Saturday, November 8, 2008

Notebooking Our American Heritage ABeka

The entire family was home today which is unusual for a Friday. Mr. Darling was off work and Peter didn't have any school. That means that Tink didn't have school either.

She has been really struggling in Reading so I told her she has to read the same story from her reader the entire week. She has always resisted this. She thinks she should be able to read the story once aloud to me and then go on. Well this year I see that this can no longer continue. Now I put her words for the next weeks book on the word wall so she always stays ahead of the book. We read her book from Reading A-Z once aloud on Mondays. Then every day after that she has to read the book to herself until the following Friday. On Friday she then reads the book aloud to me again so both she and I can see the progression. This method will also help me see if she really can grasp the story or if I need to give her easier books.

When Tink began Reading A-Z last January, she began at Level G. She is now at Level O. The stories have doubled if not tripled in length and the words have gotten much much harder. Today was the first day she had to read the story to me the second time since we are finished with the week. She was amazed that she could now read easily the sentences that were too hard for her on Monday. She went right over words like trickery, treacherous, oddity, pondered, and absurd.

Those were all words that had been on her word wall last week but when it came time to read the story on Monday she stumbled so badly I really began to wonder if I would need to back her up a few levels. When kids miss not only the words but the periods and such it effects their fluency. When the fluency goes than for sure they are reading at too tough a level. Tinks fluency was about nonexistent. But then I had to ask myself; Is this just a bad day for her or is this really too hard?

The only way to answer that was to have her read the same story for the next three days than read aloud to me on the fourth. How she resisted it! Well she read the story again today and sailed over the hard words like she knew them all her life! Then she turns to me and says, "Mama I didn't really understand this story when I read it to you on Monday. It didnt make sense and now it does!"

I am literally jumping for joy! It seems that with Tink I always have to reinvent the wheel; always twist and tighten and rethink and redo. It certainly keeps me on my toes!

I've spent a good part of today putting together our history journals. We're using Our American Heritage by Abeka books but there really isn't a lot of hands on work or questions to answer in the book. The book begins with Christopher Columbus in 1451 and goes through all the Plymouth colony guys like; John Smith, Pocahontas, Miles Standish, Squanto, William Penn, and Benjamin Franklin. Then it it starts on the presidents from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln. Then it backs up from Lincoln in year 1865 to Clara Barton in 1821 and goes through Grant, Louisa May Alcott, Booker Washington, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Billy Sunday. It ends with Billy Sunday in 1935.

Do you see what I see? I see a wonderful notebooking opportunity. So I got online and found these notebooking sheets to print. Then I googled the men's names and printed out pictures of them and maps and anything that had to do with them. The kids are going to paste these pictures on the worksheets and then right beside the pic on the given lines any point of interest about that person. I have four different pics of the lives of each man. I got the first three done and that will last us for the next couple of weeks.

I'm also excited about introducing Tink to Louisa May Alcott. Now I don't expect to read Little Women to her just yet. I was an avid reader as a child but even I couldn't get interested in Little Women until I was about sixteen. I can't tell you how often I tried to read it before I finally made it through! So to expect Tink to get interested at her age is pushing it but I am going to have the girls watch the movie Little Women.

And when we get to Laura Ingalls I am going to read Little House in the Big Woods to Tink. No, she's never heard that story. She is almost 11 years old and has never read or heard any of the Little House books! So far she has fought any effort on my part to get her interested. I'm hoping this is the year!

I have a lot more goodies to tell you about but I really must get to bed. I have successfully avoided a migraine for three weeks now! The keys to my success are sleep, B Complex, SAM-e, chromium, and spirulina. I've used all my keys today except sleep. So now I must sleep.

Thank you all for your prayers and support after the post below. It means a lot to me!

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