Monday, January 27, 2014

Language Lessons Through Literature

Lydia finished Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten.  I decided a while back that once she learned how to write her letters, we would start copywork.  I've had Language Lessons Through Literature on my radar for a few months and bought it back in December.   It is a fairly gentle, Charlotte Mason/Classical hybrid grammar program.  It uses children's classics, poems, art, and copywork to teach grammar and writing.  I decided to give it a try, thinking I'd like it well enough.

I bought the book and the PDF workbook.  The workbook isn't required because the book has all the assignments and copywork sentences in it, but the PDF has all the copywork in several different handwriting fonts, including HWT, which was huge for me.  Rather than copy each onto paper individually, I can now just print them right off!

Today we did our first day, so this is by no means an exhaustive review, but we had a good first experience and I wanted to share.  The first book is Peter Rabbit.  Lydia, Ellie, and I sat down together and read the book.  The girls really enjoyed the story and when it was time to do copywork, Lydia was very interested in the sentence that was from her story.  We talked about sentences starting with a capitol letter and ending with punctuation (she already knows about period, question marks, and exclamation marks).  At the end I had her draw a picture from Peter Rabbit and she loved doing it. She loved it so much she kept on drawing the rest of the day.  Eleanor saw her having fun with it and decided she just had to join in and do her own "copywork" (scribbles with crayons).  Lydia also pretended Peter Rabbit later. I played Mr. McGregor.

Peter (complete with shoes), Mr. McGregor, and the garden gate.

"Mr. McGregor said, 'Who ate a bite out of my tomato!? I'm going to eat you up!"
I'm excited to see where this goes in the future.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekly Report: Days 56-69

School is back on full-swing.  We are behind schedule a bit so we've been careful to do at least 5 days of school a week for the last few weeks.  Everything is going well and it has been handy because Lydia's therapist has taken over some of the schooling duties for me, but I'm still completely in the game.

Lydia is through lesson 138 in OPGTR.  She has started silent letters and is rocking them.  I'm pretty proud of her.  She also reached her January Book-It goal of reading 8 books.  Next month I think we are going to go with 10.  Book-It has really motivated her to read.  She is very excited to "reach her goal" every month.  She's been really enjoying Syd Hoff books lately and I actually caught her reading one to herself a little bit before we read it together!

Playing with their "romper-stompers."  They are "so tall!"

We're still working on counting-on and counting-back, but Lydia's biggest achievement is that she can now read an analog clock.  Her therapist has been working on it with her and she went from not being able to read one at all to now she can read to 5 minutes every time and to the minute sometimes.  She's been doing so well that we bought her a new clock for her room.  She loves it.

Eleanor insisted that she should be called "Super Ballerina Eleanor"

Memorization/ Spelling/ Handwriting:
Spelling and handwriting are still coming along, although fairly slowly.  Lydia did finish learning her lowercase letters, so I guess I need to start doing copywork!  Man, I guess I should come up with a plan for that, huh? Lydia also finished memorizing "The Swing" and has decided to start "The Fisherman" which will be her longest poem yet.

My little engineer practicing her handwriting. (I promise she has better pencil grip than that).

We usually read a page from the scriptures every night when Daddy is home before bedtime.  But when Daddy isn't home, I've been reading the girls a section from the Illustrated Book of Mormon.  The girls enjoyed it well enough, but we finished and it was a little above their level anyways.  When we were at my parent's house for Christmas I was able to convince them to let me take home their complete set of Illustrated Stories from the Book of Mormon which have been out of print for a long time.  Although they are a little dated (from the 60s), the girls are loving them and we already finished Vol. 1.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Weekly Report: Days 51-55

With Lydia's new therapy getting started and Christmas, complete with Tyler's interviews and a trip to Grandma's house, we had a busy December.  We really didn't do much school, but we are back to the grind now and did a full week this week!  But first, here are some pictures from Christmas. Thanks to my sister for taking most of these.
Christmas morning in their Christmas pj's, wings, and crowns.

Great Grandma reading Lydia and Adelaide (and Brodi) a story.

Lydia playing with cousin Sam's tee-ball set

Eleanor got lots of dress-up stuff for Christmas

Grandpa reading all the girls and Aunt Hannah a story

Eleanor got a manicure

Lydia got through lesson 126 in OPGTR.  I forgot to mention that she read her 5 books in December for her Book-it goal as well.  5 was a little easy, but I knew it was going to be a short month school-wise, so I didn't up it.  This month she has a goal of 8 books and has already completed two, so I think she'll make it again.  We've started just picking out books from the beginning reader section at the library for her to complete it and that is going well.  For December she read Happy Birthday, Thomas!, Summertime in the Big Woods, Thomas and the School Trip, Mother Bear's Robin (Little Bear), and Wintertime in the Big Woods.

I've been mostly staying away from curricula for a few weeks and don't plan on going back much for a little bit.  Right now I'm working on Education Unboxed video suggestions but mostly I'm focusing on getting her to be able to count-on and count-back, with a goal of being able to count-on a specific number of times. Once she gets this concept, I think I'll be ready to start letting her memorize math facts and maybe get back to the curricula.

Lydia is only a few letters away from finishing learning how to write lowercase letters.  Once she does that, we'll be moving to copywork while she learns how to write her numbers.  Spelling is going well and there is a lot of cross-over between spelling and handwriting, but not much else to say except we are moving forward with it.