran a high fever and then broke into a full body rash. Also, 7-10 days after Meghan received her MMR shots she would run a fever and then break into a rash. Good luck and I am so sorry she has been so sick!

Megan said...

I've been meaning to e-mail you and ask what your favorite pre-K workbooks are. You mentioned on my blog that Charis did tons of workbooks as a preschooler. Well, Sela is flying through them (we just finished a 60-page logic/thinking skills workbook, which took us a whopping 3 days), and I already have all of the PreK-1st School Zone workbooks that Walmart sells. She is NOT into the workbooks that focus solely on learning the alphabet/sounds and writing the letters. I'm thinking about getting the Explode the Code phonics workbooks but don't know if I should start with the "Get Ready for the Code" series or go ahead with the regular K series.

Also, how did you choose Math-U-See over, say, Singapore Math (which seems to be really popular around here). I've contemplated getting more PreK and K math workbooks for her, too, but don't know which method/theory I want to use for early elementary...

And I hope Kenna gets well soon! John has been sick a lot this month, and it messes with the MS, which always scares me. :(

Bob & Claire said...

I enjoyed seeing what everyone is up too! I love the Grandma's Attic books too. I remember reading them as a little girl with my mom, and I've read the first few aloud to my boys too.

Grace just had roseola as well. That high fever is scary and not fun! She's healthy now too, and no one else got sick either. Whew!