Saturday, January 31, 2009

Progress report

We have completed MathUSee Alpha and are now starting in Beta. H is chomping at the bit to get to the hard problems. I never imagined I would have to slow him down in Math, and believe me, I am not complaining, but he will still be required to work his way through all the assignments in order. L is keeping up beautifully, although she has been sick this entire week and is feeling quite sluggish. This too shall pass... I couldn't be more happy about the progress I am seeing. The kids are enjoying their MUS lessons which sure makes Math a lot easier for all of us. Thank You MUS for a Great Program!!!!

We are also making good progress in Level Two of All About Spelling. The spelling rules are sticking in the kids memory nicely, and it is great fun to see the kids applying them in other activities. L's reading is automatically improving, as we haven't worked on any Phonics this month, yet she is reading more difficult words. I think our recent lessons about syllable division have really made an enormous difference in how she decodes words now. H is also improving greatly, and is using less and less invented spelling. He is making more effort at thinking his way through words, and the results have been very positive. It is astounding to me that such a simple and straightforward program can make such a huge difference in the kids abilities. I am SO GRATEFUL to have found this wonderful spelling program! We really Love it!

I am ramping up our writing lessons now to include sentence and paragraph formation. I have IEW's Excellence in writing program, and really love the approach, but I feel like something is missing at the onset. I really feel like some introductory sentence and paragraph basics should be covered before venturing into full out writing. I have been researching a few other writing programs and came across Step Up To Writing. It looks really interesting and easy to implement (Can you tell the ease of implementation is a running theme with me?). On Monday I plan on calling them to see if it includes an actual lesson plan. If so, it will likely be on it's way. I'll keep you posted.

We recently had a great time learning about magnets too. It was a basic lesson, but the kids had such a blast playing with the magnets. They went wild figuring out what had iron content, and what did not. H found it particularly interesting that the earth itself was like a giant magnet, and that there are actually magnetic rocks (magnetite).

I have a lot planned for the next few months, and will post as we move along in our lessons. Have a great day!

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