Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Medieval Times Unit - Highlights

This year our core curriculum is Tapestry of Grace Year 2 which goes from the Middle Ages to Early American History. 

Blogging, particularly our school has really taken a back seat lately, as life has seemed to hit an all-time level of busyness. However, just because I'm not "talking" about it doesn't mean we're not doing it :) 

We recently finished up our first TOG unit (weeks 1-10), which was all about the Middle Ages. 

I had wanted to blog-as-we-went similar to the last several years of school, but do to the afore mentioned "busyness", I'm happy to create somewhat of a "highlights only" post. 

Map Studies 

The first week was really focused on World Geography, reviewing the continents and oceans as well as introducing the equator and prime meridian. 

Treyton has mad map skills so this was a pretty easy assignment for him - but I had him label a world map. 


Stained Glass Window 

While learning about the start of the Roman Catholic Church and the cathedrals that were built during this time Treyton commented on how much he liked the stained glass windows - it just so happened that I had seen a stained glass activity while planning and pulled it out for him to do. 

He used black paint and elmers glue mixed to create the lines and water colors to add the color. 

Treyton really does enjoy art, so this was a fun activity for him. 


Muhammad, Islam & Timeline 

One of the more profound weeks thus far was the third week when we learned about Muhammad and Islam. Treyton had so many questions (as I knew he would) and I was learning right along with him. Truthfully what I did know about the origin of Islam was sketchy and I found this week pretty informative. 

While placing Muhammad on our wall timeline, we also decided to add a line to represent the 1000 year period of the Middle Ages which stretches from about 500 - 1500 AD. I love that we are marking "time periods/eras" on our timeline as it really adds a needed dimension when looking at particular people and events placed during those times.  

Family Crest & Shield 

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One of my personal favorite activities was to creating a family crest.

Each one of us had our own thoughts and ideas, but after lots of brainstorming we came up with a shield that really captures our family. 

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Treyton had the idea of making a shield (like a knight) and to put the crest on there. 

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Truthfully, it was what I was planning on doing, but letting him think it was his idea made it a lot more fun for him and made him more interested in the project than normal. 

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I cut out cardboard shields and drew in the lines on the shield - the kids painted them. 


Viking Lapbook 

For the week that we studied the vikings, I had Treyton complete a lap book. 

Lapbooking is not actually one of Treyton's favorite activities but it does seem to help him remember and retain a bit more, and he is almost always pleased with the finished project, as well as how great of a review tool they are for later on. 

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For Treyton's birthday he got a little compound cross bow. 

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While talking about Knights and other warriors of the middle ages, we've learned about the importance of archer's. He's spent many afternoons in the backyard practicing his shot! 
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Learning to play Chess 
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I knew as soon as I found out we were going to be studying the middle ages, that I wanted to teach Treyton how to play chess. My cousin, John is actually staying with us from Louisiana and he started working with Treyton to teach him how to play. Treyton has really enjoyed it, though it is certainly a tougher game for him to learn, he has learned most of the basics, and in time I know he will master the strategy concepts, as well. 
Learning to Crochet

The kids have watched me crochet since they were born and have asked at different times for me to teach them, so when TOG mentioned the possibility of teaching the kids how to crochet as part of our Medieval studies, I was eager to take on the challenge. 
When we first started I was like "wow, this is so much harder to teach than I realized". After an hour or so we took a break (and we only kept at it that long because Treyton and Alexa were both determine). The next day Alexa picked it up (basically on her own) and with a few reminders from me she was off!!! She sat for over 3 hours crocheting a chain!! 
Treyton was preoccupied with something else, but a day or so later, he did basically the same thing…. they are both really good at crocheting chains. The next step will be single crocheting rows. 
Knights Lapbook 
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The viking lap book turned out so well we decided to put together one for our Knights studies. 
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Printing Press & Paper

While learning about Johannes Gutenberg we viewed one of his original 200 Bibles online - way cool! 
We also learned that after the Europeans first discovered paper, they wanted to make paper beautiful so they created a marbled look. Using the "Days of Knights and Damsels" book we made our own version of marbled paper. 
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 Middle Ages Brainstorm

During the last week of this unit Treyton and I sat down and "brainstormed" words that came to our minds when we thought about the Middle Ages. I wanted to use this activity as some what of a quiz to see what he retained and if he could look back over the middle ages and identify the big ideas that we had covered. We had a lot of fun this unit, and I look forward to covering it again in 4 years at an even more in depth level. 

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Field Trip: The Little Farmer

We are blessed to be a part of a co-op through our church this year called BRANCHES (which stands for Building Relationships and Nurturing Children's Hearts). 

We had our first co-op class called "All About Me" earlier this month where the kids each completed books one of the mom's put together, as well as completed silhouette portraits and put together a time capsule to open at the end of the school year. 

Last week, we enjoyed our first field trip together at the Little Farmer, I believe there were 42 of us total. 

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IMG 9704We were able to learn all different aspects of farming. The first stop was the bee house where the kids learned how important the bees are to the farm and most particularly, the apple orchard. 

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We also got to see where they store the apples (it was cold 32 degrees in their big fridge). And where they sort and process them. 

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Each of the kids got to pick an apple. 

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And then we got to go on a hayride, pulled by a tractor

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to the pumpkin patch where each kid got to pick a pumpkin the size of their head. :) 

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After our field trip we had all packed a picnic lunch. 

We then went to the play area… where the kids had a BLAST with each other and their friends! 

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It was a great field trip, next month we're planning on going on a Fire Station tour!! How blessed are we!?!? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Curriculum 2013-2014


I can't believe it's that time of year already -- though we started school at the beginning of July it's been sporadic, but to realize our fall schedule is starting to fall into place is…. surprising…. and I'm totally looking forward to the relaxing busyness of normal!! 


Bible I went with Bible Study for All Ages - my mom actually used this for us when I was in school and while it has changed ALOT, I still really like the set up and how it is so listening intensive - it has EXCELLENT review and visuals to help the kids retain as well as exercising their "following direction" skills. 

Our core curriculum this year which covers history, geography and arts is Tapestry of Grace Year 2 "Between Ancient and Modern", it covers a lot of history from the Middle Ages to early American history. I'm really looking forward to this year, it's probably one of my favorite historical periods to study (I mean, seriously, how cool are knights?)! 

Science We are continuing Earth Science with Answers in Genesis. We covered the first book the last half of last year and will work on the 2nd (Our Planet Earth) and 3rd (Our Weather and Water) books this year. I read these to all the kids and we do the experiments together, but this subject is primarily geared towards Treyton. 

Geography while TOG covers geography in it's curriculum I wanted to do country studies this year as well to give the kids a (simple, very simple) over view of world geography and countries. I am using parts of Confessions of a Homeschoolers Expedition Earth as well as A Trip Around the World and Another Trip Around the World and various other resources that I find throughout the year. My goal is to pick a country every week to simply overview and locate on the map. My goal is that by the end of the year the kids have a good grasp on the difference between continents and countries as well as can located 10-15 different countries on a world map (on their own). 

Hymn Studies We are also (hopefully) studying a weekly hymn together - I am using Joni Erickson Tada's hymn books, which tell the story of the author, has CDs for the songs, a devotional and words to the hymn. I love these books and I really hope we have the time to get through them this year. It's shocking to me that they are out of print, if you can find them for a good price somewhere I highly recommend them!! 


THIRD GRADE (Treyton) 

Math - Singapore 3A and 3B - this math has worked very well for Treyton and (when I remember to use them) the teacher's manuals are a tremendous resource with extra teaching ideas and games included. 

Spelling - All About Spelling Level 3 and 4 Treyton is finishing up level 3 within the first couple of weeks of school and we will then move on to level 4

Writing - Writing with Ease Level 2 - I went back and forth on whether to go with level 2 or 3 with Treyton and I think technically I could have gone with 3 but I wanted Treyton to have extra practice learning how to narrate stories well which level 2 offered better than level 3 and with all the other school he's doing I figured going easy was better than going hard. 

Grammar - First LAnguage Lessons Level 2 (finishing from last year) and Level 3. I LOVE these books, and while I wish they had a few more "technical" exercises" I love all the definitions that Treyton is memorizing, and I know that in the future the facts he's learning now are going to be more useful than the exercises. I add in some of my own "workbook" style exercise when I feel like he needs it, which is not too often, but makes me feel better when I do them. 

Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting T(ransitions) Treyton worked on learning a cursive letter a week with a few words each week, last year. This year we're focusing on putting those letters together to form words and sentences. He enjoys writing cursive and is starting to use it on his own during other writing assignments. 

Music - Treyton is going to continue taking private piano lessons this year 

Reading - Treyton is first going to be working on finishing reading aloud the book of John to either Tim or I - so far I think we are to John 10 or 11. He also is required to read 15-20 minutes (at least) a day on his own. He usually reads more (about 30-45 minutes) at night before bed

Typing - we are also focusing more intently on typing this year using the Talking Fingers curriculum online as well as having him type up his history narrations - my goal is that by the end of the year he is more comfortable with the computer and typing, as of right now, it is a skill that is lacking a little bit (but one I'm sure he will have plenty of time learning in the future). 



Math - Singapore 1A and 1B - math comes fairly easy to Alexa so far, I think because she has learned a lot just from watching and listening in to Treyton's lessons. 

Reading - All About Reading Level 2 - we LOVE this reading program! Alexa begs to do reading and so far it is going very painlessly. She loves reading her readers to Tim and I, though the longer stories this year seem to tire her out, so I may end up breaking them up for her at first. I think it's important to keep in mind just because she's advanced in this area, she is still ONLY 5. 

Spelling - All About Spelling Level 1 - I do not plan on pushing too much spelling with her this year but supplementing it in throughout the year with her AAR program. 

Phonics - Explode the Code Book 3 - this is Alexa's favorite subject. She asks to do it even when it's not a school day! 

Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting - one of Alexa's weakest subjects I have here in book B this year (because I had it lying around) but I'm not sure she's really quite ready for it. I may just have her continue to work on forming the letters. At this point there are still quite a few backwards letters and starting in the wrong spots. I've actually even thought of using Handwriting without Tears Kindergarten but am not sure if it will mess her up or not. 

Music - We plan on enrolling Alexa in piano lessons this year as well, but I'm not 100% on it yet 

Dance -  She will be doing dance again this year tap and ballet. 

Typing - Talking Fingers online curriculum



B4FIAR - though it will be occasional and simple I plan on starting some Before Five in a Row with Audrey. I think she will really enjoy the teaching time and it will be a gentle way to begin introducing her to structured learning and school time. She begs to be a part of school and while I don't want to start doing "school" with her this year, I do want her to have some fun learning time with mom. 

Speech - Our primary focus with Audrey right now is just learning to understand her better and for her speech to continue to develop. Starting in August she will be doing private speech therapy (as needed) and I'm expecting to pick up some more pointers and activities to do with her at home. Truthfully the type of therapy that Audrey will be in is more for Tim and I, teaching us how to work with Audrey at home, than it is for Audrey. :) 


I am really looking forward to school this year. While I will be honest and admit I'm having a harder time getting into "school" mode than most years, I am excited about our curriculum and the subjects we'll be learning this year. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

First Day of School 2013-2014

We have officially started school and while it's been sporadic so far (due to our summer schedule) I love that we start during the warmer months and are able to do some school outside!! 

Our first day of school was July 8th, Alexa's 5th birthday. My mother in law happened to be here that day and it worked out really nice that when I rotated time with the kids they were able to spend their free time with her!! 

Our first day of school pictures turned out pretty cute I think. 

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Treyton is going into 3rd grade this year. 

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Alexa is starting Kindergarten, though she is doing mostly first grade work. 

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And our little Audrey is going to be doing preschool, which will mostly involve a focus on her speech therapy activities incorporated into other schooling (like numbers, letters and colors). 

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I'm hoping to get our curriculum list posted soon, but we'll have to see how motivated I get and how much time I get on the computer :) 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For the Love of Lists: Field Trips 2012-2013

I kept this list updated as we took field trips throughout the 2012 - 2013 school year. Here is the (I think) complete list of field trips that we took. 

Looking back it's apparent, we took most of our field trips, in the summer last year, before Titus was born. 

Strawberry Picking and Harvesting (June 2012) – we picked over 35 pounds brought them home the kids helped cut them while we canned and froze our harvest.

National Railroad Museum (June 2012) – we visited the Railroad Museum, to see (touch and play in) some real historical trains, try to lift a steel rail and take a 25 minute diesel engine train ride. We thoroughly enjoyed this museum.

The Milwaukee County Zoo (August 2012) – this was a first for both me and the kids. Sadly, I’ve lived here since I was 8 years old and had never been to this zoo. My sister, Alana had talked about going this summer with our kids, so we decided to finish off our Animal Kingdom science unit with this field trip. Sadly, Audrey got the stomach flu 30 minutes after we got there, but we stuck it out (as best we could) and saw as much as we could.

The Chain O’ Lakes Boat Tour (August 2012) – an hour and half tour on the Chief Waupaca paddle boat of 8 of the 21 chained lakes found in central Wisconsin (near Waupaca). We did this while camping this past August and really enjoyed it.

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota (August 2012) – While visiting our high school friends we visited this zoo as a group. It was free and AMAZING. Everyone from around there calls it “small” but we didn’t think it was all that small, in fact, I’m pretty sure we didn’t make it through the entire thing – granted we had 7 adults and 8 kids, but still; it had all the animals you could want there (lion, tiger, orangutan – my kids personal favorite, polar bear, zebra, giraffe). Tim and I were certainly not disappointed and neither were our kids.

Hands-On Art Studio (September 2012) - which is exactly what it sounds like. While we were there Treyton welded and decorated a metal sunflower for our flower garden, adding color all throughout the winter. Alexa and I painted some pottery - Alexa a three piece tea set, me a large bowl and pitcher (LOVE them). I LOVE this place and I plan to visit again…. soon I hope. 

The Farm (September 2012) - in Door County we visited, they had a petting zoo and allowed you to feed the animals. Our favorite was feeding the baby goats (oh my word, cuteness!), we walked around touring the historical buildings, their garden and nature. A very fun field trip. 

Education Performing Arts Shows 

  • Imaginocean (November 1st) 
    • Treyton and Alexa 
  • A Little Princess (December 12th) 
    • Treyton 
  • Charlotte's Web (February 8th) 
    • Treyton 
  • Guess How Much I Love You (February 20th) 
    • Treyton and Alexa 
  • Shanghai Circus (March 6th)
    • Treyton 
  • Three Little Pigs (March 22nd)
    • Treyton 
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day (April 16th) 
    • Treyton and Alexa 

In addition to these Treyton also went to see the Broadway show "The Lion King" with his Aunt. He said that one was for sure his favorite. Out of the other ones, we both thoroughly enjoyed the Shanghai Circus. 

Piano Recital (April 2012) Treyton had his piano recital towards the end of April, and while that in itself doesn't constitute a field trip, the content of this particular recital did. There were 15 students ranging in ability. The kids were able to see simple recital pieces all the way up to very complex recital pieces. It was encouraging for Treyton to realize he's only been practicing for 2 years but if he continues to practice where he will one day be. 

VACATION FIELD TRIPS - We took a family vacation in early May to San Antonio, Texas (with a few other stops and detours along the way). Traveling across the country gives you so many opportunities for field trips!! We really enjoyed it. 

Sea World in San Antonio (The kids FAVORITE, they are still talking about the whales and dolphins!!) 

The Alamo 

The San Antonio Zoo 

The River Walk Boat Tour in San Antonio 

Wildlife Tour: African Safari Texas Style

Swamp Tour (Louisiana)

St. Louis Zoo 

The Magic House Children's Museum in St. Louis 




Monday, July 15, 2013

For The Love of Lists: Summer Reading List

We don't really take much of a summer break, but this year was the longest actual "break" we've ever taken from school. 

While we are technically "out of school" we are never finished learning. The kids and I continue to read, and now that Treyton is able to read on his own, he actually reads quite a bit on his own as well. 

Since taking our break here are a list of some (not all) of the books we have read: 


Group Reading 

"Stuart Little" 

"Lewis and Papa: Adventure on the Santa Fe Trail" by Barbara Joosse

"Zoe Gets Ready" by Bethany Murguia 

"The Alamo" by Kristen Nelson 

"The Alamo from A to Z" by William Chemerka 

"The Alamo" by Mary Ann Hoffman 

"The Alamo: An Interactive History Adventure" by Amie Leavitt 

"The Scarecrow's Dance" by Jane Yolen 

"The Giving Tree" by Harper Collins 

"The Little Mouse, THe Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear" by Don and Audrey Wood 

"The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle 

"Little House" Virginia Lee Burton 

"The Napping House" Audrey & Don Wood 

"The Little Engine that Could" 

"What if Your Best Friend Were Blue?" by Vera Kochan 


Alexa's Books

"The Fairy Tale Book: Classic Tales from Childhood"  (this book was a collection including Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Cinderella, the Princess and the Pea, etc.) 


Audrey's Books 

"The ABCs of Nature" 

"The 1 - 2 - 3s of Nature" 

"Monster Knows Shapes" 


Treyton's Reading List: 

"The Dangerous Book for Boys" 

"The Tale of Three Trees" Retold by Angela Hunt 

"Aaron Rodgers" by Jeff Savage 

"Clay Matthews" by Jeff Savage 

"Superman Adventures" by Scott Mc Cloud 

"George and Martha" by James Marshall 

"Trees" by Lisa Gillespie (Usborne) 

"Louisiana" By Judith Hyde 

"Slinky Scaly Snakes" by Jennifer Dussling 

"A Big Ball of String" (a favorite) by Holland 

"Amelia Bedelia" by Peggy Parish 

"Hands Off, Doc Ock!" (a spiderman book) 

"Elephants" by James Maclaine (Usborne Beginners) 

"Rainforests" by Lucy Bowman (Usborne Beginners) 

"Your Body" by Stephanie Turnbull (Usborne Beginners) 

"Weather" by Catriona Clarke (Usborne Beginners) 

"Volcanoes" by Staphanie Turnbull (Usborne Beginners) 

"The Man of Steel: Night of a Thousand Doomsdays" 

"Animal Classics: Amphibians" by Schuetz

"Nate the Great" byMarjorie Weinman Sharmart 

"The Magic School Bus and the Missing Tooth" 

"Storms and Hurricanes" Usborne by Emily Bone 

"Abraham Lincoln" (National Geographics for Kids) by Caroline Gilpin 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Quarterly Evaluations: Fourth Quarter

We finished school at the end of April…. it is now the middle of June and I have yet to update the blog with the final weeks of our school, and truth is, it may never happen. A part of me is really disappointed by this because our last unit was on Ancient Rome, it was a really fun unit and the kids and I learned a lot. But the other part of me is okay with it, because truth is, I appreciated the break from blogging. 

I also should warn you, I'm a little lite on the pictures as well…. not real sure the reason for that, and truth be told, the reason probably doesn't matter too much, but just thought I would mention it (sorry, am I losing you with too many details?). I digress, for now, I'll try to at least fill you in on what the last few weeks of school looked like (sort of). 

History - Ancient Rome

Our final unit in Tapestry of Grace Year one was on Ancient Rome including the rise of the Empire, the birth and death of Jesus, the early church, the persecution of the church and a brief study of several emperors. For each of the emperors we studied (Julius Caesar, who wasn't actually an emperor, Augustus and Nero are the ones that come to my mind) Treyton wrote up a short paragraph; he wrote it by hand and then typed it up. 

We read a lot of good books - 

  • "Famous People of Ancient Rome" 
  • "The First Christians" 
  • "Brave Cloelia" 
  • "Ancient Romans" by Anita Ganeri 
  • "Going to War in Roman Times" 
  • "Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World" 
  • "Ancient Romans" by Jane Shuter
  • "Story of the World: Volume 1" (Select Chapters) 
  • "The Story of Pompeii"

We learned about the Julian calendar, created secret codes, dressed up like an ancient roman, Treyton gave a public speech (on planets). 

And of course we completed pages for our History Notebook: 

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Treyton Second Grade


We finished up the first book of the Earth Science in our Answers in Genesis curriculum. Treyton really enjoyed the study of our Solar System and NASA - particularly when we learned about the Space Station, he still is asking questions about it. 

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Treyton completed his Singapore 2b book for the year. He finished on a good note. Though I am realizing we need to do more review than what the Singapore books actually do, I think I'll start our next year out with review - or at the very least do a thorough review before we start school up again (during our down-time but still doing a little school time), to at give him the best chance I can to minimize frustration. 

I have created some personalized review pages for him to use during our break and he has really enjoyed them, I think I will be using the personalized approach again in the future - it seems to motivate him on a different level. 


Treyton continues to do very well in spelling, better than I expect. He gets through about a lesson a week. He has gotten through step 20 or so, in level 3. He says that spelling is one of his favorite subjects. It's a subject that he does really well at, and it's been fun to watch him excel at something fairly easily. I cannot say enough good things about All About Spelling. It genuinely works! 

Lagnuage Arts 

We continue to review the parts of sentences while doing our spelling dictation and it is working really well for him. After I dictate his spelling sentence and he writes it, then we will go through and label the parts of the sentence that we know.

The more we do these exercises the more it seems to be sticking. Though we do need to limit these exercises and do them on selective days, because it doesn't take much for him to start getting overwhelmed. I have stopped going through FLL while we continue to strengthen the parts he's already learned. 


Treyton had his piano recital at the beginning of May (excuse my lack of detail, this is why blogging should be done sooner rather than later). He did great. I was so proud of him. He was so nervous, but played perfectly! 

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Dance Recital 

The day after Treyton's piano recital, Alexa had her dance recital. This girl was made for the stage folks. She has no fear, and as soon as her recital is over she begins to dream of the next time she will be able to grace the world with her magnificent stage presence. 

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Alexa Preschool

Alexa finished preschool up a little sooner than we finished the rest of school.

She actually finished up most of her workbooks (math and All About Reading) early and then we occupied her time with reading (me to her and her to me), handwriting,  a few math games, and spelling in moderation. She really does love school and is such a bright little girl. Teaching her is easy. I pray it stays this way! 


Finishing Up

It feels good to be taking a break for a while. Truth is, I was getting a little overwhelmed with school towards the end. We needed some down time…. so we took a 12 day trip to San Antonio & Louisiana to visit my dad, and have filled our June with so many activities I can hardly remember what day it is!! Perhaps we didn't think our "break" from school all the way through. 

A part of me can't wait to start school up again just so we can relax a little. 

And then I realize what I just said…. 


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Alexa’s Phonics

Here is Alexa decoding and spelling her phonics words.

Alexa Reading

I video taped Alexa reading this afternoon, I am so proud of all of her efforts and how great she is doing.

I’m certain we’re not up to certain “professional standards” so please don’t over evaluate!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Quarterly Evaluations - Third Quarter

We have just finished up week 31 of school, which means we have 5 weeks of school left!! Next week is our spring break and in May we are taking two weeks off for a family vacation. Which means we will finish our school year at the end of May. It also means, that I am about 4 weeks late on our "quarterly evaluations" - luckily for me, I keep lesson plans and document what we do every day so I can go back and record it more accurately on our blog. 

Treyton - 2nd Grade, 3rd Quarter 

Language Arts - Treyton is working his way through explode the code 7. He does 1 lesson a week, I personally think that he should just stop doing ETC, but he loves the books, and wants to finish it - so who am I to stop him? :) He is a very fluent reader at the second grade level.

He has finally hit a place where he enjoys reading and it's AWESOME!! He is allowed to read at night for 30 minutes after being tucked in (which is later than anyone else) and he really enjoys that. At the beginning of the year (January) he set reading goals for himself. He wanted to read the book of John and four other books (from his bookshelf) we decided to read John together so that we could go over it with him, but his other books he reads at night. He has already far exceeded his goal and it's only February!! He is keeping a book reading log which I will share at the end of his school year. I believe at this point he has 8 books read (and not small ones - they are actually collections - which are books of smaller books). We are very proud of his progress in this area and all the hard work he had to put in to get here!! IMG 6422

We are continuing to work our way through FLL (Level 2) I was hoping to finish it by the end of the year, but the more we progress, the more I think we could slow down and take some more time with it, and I think he will master it better (which is ultimately the goal, right?). He has memorized what a noun, verb, pronoun, adverb, adjective, conjunction, interjection, sentence and the 4 types of sentences up to this part. Obviously, with his recall issues, on any given day he may or may not recite them back to you correctly, but I assure you, they are all in there and in there well.

However, I am realizing that although he has them memorized, he is not always able to identify the parts in the sentence, so now we are working on actually writing out sentences and trying to identify the parts together. This is what I mean by starting to slow down a bit to master more than just the techniques but to actually be able to use the info. he's gaining. 

Also, this past semester in FLL we worked on writing a proper thank you letter. We wrote a letter to his grandma (a.k.a Mommer) to thank her for taking him to a theatre show and lunch. 

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In Spelling, Treyton is cruising right now. I think that some of the work he's done in his ETC books is some what repeating in our All About Spelling, making the list a little easier. Even in his writing, again we're finally seeing a breaking point as far as what he "knows" and what he is being able to recall while writing/typing. 

Handwriting: Treyton has made it through all of the cursive letters and we are now starting to put words together. This is very exciting for him. Though I do have to watch him carefully while he does his handwriting, because he has the tendency to make his words LOOK write, without forming the letters correctly. But as long as I'm watching and catch any mistakes he begins to make, he can easily correct them. It's a crucial time in his cursive writing, and I find it worth the extra effort to make sure the letters/words are being formed correctly. 


We are going through Singapore 2B and are near the end. I'll be honest, we've had some rough days recently. After reflecting on it a little more and discussing it with a few other mom's that are teaching similar students, I think our biggest problem is review. Again, because of our recall issues, Treyton needs to be reviewing more than what the book has in there. There are days that I KNOW that he knows something, but he has a hard time finding it in his head, and cannot recall the information he needs. Then the next day, it's there no problem! He needs to practice recalling what he knows more often to help develop those reflexes and "brain highways". It crushed me a few weeks ago as we were going through a review lesson to see him struggle so much - below is a picture of his math page, tear stained! He wanted so bad to be right, and he tried three separate times, and came up with the same (wrong) answer. IMG 6646

I pray that God will use this to strengthen him and that he will continue to give me wisdom and patience to get through some of those tough days. We've been here before, and we've pulled through it before, and in the end, I know what needs to be done. And I know it's worth the time to make more review for him. 

IMG 6426In addition to some review, Treyton also worked on fractions this past semester. We had a lot of fun using our big dice to make random fractions with our legos. He would roll two of our dice, put the bigger number on the bottom and then create that fraction from legos. 

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Piano Treyton recently finished his first lesson book and has moved on to book 2. Music does not come naturally to Treyton, but he is doing very well with persevering through it and is proud of what he has accomplished. He continues to read and say his notes solfege (rather than note letters) but his piano teacher thinks that this is completely fine with where he is at. 

Alexa - Preschool 3rd Quarter 

Phonics Alexa has finished ETC 2 and is now on ETC 3. I did not expect her to get through her phonics books so quickly so she actually had to wait (gasp) for her next book to come in. She is now working on reading and sounding out silent e words, open syllables and short words with -y endings. And that's just in her ETC in 

All About Reading - she is working on compound words, and she's doing great!! She also recently covered -ink, -ank, -ing and -ang words, as well as -ck words and the rules that go with them.

She LOVES reading and any day she gets to read in her reader she asks to read two stories!! She does have a limit though, but she has not quite learned to recognize it in herself so IF she is allowed to read two stories, they have to be two small stories, or one that doesn't have too many new words. 
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Alexa is able to take in LOTS of information at a time, and process it naturally and efficiently. This is a true blessing and gift she has, one I pray the Lord will use in her life. She is almost finished with Level 1, I'm thinking I will wait to start Level 2 next year, but will have to see if she lets me get away with that!! :) IMG 6431

All About Spelling - we have correlated AAS and AAR, so that she is learning her spelling list at the same time as her reading/phonics rules. This has worked very well and has made her a strong speller as well. IMG 6430

Alexa is working in the Kindergarten A Reason for Handwriting and is enjoying it. This is a transition from the larger handwriting lines to smaller, which she struggles with a bit. Alexa struggles with keeping her letters on the lines they are supposed to go on, but with lots of repetition and reminders she is beginning to get it. 

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After reading a book about ants in her reader, she wanted to know more about ants. I worked on putting her together a little ant unit, which she really enjoyed. I don't think I've posted on it yet, but I do have some pictures so hopefully I will get that posted soon. 

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Audrey - Tot School 

Audrey's biggest issue is clearly her speech. I recently re-contacted her speech therapist from last summer to identify her exact diagnosis. Which is Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I have been doing LOTS of research on this, and after talking to her Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and reading everything I can find on the internet and in books, I'm feeling more confident in moving forward at home with her therapy. I plan on blogging about this more at some point (if I ever get the time to put all of my thoughts and information in a post), but for now I'll just say:

What Audrey needs most is lots of intense, frequent therapy, which basically means - the best thing we can do for her, is work with her as much as we can, getting her to practice sounds over-and-over-and-over again until she can form the sound second nature.

At this point, Audrey has the ability to make words/sentences/thoughts in her head, as well as the muscular/facial/tongue ability to make all the sounds she needs to, but somewhere between her brain and her mouth there seems to be a misfire - a disconnect. It is considered a neurological issues, and in time I really believe it can be (and will be, Lord willing) corrected with no long term issues for her. 

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Moving on, as far as "school" with Audrey goes - she loves playing games on her kindle, and watching her PBS kids videos. Her favorite song is the A-B-Cs and although you can't understand what she's saying, I am fairly sure she knows most of the song, which is encouraging. 

She counts to 3 rote and can hold the first 3 numbers up on her finger and recognize the numbers when shown. She can count to 10 fairly well but not completely on her own, and again, I don't know if other people would be able to understand what she is saying. 

All in all, Audrey is still progressing, even if it is slowly, and that in itself is encouraging and worth saying something about!!