Friday, 14 February 2014

100 days and weekly wrap up

Can't believe we have already passed our 100 days of school since starting in Sept:)  We school year round so I don't consider us almost done for the year but around this time of I like to post what we have accomplished and where we are as a reminder to myself how far we have come and what we still need to work on.  This is a pretty long list but I haven't accomplished everything I set out to do but I still think we are in a good place overall.

Language Arts:

Growing with grammar books:  we are 3/4 of the way through the workbooks and it is going well.

Fix It Tom Sawyer story:  we are a bit behind but I hope to concentrate more on this once the growing with grammar books are completed.

IEW SWI-A:  we have almost completed this program just one section left to go.  It has taken us a year to complete as we have been going pretty slow since I want both kids to be working on it at the same time to make it easier on me.  My oldest could definitely gone thru this faster.  I have already purchased the next program and we should begin very shortly and I may pick up the speed for the oldest while taking my time with my youngest.

Wordly Wise Vocabulary (computer version):  going very well and the kids are definitely expanding their vocabulary in their every day use and in their stories so I am happy with this program

Spelling:  We are continuing with AAS (All About Spelling) and just started on book 4, This year I have really made a concerted effort to do spelling twice a week and we are finally on a roll.

Reading Comprehension:  I added this topic in this year where the kids had to do extra reading on a book of mutual agreement but it needed to be of literature value.  My kids were really getting stuck on reading the same old genre and I really wanted to expand their reading horizons just a little. Sometimes the kids complete a lap book, sometimes I will write up questions a head of time which they answer on the computer, or sometimes we verbally discuss the book.  In doing this I have found my daughter really hates books that hold old values that make girls appear weak.  She hated Anne of Green Gables and it was one of my favorites as a child:(  But she did like Island of the Dolphins:)  She prefers books with strong female characters so I am trying to find quality books with that in it...if you know any let me know.  Meanwhile my son is liking the books I chose for him to read so long as they are humorous:).  Since my son is not the strong reader like my daughter we reward him with watching the book's movie version once the book is complete.  Unlike my daughter who thought the books are almost always better than the movie, my son is just the opposite preferring the movie to the book:(


We are using Math U See and while it is working for my daughter, I am beginning to question if it is the right fit for my son.  I am going to my first homeschool conference in March and I intend to look at other math programs for him, probably something online as that is what motivates him. Some days it can take 90 min for him to finish his math page which only makes us both frustrated.  My daughter is working on the Epsilon and for the first time I am having difficulty with the instruction of the problems resorting to teaching her the method I learned in school cause this new system of teaching fractions is very confusing, even my daughter thinks so.  I am also having to rely on my husband a bit more to help with math explanations since I was never good at fractions in school:(.


We are clicking along pretty well here as I make up my own curriculum.  We started off learning about Man's arrival to North America, moving on to learn about the Inca, Aztec and the Mayans, we have just wrapped up learning about Roanake and Jamestown and are beginning to learn about the Pilgrims and the Quakers.  My goal is to try to get to the Revolutionary war by the summertime.


I goal was to complete three countries this year.  We have learned about Canada and are currently studying Russia as we get ready to watch the Olympics in a week.  So we are on target this year


We just completed our unit on geology learning about rocks, tectonic plates and landforms.  In September I said we would move on to learning about the human body the second half of the year but I have since changed my mind and we will be covering weather and meteorology instead.  I will post about our learning on this topic shortly.  I am gathering ideas, resources, and projects to help with our learning as I type.  I will cover the human body next year and make it for the whole year, I think, but I reserve the right to change my mind.


We are continuing with the Meet the Masters program for art history and art projects.  My daughter recently informed me that she wants to attend a drawing class, so we have enrolled her in an outside art class as well.  We also continue to do many crafts if it applies in our school lessons.  My goal was to complete 6 artists this year and so far we have completed 3:  Freida, Miro, and Rembrandt.  So we are on target this year


Both kids are continuing their piano lesson and are doing well.  We did have to change piano teachers a few months ago as I wasn't pleased with the teachers methods.  This new teacher seems much more inclined to listen to the kids and to me which makes the whole process so much easier.


My daughter loves drama and I found a local church that does lessons, while it is a bit pricey we are continuing for this year.  I will have to look for other options next year as now our son wishes to join in and it is too expensive for 2 kids.  My daughter just finished her 1st performance with this group and she did amazing, but I am biased:)

Foreign Language:

 Spanish:  we have a tutor come to the house weekly and while my husband is still not sure it is working, I am overall pleased that someone else is teaching a foreign language.  The tutor includes  culture, stories in addition to the spanish language.  The kids are enjoying it much more than they ever did when I tried to do it on my own.  My kids may never be fluent speakers in a foreign language but no one can say I haven't tried.

Latin:  My husband and daughter have taken this on and are progressing slowly with a computer program.  My husband works very long hours and travels quite a bit so it isn't consistent but my daughter still has an interest in learning so we will keep trying.  We haven't included our youngest in this as it would be too much for him I think.

Character training:

My goals was to continue with the Character First program and hope to complete a minimum of three traits this year.  So far we have completed 1.  so I am a bit behind but there is still time to catch up:)

Home economics:

This is not happening as I had originally planned at the beginning of the year:(  I have dropped the ball and need to somehow regroup and restart as I think it is important.


Kids are typing certain lessons on the computer so I am no longer using a program of sorts.
Handwriting:  I had hoped to teach my son cursive writing this year but we haven't had time.  He still struggles with printing and I am really beginning to think he has dysgraphia as his printing is really awful:(.  I need to investigate options.  My daughter is now writing in cursive but prefers typing or printing over cursive writing.  My husband doesn't believe cursive writing is relative anymore so we aren't really pushing it at the moment.  I am starting to research dysgraphia so if you have any suggestions or recommendations please leave a comment.


Unlike when we lived in England and had plenty of physical exercise we haven't been able to find programs that would work well with my kids and their personalities and needs.  Right now we are just going to the YMCA as a family and exercising a few times a week.  I would like to find them some type of sport that they enjoy but team sports are not a good option for them and costs are factoring in on the options available to us.

Field trips:

If you read my blog at all you know we go on lots of field trips.  I believe outside learning is huge and it gets us out of the house to interact with other people.  We currently belong to a field trip coop and probably average 2-3 outings a month.  Also as a family we are constantly exploring the many wonderful opportunities in our surrounding areas:)

So that is where we are in a nutshell for our school year.  As always there is room to improve but I am overall happy with what we have accomplished:)


  1. 100 days in is a good time to reassess.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. It's interesting to read about how certain programs work for you and the kids. I also use Math-U-See, but only with my daughter. She thrives with the program, but I think my son needs much more information on the application behind the concepts. He uses a combination of Life of Fred and Khan Academy. Usually he spends alternates between the two on a weekly basis.

    I'm so envious of your Spanish tutor. I think learning from a native speaker is the best way. We use Duolingo for Spanish - a free curriculum on-line.

  3. Boy, you complete a lot! Drama is a hot topic in our house, as both Noctis and Sola are involved in it. Noctis probably won't take classes next year, but he will probably volunteer to help with the younger kids. I'm going to check out Duolingo, though The Learnables is working very well for Noctis.

  4. Wow, you continue to amaze me. It looks to me like you have a very well rounded program and I love your interactive learning. i especially love that you are doing fun learning field trips. As far as your son's writing One of my sons always had a problem with his hand writing and all so spelling. It was a challenge for him.. He has done well in his career and he is now going back to school to finish a degree. I think if you find a reason you should investigate it. In our day they didn't have a diagnosis for this problem.
    Blessings and thanks for teaching me a lot.