Wrapping Up Week 22 (2015-16)
In our morning “circle time” I decided to introduce the younger kids to the Miller family books, so after our time in Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids and Scripture memory work, we went back and started reading Storytime With the Millers. At first Ian protested because we hadn’t finished reading all the books before, but once we got back into it he didn’t seem to mind. Our whole family enjoys these stories.
Ian’s been begging me to get back to reading chapter books with him, so I pulled out Mr. Popper’s Penguins. He loved it! We read several chapters at a time throughout the day and finished in two days.
I’ve yet to really settle into a good fit for math with Elijah. He’s officially in Kindergarten this year, but he is such a little smarty-pants when it comes to numbers. He enjoys pretty much everything, and he’s been jumping around various math curricula for the last few months. Like Ian, he starts his lesson time each day with facts drills on xtramath.org. After that, however, it depends. Some days he wants to do CTCMath.com, where he’s almost done with the 2nd grade lessons. Other days he does a lesson on Teaching Textbooks Math 3. Since he’s working above grade level, I’m not really concerned, but I’d like to find something that’s a good fit and then stick with it.
I think I may have found a good option. I decided to go back to the curriculum I used with Ian for Kindergarten and most of first grade: Mathematics Enhancement Programme from the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching in the UK. I’ve always loved this curriculum, but it was a little overwhelming for Ian. It is incredible rich, with a depth and challenge I haven’t seen with the other math programs we’ve tried. Ian does better with something a little lighter and more fun, but for Elijah the extra challenge is fun. So I looked through the Year 1 curriculum to see where I wanted to place him, and then printed out a few practice book pages, starting at lesson 96. He worked through 1-2 pages a day this week and it seems like a good fit.
I’m not doing the lesson plans, even though I do feel like they’re the heart of MEP. Instead I’m helping Eli through the first problem or so of each section on the practice page and then letting him finish on his own. So far it’s working well, and he’s finding great delight in the program, like he’s solving brain-teasers rather than doing work.
We made our first visit to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Every year we get a membership to a local attraction where we can have fun learning as a family (i.e. zoos, children’s museums), and this was what we chose for 2016. The kids really enjoyed exploring the special exhibit on mummies from Peru and Egypt, which we wanted to hurry to see before it closes on Monday. I was impressed with how the older boys really stopped to read the signs and learn about what was on display.
We also visited the museum’s nature lab, where all four older kids we engrossed in learning about the world around us. We were at the museum for over two hours and never even made it off the ground floor, only managing to see the mummies and part of the lab. Ian asked if we could go back the next day, but we told him he’ll probably have to wait a couple weeks. I’m really looking forward to taking our time this year exploring all that the museum has to offer!
We’ve been assigned our first Schoolhouse Review Crew products for the year, so watch for my reviews in the next few weeks: