Thursday, January 23, 2014

Week 20.

I cannot believe we are 20 weeks into this year.  This week has been a bucket of mixed emotions.  I have had my highs, lows and moments of wanting to scream -- but, I've also had many moments of feeling truly blessed, loved and happy.  Things are good....great...amazing.  We are blessed.

Where to start?  It is freezing here in Ohio.  This week my heartbroken kids looked to me and begged to move back to Texas.  "It's so cold" "We can't even go to the park" "I'm freezing" and the best "I'm worried about Dad getting bitten by the cold".  The weather stinks and sad kids just adds to the mix but again - I have to remember we are so incredibly blessed. I replied with, "Oh it does stink its so cold but just think we can go to the park in July!"  I have to laugh just a wee bit tonight as the public school just announced a delay for Friday!  They have not had school once this week and if they keep canceling it perhaps they'll be in school until July!

Even though the public school kids had no school -- we still were in session!  I'm working through a few things but here's basically what we did this week:

All the kids participated in Classical Conversations.  They learned about World War I leaders, Baltic Europe, Adverbs, 1st Conjugation Endings Present Tense (Latin), Linear Equivalents and for science acids and bases!  I am always amazed at how much the girls love CC and how well they retain the information.  I'm not sure I've heard of these World War I leaders until this week!  And, my 5 year old telling me World War I started in 1914 and ended in 1918 - amazing.  

The littlest folks have been working on coloring, ABCs, numbers, cooking and keeping up with all of Gator's subjects (since they participate in several things).  Achoo has worked hard on his writing of letters (especially his name) and cutting & pasting.  Check out his amazing snowman....oh, and yes we were singing "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"

I tested Gator (7) with another math test from Horizon Math (test 12 of 16 for the year).  She scored 97% correct.  I've decided however Horizon Math is no longer a great fit for us and will not be continuing with the remainder of the book.  Hey - public school teachers don't use every page of every book!  I am so excited to tell you about Miquon Math and Cuisenaire Rods.  We were able to get several Miquon Math books from a local friend.  I was not sure if they would be a great fit but they were an immediate hit.  Gator absolutely loves them.  The younger ones are loving Education Unboxed (also with cuisenaire rods).  In the THREE days we have done Miquon Math, Gator has asked to do more math several times each day and has completed forty-two pages.  I'm not kidding but I am counting the front and back as separate pages!  I also am patiently waiting for Math-U-See to arrive!  I was able to find Primer & Alpha for the younger kiddos and Gamma for Gator! I am so excited about this change!! And, MUS offers free shipping when you call them and a money-back guarantee!

Real Life Skills.  Learning to put on socks.

I am still using Sonlight Core B.  This includes our Bible (Leading Little Ones to God), History (Usborne Book of World History and Greek News), Read-Alouds (Mountain Born), Language Arts & Science.  I added in First Language Lessons, Critical Thinking and Art.  My good friend, Tina, sent me Shurley English so I will be working to transition this material in as well!

Language Arts (week 20) kept us busy!  We skipped all the readers this week (sorry, but I'm being honest).  We did our spelling lesson where we divided syllables, pre-test, sentences and finally a test.  I love how Sonlight has Explode the Code lessons lining up with similar words.   Next week, we will have a review lesson before moving on to the next Explode the Code book.  We are currently reading Mountain Born and Ivy & Bean (book 2).

We did great with conjunctions and attributions, but struggled with writing a comparison/contrast paragraph. So, I quit and moved on. The greatest thing about homeschooling is seeing where your student is struggling and knowing whether to push them or move on and go back to it some other day.  Right now is not the time for Gator to worry about this!  I pushed it aside with a little sticky tab -- I'll come back to it later.

This week's science came from the First Encyclopedia of the Human Body -- skin and bones!  We have no finished our experiments this week so no photos but tomorrow we will be doing some additional Magic School Bus science (it fits perfectly with the Human Body) and watching the Magic School Bus DVDs.  At CC the kids also did Science experiments.  We recreated one of the experiments discussed by the opening family presentation (cornstarch and water).  It makes some amazing goo -- it kept Achoo busy for quite a bit.  He mostly stirred it with the spoon as he did not want to actually touch it.  It's lots of fun to touch and play with so if you get a chance -- definitely check it out!

I mentioned earlier this week has been difficult with highs and lows.  It all comes down to testing we had done and mixed results from different doctors.  She scored low on some Visual Perception and it was recommended to seek opinion of an eye doctor.  Trying to be the best advocate for my child I took her to an eye doctor and I *almost* bought my child $400 glasses.  They are cute...yes....but I called and cancelled the order.  I called back to find out the prescription only to find out *gasp* they are no prescription.  They were just strictly therapy glasses. I feel lied to since 4 of the 5 people I asked told me she NEEDED the glasses for reading.  We sought a second opinion to find out she doesn't need glasses.

Have you heard of Critical Thinking?  Well, to help with some of her eye issues (her vision is fine) I purchased these two books: Half 'n Half Animals: Think, Draw & Color Science and Can You Find Me? Building Thinking Skills.

I'm working on how she "perceives" things and slowly will be working on her tracking. I'll be re-testing her Visual Perception in 6 months.  If you have any suggestions - please let me know!  We have decided AGAINST formal Vision Therapy at the current time.  Our second opinion doctor (neutral opinion on VT) did not feel like Gator was a good candidate for VT and recommended working on different things at home.

Lastly...I can't help but add this photo! I most definitely love Starbucks coffee....

Well...what a week.   Looks like more cold weather, more snow and more craziness in our schedule.  What's up for your week?
*This will be linked with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers*

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