Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Homeschoolers

My sweet Apple finished Math U See Beta yesterday!!! She is doing so well. Math still makes both of us want to pull our hair clean out but it really has NOTHING to do with her ability to do the work. She doesn't test well and she is careless with worksheets. I don't even know how to clearly describe it other than she gets bored and/ or loses focus.

In fact 2 weeks ago I turned their desks towards the wall. I had them both facing me with a closet in between them so they couldn't really see the other one's desk. Well that only worked to a degree because Speedy does most of his work at the table by my chair rather than at his desk. Apple would get so lost in what he was watching or learning or doing that she'd forget everything she was working on. So I turned them both a quarter turn so they face the side walls with their backs towards each other and the closet. It's working better because if nothing else, I can quickly tell when she's turning to see what he's doing. But I digress.....

She shows her mastery of her subjects very well however she usually needs to redo her papers. She'll get a few right and then she gets off track or just writes down whatever. I've started focusing on encouraging her to pay attention rather than just getting upset that she misses some. I don't know that there's any better solution. The curriculum is great and she enjoys it and we've altered it so that she's doing less repitition IF she show me she can do the work and do it well. She's so proud to have finished Beta! Because she is officially a second grader, I think it's really important to get her into Gamma. From everything I have found MUS is a bilevel curriculum so Primer is PreK/ K, Alpha is K/1, Beta is 1/2, etc. I want her to firmly be in third grade work by the fall so I'd like her to be finished with Gamma by then. Are my goals for her high? Yes. Do I think she can handle it? Yes. She does best when she is challenged so I always need to stay a step ahead.

I really, really wish we had done Math U See from the very start with her. I think her math would be even stronger. To begin weaning her off of counting on her fingers or with a number line or manipulatives, she started working on reviewing subtraction facts today. I bought her a great little Subtraction workbook at the Dollar Tree and I told her today that she needs to complete it before we move on. This should strengthen her math skills and handwriting numbers. Plus it has a spot on each sheet to note her time. Maybe this will increase her ability to focus until the end of the page if we make it a little competition for her with time. At the end I will decide if she needs additional addition facts work as well.

Speedy is doing fantastically with his Math U See Primer. It seems to skip around a little but I keep looking ahead and it makes total sense. Anyhow to be a noncolorer (my new word), he does very well coloring in the little blocks on his worksheets to match his manipulatives. The hardest part is convincing him that our robins egg blue color is close enough to the mint colored number 9 block. Sigh.... Steve Demming couldn't that block have been gray or black??

However Speedy is not zooming through HOP K. He has the ability but it just hasn't clicked yet. If you have children that are reading, you'll know what I'm talking about. There's a moment when they go from knowing letter sounds to understanding reading. He isn't there yet but he's sooooo close! I'm waiting with sweet anticipation for that moment! Until then we've done a couple of lessons in HOP but we've taken a step back now and we're doing 2 letter word flash cards. The first few lessons in HOP are at, an, am, -ag, and -ap words. We just keep going over those blends over and over.

All in all, we are doing really well for this school year. The kids are right on track. I think we will need some stronger social studies next year for both of them. This year Apple has done a textbook but it's very generalized social studies. I'd like her to start some early American history and then do some world history. Speedy has been doing an Abeka history called "My America." He really really likes it but we are already almost finished with it so he needs something else. I have the books "What My 1st (2nd & 3rd) Grader Needs to Know" so I will probably pull those out and go over some of the social studies lessons in them. I've done the first grade one with Apple in the past and she enjoyed it.

Speaking of Apple, she recently joined a community choir and she really likes it. I'm so happy that it's a very affordable class and she can get some real musical instruction (something I can't provide). We are also doing our Science co-op again this semester and it's going so well! This semester we are studying Water and Weather. Speedy drew a tornado in class today and Apple made a diorama of the current climate.

How is your school year going?

1 comment:

  1. Hi i’m Heather! I have a question for you! Please email me :)
    HeatherVonSJ[at]gmail[dot]com

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