Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Back to Normal...

We had such a GREAT learning day today. We were back in our groove for the first time since pesach. Monday was okay, but today was really great. I got to everything I wanted to, other than wanting to have spent a little more time on Pirkei Avos.

We finished First Language Lessons yesterday (our grade 1 & 2 grammar book), and Amirah wanted to dive right in to Level 3. (Usually they can take a week of from the subject after completing a book, if they want to.) Over all, I really liked First Language Lessons (and get to start it with Eli soon!). I usually don't go for the scripted books (where teacher's instructional dialogue is written out), but this was easy enough to glance at the gist of the lesson and do it our way. The repetition of definitions, while the cause of some complaint, has really drilled the parts of speech into Amirah's head. Last week she couldn't identify parts of speech well at all, which surprised me, and I was worried we'd have to do a bunch of review, but yesterday she flew through it. Level 3 includes review of the parts of speech, so I think that will be good. We started Level 3, and after glancing through it, I think overall it's a better piece of work than Level 1/2. We'll see! We only have one more dictation left in Writing With Ease, then we'll be done with that too! It's nice to be finishing up a bunch of things!

Math, math. We're doing flashcards. Working to nail down our math facts. I think it's extra-important before we move on to 3rd-grade math, so I'll be postponing that until we've really got those down. We still have a bit to do in our 2nd-grade Saxon book. If we do 3 pages per day, we should finish at the end of June. Math is definitely her least-favorite subject, but there are so many wonderful things about math that I really hope we can enjoy it more after our facts become more automatic.

McGuffey Reader continues to get an A+ from us. Wonderful readaloud stories. I think there are only five or six more stories, then we'll start the third reader. We've been a little lackadaisical in getting to this... Maybe now that we're back in the swing of things. Her readaloud speed has increased a lot as we've gone through the book, and now she's reading at normal narration speed.

We did a triple history lesson today. The kids kept wanting to hear more and more. We read about the Reformation (the Lutherans) and the Counter Reformation (the Catholics), Queen Elizabeth, and Copernicus and Galileo (already favorite subjects of theirs). I want to find some good historical fiction for the Elizabethan age (any kosher suggestions, anyone????!?!?). Four chapters to go for history! And we'll be filling in the Jewish part of the Reformation/Counter Reformation/Elizabethan England. (The Elizabethan chapter will be quite short - Jews were exiled from England from 1290 to 1655, and only a very few actually lived there, and they were restricted to being money lenders or peddlars...)

We finished spelling around pesach time. We're on to Spelling C. She's a natural speller, so we don't need to spend too much time on this. We are starting to keep a list of words she tends to miss so we can polish up a little. And last, in astronomy, we're on to learning about Mars!

Chumash is going great. Her translation has gotten pretty quick, and she's usually able to translate about 80% of a pasuk the first time and master the vocabulary after three readings. It gets easier and easier (B"H!) for her. And we really ENJOY doing it together!!!! I'm starting to introduce an English Rashi here and there. I'm so grateful that she's enthusiastic now. She's also plugging away at Yesodot Halashon (working right now on this (m.) and this (f.) and these). She used to not like doing this very much either but she does it pretty happily now. We've not been doing Lashon Hatorah Beis (biblical grammar) very much, but we'll be getting back to it soon (BE"H).

Between Pesach and Shavuos, we always study Pirkei Avos (Sayings of the Fathers). I've kept our notebook from previous years, and each year we add more pages to it. We sing the songs we learned before, and add some new ones. We've read through the first chapter, but that's it, so I'm hoping to elaborate a little on the first chapter this week!

I just finished the attendance sheets we have to turn into Chatham County Schools, and we've officially had 170 days of "school." We're required to do 180, so we're almost there. We'll probably do another 33 days (our school year ends June 30), but at least I can stop turning in paperwork for a month!

That pretty much sums it up for now. Dean is taking the day tomorrow, and any day that he is home is a holiday. :) We'll be working on the garden, fine-tuning our new herb spiral, laying out the paths and preparing the dirt for planting. Once that's ready, we'd love to move on to preparing a (very) flat place in the back yard for the little above-ground pool we want to have there.

A few more things to do before sleep... Good night!

1 comment:

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Ooh, an herb spiral! I dug a new bed, but it's microscopic compared to a real garden and looks more like a gravesite than an actual place where things grow. Will post a pic if it ever stops RAINING.

I actually posted about FLL on WTM forums, because we started it on Monday and the first lesson was so awkward and strange. So your post is encouraging; I will stick with it for now.

Naomi loved it at first glance, actually, because of the girl on the cover (we have the new Volume 1 only). She thinks brown skin (with soft brown hair) is the most beautiful thing in the world... :-)