Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm a Horrible Homeschool Blogger!

I don't know why I've found it so hard to post lately! Maybe it's because I continue to feel like we're not doing anything worth blogging about. No big projects, no exciting unit studies, nothing. It's just sort of...school. BUT, in a continuing effort to keep all three of you updated, I'm going to try to do better.
So here goes.
In a handy list format.

  • Reilly is chugging along in Learning Language Arts Through Literature (aka Red Book). I realized that we were only on Lesson 15 (or was it 13?) of 36 lessons, so we've really picked up the pace so that we can finish by the end of the year. The lessons are divided up into five days for each lesson, so she's now doing two days each day and we're up to Lesson 18. She's also working much more independently, simply because I finally said, "OK, you can read the instructions. So read them, and do what they say, and then we'll talk when it says, 'Discuss with your teacher', OK?" It's working pretty well! The last section of the book is really intended to get them ready for the third grade book, which is much more independent.
  • Math is not going as quickly as I thought it would. We just seem to be stalled with subtraction and I'm fighting not panicking because I really thought we'd at least be in the second book by now. I keep trying to tell myself that moving along is pointless if she doesn't know basic addition and subtraction, but we've not really done any money lessons or time or fractions...it freaks me out a little.
  • On the math vein, I started doing addition flash cards every day, just to keep those fresh in her mind. I made flash cards on 3x5 cards so that we'd have all the problems, not just half of them like our other cards had. (For example, the ones I made had 5+3 and 3+5 so she'd get even more used to seeing the commutative property at work.) Well, I wrote on the cards with Sharpie, problem on the front, answer on the back, and we were just going like gangbusters. One day last week, she did all of the flash cards in seven minutes! We were ecstatic!! We called Troy, we made a huge deal about it, he took her out for ice cream that night. It was huge!

This week, I realized that she could actually see the written answer through the card. That was how she knew them so well. I was so mad at her! I understand that it's human nature to want to take the easy way out, but I was so disappointed that she hadn't done what she knew was the right thing and told me that she could see the answers. Oh well, she's just seven...I guess this doesn't necessarily mean that she's going to develop into a pathological liar or anything. Plus, after seeing how angry I was, I don't think she'll pull anything like that anytime soon!

  • Declan is doing fabulous with the amount of school he's able to do when I'm not dealing with his sister. He can read (well, sound out) almost any CVC word that you put in front of him, which is fun. We do a lot of stuff with magnetic letters and our cookie sheet. I need to work on lower case letters with him, though. He can easily recongize 10 or so, so that's good, and he can write his name in all caps. I want to work a bit more on handwriting with him, but it's sometimes so hard to extract myself from Reilly needing my help!

All in all, things are going well. Reilly was actually sick today, so we didn't have school. She's finished all but the cover of her book for the Reading Rainbow Young Authors and Illustrators contest. I think I'm going to scan it before we mail it, so I'll see if it posts well.

Thanks for continuing to read my drivel!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again!

Well, Troy has been on vacation for two weeks, so we didn't have "official" school. The great thing, however, is that we did do enough educational things that we aren't losing any days! Yippee! We went to the zoo, we went to a children's museum, and we did Reilly's science project for the homeschooling co-op science fair that was last Thursday.


She did an experiment that we got out of a book, involving using the 5 different senses to try to identify fruit while blindfolded. Our subjects were Mrs. Harris, who isour neighbor, Nani Kay, and Troy, and Reilly did a great job explaining the procedure to them and recording their responses. I'll save you all the boring details and just get on with the pictures.








There is, of course, the obligatory picture with Supey. Because he just loves having his picture taken! Then there's Reilly, looking like Kilroy over the top of her display. Then there's Reilly, talking with the "judge". Now, the actual judging portion of the fair was for fourth grade and up, so Reilly's project wasn't actually judged. But they did have mom's who had volunteered to go around and talk to the un-judged kids about their projects and give feedback to them about their projects.

I was so proud of Reilly, mainly because she said, more than once while we were working, "Wow, this is harder than I thought it would be!" but she just kept chugging on. She did 90% of the project herself, with help from me coming in the form of me showing her how to make the titles on our computer and helping her with the wording of certain things that she wrote.

Now she's working on her story for the Reading Rainbow Young Writer's and Illustrator's Contest. She's got it written, and I showed her how to type and print it from the computer, and she's going to add illustrations next. Fun!

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OK, so here are some random pics for you! First we have Supey the Supercat, terrorizing the farm animals in Reilly's diorama. Oh, and a video to go with that as well. Then we've got a couple of pics of our 3rd Annual RFHG Valentine's party. You know, the one that I took Reilly to while she still had the plague? Yeah, you can practically see the germs swarming in the pictures!

video



OK, now I'm literally sitting here, falling asleep at the computer, so I'm going to call it a day!