A Month In…

20091012_8797 blog

Hezekiah, age 5

…to school, and I thought I'd give an update.

Sequential Spelling- love it, love the method, though it does seem a bit advanced for my younger crew (ages 5-8). I'm going slow down and work with them separately. 

Story of the World- as always, a favorite for everyone.

Horizons Math- I both love and hate it. I love that it makes the children think…it focuses a lot on logic- but this is very difficult for my Liberian children, so I both love and hate that part. It seems advanced and challenging to me- having Enoch (3rd grade) doing basic algebra and Kalina (2nd grade) counting by nines. I love this, but get sick of the repetitiveness. I grade the books and my 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders are all doing the same thing at time. Huh? I'm not fond of the "lets just teach it a million times until they finally 'get it'" method. But I think this is true for most math books.

Easy Grammar has proven to be, well, easy. And painless. I'm loving the simplicity and Adalia, Judah and Tilly are making progress.

Marine Biology- we're loving it.

I am using Reading Pathways to teach Mordecai to read (my first deviation away from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons). Why? Because I anticipate more difficulty with him leaving the special symbols behind. I am also using Teach Your Child to Read, but as a supplement. He does well as long as we do it every day…and we don't usually do it every day.

Teaching Textbook- I love it and so do my children. As soon as Enoch finishes his third grade math books I'll start him on Teaching Textbooks 4.  Hopefully the computer will keep his attention a bit more than his math books.

In general, well I'm still spending too much time with my older students and too little with my younger students. When I figure out the solution to this one, I'll let you know.

By the way, that photo up there? Hezekiah is working on a poster for the Historical Harvest Party we are attending Saturday. Each child picks a historical character, dresses in costume, and shares what he's learned. Any guesses about who he's going to be?

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12 thoughts on “A Month In…”

  1. I used 100 Easy Lessons for my oldest, but when it was time to get my four year old started on a reading program, 100 Easy Lessons didn’t work for him. He’s very precise about visual input, and learns better with songs and rhymes. Also, he was confused by the special symbols.
    We switched to An Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (Peace Hill Press)–still phonics based, but it is clicking with him much better. Just wanted to toss that one out if anyone hasn’t heard of it. So far we love it, the rhymes and songs are just what my new student needed, and it’s easy to use.

  2. I am using Ordinary Parents as a phonics review for my 6 year old son that I did very little school with last year. We love it and I thought I would hate the scripting, it is actually very nice.
    I used HOrizons Math and the repetitiveness almost killed my kids’ love of math! I started just using a highlighter and marking every 3rd or 4th problem that was a new concept with some review thrown in, then assigning 5 highlghted problems and any that were skipped they could do if they wanted.
    But we switched over to Singapore and really love it. Personally I think it is more teacher friendly. It is a little repetitive – which is good, but it changes the appearance of the concept so it doesnt feel so monotonous. And it is very challenging which is great for my kids who want to do math first and love every minute of it.
    I love reading your blog – very encouraging and thoughtful.

  3. Carolynn Slocum

    Neil Armstrong!
    We have been struggling so much with reading for ERik until I bought him a ‘real’ book, “Dick and Jane”
    He LOVES when his friends teach him to read instead of me.

  4. There is a really good, concrete maths program used in NSW (my state in Australia) primary schools. It works for a lot of kids. It was designed for kids having trouble (I think) but is used in many schools. The negative is time spent making resources. The positives is fun and really teaching them what maths is about. Very little worksheets so another negative can be working with them if they are all at different levels. Anyway, check it out. I think it’s great. It’s called “Count me in, too”.
    http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/countmein/children_4_turns_to_100.html

  5. Have you ever heard of “Math U See”? Its such a great program, they make it all make so much sense… I was homeschooled until Grade 6, and I never had a problem with math until I stopped using Math U See (I’m now graduated, and I did fine throughout high school math, but I never found it as straight forward in the classroom as it was in Math U See). My little brother is using it now, and he’s finding it so much easier to understand. Just a thought ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Sequential Spelling huh? This is now the third time I have heard of this program in the last couple weeks after struggling with what to do. We’ve never done spelling and the younger children are pretty good spellers, but as they get older… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I checked it out online and LOVED the concept. I think I’ll buckle down and get it. I appreciate the notes on difficulty for 5-8 yr olds, I had not heard that. It was nice to visit with you Sunday!

  7. Oh I agree about singapore! Its made my son, who hates hates hates math books, enjoy math! I can still mark certain problems if he really has a concept, its a little ahead of AO, A beka and some other programs so I started him half way through 2B though he is 3rd grade this yr. He will catch up quickly, it works wonderful esp if you buy Math-U-See blocks to go along with it. I needed both sets for 2 kids. The sequential spelling, amazing! THough I had to slow it down a bit for 7 and 8 yr old and works best done each day even wkends.

  8. Sorry, just posted so PS, Renee would you share a good beef stew recipe please? Crock pot, dutch oven, pot on the stove, doesnt matter I can adapt it just really cant find a great one.

  9. Thanks for sharing this info. It really helps us out there to see what a large family is using. I struggle to find my way with my crew, but we are making progress…. switched to My Father’s World three weeks ago and that is going well since it gives me a simple plan to guide me along.

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