Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weekly Update: Weeks 41/42

I was waiting until I had time to add pics, but that never happened.  So...here's our last two weeks a little late.

Ahhh, another box of curriculum is on my way!!

We've had a great couple of weeks as usual.  I'm getting ancy to start our full schedule, but I'm glad we're waiting until June to start the rest.  Here's what we're doing in the meantime:

   Read-alouds:  We love this core's read-alouds!!  We just finished the My Father's Dragon trilogy.  Both older  boys ate them up.  I'm sad that we finished them so quickly and that the author only wrote 3.  We will read them again and I've already ordered the audiobooks from the library.  We are starting The Hundred Dresses next week, but we'll continue to read Boxcar Children sequels at bedtime. 

My Father's DragonElmer and the Dragon (My Father's Dragon)The Dragons of Blueland (My Father's Dragon)
  History:  History hasn't really come alive for us yet.  The Usborne encyclopedia isn't really enough for D-Man.  He really needs more than a 2-page spread on each subject.  We do like Living Long Ago, but we're missing a good narrative on the subject.  I keep reminding myself that my only goal is exposure. 
 Bible:  We just started reading about Moses this week.  The Egermeier's Bible Storybook is a great read and I highly recommend it!  Because D-Man has been exposed to many of these stories in picture Bibles, he notices the details.  It's also fun to keep track of the people we're reading about on the timeline.  D-Man likes to flip through his Book of Time to see who all we've put in it and when they lived.  He doesn't fully grasp the logic of BC and AD yet, but we're working on it.  I think it's just too abstract of a concept for him at this point.

Math:  We are whizzing right along in math.  I was worried about D-Man starting addition with renaming (some of you will know it as carrying), but my concerns were unfounded.  He breezed through the concept and had no trouble.  I introduced it using Cuisenaire Rods and that helped him visualize the first few problems.  Once he saw how it worked, he was off.  For our supplemental math this week, I worked with D-Man on subtraction in Miquon.  He has gotten it into his head that he hates doing subtraction.  I used Miquon and the rods to bring some fun back into that concept.  I also told him that if he works on his subtraction facts, the problems will be easier for him.  While math concepts are a breeze for him, he isn't great at memorizing.  He understands subtraction and can figure out the answer to subtraction problems, but it takes him a long time.  I know that he'll need a lot of practice to get all of those facts to stick into his brain.  He's been working with Flashmaster this week which is fun for him.  We're supposed to start subtraction with renaming (borrowing) next week, but I may delay it if he starts to get frustrated.  We'll just work on subtraction facts and do some Miquon.  The funny thing is that he was faster on his fact recall a few months ago, but I guess we haven't been practicing enough.

LA:  We finished learning all of the cursive letters last week.  Now it's just a matter of D-Man getting used to writing in cursive.  This week, I'm just having him copy words to practice the formation and get used to the different way of writing.  He's begging to start spelling again so we'll start that soon.  I think I'll do another review next week and then start our first week of spelling words the following week.  I'm waiting for my box to come so that I can start my own Learning Log in cursive.  D-Man's going to love it.  Writing with Ease (WWE) is also coming in that box so I'll be able to finish my schedule correlating WWE with Sonlight and Noeo, our science program.  D-Man's still working his way through The Beginner's Bible.  He is so happy to have read 150 pages in one book.   He does struggle with some of the Bible names which is kinda cute.

Geography:  We haven't done much of this the last couple of weeks.  I just got some Galloping the Globe sheets copied so I need to add it in next week.  I have three books to use with Galloping the Globe in my shipment:  Geography Through Art, Eat Your Way Around the World, and an atlas.  We may focus back on Egypt when all of that comes since it'll be fun to add some art and cooking to the mix.

Library:  We are back to our weekly library trips.  D-Man is enjoying picking out books that he can read by himself.  C-Monster checks out whatever Dr. Suess book looks interesting even if we already have it at home.  Now that D-Man is a certifiable Star Wars nut, he checked out a bunch of Star Wars visual dictionaries.  He can't read them by himself yet, but Dad's happy to help him out.


homeschooling6 said...

My dc loved our Sonlight years. Even now five years later they still enjoy the read alouds.

Veronica Boulden said...

So, your blog is an answer to my prayers... another mom... who blogs!!! of a kid basically on my kid's age/ level... using some of the same stuff... some different stuff that I've never heard of, but that looks really good... I just don't have time to read it all tonight!!! But I'll be back. Thanks for blogging about this stuff. It helps other moms like me. :)

Dinsfamily said...

Thanks, Veronica. It is nice to find people that are in a similar place. I'm going to check out your blog tonight!

Emily said...

I'm enjoying your blog. I have a 5.5, 3.5, and 1.9, so there is some overlap.

How do you do SWR with Sonlight?


Dinsfamily said...


Thanks! Our busy summer schedule has thrown me for a loop, but I'm trying to get some posts written. I'll start with one about using SWR with Sonlight since it would be too long to respond here. Are you using (or planning on) both?

Ashley Claunch said...

Hi, thank you so much for your blog, it is very helpful! I am also using SWR with my 4 year old and trying to use cursive first with large motor skill practice. I was thinking about moving to print because he is having a hard time knowing which direction to go and remembering the print and cursive together. ( he only knows 6 phonograms really well in cursive) I wanted to ask you, now that you've had one child learn print first then cursive, do you think you'll do the same for the others...Were you happy with doing it in that order? I know I need to make a decision and stick with it, so I don't confuse the poor kid:) Any advice would be much appreciated! Blessings!

Dinsfamily said...


I am planning on starting my other two with cursive first. I taught D-Man manuscript because he had a lot of bad habits he picked up in pre-K and I wanted to fix those. Now, I think it was a waste of time for him because cursive would have fixed his bad habits too. He absolutely loves cursive and it is easier for him to write physically in cursive than in manuscript.

I will say that I don't do any pencil writing until we start Kinder. My 4yo only works with the salt box and chalk. I will teach him how to form his manuscript letter in the salt box as he learns them in preschool this year (they do a letter/week) to head off those bad habits, but no other printing practice until we start cursive in Kinder. That might be different if I had a child who loved to write at 4, but I haven't had one of those yet. He does, however, know more than half of the 70 phonograms by sight and that will help us out when we officially start because we'll be able to focus more on learning how to write and less on memorizing phonograms.