Monday, January 19, 2009

There is no end to the studying of books

Today is a holiday here in the states so there is no school. It's a cold winter day with temps at 25 degrees F. Now to some of you in the East and midwest right now that would seem almost like summer! But 25 is as low as I care to see it. I truly could live in 75 degree weather forever, with a dip in temps for Christmas. Is there anywhere like that? I doubt.

I'm going to take today to figure out exactly where we are in our books. It takes continual pacing to get finished by summer. I school until the middle of July every year than take 6 weeks off and start up again in September so that gives me a little longer to get through things.

I'm still not totally happy with Tinks reading curriculum or lack thereof. I wish I could find a good strong reading program. I love BJU but Tink freaks when she sees the book because of earlier struggles with it last year. I have her in Houghton Mifflins Golden Threads now but when that is done I'm not sure where we'll go. I ordered the Houghton Mifflin reading book for third grade and I'm thinking of going into that next. The one shes doing now for reading is actually a Literature book.

We're still doing Word Walls only now Im not printing and cutting the words out by hand. I payed for Ed Helper and now I use it to make my word wall. Tink is also working through Letters and Sounds by Abeka for more phonics exercises. She's half way through that book and should finish it by April. I'm going to move her up in that same curriculum to the next book when she's finished with it. She's also doing Explode the Code for Phonics and is almost done with Book 7 that she started in the fall.

Phonics and Reading are an important part of our day. Tink reads aloud to me every day so I can monitor and catch any problems. If you are interested in looking at any of these books you can find the link to them in my sidebar under Tinks Winter Curriculum. Having a 10 week old baby on my left arm and pecking with the right doesn't lend itself to putting in all the links, if you know what I mean.

We're only about a third of the way through our Science book. I want to be finished with the unit on Plants by the end of January. We're sticking closely to the Science Schedule I layed out here. We're still lapbooking this unit too.

In History we just finished studying about Benjamin Franklin. Tink is taking a surprising interest in this man. She now studies intently any picture she sees in books of men of that time to see if she can pick him out. I guess I never realized before what a sort of ugly man he was. Oh well, I'll take brains over beauty any day and he certainly had the brains! We're still notebooking our Abeka History book besides answering all the questions in the book.

I want to stop here a moment and tell you about the great characters in Abekas 3rd grade History book. Of course, I was also impressed with their 2nd grade History book. That's way more than I can say for their unimpressive Reading program. But for those who are interested here are the people that the kids will study this year in the order they are given in the book. It also gives the span of time we are studying beginning in the 1400's and ending in 1957! That's incredible span with many interesting characters.Here they are:

Fall Term as divided by the book,
Christopher Columbus 1451-1506
John Smith 1580-1631
Pocahontas 1595-1617
Miles Standish 1584-1656
Squanto 1585-1622
William Penn 1644-1718
Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 (we are to this point. Winter term in our district starts Feb 4 so we are perfectly in place in History. That feels good!)

Winter Term
George Washington 1732-1799
Daniel Boone 1734-1820
Noah Webster 1758-1843
John Greenleaf Whittier 1807-1892
Robert E. Lee 1807-1870
Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865

Spring Term
Clara Barton 1821-1912
Ulysses S Grant 1822-1885
Louisa May Alcott 1832-1888
Booker T Washington 1856-1915
George Washington Carver 1859-1943
Laura Ingalls Wilder 1867-1957
Billy Sunday 1862-1935

Isn't that an exciting lineup? I cant wait for Spring Term. Maybe I can finally interest Tink in the Little House books or in Little Women. I can dream, cant I? You mothers of kids who love to read have no idea how blessed you are!

In Math we are moving slowly. I have to supplement with so much extra work so Tink can grasp it that the actual book progress is tedious. We are doing Horizons and are still in Book 3A. I keep thinking we're almost done with it and then another page appears from nowhere! Okay, I'm sure it was there all along but goodness, its taking forever! I am happy to say that Tink is finally getting a firm grip on the multiplication tables. She uses little books from her Multiplication Lapbook but I've been seeing her work more and more on her own. She is fast with the flash cards up through the 6's. She's knows beyond that but she has to think harder.

In Language Arts we are only a fourth of the way through the book. There will be no finishing in this book this year. Tink and one of my other students are learning about the writing process in unit 4 of Abekas Language Arts. They are learning how to glean information and document their sources. Then they move on to rough drafts and finals. While they are doing their research and such I am having them work in Unit 5 which is on the proper use of quotations. So we're moving slowly but Tink is learning and that's what counts.

In Literature we are studying WWII. I know that sounds like History and it is but we are using it for Literature. I'm reading the kids the book, Scout, And The Secret of The Swamp, while they color the pictures that go with WWII. For a complete over view of exactly how we are doing this study you can go to World War II under labels on my sidebar or you can click here.

Our Read Alouds right now are Snow Treasure, Scout, and a Magic Treehouse book about Dragons. I cant rightly remember the title now. This one Mr. Darling and I are both reading to Peter. Tink has no interest in it having "outgrown Magic Treehouse", as she puts it.

So this brings us to the end of this somewhat boring update. I love reading homeschool updates but I realize a lot of my readers are not homeschoolers, therefore a lot of this stuff is not particularly interesting.

Well Tiger Lily is needing care so I have to go.

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