This was one of those weeks where I’m amazed we managed to get any schoolwork done at all. In addition to our regularly scheduled activities (ballet, gymnastics, music, park day…), three of the kids had to go in to the doctor for their regular check-ups. Then you throw in the fact that I am in the blessed
throes of first trimester nausea (we found out 3 days after I wrote about my Word for 2015
!), and you can understand my amazement that we somehow got anything accomplished this week.
Ian is really enjoying Little Pilgrim’s Progress, and it I weren’t having him write a little for each chapter, we’d probably read a lot more than two each day. Still, I think it’s good to pace ourselves, as it’s giving him time to really think about the story. I found a Pilgrim’s Progress game on eBay, which Ian was really excited to set up and play. Some of the characters and places are from parts of the book we’ve yet to read, and he’s eager to find out more about them now that he’s seen them in the game.
In our continued attempts to help Ian master his addition facts, I decided to try listening to songs from Mondo Math that cover the facts from 1-12 using various fun musical styles. I’m not sure if they’re going to help Ian, but Elijah absolutely loves them, especially the second half of the songs, where they don’t say the answers and he gets to call them out himself. I can guarantee that Elijah is going to have his facts memorized long before first grade. Hopefully Ian’s natural competitiveness will help push him to learn them as well, rather than being outdone by his little brother.
He’s doing pretty well with his daily practice on xtramath.org, though some new facts were added in this week, which threw him for a loop. When he scores well, he’s rewarded with free time on Mathletics, which ironically he’s been choosing to spend in the section with songs for learning his times tables. I pray that will be a less painful process for him than the addition facts!
Through it all, he’s still working through MEP (Year 2). I adore MEP, but it definitely requires quite a bit of teacher involvement, so I’m wondering if it’s going to be the best choice for us next year when we’re adjusting to a new baby. I’m considering letting Ian take some time off MEP to do something he can work on more independently while letting Elijah catch up (he’s about halfway through MEP Year 1). Then they can move onto Year 3 together so I’d only be teaching one math lesson each day. This idea has been in my head for almost a year, but the new baby is making me think about it more seriously. My main hesitation is simply in not letting Ian move forward when he’s been doing so well. But it would probably do him good to just sit on what he’s learned for a while.
Apart from math and spelling, our week was pretty thin. We managed to keep our heads above water as far as our Ambleside Online, Year 1 readings. We got through a few chapters of Our Little Roman Cousin of Long Ago, and covered lessons 29-31 on skin in The Human Body (including fingerprints, which led to a messy time of exploration), but we didn’t manage to do any notebooking or extras of any kind.
I’m currently reviewing several products, especially now that the Schoolhouse Review Crew is back for 2015. Watch for more about these soon!