Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Week in Review: May 6-10

The beginning of May is a whirlwind around here! We finish up with Deerstream Learning Center and I finish up teaching piano lessons. Life feels crazy and then there is a sudden and wonderful calm. It hasn't arrived yet, but it will next week after my piano recital. With the craziness we try to squeeze in a bit of fun like New Orleans Style shaved ice! (Yes, it's pouring the rain, but boy was it a memorable visit!)

Some things have come up for us that has made me feel like I need to finish up school for the year in the next couple of weeks. Because of that I've made a few changes. Grace is going full-out fast-paced through Little Hands to Heaven. I'm doing 2-3 units a week. I want to get through this guide so she experiences the poems for each letter and we'll be doing it again next year for k-4. I'm only going to be reading the history and finishing the last several units with Beth by the end of next week. She is already into her 1st grade math and reading so I'm okay with moving more quickly. Rose will be finishing the last two units of Bigger next week.

The following week Rose and Beth will be completing their required state testing. Testing is one of the few requirements in our state for homeschooling and it is required to begin the school year when a student turns eight. I choose to test earlier because I want them to feel comfortable with testing in a comfortable environment I can control and I am covering my bases for the state. With the way educational requirements change so frequently I want to make sure I have done everything possible in order to show I am providing my girls with an excellent education.

In between all of this I have found time to still squeeze in my reviews! Make sure you check out the review of Trailblazer Books. They are offering a free e-book to my readers for this month only! More reviews will be headed your way soon!

And here is our week...

Little Hands to Heaven: Unit 19
We studied the letter P this week...mostly in one day to be completely honest! Grace did other work the other days, but we spent mostly 1 day focusing on this letter. I really enjoy adding in Do-A-Dot pages to coordinate with these. So does she! I let her pick the colors and then she has fun dotting the pages. To find these and others like them simply google "Do-A-Dot alphabet pages". You'll find more than you can ever use!

She opted to do her work in the hallway. Grace has been clearly trying to become her own person recently. This has sometimes played out in some rather defiant moments, but also has shown itself in small ways like when she says, "Mommy, can I do lessons on the floor?" As long as there isn't a good reason I'm trying to allow her some flexibility. I am having to say, "No!" to her so often at the moment that anytime I can, "Yes," it is a relief.

Her favorite part of the lessons is almost always the finger play which goes along with the letter for the week. She really gets into this and it typically involves her entire body, not just her fingers!

Little Hearts for His Glory: Units 28-29

I have several units to finish this coming week, but that's okay. I need to finish and so we'll make it! Beth love the GHI series from Rod and Staff. This is the new series Carrie Austin has chosen for Little Hearts for His Glory since Thinking Skills for 1st grade has been discontinued. We were using them already because Beth finished the Thinking Skills book in about a month. She kept sneaking it into her room during rest time and working on it when I didn't realize it! I have to say I am very pleased with the switch and find these to be more challenging and fun than that Thinking Skills book was.

Since she finished up her reading books last week I've just been having Beth read books to me and I'll ask 2-3 comprehension questions at the end. Her favorite book a Dick and Jane reader given to her by her great-grandmother. It is very simple for he at this point, but she loves it so much and at this age, reading is reading! I love our time cuddling on the couch while she reads to me. It is such a blessing!

Beth continues to use Math Rider in addition to her Rod and Staff math. This has improved her already strong math facts and she loves it! If you haven't heard of it, take some time to check out my review. It has been a wonderful blessing to our homeschool curriculum!

Bigger Hearts for His Glory: Units 31 and 32

When I told Rose we were going to move more quickly through her curriculum, she said, "Oh. I guess I'll just have to be more diligent!" What a sweet answer! We're already on target to finish grammar and math next week without speeding up pace. Rose worked on practicing alphabetizing this week in her grammar book. This was very simple for her since the vocabulary with HOD gives her a chance to practice alphabetical order.

She was very excited to study two poems this week! Both poems for the week are on the page so it was easier. When studying rhyme scheme I have her first highlight the rhyming lines and then add in the letters. This has been a great way for her to visually see the rhyming pattern. I love that Heart of Dakota incorporates poetry from the very first guides. They are developing and appreciation for poetry and Rose has even been chosen for publication recently for a poetry contest! Her inspiration to write poetry definitely came fro her studies each week.

I often let Rose read her history on her own by her choice. Her narration skills have improved so much and I'm so pleased with her progress! She will many times read in the living room while I teach her sisters in the school-room. I will usually find her snuggled under a blanket completely drawn into her reading assignment. This week she finished up the entire book about the Wright Brothers. I didn't intend for her to, but she got so excited about finishing she didn't realize she was supposed to stop! You know you have an excellent history program when a child is so absorbed they completely forget to end their assigned reading for the day.

One more subject we have added to our week is typing. Rose has been hounding me to let her learn how to type. When the opportunity came up to review Typing Tournament I was so excited! Check out this really fun program for typing lessons for kids and adults. My husband said that if he'd had this to use to learn about typing when he was in school he might have actually learned the first time around.

That was our week! We've has a busy and full weekend with a fun surprise coming for the girls next week! I can't wait to share it with you!

Here is a hint: They Glow 
Any guesses?

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