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!!
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.
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.
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.
In 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.
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.
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!! :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!