Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A New Year!

Cursive writing for D. This shot came out weird, sorry that it looks vintage. D is reading before writing. If I put my mind to it I could probably trace back to why this happened, but what is the point really. So he is writing slowly and reading much more quickly. We are on to tackling those phonograms. 
D also uses a handwriting work book. This is a handy little thing when we are waiting somewhere for someone, which we do seemingly often. All the kids love workbooks actually.
D has gone from this...(golden beads)
 ...to this...the stamp game. I am pretty sure I have an explanation of this work buried in some super long post. Click down below in the tags cloud or search to find it.
D likes to use his colored pencils for this work, which isn't required. He just likes it. At this point we have done static and dynamic addition. After a touch more experience exchanging we'll move on to subtraction.

D also wanted a "math book." So I got him the Daily Math Word Problems book for grade 1. He needs help reading the problems, but can do the math independently.

Here S is reading Sister 8: Georgia's Greatness by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. This is one of the zillion series I can't keep up with that she loves.
T is reading one of the Hardy Boys Books.
S is working on learning all of her major scales on the flute. She was able to figure out the a-major scale on our tonebars here.
And here she wrote down, from memory actually, her other major scales that she's learned so far.
S is working on the large bead frame...finally This is a work that is coming along super, duper SLOWLY. But I have to say the skip counting really helps her with this work. Counting out groups of 7 nine times is a pain and usually results in counting errors. But skip counting to 63 and then creating 63 thousands on the bead-frame has proven much easier, and more accurate.
If you click in the tag cloud below or search the blog, I probably have a write up about the large bead frame...somewhere.
It has been a really really long time since we've done algebra, and squaring and cubing, but T didn't miss a beat, somehow. Here he is reviewing the binomial for the square of (a+b). We first reviewed how to derive the equation numerically with beads first.

T and I also did some fraction review and then introduced a few new topics. Here we worked on mixed numbers, improper fractions, finding least common denominators, multiplying by 1, and reducing to lowest terms. T did a lot of this "figuring out" on his own. And I was surprised by how much I remembered from math class in what grade was it??

I am not going to write a bunch about this here, since it was largely a numeric abstract introduction and I didn't follow the Montessori albums. T was already doing a lot of the fraction work in his head, so we moved in this direction toward abstraction quickly. For another child it is probably advisable to go for the concrete introduction first.

D decided to do a little exploration here with his older sister who has now mastered putting pig-tails in her own hair.
A couple of other notes before I sign off here:
Testing: we did the mid-year Terra-Novas for all three this year. Testing isn't a homeschool requirement in our state but I have my own reasons for testing the kids using nationally-normed tests. Verdict: T did very very well on his math section and solidly grade-level on the language section. I interpreted this, keep up with the math stuff, and to add a bunch more "quality" reading material to his reading routine. He tends to read comic-book style stuff and this doesn't have the grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, plot, etc. structure he needs to do the work in our classroom. T took the grade 3 test.

S did solidly above average in the math section, and very well in the language section. I tested her in grade level 2. I suspected this much. S is behind in her math sequence and lacks a lot of confidence. She has trouble seeing patterns, and making inferences. However, her reading ability is solidly a few grade levels past where she is age-wise, and she reads a lot. She actually just got reading glasses so these should help her out.
D was a data-buster. He is 4 and 9 months right now, but I had him take the kindergarten test. Even though there wasn't a bubble to fill out his birth date correctly, he passed in the 95th percentile. He didn't need to take this test, but he always wants to do the same thing as his older brother and sister. So I got him a test too. He was mad it wasn't longer test like T's and S's. 

And at this point I am not sure how often I am going to continue blogging. I like logging our work here in this space, but at this point I don't have time to go into deep reflections and explanations about the work we are doing. I suspect my future posts will similar to this one where I give a few pictures and a few links and say hi. It is nice to be back.


  1. It's still helpful and interesting seeing the way your kids progress. Even if you don't post long explanations of how you do it. It is really interesting how individual learning really is. I love how you talk about you kids differences and working on weaknesses. So do what you can, as long as you love it. :)

  2. Yay! Glad you are back! Everyone's looking great!

  3. It is so WIERD to see D doing that grown up work! I never seem to remember to age him in my head!

    1. I second this...it is weird for me too sometimes. Wasn't he 2 1/2 working with the botany cards and finger painting just yesterday? How did we get to dot-game and reading booklets so quickly? Also, the little guy is still really little. Like still wears 3T at almost 5yrs old. D sat in on a CCD class I was sub-teaching the other week and my husband was there too. My husband said that it looked like one of S's 2nd grade classmates was big enough to "eat" D up. I think the chubby cheeks, dimples and littleness tricks you into thinking he is much younger. Almost 5 though!

      BTW, thank you for the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading recommendation. The little "pre-written" passages you can copy and make into booklet form are a priceless resource. I am sick of making them, but D isn't sick of reading them.

    2. LOL, I"m glad he likes the OPG!

  4. congratulations on the test achievements. It is always nice to see your kids in action.
    I have to add that it is interesting to see the similarities between your son and mine. Both are almost 5 years old. Both had a cast on their arm. Both are the youngest in the house. Coincidentally, they both also still wear size 3T!