Tuesday, September 10, 2013

State of the School

While some places started school last week, we are 65 days in.  The year has been chugging along.  We're approaching the halfway point in our history book and 40% in our science and writing courses. Both girls are in the second semester books for their math classes.  We tend to stay a bit ahead in those because the first books are a little shy of the 180 days in our year and they often did an extra page here and there in the beginning because the lessons were short and the girls were excited.  Kate's spelling is perpetual in Spelling Power until she finishes the book (probably around middle school).  She's a third of the way through her vocabulary an half way through her grammar.  Gabby's reading has improved a great deal this year too.  We're enjoying hearing her read aloud to us, herself, and Nate.

We are just about where I was hoping to be.  I'm trying to be realistic about our days once the little one arrives.  I figure that we may need slightly less structure for a bit and spend more time reading in the living room, which will be a nice change of pace after we take off the rest of September (after the birth day) and at least the entire month of October from regular schooling.

I also thought I would mention Kate's cursive handwriting, since we've struggled with it, and I mentioned that even Handwriting Without Tears produced tears.  She is liking the book now and is more confident in her abilities.  It was definitely a change for the better for her.  It is much simpler that any cursive I learned (I learned three different styles because I was in teacher education in college), but the author pointed out that if the student learns the basic structure the loops can be added easily later.  Currently her cursive is more legible than her print.  Hopefully that will continue and she can make the switch so her writing is easier to read.

The timer has become my friend lately.  As Kate is getting increasingly older, I want her to work independently on practice tasks in a timely manner, even when I leave the room.  I found that she works much more efficiently if she knows that she will be leaving a subject and moving on if I do that.  The consequence was always the same, that she didn't get as much free time at the end of the day, but I think that she makes the choice more consciously this way.

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