Friday, February 26, 2016

School Ramblings {February 26, 2016}

Pictures from the snowy winter bird feeder from last month, Dark-eyed junco, and Lucy my bird watching companion.

We were back at it this week after having last week off. (We are shooting for 6 weeks school then one week off.) We are almost finished with term 2. We are in a good grove and I hope that continues through term 3.

Our schedule was very school friendly this week with only one outside commitment during school hours. We attend a local co-op one afternoon a week. We had a busier than normal schedule the past month so I'm very happy to get back to easy.

I worked the schedule so that the boys had less work to complete with me while we were in the busy weeks in hopes that the school work would still get completed given if I had to leave for a couple of hours. It worked out great and now we still have that schedule, but I'm home now. I'd admit I wasn't sure what to do with my extra time.O f course, that didn't last long and was easily filled.

What's in the Morning Basket?
We got behind in the last few weeks because I ended up being out of the house a few mornings that I hadn't planned on. I decided to cut back (and save for next year) a few items and narrow our focus down to get some books finished before the end of the year. This week we worked on grammar lesson together, drawing lessons, and listening to Swallowdale. I'm looking forward to the term 3 Morning Basket.

Caleb's favored book of the week: The Book of the Ancient World by Dorothy Mills. He admitted he was really enjoying this book and happy to write some narrations. This book is more intended for the middle school ages, and I think it's an easy read for him, but it is engaging. This is key for connecting with the book, which improves the chance it will go into long term memory. Since this was a recent change to Caleb history I was very happy to get this good report.

Tyler's favored book of the week: Farmer Boy . . . . . that is all he had to say about that.

Cassie's favored book of the week: I finally finished Anne of Windy Poplars. I checked out book #3 & 4 of the Anne of Green Gables series to read over Christmas break and didn't read much until after Christmas. Nothing like not being able to renew a book again to provide motivation to get it read! This was my least favorite, but I struggled with putting it down and stayed up too late most nights. I just didn't like that most of the book was written as letters. I'm looking forward to getting the next book.

What's this? (improvements needed)
Cursive? Both boys are having a refresher course since they won't write in cursive and it's been forgotten.

We've got this! (improvements made)
Tyler has been struggling with dividing fractions. Math-U-See Epsilon teaches it first using the rule of four. Which I thought was easy, but Tyler could not wrap his head around this. So, we have been ignoring dividing fractions until the lesson that taught how to do it by multiplying the reciprocal came about. He had that on Thursday and all is well in Tyler's math world again. Tyler has also mastered long division and multiplying multiple digits problems, which I thought would never come at the beginning of the year.


Looking ahead (teacher's duties):
I'm still looking for that perfect grammar program. (Yes, I know there is no such thing!) I did find Simply Grammar that I wished I had used as our first book for teaching grammar. The exercises are too young for the boys. I may be looking over KISS grammar this weekend. Otherwise, I will be writing my own . . . . which would be a really bad idea since grammar is not my best subject!

I also need to finish writing term 2 exam questions since that will happen next week. I need to research raising the bar with narrations and start expecting those from Caleb. This was a goal for the year that has been put off. Caleb's narrations have improved greatly this year, but it's time to go deeper.


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