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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week 2 Tweaking a bit.

Well now that we are in week 2 I have a better idea of how things are going.

Listening Skills-This is something I decided to incorporate this year. I guess I just assumed since I read aloud so much that the kids had good listening skills. When I had Peyton tested last year-it was the only thing he scored grade level on. (Everything was above.) So I really thought we could use some work in that area. These are the two resources I am using. I really like both of them, and the kids are always asking to do them. We usually do the Mini Mysteries on Monday and the Developing Listening Skills on Wednesday or Thursday. (This way we do this 2 x a week.)

The Mini Mysteries are short stories about Dr. Watson and his dog. They go on adventures to find clues to problems. Then a questionaire follows the story-to see how well the kids listened, and also to understand inferences, and deduct other things from the story.

Today was our first day using "Developing Listening Skills'. While many of these activities seem to be classroom centered, I just tweaked the lesson for 2 kids. Today they were given a sheet of paper, Peyton's had "Tools" written on it. Lexi's had "Toys" written on it. I told them I would recite a list ot items. They were to remember those items that would go on their list. But they could not write it until I said. So I called out a list of about 15 things. (This was already a prepared list.) Then I had them write those things down from memory. Lexi got 4/5 right. (She just ommited 1 item.) Peyton got 3 out of 4. He actually added in something that was not on the list. (But the other three items were correct.)  So I really felt this was a good exercise to do.

Science (Apologia Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology ) is going well. But it is taking 2 weeks per unit instead of the one. Mainly because it just takes 2 long for us to cover a whole chapter. We read a portion of the text each day, but only notebook and do experiments 2 days a week. At this rate it will take us a full 4 days of notebooking to complete a lesson.

History-We are reading through a book called "A Family Apart". It is about children who were on an orphan train. We really like the book, it keeps the kids engaged. We are continuing our state and presidents notebooks, and doing our mapping activities. We are also learning about Agriculture and Agronomy.

Bible-I am happy to say we have almost fnished our Dangerous Devotions (The Old Testament) and will begin Dangerous Devotions (The New Testament) next week. We also write a daily scripture and journal it.

These other things the kids work on independently at their own levels.

Math-Lexi is doing Key to Fractions Book 1
Peyton is doing Key To Decmials Book 2.

Peyton is using Spelling Skills Practice and Apply-I really like this for him. It has really given him a challenge over last years choice. Vocabulary is interwoven in this. So he learns many new words, and is learning to spell harder words. (It comes pretty easy to him.) I do tweak some activities. On Monday, we go over the words and he gives me a sentence with the word. (If he doesn't know the meaning we mark it.) Then he looks those words up, gets the definition, makes a sentence, finds the antonymn and homonym of the word.  We usually do a pretest on Tuesday so he can focus on the words he doesn't know how to spell. (Which usually is only about 2-3 words.)  He does a couple other word building exercises. Then on Thursday we do the final test. (Usually orally.)

Lexi has been using "Building Spelling Skills Grade 5. She has been struggling a little with it. But she is actually doing better in it than I thought she would.  I think some of the presentation of the words is confusing. So I am going to stop and go back to Phonics Pathways for a while to make sure she gets the basics down. We will see how that goes. (I hate that I am once again stopping curriculum.) This is the 2nd time I have stopped a spelling program with her-and it is frustrating.

Lexi is also doing "Doodle Defnitions". She likes to draw and is really getting the words down too. She does one word a day. Peyton's vocabulary is already included in his Spelling program.
They also get new words in Science and History that we go over orally.

Peyton is using CLP Applications of Grammar. I like this book, It has short lessons. It teaches a concept, provides a few examples and then lets the student have a chance. Last week Peyton did realy well it in. (But it was things he had learned before.) This week they introduced some things that are new to him.  One lesson was on Predicate nominitive and  another on Predicate adjective.) I must admit, I don't recall any of that. So I am going to go searching for some extra worksheets and stuff to help him understand this better. He has also struggled with helping and linking verbs.

Lexi is using Spectrum Grade 5 LA. She is doing pretty well in it. It focuses on one short lesson a day. She has been working on capitilization, abbreviations, quotations, and periods this week.

Chinese-Our lessons are going well. We have been using some flash cards, as well as a CD with some children's songs. (And our instructor usually has a prepared worksheet for us.)

Piano-Lexi began private lessons this week. I love that they begin her with the right and left hand right away. So she learns the treble clef at the same time as the bass clef.

Art- Here is what we did in art today. Doing another portion of the Cartoon Lesson 1. Using Mike's Inspiration DVD's.
  Peyton's Cartoon Eyes
 Lexi's Cartoon Mouths
Peyton's Funny Faces