Sunday, October 28, 2012

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

   Justice is studying The Hobbit this year. We'd originally planned to do a chapter each school day, but we've been enjoying ourselves way too much to go that fast. We're often torn between what to cut so it doesn't take all year, and wanting to delve as deep as we can. We'll get to Lord of the Rings when we get there. ;-)

   The core of our study is The Annotated Hobbit, edited by Douglas A. Anderson. You can find it at or nearly any book seller. I read through during the lesson planning stage and decide which allusions and extra rabbit trails to chase, and dig up resources to do just that. Then Justice reads through a chapter at a time, enjoying the side bars of information as he goes. This is not his first pass through the Hobbit by any means; I wouldn't hand the annotated version to a kid on their first pass. It's best enjoyed after you've already fallen in love with Tolkien's work.



   Our first week was an introduction to Tolkien, for a boy who was already fairly familiar with his work. Here's a general list of the material Justice covered. Each session wasn't considered complete until we'd had a discussion on it.
  • read pages 289-296 of Omnibus II, published by Veritas Press (scroll down to the table of contents and click on The Hobbit on the right side of the page)
  • read this biographical sketch of Tolkien from The Tolkien Society
  • used Unit One: The Oral Tradition from Houghton Mifflin, including the vocabulary, discussion topics, and some of the handouts
  • wrote a paper on eucatastrophes
  • began reading Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories" essay (we spread this out, little bites at a time)

 Chapter 1

   After that round was a soaring success, I began putting together everything I could find for chapter 1: An Unexpected Party. The more I looked, the more I found. There was no way we were going to get all that done in a day and do it any justice.
  • vocabulary options: inclined, rune, discreetly, laburnums, prosy, scuttled, depredation, conspirator, audacious, ingenious, remuneration, and necromancer (taken from Hobbit at Literary Guild Page)
  • writing topic: poetical exaggeration
  • comprehension questions from Literary Guild Pages
  • Wind in the Willows allusion (hobbit hole compared to Badger and Mole's hole, Mole's End compared to Bag End), you can find the original version in ebook format on Google Books
  • hobbit naming choices, look up belladonna plant and a few more references
  • Oliphaunt poetry
  • which could lead us to Tom of Bombadil
  • mapwork, comparing the Wilderland Map to others, pinpointing Mines of Moria in relation (The Atlas of Middle Earth will come in handy here)
  • listen the first lecture, Took and Baggins, in The Hobbit Lectures from the Mythgard Institute
  • the Christian worldview questions and Scripture tie-ins from Literary Guild Pages chapter 1
    And that's when I gave up the notion of one chapter a day. New plan: chase worthwhile rabbit trails, remember not every chapter is going to be that full

Chapter 2

  •  vocabulary options: mutton, outlandish, defrayed, esteemed, repose, requisite, paraphernalia, ambling, waning, inquisitive, canny, cavalcade, primly, purloined, copped, throttled, skewer, blighter, lout, applicable, commotion, mince, incantation, larder, waylaid, toothsome (from Literary Guild Pages)
  • comprehension questions from Literary Guild Pages
  • trolls speak with a cockney accent, write your own speech with Cockney Rhyming Slang
  • look up Tolkien's dragon drawings (Council of Elrond, Google Image), draw one or a few
  • read The Dragon's Visit
  • mapwork, draw Hobbiton Across the Water
  • read Chaucer's The Nonnes Preestes Tale (Language lovers will delight! If they want more, try The Reeve's Tale)
  • compare Bilbo's attitude to Jonah's
  • the Christian worldview questions and Scripture tie-ins from Literary Guild Pages
   Well, that one isn't quite as full, but Justice is going to love the Canterbury Tale pieces in that old language. At this point I'm getting very glad that he's taking Art of Poetry alongside this study; it's a perfect compliment.

Chapter 3

  • vocabulary options: forded, homely, gullies, ravines, faggots, reeking, bannocks, folly, parapet, venerable, provisions, lair, kin, cleaver, remnants, pondered, vexed, palpitating, solemn, bridle, gruesome, bewilder (from both vocab sources, and a smidgeon from the annotated version)
  • comprehension questions from Literary Guild Pages
  • learn about runes, translate Thror's map, write a message in runes, play with the rune generator, learn how to write Justice

  • make your own personal epithet using definition and/or meaning of your names
  • mapwork, Edge of the Wild, river that marks the very edge, Rivendell, 
  • read the Elvish Song in Rivendell (in the Annotated Hobbit), and possibly Shadow-Bride
  • learn more about Lombards, a Germanic people renowned for their ferocity, compare to Longbeards Edit: Justice really enjoyed this documentary.
  • study Rivendell pictures, copy one (Annotated Hobbit)
  • listen to the second lecture from the Mythgard Institute, The Ridiculous and the Sublime
  • the Christian worldview questions and Scripture tie-ins from Literary Guild Pages

   That one isn't quite as deep! Maybe there is hope for getting to the trilogy before he's a freshman. But a philological rabbit trail would be perfect here...

   Edit: Strike that. Reverse it. We decided to keep up the one chapter a week pace, and there will be more posts for the other chapters as I get them typed up.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Show and Tell: 10-26-12 Readin' 'n writin'

Little Crew

   Faith finished the big yellow box set of BOB Books, and has put in her order for the red set, from Costco. Unbeknownst to her I have the long vowel reader set from Nora Gaydos and a collection of Wild Animal Babies waiting in the wings. It's just about time to hand her a Dr. Suess or Little Bear instead of a reader, but the official reader appearance still gives her some extra confidence.

   Valor still doesn't stay still enough for a clear picture, but he has recently discovered the board book pile isn't the only place to get fun pictures to look at. He's checking out the Lorax. Classic toddler lit right there!

Middle Crew

    Grace wanted you to see her cursive Z page. Why is Z significant? Because it means she knows how to write *every* letter in cursive now! She's not ready to do the rest of her lessons in cursive just yet, so her writing in the coming weeks will still consist of copywork to build fluency.

   Honor wanted to share some writing, too. He's very proud of this paragraph from an English assignment. He and I discussed each sentence as he went, but he authored and wrote it entirely himself. He's come a long way from the eyebrow he raised about writing paragraphs regularly at the beginning of the school year.

Big Crew

    Joy said the best part of her week was the Fahrenheit 451 study. This was a spur of the moment bunny trail. I was completely unprepared for it, but we ran with it anyway. Most of the material we're using has come from The Big Read | Fahrenheit 451. Many of the writing assignments from Big Read have made fabulous conversation sparks. Her favorite assignment so far was to write a portion of the story from a different character's perspective. The story is told as if we're following Montag; she wrote as if the main character was Clarisse.


   To keep with the reading theme, Justice chose his Tolkien study again. He was skeptical when I told him we'd be talking about the qualities of fairy tales as part of studying Tolkien. After spending a week learning about Tolkien himself, reading portions of his essay On Fairy Stories, and learning some of the vocabulary involved, he's hooked. His main project this week was learning and writing about eucatastrophes, and finding examples in common fairy tales and beyond.

   In math...
  • Faith reached the penny counting section. She can now proudly tell you that a penny is worth one cent, and the guy on it Abraham Lincoln.
  • Grace is multiplying! She thinks it's fun, too! Her addition and subtraction are rock solid. Twice this week she turned in a math lesson without a single mistake. 
  • Honor has been working with measurements, and some order of operations. He can whip through long division like nobody's business and sits there smiling when his family is surprised at how fast he does it.
  • Joy spent a week on fractions. "Easy peasy lemon squeezy." She could have easily tested out of the work, but the review was good for her, and the book we used explained things more intricately than she's covered before. And those fractions were in algebraic sentences, which made them even more fun.
  • Justice is still in a measurements chapter. The metric prefixes seem to have fallen out of his head. I used Google's image search to find a simple chart and put it on the wall near where he does most of his work. Off he goes again!
In science...
  • The middle crew wrapped up cells, and started skin. Honor was *very* interested in every detail of the cells, but the skin diagrams skeeved him out.  Grace's favorite part was the microscope picture of a skin mite. 
  • The big crew wrapped up the introduction to physical science, and read more history of chemistry. They're planning their next project from Backyard Ballistics and making a shopping list for it.
In history...
  • The middle crew read about Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Adams. 
  • The big crew are working through the Revolutionary War battle by battle.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not Quite a Student Spotlight: Valor

   'Cause he's much too delicious to leave out. ;-)  Valor is 2 years old. The only remotely academic activity he does is scribbling on his siblings books when they leave them out with a pencil on top. He spends his days driving toy cars and trains, throwing balls around the house, covering himself in dirt in the backyard, climbing anything possible (including parents and siblings), and generally being a happy boy sort of boy.

   For school picture day he was far more interested in skooching down the grass hill on his butt than posing for a picture.

But he was more than happy to smile as he ran back to the stairs behind the big slide. 

   This one was taken the day the police car came home. To say he was excited may be an understatement. 


   Those playground pictures are some of the rare outdoor pictures of Valor without his hat. For whatever reason, the moment we arrived at the park for pictures he stripped his shoes, socks and hat off, laid them in a pile at the front of the van, and gleefully ran to the slide. Some kids have special blankies or teddy bears; Valor has a hat.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Show and Tell: 10-19-12

   The last two show and tells ended with Valor, so I'll start with him today.  Sweet l'il guy. He's spent a lot of time sleeping this week. At first I thought it was getting the first dose of Halloween candy out of his system, but days later he's still taking extra long naps. Just watch, he'll be three inches taller next week.

   Honor and Grace learned about the various cells our bodies are made of this week. They're really enjoying their human body study, though Honor is constantly making remarks about it not going deep enough to satiate his curiosity. I need to make a list of the topics we're covering and get him some extra reading books on the side.

   Faith read all the readers in yet another set of BOB Books. She's so very proud of herself!  I have one more set in my closet for her to devour, and she'll have to start in on our Dr. Suess collection.

   Joy said her best lessons from this week came from her science text. She's excelling in this book and enjoying herself immensely.

(No, that title isn't on her curricula list. We only pull it out for particular chapters when it suits our study. She loves it anyway.)

  Justice wanted to share a Balrog drawing he really enjoyed. "It's a great interpretation, but it's absolutely nothing like the one in my mind, and definitely not like the one from the movie."  This is from the bestiary by David Day.

   This is our poor table about twenty minutes into a school day. We're not -all- at it for very long, but it's getting rather crowded during that part of the day. 

   How homeschooling fashionistas attend their lessons? Love that girl! ♥

Thursday, October 18, 2012

S'all Greek to me!

   Justice and Joy really want to learn Greek. They have a couple/few years of Latin under their belt, and they're already familiar with the Greek alphabet due to Greek Code Cracker (Classical Academic Press). We'd originally planned to add Spanish when we got to this point. There are -so- many resources and options around us for learning Spanish that it seems like a waste not to take advantage of them, and it would make it much easier for them to get a job when they're ready.

   Now that we're at the junction where we could add another language, they're head over heels for ancient Greek. They want to read the ancient texts for themselves. With this much energy and excitement it would be a waste not to take advantage of it. I can easily see Justice in a field where all his ancients knowledge will be put to good use; he's a liberal arts kind of guy. And Joy would be over the moon to read the Greek mythologies in the original language. They both have time left to change their minds and go with a different language, or add a third if they're ambitious. Greek it is!

   The first thing I learned while researching Greek curricula is there aren't nearly as many options as Latin. Latin courses run the gamut from really inexpensive texts picked off Amazon Marketplace and free vintage book downloads from Google Books, to courses with DVD instruction and websites with video games lined up to the chapters. In addition to the range of options, there's a wide range of levels available, from kindergarten to college. Greek can't say the same thing. (Yet?)

   The Greek courses are split into three main groups, where Latin just has two pronunciation choices for you to use with pretty much any Latin book. There's the modern Greek that is spoke today, classical Greek that the ancient authors used, and Koine/Biblical Greek that primarily covers what you need to read the original New Testament.

   Lost yet? My eyes spun around for awhile, like Sylvester the Cat's after a board clonked his head, and I haven't even learned the new alphabet yet! We're leaning towards Athenaze right now. It's classical, has oodles of extras on the internet and the most teacher support of the courses I've looked at. One level is actually enough to earn a high school language credit, so we'll definitely be slowing it down some. We don't have an hour+ in our day to give this. ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Student Spotlight: Justice

   Last one!  Justice is such a fun kid. Strong, funny, eager to help anyone, dotes on his younger siblings (most days), and he's always ready for an adventure. ♥ He has an affinity for ancient and medieval history, languages, myths, and weaponry, with a big twist of modern superheroes mixed in there.

    Justice is an 8th grader this year. His goals are beating the bad guy in his current favorite video game, getting further ahead in English, excelling at Latin, possibly "picking up" Greek and Elvish, finishing a few favorite book series, and blowing stuff up in science. His favorite color is shadow, his favorite subject is literature, and he can't pick a favorite author. "There's too many choices!"

   My goals for his school year are stretching him in literature analysis and teaching him how to dig beneath the surface, getting him writing solid essays, keeping his math moving forward, and keeping up with his love of languages.

   Here's the curricula he'll use this year.
  • Grammar: Rod and Staff English
  • Composition: Lively Art of Writing during first semester, mom made assignments to write and revise after that
  • Vocabulary: I cut him a deal. If he'll regularly pull good words from his literature, science, history, and such, and work with them, we'll leave the actual vocabulary book on the shelf. He gets gobs of vocabulary from his Latin, too. If we ever get to the point we'd prefer a book that tells us what to do, Rod and Staff's Spelling by Sound and Structure 8 is on the shelf (it's root based vocab, in spite of it's title)
  • Literature: homemade Tolkien study! We're starting with The Annotated Hobbit, then we'll move into the trilogy. Some of the many resources we'll be using are a Tolkien biography, The Atlas of Middle-Earth, The Tolkien Bestiary, Silmarillion, Children of Hurin, On Fairy Stories essay, Smith of Wooten Major, Leaf by Niggle, lectures from Peter Kreeft, Joseph Pierce, and the Mythgard Institute, the free study guides from Houghton Mifflin, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. 
  • Math: Rod and Staff 8 (he is so disappointed about this being the last math book they make)
  • Science: Conceptual Physical Science, The Great Physicists from Galileo to Einstein, World of Chemistry, Backyard Ballistics
  • History: homemade, starting at the Revolutionary War and going as far into modern times as we get, using a mixture of Human Odyssey (Spielvogel), The History of US (Hakim), History: The Definitive Visual Guide, American Short Story, and literature
  • Latin: Latin Alive from Classical Academic Press
  • Logic: Discovery of Deduction from Classical Academic Press (one semester course, slowed down to take a whole school year)
  • Poetry: Art of Poetry (first semester)
  • Art: Annotated Mona Lisa (second semester)
  • Civics: Land of Fair Play, homemade Constitution study (first semester)
  • Geography: to be determined (second semester)

   You may have noticed composition, science, history and more are the same titles on Joy's list. They don't actually work together for most of those. In fact, they usually don't even do the same subject at the same time, even if they're doing the exact same lesson. They both do better work this way. Truly combining them in a subject just doesn't go well. They are such polar opposite children, from the flavors they prefer to the way they learn. I keep performance bars in individual places, and expect each child to do as well as they are able.

   And now I'd better research Greek curricula! We already have Greek Code Cracker, which is primarily just learning the alphabet. When are we supposed to get to Spanish again? Hopefully I can keep up with these guys! :D

End of the year curricula comments, posted June 2013

    Lively Art of Writing didn't sit right with him. We went back to mom made composition.
    Vocab didn't work out. He went back to Rod and Staff for awhile, then Vocabulary Power from McGraw Hill.
    That Tolkien study never got passed Hobbit, but some of that deeper Tolkien stuff ended up inside the Hobbit study. We went deep, chasing all sorts of rabbit trails. He read roughly one correlated whole work, or several small stories for every chapter, and then some. 
    He hit a big roadblock with math this year. It was a combo of hormonal moments and wanting to be further ahead than he is. I switched him to Dolciani prealgebra for a breath of fresh air, and it did the trick.
    We started out loving Conceptual Physical, but they felt in over their heads. We ended up using just parts and pieces of it, adding Tiner's Exploring the World of Chemistry, Exploring the World of Physics, extra literature, extra experiments, and such. They both asked if they could just go back to Apologia next year.
     History went great. 
     It wasn't a good year for Latin. Our fault, not the curricula's. Logic didn't happen, Art didn't get touched, Civics was barely touched, Geography never happened, but that Art of Poetry course was awesome!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Anti-autumn + Zhed

   Blog land and Facebook are loaded with the gorgeous images of autumn: leaves turning gorgeous colors, crisp weather, people in sweaters, a few pictures of ice. You won't find those things on this blog. ;-)

   Around our town the scents of pumpkin and cinnamon abound, scarecrows and fall leaf decorations are everywhere. Toward evening you might see a sweater or two. Our daily highs just now dipped into the 80's. We're more likely to see a tree covered in blossoms than in orange and red leaves.:)

   We had what you might be able to call a fall storm. It sounded like someone threw a handful of large drops on the house and it was over, but it left us a gorgeous rainbow.

   We found these brilliant purple flowers while walking a neighborhood yesterday. (Okay, okay, we were peddling BSA popcorn again.)

    Whoever used that nest must be done with it now. I keep finding bits and pieces of it in the yard. It doesn't strike me as a cozy place to raise babes, but it takes all kinds...

   Our palm trees don't lose their leaves like a regular tree does. Occasionally one falls down the trunk and dries up, but even those have to be cut off.

   Our Bird of Paradise bush grew so much this year. In the spring it was about half the height of that chain link fence! I've seen a few around town with flowers; hopefully ours starts soon.

   This one isn't quite anti-autumn. Honor was looking for treats for our pet lizard, Zhed.

    Nothing to do with fall at all, meet Zhed. She's a spiny desert lizard. When she's in full sun you can see remarkable blue, red and orange flecks on her back. She absolutely loves kid caught crickets, and rewards the bug hunters with a quick dart through her cage to gobble them. After the cricket has been munched down Zhed literally licks her lips, to the grand delight of her audience.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Show and Tell: 10-12-12

    We've had a pretty good week. :) There have been a few extras in our daily life that pulled us from the books, but they were all worthwhile.

   Honor diagrams sentences with compound subjects and compound verbs with ease, and he's quite proud of that, too! 

   Some other accomplishments for the week are composing some great sentences in writing, getting only one mistake on his spelling quiz, and digging into measurement conversions in his math. His current book is the first volume in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.

   Justice was pretty proud of that score on the top of his first major English test of the year. That was some serious brain rust to overcome, but he did it!

   In other work he's also doing measurement conversions, but he's bouncing between English and metric. His sentence composing has been fabulous this week, even simple comprehension answers are very pleasant to read.

   Faith wanted to share her math this week. She has a solid comprehension of those teen numbers being a ten and loose ones, and she still tells me, "Twelve!" for the fun of it once in awhile.

   In other work she's nearly eaten that new box of BOB books, volume 2 of her readers hasn't slowed her down a smidgeon, and the little pencil grips I bought her for her pencil have really made a difference in her penmanship. She won't write without one now!

   Joy wanted to share Mark of Athena, Rick Riordan's newest book. She's on her second pass, and says it's his best book yet!

   Otherwise, she's had fun making argument topics for essays, excelled in her grammar book, and you can't make the kid stop reading. Her last math chapter almost got the better of her. It was slow going at times, but she pulled through. Today was the chapter test, where she earned an 82%. Great job, Joy!

   Another bookworm, Grace. She's still working on that Dragon book, but that's because she tends to work on several books at a time. One for bedtime, one for outings, one for quiet reading time....

   Grace has really done well across the board this week. She's doing so well in her math book, she giggles out loud when a two page spread of problems comes back with just a mistake or two. Her joy of learning is so contagious! In other lessons she's working on adjectives, mastering her spelling words with ease, advancing in cursive at a rapid pace, and loves every minute of it. ♥

   Last, but certainly not least, little Valor wanted his new police car in the pictures. Some day I really will get a non-blurry picture of this boy. There is no sharpen feature that can keep up with a boy who moves this fast.

   Valor spends his days driving trains and cars around the house, eating, getting into the middle of the kids' projects, and swiping my food. He's deliciously cute in his ornery antics, though! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Student Spotlight: Joy

   Joy is next! She is 12 years old and in seventh grade this year. That seems awfully big. She truly is a Joy, and such a blessing to so many people. When she's happy you just can't help but smile along with her, and she's such a helpful kid. Really. We've had rental offers. LOL  The other morning I woke up the front door opening. By the time I'd stumbled to the door to see what on earth was going on, Joy was coming back in and raised an eyebrow and my disheveled, blinking sleep out of my eyes self, "I was just taking the trash out, Mom." She'd fired up the computer, made a pot of coffee, and helped Valor get his morning sippy cup of milk. Just because. Wouldn't trade her for anything. ♥


   Joy's goals for the year are speaking Greek, swimming better, reading an actual Latin book, and reading ten thousand books. Her favorite color is blue, her favorite subject is math, and her current favorite book is The Mark of Athena. On our Not Back to School Day, it was Hunger Games. Rick Riordan finally released a new book shortly afterward. Hunger Games didn't stand a chance. She enjoys the story, but will be quick to tell you that Riordan is a -much- better author.

   My goals for Joy's seventh grade year are keeping her appropriately challenged in math and science, getting her writing strong essays, and delving into literature analysis.

  Here's her curricula plan for this year.
  • Grammar: Rod and Staff's English 7
  • Spelling/vocabulary: Rod and Staff's Spelling by Sound and Structure, finish 6, then 7
  • Literature: homemade study based on Anne of Green Gables, following the allusion and footnote trails through the annotated version, also using Anne's Anthology and Anne of Green Gables Treasury (recipes, handiwork, and such)
    Figuratively Speaking for literary terms
  • Composition: Lively Art of Writing for the first semester, writing and revising for the rest of the year (to the tune of one main paper a week)
  • Penmanship: Spencerian Penmanship (at her specific request)
  • Math: finish pre-algebra, start Jacob's Algebra, Patty Paper Geometry on the side for fun
  • Science: Conceptual Physical Science, The Great Physicists from Galileo to Einstein, History of Chemistry, Backyard Ballistics
  • History: homemade, starting at the Revolutionary War and going as far into modern times as we get, using a mixture of Human Odyssey (Spielvogel), The History of US (Hakim), History: The Definitive Visual Guide, American Short Story, and literature 
  • Latin: Latin Alive from Classical Academic Press
  • Logic: Discovery of Deduction from Classical Academic Press (one semester course, slowed down to take a whole school year)
  • Poetry: Art of Poetry (first semester)
  • Art: Annotated Mona Lisa (second semester)
  • Civics: Land of Fair Play, homemade Constitution study (first semester)
  • Geography: to be determined (second semester)
That looks like a lot all typed up. I swear she doesn't work ten hours a day! The last four elective type subjects stagger with each other and don't take much time; they're the first to get set aside if the core subjects need more time. I don't plan on even scheduling the penmanship in; she'll do that for the fun of it. The grammar book gets set aside for the day if her writing load is heavier than normal. When I get their student spotlights finished I'll work on some daily schedule examples.

End of the year curricula comments, posted June 2013

   Where the Brook and River Meet was AWESOME. Best lit year ever for this kid.
   We fizzled on Lively Art of Writing and went back to mom made assignments, and she did plenty from Where the Brook and River Meet, too.
   We started out loving Conceptual Physical, but they felt in over their heads. We ended up using just parts and pieces of it, adding Tiner's Exploring the World of Chemistry, Exploring the World of Physics, extra literature, extra experiments, and such. They both asked if they could just go back to Apologia next year.
   History was great. She mostly read through it this year.
   This was just not a good year for Latin. It was us, not the curricula.
   Logic got set by the wayside. She wasn't ready for formal logic.
   Art of Poetry was a hit! We'll finish it over the summer or next year.
   Art didn't get touched, civics barely got touched, and separate geography never happened. We over planned. Definitely.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Student Spotlight: Faith (preschool)

   Faith is 4.5 years old now. She's a delicious little package of determination and chutzpah. She'll conquer the world some day; I'm certain of it.

   Academically I require nothing of her, yet not a day goes by that she doesn't take the initiative to pull her school books out. She always has the option to just close the book mid-lesson and declare school over for the day. So far she's only done that once since we began this school year. Usually her dilemma is that I don't give her enough school.

   Faith's goal for the year is to get more school books. Her favorite color waffles between purple and blue, she likes music, Dora the Explorer, riding her bike, reading, camping, and playing with dolls. When we asked her to find her favorite book for her school picture she couldn't decide on one. "Well, I don't really like picture books anymore, but I don't have a favorite chapter book yet." As we were heading for the van she grabbed the "prettiest" one off the book pile on her way out.

   Faith can read short vowel words and consonant blends with ease, and is starting to branch out into long vowels. In math she counts to 100 with ease, has a very solid grasp of addition, and I think she was born with number sense. Her current new concept is working on teen numbers, and seeing how they're built with a ten and some extra ones.

   Here's her curricula list for the '12-'13 school year.
  • Phonics instruction: Phonics Pathways
  • Readers: CLP's kindergarten phonics readers, and yet one more set of BOB Books (she found them at Costco and couldn't be parted)
  • Math: Rod and Staff math 1, the first edition with the ducks (This starts with K level math, and oh so gently rolls up to first grade material.)

   If this line-up continues to not get her little cup full I'll add a penmanship book.

End of the school year curricula comments, added June 2013

    Phonics Pathways didn't make it to the end. She thought the act of reading out of the big book with mom was babyish, and craved lessons that looked like her sibling's spelling lessons. I switched her to Writing Road to Reading, which has worked fabulously for her thus far. We plan to continue it into next year.

   She finished those basal readers eons ago, and read through Veritas Press Kindergarten Favorites too. 

   Writing Road to Reading includes penmanship.   

Friday, October 5, 2012

Show and Tell 10-5-12

   Honor's writing assignment was on a topic near and dear to his heart - apples!

    Faith can pronounce the word TWELVE!! She had a hard time pronouncing beginning consonant sounds for awhile, and got in the habit of just dropping any sound where she felt she couldn't do it right. One of those dropped sounds was /tw/. During her math work I spelled twelve out across her paper and had her sound it out. Much to her delight, she could! For the rest of the day she would run up to us and yell, "Twelve!" before running away, giggling.

   Grace says the work she's most proud of this week is her math book. She builds tens, she takes them apart, she reads clocks, works mentally, solves story problems, and loves every minute of it.

   Justice is most excited about the book he's reading for literature. He's hauled it with him everywhere we've gone this week. 

   Joy was very proud of her completed Declaration of Independence. She copied the entire thing by hand, including the signatures. 

   Not to be left out, Valor's siblings say his proudest moments this week were learning how to say Buzz and Woody, and how cute it was when he realized the toy phone from his toy box was the one from Toy Story.