Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meeting Goals

We have met a few goals this year, I thought I would share.  :)

Goal 1: Met
Language Arts - Phonics Road, Level 2
Jupiter finished Level 1 of Phonics Road!  We are currently in "Week 6" of Level 2, but have only been doing these books for two weeks.  He "gets" phonics and the practice is wonderful - he's really spelling well on his own now and he seems to be actually enjoying writing now that it's not such a process to get his thoughts in order.  Much is the same in this book, plus a few new and exciting things that he really loves.  The words are longer, and more difficult - but now he's learning about parts of speech and everything it takes to make a whole sentence.  Just today, he correctly (verbally) defined for me the things we have learned thus far and they include: homophone, idiom, synonym, compare, contrast, subject and simple subject, predicate and simple predicate, object, noun, verb, adjective, simile, and metaphor.  Whew.  To top it all off, the kid enjoys - enjoys diagramming sentences.

Goal 2: Met
Math - Right Start, Level C
Jupiter has completed Right Start Level B and just did lesson 25 in Level C today.  He's moving right along at this point, as it seems to be reviewing a bit of what we have already done.  I did flip ahead a bit to see what's coming up, and let's just say there are lots of little x's in his near future.

I'm sure he is more than ready to being learning multiplication - today we did an Astronomy lesson which involved measuring how high he can jump here on Earth and figuring out how high he could jump if he were on the moon...

Goal 3: Revised
Science - Exploring Creation, Astronomy (Apologia)
Incidentally, you just multiply your jump height by 6.  He started with 8.5" and correctly figured out (using the method he thought of on his own, he first did the whole inches, then the half - "8 doubled is 16, and two 16s are 32 so another one would be six and 32 plus 16 is 48.  If I had six halves, it would be three wholes...  so I could jump 51 inches!").  Then we measured out 51" using a tape measure and first showed that his hand would be higher than the ceiling, that his head would be awfully close, and that he could jump over his own self... but not Mom.

Measuring between his natural reach and jump reach.
I say revised because we are *not* going to meet any time that I had previously mentioned.  We're taking our time and really enjoying these lessons, we also spend time checking out stuff on NASA and I recently installed the Astronomy Picture of the Day app on my phone which daily provides a new image to get excited about.  Not only do you get a new picture, it's saved into your images file, it automatically updates your background, AND (best) it gives a brief explanation of what in the universe you are viewing.  Cool points, all around.

Goal 4: Revised
History - Mystery of History, Vol. I
I have also decided to slow down on History for the year, and possibly extend it part way into next.  We repeatedly listen to the text regularly and sit together and read it less regularly - the current hold up, however, can be blamed on no one but me: I need to compile the timeline stuff for Quarter 2.  I should just sit down and do it, it's not hard and it's fun.  Today, J asked if he could maybe help me do it so we could put more stuff in our folders lol.

Self-paced school using www.time4learning.com
Princess Spritely has been growing in leaps and bounds mentally!  She is READING!  Not long ago, my husband asked me for an early reader and sat down with her...  He said, "Will you read to me today?" to which she replied, "I can't read Daddy!  I only know letter sounds!" "Okay, tell me these sounds then..." and off she went.  She read the whole book.  We had no clue she could read.  YES, I have been working with her on most days with the sounds (sometimes many per, as we all know) of the letters.  YES, I realized that she knew them quite well.  BUT...  I'm using a new approach with her that is gentler than the one I used with my son so I had planned to wait until the fall to have her really get going - guess she's ready!  <3

Things are growing!
She has continued to use Grade 1 Odyssey materials as mentioned before, but recently she found the demos for the paid area of Starfall and has requested I sign her up for those lessons instead.  I probably will do so this week...  She showed each of the lessons she has been repeating over and over (only one per section is available to non-members) to me in earnest, and I have to admit - she gave quite the convincing little presentation for a 5yo.  Am I in for it or what?

We haven't begun any sort of formal math, despite owning Right Start Level A (purchased last year in anticipation of beginning Fall '10) and it turns out I may as well have just saved money and started her in B like I did with her brother (much of B is a review of A).  We have been singing lots of songs that are about math and playing lots of games that are about math.  She's learning to use the Alabacus (which helps teach "seeing" in groups of 5 and 10) and seems to be getting it, she is learning pairs that equal ten.  Her attention span for math is short, so we only play until she says she is done.  Then, her brother and I finish the game out while she sits with us and we move on to something else.