Wednesday, April 16, 2008 title. Because I'm THAT interesting.

We're kind of winding down things here at Morning Star, actually. Reilly is still (yes, I know...still!) trucking along with Red Book and I'm so proud of her. Yesterday, I realized that she would need to do an average of three "lessons" a day instead of two in order to completely finish the curriculum by the end of the year...otherwise, we were going to have to go into the first week of June. So, I showed her the calendar and told her what was up, and she readily agreed that she wanted to finish by the end of May and didn't have a problem with doing that many lessons each day. Now, it remains to be seen whether or not that will stick, but the nice thing is that as long as she averages three lessons a day, there will probably be at least a few days that she can do just two, or even one lesson. Regardless, she is really doing great at working on her own which makes me very happy. The added bonus is that she's starting school earlier than we used to, which means that we're not getting done at 2:00. Today she started at about 8:45 - we got a bit of a late start this morning because we were all cuddled up together, watching Carrie Underwood on YouTube! - and she got done just before 11:00!!

Today, I "officially" introduced Reilly to addition with carrying and had her do some worksheets from a 2nd grade workbook that we got from Sam's at the beginning of the year. I really felt like I was beating a dead horse with all the flashcards and things we've been doing to practice math facts and I think we were both getting a little tired of it. She knocked it right out of the park and completely understood what she was doing. Yay! I've not decided yet if I'm going to start Beta in this last month of school, or just introduce her to different things out of the 2nd grade Sam's workbook. Oh, we did some basic money counting, too. I tried to introduce this concept at the beginning of last year, I think, and it's amazing to see how much more she understands it now. Last year, it was impossible for her to switch from counting by 10's to counting by 5's and 1's and today, while it took her some thinking power, she was able to do it.

Poor Deco! He's just getting lost in the shuffle lately! He is so good about going in his room and playing that I tend to just let him do that so I can concentrate on Reilly. He knows all the letters and letter sounds, all his shapes and colors, all of his numbers by sight, so I'm a bit at a loss as to what else to teach him that's preschool! The only thing that he's lacking is writing skills, but he knows how to do a fair amount of his letters and I've just been putting that off as a kindergarten thing to do next year. Oh well, I don't guess he'll be any worse for the wear!

He loves playing with the magnetic letters and a cookie sheet and yesterday, Reilly told him he should make some of the words that are in the book he was looking he made "people" with the magnetic letters! I said, "That's the word people!" and he said, "OH! Like the people of Ninevah!" (It was a Jonah book!) Funny guy!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

School Stuff

I don't know why I feel like I need to title each post, even though the posts are as this is my homeschooling blog!
Nothing really fantastic is going on right now. (Other than the fact that I'm apparantly choking on a pretzel!) How's that for an update? Ha ha, just kidding.
Sorry, this has become less of a post and more of a stream of consciousness....

Anyway, Reilly is doing really well with being more independent in doing her schoolwork. I decided the other day that we were going to change our morning schedule a bit. Previously, we would have breakfast, The Kids would do their Morning Routine (dress, make bed, brush teeth and hair) and then they would play while I showered and got ready for the day. The problem I was facing was twofold. First, we were constantly starting school at 10:00, which just puts us being IN school later, and second, despite giving a "we're starting school in 5 minutes" warning, Reilly would almost ALWAYS complain that she had just started whatever it was that she was doing, and then she'd be in a bad mood and school would start with an argument. Blegh! Not a good way to start the day.
So I decided that, given the fact that she's able to do her work much more independently now, we would go straight from the Morning Routine into schoolwork. She can get started on Red Book or something like that while I'm getting ready. It's been going pretty well so far, although I'll admit that we've only done it for two days.

I'm a little frustrated with math. Not the program, because I still think that MathUSee is awesome, but just with the fact that we're not progressing faster. I mean, she certainly has a better grasp on addition and subtraction facts than I did at her age, but I'm really, really TIRED of doing addition and subtraction facts!! I'm tired of reviewing them, I'm tired of trying to come up with new and exciting ways to practice them, I'm tired of having to re-explain for the five bajillionth time how to subtract 8 (or 9) from a bigger number. I'm ready to move ON, already!

OK. I'm going to stop now. This is just turning into a complaining post!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


...we had a good, if short-ish day. I had to go to a store meeting this morning, which means we were all up and out of the house by 6:15. Once we got home, at about 8:30, it was a little bit hard for me to get up the gumption to start school. It's kind of cloudy and misty here today, and I would much rather have stayed in my jammies. But that wouldn't have gone over well at the store meeting.

But, we ended up doing school.

Each book in our language arts program lasts for 20 lessons...or is it 25?...I can remember. Anyway, the books are several chapters long and each chapter lasts for 5 days of lessons. At the end of each book, the kids do a project, the last of which was a diorama that Reilly made about the farm. Well, today we finished "In, Out, and About Catfish Pond" and I decided to break away from the project ideas that were given in the book because 1.) I didn't want another diorama sitting around and 2.) Reilly didn't want to write a sentence about each character and those were the gist of the ideas given in the book.
So, I told Reilly that she could make a movie poster as though the book had been made into a movie and she jumped all over that idea, although she decided that it would be a poster for a play instead of a movie. She cut out the pictures and colored them, put a little blurb under each of them on the poster (example: "Try on Beaver's new shoes...and meet the cast!" "Will Duck tell Turtle's secret?) and she made "coupons" at the bottom of the poster - one for a free popcorn and box of candy, one for a free kid's meal. She had such a good time putting it all together! If I get my act together sometime soon, I'll try to take a picture of it for the blog.

OH! And we always start out school with prayer, each of us taking turns giving our day to God. This morning, Deco says "Lord, some people trust in cherries...and even bananas or apples or even horses, but we trust in the name of God!" Somehow I think he misunderstood his Sunday school teacher just a smidge, but he's got the right idea!! (For those who may not know, there's a verse that says something along the lines of how some may trust in horses, and some in chariots, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.)