Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April Report

April was filled with beautiful weather. I've been encouraging the girls to spend as much time as they can outside and they've been enjoying that. We went to the zoo many times and also the park and other outdoor activities.

The tulips at our local public botanical garden

Mostly we've had an uneventful month. No big trips or happenings. We did enjoy a science day and talking to lots of local college students and volunteers about various scientific principles.

I'm gearing up for my epic road trip soon, so a lot of my thought and efforts has been devoted to that. I plan to take that time off formal school, although we will be doing lots of academic activities. I'm really looking forward to it, although time will tell if I'm crazy or not.

The only other big thing we've done this month is to introduce chores. I think I've finally come up with a system of chores that might work for us, so here's hoping. We are only on day 2, so it hasn't been proven yet. I was just getting sick of crafts and paper all over my house all the time, and the girls could use a little more personal responsibility. That and they've started playing with neighborhood kids. If people are going to be in my house all the time, it needs to be at least non-embarrassing.

Lydia reached her Book-It goal for April, the last month she can do it until the fall. I guess I'm going to have to come up with some other incentive for her. She is currently reading Trumpet of the Swan. I guess we're going through an E.B. White phase. Maybe I'll give her Stuart Little next.

Eleanor is doing well and starting to read a lot for fun. A lady at church gave us a whole bunch of those hard-backed Disney picture books and Eleanor has been devouring the princess-related ones (and Lydia is devouring the animal ones). She has also been regularly doing more than one lesson in OPGTR willingly most days. She's almost done with the r-changed vowel section and finished through lesson 175. Really though, at this point most of this is a formality. She's picking up a lot of the things she's being taught in her every-day free reading. 

Adelaide is doing well in OPGTR. She's doing simple blending words like "risk" and "stump." She is about to start Lesson 50.

Lydia finished CLE 204 and started 205 today. She's doing a little bit better with having a good attitude and if we need to, we take a break and do Ronit Bird remedial math for a few days. I'm seeing improvement in her abilities though, and I'm very pleased about that. She is also spending a lot of time on Prodigy. Seriously, I usually have to kick her off or she would spend the whole day playing. At least it is math. Heaven help me when she discovers "real" video games though.

Using our Blokus game to help her do Beast Academy

Eleanor finished Miquon Blue and started Green, which I believe is considered the second half of 2nd grade level. It is working wonderfully for her. I've also been jumping through MEP2 and only having her do non-redundant sections. As a result, she is already on lesson 38 despite just starting it last month (lessons are supposed to be 1/day). But the most exciting thing is her Beast Academy math. She loves it, even if it pushes her quite a bit. All the girls are enjoying the "guide" book, which is essentially a comic book of lovable monsters learning math together. It really is quite cute and there are lots of hidden jokes in the pictures. The practice book is where the problem sets are and some of those questions have even stumped me! She will finish the first chapter tomorrow. 

Adelaide continues with her math. Now that she's four, I've upped her schooling slightly and made it less optional. It is still very light, but I like to start the transition at this age, and I think she will just roll into our routine easily. She has finished 43/126 in Miquon Orange and I started her on MEP 1. She is on Lesson 5. MEP is definitely secondary for her and if Miquon is especially challenging, then I set it aside for the day. I imagine she will follow a similar math track to Eleanor.

Language Arts
Lydia is on lesson 4 in All About Spelling 3. She's on Week 12, Day 2 in Writing With Ease 2 and her summarizing skills are getting better. She did a great job with the selection from Pilgrim's Progress today, despite being unfamiliar with the story. I was proud of her and I love seeing her progress. And she's halfway through Lesson 30 in First Language Lessons. She learned about direct objects and adverbs in April and is enjoying learning how to diagram sentences. The lessons in FLL3 are longer than her grammar used to be, so I often split them into 2 days instead of one. Since she's already quite a bit ahead in grammar, I feel like she can take the time. And she is just powering along in her Geography book, which she claims is her favorite subject.

Eleanor is on Week 12, Day 1 in Writing With Ease 1 and enjoys it a lot. She will also be starting Level 22 in All About Spelling 1 tomorrow. 

Adelaide started Handwriting Without Tears PreK after her birthday. I usually just have her do a 2-page spread on any given day. She doesn't seem to have strong opinions about it either way.

Both Lydia and Eleanor have completed through lesson 28 in Hoffman Academy. They have started playing many of their exercises with a metronome, which they are finding quite challenging. But they are both progressing. In fact, I think they could go faster than they are, so I'm going to try to up their lessons to 3 per week now that we are doing piano more regularly. If they hit a wall, we can always slow down.