I just finished the book The Brainy Bunch . It's about a family that sends their kids to college starting at age 12. It gave me a lot to think about. Could Racer be ready to take a few classes at a real college? It got him thinking too about the SAT and ACT so we found some places to do practice tests. It will be interesting to see what his scores are even if we don't plan to start him in college classes yet.
Anyways, even with all the fighting that happened today, we still got everything done. Except for Miss Chicklette of course.
Religion - We have two different programs running at our house right now. The older kids are doing an advanced version of the New Testament and the youngers are doing the simplified version. From Turtle on down we talked about Jesus is risen. They got to color a picture and Turtle did some copywork. Sunshine colored the face and hands of Jesus blue. I asked him why he did that and he said he couldn't find the right color and he started to get upset about it. So he got to get a new, clean copy and do a better job. I love being able to start off the day with the scriptures.
Math - Racer is loving Khan Academy and I wonder how thorough it is and if he is actually learning. Maybe he has just learned the algorithm of the site and is not actually understanding? We got a copy of the Art of Problem Solving Intro to Algebra book yesterday and he is going to start working through that. It's well reviewed and it seems like it would appeal to his method of figuring stuff out so hopefully it will. Chicklette is doing lots of measuring in this unit and Turtle is subtracting tens and hundreds mentally. Ladybug and Sunshine are nearly done with Funnix Math. They are working on writing and figuring out fractions, counting money, and adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers. Despite the clicker training feel of it sometimes, Funnix Math is a well written program.
We hit up the library today and exchanged our 20 or so books for about 20 more. Racer got four video game books, maybe to prove to me that video games are not all bad? He kept handing them to me and saying, "You should read this book, Mom." The Nature in the City people came and did a little presentation and took the kids into the Eco-garden by the library.
All About Reading - Thank goodness for the flexibility of homeschooling. This last lesson in All About Reading 1 has been a little difficult for Sunshine and Ladybug. It's about the consonant team NK and we just did a lesson about the consonant team NG. We have been taking this lesson extra slow and making sure that they really know those phonograms because they seemed to not quite get it. This is our third day on this lesson and I think they almost have it cemented. We will do a little more review, but I think we can move on to the story in the next lesson without frustrating them. In some GREAT news, Chicklette passed off all the levels of All About Reading. I'm so happy for her and it's one less thing that I need to sit down with her and focus one-on-one. This frees up my time a little more for some of the other kids. Turtle is only a couple weeks away from passing off All About Reading 2 as well and Racer is only a couple weeks away from passing off All About Spelling 6. I'm so glad to see improvement in Racer's spelling. Turtle's reading is doing better as well. We can now finish a whole lesson in one sitting with him almost all the time. Occasionally we still have to do a lesson over two days, but usually he has enough stamina for one day.
Grammar - This is one subject that the book The Brainy Bunch has me kind of reconsidering. I like the thoroughness of First Language Lessons and Rod and Staff, but it is sooooo thorough. 50 lessons on what is a noun for the first part of FLL. (And I feel so disloyal just saying that.) It's just kind of a lot and I do think that kids pick up proper grammar through good books. However, I see value in diagramming sentences and knowing how to put your thoughts into proper order. So, maybe I will skip lessons that seem repetitive and move more quickly through the sequence? It's the same way I felt about Writing with Ease. They do seem like good programs, but they take up time and it might be a duplication of other things I'm doing. I don't know, something to think about. This is one of the things that Chicklette did not get done today. She did, however, read a whole Magic Treehouse book today.
Science - Today we read some library books about snow and wrote down the definition for snowflake. We also recorded the weather. This is still one of the kids' favorite subjects. We also experimented with painting with Epsom salt paints. To make them, you dissolve Epsom salts into an equal amount of hot water and color the solution with food coloring. When your watercolor dries, you see the salt crystals glistening on your paper. It kind of looks like you painted with a glitter paint. Everyone enjoyed it.
Piano - We made it through everyone's piano lessons. They need to look at their notebook so they know what songs they need to practice. Sometimes, Racer thinks he remembers what he is supposed to practice and then he ends up practicing the wrong thing. This is also the subject that Chicklette seems to forget the most often.
All in all, today was a success. Tomorrow, I will not get so upset with the younger kids yelling and roughhousing and then crying because they got hurt. But tomorrow, they will also get to play on the tablets again during our math time.