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!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week in Review: April 27-May 1

Two weekly reviews in a row feels great! This week went very well. We didn't get through quite everything I wanted to and got a little sidetracked by some some health issues, but I feel good about the week. We had some really neat experiences in addition to our regular lessons I'll share at the end.

Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 13

Grace thoroughly enjoys all of her history, Bible and poetry in her guide. She really likes having her own readings and focused attention at her own level. We will continue through the summer and probably start Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory in the fall even if we haven't finished Little Hearts.

For handwriting we are using Fundanoodle. This is a program I reviewed with The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew a couple of years ago and we absolutely loved it. It has the same type of feel as handwriting without tears, but is more affordable. I love that Grace builds the letters on a magnet board before writing them. She has worked through all of the upper case letters and is now doing lower case. My younger two daughters both used A Reason for Handwriting, which was good and did the job, but I really like the tactile nature of this program. She uses this one day and then practices the same letter in the Handwriting Without Tears book the next day.

For reading Grace is using the 1st grade readers from Abeka and a Dick and Jane book her great grandmother gave her. She loves the stories about Dick, Jane, and their little sister Sally. She actually likes it better than the Abeka books. If I could find more Dick and Jane reasonably priced I would probably just stick with that. After we get done with the 1st grade readers we'll move onto the Emerging Readers set from Heart of Dakota. She could probably handle them okay now, but I like the idea of building her retention and comprehension before moving onto those too quickly.

Since she is reading really well, I let her call out sentences to Beth this week for her dictation in All About Spelling. She really enjoyed this and felt quite grown up. Her older sisters quite often help her with various subjects so this was a nice change for her.

Bigger Hearts for His Glory: Unit 24

We only have 10 more units left in Bigger! I may just do the history activities when summer comes because I want to start Preparing as she is entering 3rd grade. She may only go half-paced as her older sister did, but I feel she is definitely ready to move ahead in the guides.

As Beth has progressed I am encouraging her to read some history on her own as well as do some of the activities with little guidance from me. I now give Beth the guide and she works on her timeline alone. She is free to ask questions or ask for help, but this is one way I am helping her become more independent.

This week we had to catch up with four units on the timeline. Sometimes this box gets left out, but it's something I always make sure to go back and catch up all the way. She has very much liked reading Stories of Great Americans and she can easily read and comprehend this book. I like giving her the freedom to read on her own although I do still read it to her sometimes.

Isn't this the best picture???? We are working on math. Ha! The thing is that both girls are doing well with math, even Rose who has struggled some in the past. They weren't upset or anything, just a bit tired and ready to be done. But hey, I felt the same way they did at this point that day!

Creation to Christ: Unit 7

Although it is a little strange to have started this guide mid-year, it's working out well. The level of work has increased, but not too significantly. Rose really likes the notebooking pages and has done well to transition to using cursive all the time. She forgets sometimes, bu these erasable pens recommended in the forum and facebook group have been excellent. She loves having a special pen just for her to use.

Here she is listening to the "What in the World?" CD by Diane Warren. She absolutely loves this and I'm excited that she'll get to use the next 2 CD sets in the upcoming guides.

I love learning about grammar, but I never expected my kids to! I'm so thrilled they love it. Yes, Rod and Staff can be a bit tedious, but the more you can do aloud, the better. I usually leave the written work for diagramming. I know diagramming can seem old fashioned and unnecessary, but I do see a benefit in being able to identify and classify the part of a sentence not only for school studies but for language study in the future. I don't know what language she will study, but when she does having a solid grammar base will help her tremendously.

Other exciting opportunities...

I know other families have the same opportunity to do fun stuff that we do, but I think it is sometimes a little easier to fit into our lives because we homeschool. Here are some fun things we did this week.

This week was the Deerstream Learning Center Art Show and Exhibition. Each students has several pieces of art showcased. These are just a couple of pieces my girls had in the show. Grace is very excited to be a part of this next year. 

Another really cool thing is that these...

Hatched into these! 

This has been an amazing observational experience for them! They check on the little babies daily and have named them. They are at ground level inside an old plastic filing cabinet and easy for the girls to see without disturbing the chicks or their mama. 

Our final really cool experience was skyping with my aunt while she was in Haiti. My aunt takes a yearly trip to Haiti and works with a school there. We arranged for the girls to Skype with students in the second grade class there. They sang Jesus Loves Me and the girls sang Amazing Grace. We showed them around our schoolroom. It was really cool! 

I also enjoyed International Scrapbook Day and purchased some digital scrapbooking supplies on sale and completed a few layouts. This is one of my favorite leisure activities. I love preserving our family memories and I like the creativity of scrapbooking. I'm working on our 2008 album so Rose and Beth are quite little! Grace was a little confused that she wasn't in any of the pictures, but very much enjoyed seein gher big sisters at play. 

So there was our week. Pretty smooth and lots of fun!

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