Friday, May 15, 2015

What We've Been Up To

Well, I sort of stopped bloggging for a bit, but I've been wanting to get back into it, if only for the personal accountability.

A few highlights of the last few months:

Thanksgiving, Daddy had to work so I took the girls last minute to Texas to visit my parents.

Helping Grandpa decorate their Christmas Tree
Christmas was fun, although Daddy had to stay in North Carolina and work again while the rest of us went to visit family in Arkansas.

Cooking with Grandma at Christmas
We also got to see Tyler's sister get married in Las Vegas right after Christmas.

After that trip, we were a bit tired.  Then in February, everyone got sick several times for pretty much the whole month, even Daddy.  And our heat went out downstairs for almost 2 weeks, so we were stuck in our rooms upstairs. Between the two, almost no school got done for the entire month.

March was uneventful and we spent most of the month just enjoying the nice weather and working on our yard.

April was fun. Tyler had a week off and we spent a few days in Washington, DC. We were able to visit a bunch of family and see the sights. I've never really "done" Washington, DC, so I was especially looking forward to the trip. We saw the Natural History and Air and Space Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo.

Lydia watching the panda playing

They were getting grumpy by the last day. This was the best we could get in front of the Lincoln Memorial
At the end of April, we were able to go to Kansas City and Arkansas to see another one of Tyler's sister's get married.

Our girls don't much like posing for family pictures.
So far in May we were able to go pick strawberries.

Overall, I'd say we've had a good year so far. As for academics, Lydia and Eleanor seem to be progressing nicely...

In Math, Lydia is doing very well with CLE. It is the perfect fit for her right now and for the foreseeable future. She is on lesson 101, and while I don't think she will finish it before July (which is the beginning of our new year), she won't be too far behind considering we spent the first few months of school doing Saxon and started this one late. 

Eleanor is doing really well with math. She just finished Essential Math B, meaning she is officially done with Kindergarten math and we will be starting 1st grade math in the next few days. I've given it a lot of thought and am going to try Eleanor with the Mathematics Enhancement Programme Year 1. It is a British program that is free online, but I'm using it because it is a really solid, deep program unlike anything I've ever seen. I've never used it before, so I'm going to give it a trial run and see if it is a good fit. If that doesn't work, we'll probably try Math Mammoth, which I have already on hand.  Eleanor is also doing well with Miquon and is almost done with the first level (orange). I plan to continue with it as well and move her to level 2 (red) when she finishes it in the next few weeks.

Lydia reads for 20 minutes every day from library books during mandatory reading time, although she reads many other books throughout the day. Even though her reading level and fluency is quite high, she really doesn't like reading chapter books yet and prefers picture books. Too many words on a page overwhelm her still. So for now, she is reading mostly picture books and higher leveled readers. I also have her read to me every day so I can make sure she doesn't forget her phonics. For that I am using the old vintage Treadwell Readers (sort of like the McGuffey readers pioneers used, but I like these better). She has been enjoying the stories and illustrations, and the way they are typed out isn't intimidating to her. This is a fairly recent change in our routine, so we are only about a third of the way through the first reader. At this point, I plan on having her go through all of them until she hits a road block.

Eleanor is doing well with OPGTR. She is on lesson 58 and is learning about her first digraphs like "sh" and "ch". Today she read the sentence, "The dog will catch the stick and bring it back." just to give you an idea of where she is (approximately a mid-first grade level).

Language Arts:
Lydia is still working on the same levels she was in writing, grammar, and spelling. She's powering through.

Eleanor finished her PreK handwriting book and has started HWT Kindergarten. She is very excited to learn how to write and copies lots of what she sees, even if she can't read it. My favorite was a few days ago when she copied "Disney. Made in China." from the back of one of her toys.

I recently started Lydia on Evan-Moor Beginning Geography. I thought she would enjoy it and maybe learn a few valuable skills. So far I am correct. It is painless and she has fun doing her one page a day of geography.  Eleanor wants to do it too, but I'm making her wait until she can read a little better.

I'm in the midst of planning for next year since we are only about a month and a half away. It isn't going to be very complicated as we will mostly be continuing what we are already doing, but I will be doing more science and history now. I also plan to make memorization a larger priority this year, so will be working on that. I'll be doing a post on our plans in the next few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Look at you, world travelers. Meagan, your daughters are adorable!