Turtle woke Chicklette up today at 6:40. (Thank you Daylight Savings Time.) They got through their religion, handwriting, math and Latin all before 8 AM. And I got in another HIIT workout this morning. Turtle and Chicklette are also learning the joy of doing their homework at the library. It's a quiet place with larger desks and they love to do their spelling work there especially.
Religion - Turtle did his copywork. Racer and Chicklette did their worksheets also.
Math - Ladybug and Sunshine are buzzing right along on their math. They practiced counting from 80 to 100, wrote equations from word problems, started counting by tens, and wrote their teen numbers. Turtle is doing mixed review pages for the past couple days. Chicklette is adding and subtracting numbers in the hundred thousands. Racer has a goal to pass off 7 skills in Khan Academy this week.
We made it to the library for storytime and I think we turned in about 30 books.
All About Reading - Ladybug and Sunshine worked on reading another short story. They are still mastering the sound of TH. Every once in a while, Ladybug will revert back to saying /t/-/h/ instead of /th/. It's rare and kind of random so it's always a surprise when it happens. Chicklette practiced reading words that end in ANCE and ENCE. She's doing pretty well, but there were definitely some longer words that she had to work at sounding out. She did a good job of segmenting by syllable and finding the base word. I had Chicklette do Turtle's All About Reading with him today and he did okay except for his bad attitude. Then, I forgot this afternoon that they had already done his assignment and started to do it again with him. Finally, I realized that they had already done it and I let him go.
Science - Racer, Chicklette, Turtle and I read another section of the Sassafras Twins book. We learned more about algae and non-flowering plants. It has been very interesting to read about pingos also. I always thing think they sound like a made up word, but pingo is a real thing.
Grammar - Racer is working on finding direct objects in sentences. Chicklette gets to do a thank you letter. She is writing to her Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa to tell them thank you for rescuing us when our big van broke down in Colorado and for giving us apples for more applesauce. Turtle is memorizing a poem about the year. He is also learning to put commas in a sequence and trying to think up adjectives. I have to keep reminding him to keep his adjectives to one word. He always wants to do these long phrases when I just want one word.
Piano - We did everyone's piano lesson today. I have one outside student and we are struggling through modulations, or as one of my brothers calls it, borrowed notes. I sincerely wish Bastien series had a teacher's book or an answer key.
So, all in all, another busy, busy day. Racer had a bit of a wake up call in one of his classes and he is learning that he actually needs to study in order to get a good grade. It's a hard lesson to learn, but better to learn it now rather than in seven years when he goes off to college.
Here's a cute picture to end your day!
It never fails to amaze me how noisy the kids can be in the morning. Almost all the kids, including the youngest, want to be in the same room in the morning, but somehow we get through all our work.
Religion - We read about the Sermon on the Mount today and discussed what Jesus taught. Then Turtle did a word search as well. Racer got pretty involved in "helping" Turtle and may have just done it for him. The kids did a good job of summarizing the teachings they talked about in the video, including patience, helping others, and forgiving others. I was impressed.
Math - Sunshine needed a lot of redirection back to his math. He has some perfectionist problems with writing, but we are working on that. Ladybug did great on her math today. Racer is getting the hang of the quadratic formula still. He thinks Khan Academy does a better job of explaining/demonstrating than CTC Math does on this concept. He also liked Danica McKellar's book Hot Algebra Exposed. Turtle is doing great with all his fact families. He finally understands the concept of using the same three numbers to make four different equations. Chicklette is doing Addition with Big Numbers. Seriously, that's what the book titles it as. It's addition with hundred thousands.
Handwriting - Ladybug and Sunshine are doing really well with their cursive practice. We have done lower case a, lower case e, and lower case i. Now we are working on lower case o. We did practice on the dry erase boards today. They are both doing really well with connecting their letters.
Science - Ladybug and Sunshine started learning about pulleys. We colored a picture and found a couple Youtube videos explaining them. Then we used some supplies from Elemental Science to make our own set of pulleys. I should have grabbed a picture of them, but I forgot. We put some small spools on hangers and threaded a basket through some twine. One problem we noticed pretty quickly was that the spools needed deeper grooves for the twine because it kept coming off. We are supposed to make our own pulleys on Friday so we will see what the kids end up with. Turtle, Chicklette, and Racer did work out of the encyclopedias today. We found out that reindeer, or caribou, have hollow hair to help trap heat since they live in the tundra. Also, there are no trees in the tundra. They summarized some of the information that they read. Racer and Chicklette wrote for themselves; I wrote for Turtle and he copied it with much lamentation.
All About Reading - We are still loving All About Reading. Today Sunshine and Ladybug read a story about a pug who stole a bun that was cooling on a window sill. We also started discussing the concept of character motivation, or why a character acts the way they do in a story. I love that there is a warm-up page before each story and a short time to go over concepts that the kids may not be familiar with before we start reading the story. Sunshine and Ladybug are focusing on the TH sound right now. It's great that they have each other too, because I don't think Ladybug would do very well reading through a whole story on her own right now. Turtle needed to finish up a set of fluency sheets for his reading today. The first page was all single words which take a long time and he didn't have much patience for, but the next two sheets were phrases and sentences which go much faster. Chicklette read a story about a pig who decided to cook for himself and we talked about sensory words and different narrative voices. It was a really cute, fun story.
History - We read about the Vikings today and discussed their contributions to the English language. Some of my husband's heritage is from Sweden so we enjoyed talking about that. We did the mapwork today from the Story of the World book and the kids were amazed at all the places the Vikings traveled.
Latin - Chicklette and Turtle watched the video for their lesson and then played Rummy Roots with Racer.
Spelling - Racer and Turtle both struggle with spelling. Racer doesn't struggle on his tests so if you were only looking at that, you would think he was fine. He just forgets to use correct spelling when he is writing anything else. Turtle sometimes forgets whole concepts. I'm so glad in homeschooling we can go back and review anything that needs to be reviewed and that All About Spelling doesn't take any knowledge for granted. They really go step by step and have lots of strategies to help understand spelling. It's not just about memorization, or even about word families. Racer learned about spelling words that end in cal. Chicklette did PH and the sound of /er/ as in early. Turtle reviewed the long sound of u and the sound of /z/ at the end of words that can be spelled with s or z.
Racer was ordained a deacon in our church yesterday. I loved seeing the support and love of my husband, brothers, brother-in-law, and father surrounding him during his ordination. We also had a great time having everyone over at our house yesterday. It is a blessing to be near family and to see our cousins every day.
General Conference is coming! General Conference is coming!
It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to stay home, have fun treats and snacks, and listen to the prophet. I am so grateful for technological progress.
Religion - After our prayer, pledge and scripture memorization we started our week of preparing for General Conference. Today we did conference countdown chains and used the ideas from this blog. I had a treat in one bag and nothing in the other. I think, in retrospect, it would have worked better to have something worthless, like paper or trash in the "empty" bag so that it wasn't quite so obvious which bag was the better deal. I also scolded the kids for standing up and trying to grab the bags out of my hand so we didn't get off to the best start. After they saw the treat, they perked up a bit. We had a good discussion about how the general authorities of the church prepare for conference and how we can prepare to be good listeners. Racer and Chicklette also did a couple pages of their other religion work today.
Math - Everyone did their math today. Sunshine on Funnix, Racer on CTC Math, and Turtle and Chicklette on Math Mammoth. Chicklette made some silly errors on her math and she's not going to be happy about that.
Handwriting - Sunshine and Ladybug practiced their cursive lower case a's in their rice trays and on the Magnadoodle board. We still need to work on getting them going the right way. Ladybug definitely has a better handle on it.
Science - For Sunshine, Ladybug, and their hangers-on, we played with prisms. I guess I only have one prism; I thought I had more. Anyways, they all liked playing Spot the Rainbow and then we went inside to draw our own rainbows. We had to have a little talk about comparison since Sunshine kept saying that his rainbow was prettier than Ladybug's. Privately, I think Ladybug's was better, but I just said we didn't need to compare and we could all like our own rainbows or everyone's rainbows. For the older kids, we did some copywork and dictation related to our lesson about moss and then they made a picture of a peat bog. It's an abstract art concept. That's all I'm saying.
History - We talked about Muhammad's Hegira today. The kids kept picking out similarities between the beginning of the Muslim religion and the LDS religion. They both started with six members and they both experienced persecution at the outset of their proselytization. Both religions are committed to honesty and caring for the poor.
All About Reading - The kids all like the activities in All About Reading. I thought some of them might be a little juvenile, but even my nine-year-old who is in Level 4 still likes to read the words on the gophers and then slide them through the hole. The highlight of Ladybug's day was after finishing her fluency sheet, she exclaimed, "I didn't cry at all!" She struggles a little with putting the sounds together, but we got through the rest of the phrases and sentences on the sheet and she did great.
Math - Sunshine, Turtle, and the twins and I read a book called If You Were an Even Number. They really liked it and Bubbers #2 picked it up later to read through it again. I could hear him counting to himself. Racer and Chicklette played a game with toothpicks. You start out with ten toothpicks and each person can remove either one or two. The person who takes the last one is the winner, at least in our game. Racer, of course, already knew the strategy, but he loves playing games anyway.
Spelling - Racer and Chicklette both got an A+ on their tests today. Turtle did better when I reminded him to break the word into syllables and sound it out. He had a few sounds wrong so there were still some words that got written wrong. Turtle and I were working on his All About Reading and he came on the word "item". He stopped and said, "But why doesn't it have a d there?" I had to tell him that he had been saying the word wrong the whole time.
Latin - Chicklette and Turtle both needed to do flashcards for their Prima Latina. I was so surprised when Turtle had them done in 10 minutes. I congratulated him for buckling down and just getting it done.
Handwriting - I decided to pull out the sensory boxes for Ladybug and Sunshine. I put in cornmeal and we had our first lesson on how to write a lower case cursive a. They had a really good time doing it. I did discover that the cornmeal leaked out of the boxes even with the lids so I'm going to try rice next.
Science - We read the most interesting book about bodies that had been found in bogs. It was titled, appropriately, Bodies from the Bog. It was quite interesting to see the different bodies or body parts that had been discovered in different bogs. It was also interesting to point out the kids how much guessing and theorizing the scientists had to do in order to decide why these people had been found in bogs. Sometimes they were even wrong on the gender of the person in the peat. Racer got on the computer later and we looked up the most recent bog body discovery as well as the youngest bog body ever discovered.
History - We began reading about Muhammad and the beginning of Islam. The kids wanted to see how it aligned with our beliefs. This next week will be all about Islam so I'm sure we will have lots to discuss.
I'm really glad that our schedule is working out as well as it is. I stressed and stressed about getting everything done during the summer when I was deciding on subjects and curriculum. The only major change that I am going to make, starting today, is to move history and science from 3-4 PM to right after lunch. Racer is always done with the rest of his stuff and he has to wait around for Chicklette and Turtle to get more of their stuff done and be ready to join him for those two subjects.
Religion - Turtle just had some copywork to do for religion.
Math - Racer finally actually did about an hour's worth of math and got several lessons passed off. That's what I want to see! Chicklette did some distance work and Turtle did some calendar work and dates. The only issue they really had was that I had to explain to Chicklette that you can't subtract three numbers at a time. You can only subtract one from the other and then you take that answer and subtract the next number. But, when you are adding to check, you don't add in the intermediate number also.
Co-op - We love our co-op so much. Racer learned more about mythology and Egyptian mythology specifically. Chicklette learned about credit cards and interest. We talked more about interest in the car and how bad it can be. Turtle learned about one of the Shakespeare comedies. They watch a video summary from the BBC and then act out parts of it.
Language Arts - Racer was not enthusiastic about doing a test for grammar. He kept verifying the answers with my until I reminded him that it was a test and it was to measure what he knew. I was also trying to do All About Reading with Chicklette at the same time.
Science - We read about peat bogs, how they are formed, and some of their uses. The story we are reading from the Sassafras Twins series left us at a cliffhanger. The kids wanted to keep reading, but I stood strong. We will pick it up in a few days. The kids were pretty impressed at how slowly peat is formed.
I I hope you are all excited to hear from me again. We are getting a handle on our school for the year and I feel like I have some time and mental energy that will allow me to talk about our week/day. Racer got to go participate in an active shooter drill as a victim today. We'll have to see how it goes and hopefully this fulfills the requirement of participating in an emergency preparedness drill for his Emergency Preparedness merit badge.
Religion - As you know we are doing the New Testament this year. It's one of my favorite scripture books to work through. Racer and Chicklette are working at the higher level this year. I wanted to be able to do more discussion with them, but it's not working out that way since I need to manage the younger kids and do writing for them. Racer gets done way before I am and Chicklette takes a very long time to finish her pages. I'm hoping I'm not overloading her with them, but I think she just gets distracted very easily. This week the younger kids and I talked about Jesus' birth, the presentation of Jesus at the temple, and the Wise Men.
Math - Turtle is working on reading a clock and also using the expressions past, till and o'clock. Chicklette finally finished last year's math book and started on the addition review for this new book. She was heartbroken yesterday because she left her binder on the couch where the babies, well, toddlers, were and they took out and mixed up all her math pages. It's taken her a couple hours to put them back in order, but I don't know that she's learned her lesson because her binder and scriptures are currently sitting out even though she is done with them and Kitten is currently awake. (Kitten is much, much less interested in sleep than Chubbers is. He'll probably sleep another hour at least.) I'm on the fence about Racer's math. He was only taking a few minutes to log in and view some videos, but not really get anything done. I finally told him he had to work for an hour or through at least one whole lesson. He's still only taking 20 minutes, but he swears he's doing a whole lesson. I'm going to keep watching him because I'm not sure he's doing as much or as well as he could. Today for our Family Math/Everyday Math section, Racer and I worked through another doubling problem and the younger kids and I read a book about patterns. Then we pulled out our pattern blocks and I left them to do some pattern cards because Kitten and Chubbers were crying and crying upstairs.
All About Reading - I really am loving this program for all the ages I'm using it for. I feel like it is very thorough and each step builds on the next. I love just doing 20 minutes or so which keeps it nice and short. The kids love the new activities and word flippers. The illustrations in the readers are very sweet also. I need to work on a better way of storing the activities that we cut out so that I can reuse them for the following years.
Grammar - I was confused about how I was going to use Following the Plan for Racer this year. I finally decided to make it as independent as possible for him. He reads the lessons himself and comes to me if he doesn't understand something. He has to do the worksheets, which really are supplementary, but he does not have to do the oral drills. I do cut down on some of the written exercises also if there are truly a lot. I think it is pretty easy for him and maybe I could have done with the next level up, but I knew he hadn't done much, if any, grammar at school and figured this would be a good, gentle way to ease him back into it. He seems to like it or, at least, he doesn't object to it. He worked on compound sentences and comma splices this week. Chicklette and I began diagramming two word sentences today and she almost has "Afternoon on a Hill" memorized. Turtle is working on copying a poem and illustrating it for the next several grammar lessons.
Spelling - Spelling is going fine for Racer and Chicklette. Turtle struggles with writing, and reading to some extent. He really has to work on making sure he has all the letters in his words. At least at home I can go at his pace and not have to keep up with some standard or other kids in his class.
History - We've been reading about Constantinople, Justinian, and Theodora this week. I had to introduce them to the song "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" They all loved it, but I think Racer loved it the most. I have had to skip the last two days because my throat won't allow me to read out loud for very long. I showed the kids pictures of the Hagia Sophia on Wednesday. That is one place I would love to visit some day. They also watched a documentary about Saint Nicholas last night. Turtle asked me if I thought Saint Nicholas was related to Santa Claus. I told him that I thought they probably were.
Science - We started reading about roses a few days ago and the suggested activity for yesterday was to dissect a rose. I found this great, clear diagram from Texas A & M. We also picked flowers from all over our yard to find their different parts. Hibiscus flowers are very easy to see all the parts. We also looked at how squash blossoms can be either male or female. Ladybug and Sunshine explored density last week. We did a really fun experiment where we layered oil, water and molasses in a glass cup. Then we looked at what floated in which level. Pennies go straight to the bottom of everything, grapes float in the water but not the oil, and the cork floats on top of everything. Wednesday, we started on our crystals week. We examined salt and sugar crystals, colored our page, and made some Borax crystals. Unfortunately, the crystal is too large for the mouth of our jar so we are going to have to break it in order to get it out.
Latin - Racer seems to be doing okay in his BYU online Latin class. Chicklette is breezing through her Prima Latina. Turtle is fighting against writing any words and complains that Prima Latina is too hard for him. I told him it was right at his level and he needs to keep working on it.
I wish I had remembered to grab a shot of our squishy bags for practicing handwriting. They looked like this.