It's been a few weeks since I have written about what's been happening in our homeschool! We've been around, but we were off our typical schedule for a little bit. During that time we had the chance to visit Washington DC as well as some of our families! Visiting Mt. Vernon was a HUGE highlight, especially for Grace. She was so excited to see both where George Washing slept and where he ate his breakfast!
When we got home from this trip we were all a little ragged. A week of field trips will do that to you! So we took the week off from Heart of Dakota and just worked on some follow up activities from our DC trip as well as some math and language arts. The following week was Thanksgiving so we had school the first three days of the week, but kept it simple again and didn't delve into our normal workload.
Finally we are back to normal! And believe it or not, this week was what I consider normal. We didn't have any out of the ordinary circumstances (doctor visits, field trips, illness, etc.) and it flowed so very smoothly. No doubt three weeks away from our routine had something to do with that!
Grace: Little Hearts for His Glory Unit 33
One more unit! Only one more unit and Grace will be graduating on from Little Hearts. This guide has been so precious this third time around. I can appreciate it with her more for so many reasons. I know what to expect and having done the activities and projects twice already I'm very confident in knowing what to do (usually!). Her older sisters are able to work independently and I do not have any younger littles who need Mommy's attention while I'm teaching her. Most of all, she has devoured the history. I have a feeling growing up hearing her sisters learn history has given her an edge in this regard even though both of my other girls also really love the subject.
Handwriting is going beautifully and Grace is finally at the point where she is making her letters neater and can work on regular lined paper. We're continuing on with Handwriting Without Tears (which was so generously given to us by a friend!) at the pace of 2 pages a day.
Over the Moon! This is the best way to describe how Grace felt this week about learning to tell time on a "real clock" as she calls it! Just last week she told me she thought she would just stick to digital clocks. She said, "I don't think I'll learn about circle clocks, Mommy. Number clocks are easier!" She did enjoy our first few lessons about time though.
If you are looking for a good way to review math facts, I highly recommend Math Rider. I reviewed this with the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew three years ago and our family purchased the game once the review period was over. It has been worth every penny as all three of my girls are solidly able to recall their math facts. They enjoy the story scenarios and I love how I can track their progress and see which specific facts are still an issue. All three use this several times a week and sometimes even play during their free screen time!
Beth: Preparing Hearts for His Glory Unit 7
FULL SPEED AHEAD! This was the week! I moved Beth into unit 7 at full pace and she did a fabulous job! I didn't tell her I was doing so because I didn't want her to worry about whether she could handle it or not. My husband teaches the older two girls while Grace and I attend/teach classes on Mondays. When I came home at lunch she said, "Mommy, it seemed like more work today, but I didn't mind and I still finished early! And this was true for the rest of the week. I'm glad we were able to go ahead and begin full speed before Christmas because while we are all ready for routine after the break, getting back to steady work isn't always the easiest.
Math is very easy for Beth. In all honesty, everything is easy for Beth. I rarely see her struggle except in areas of neatness or following directions because she is in a hurry. So even though she doesn't necessarily struggle with her math facts, I have her complete Math Rider exercises and it has only benefited her. I caught her working on division the other day even though we haven't covered this concept even a little bit yet. She has a mind which grasps mathematical concepts quickly and just from hearing me teach Rose about division she has caught on and quickly moves on.
One of the things I had held back on was the copywork in Preparing. This week I gave Beth her very own Common Place Book where she will write quotations, Scripture, and meaningful facts from what we are learning. Her's is covered in panda's on the cover because they are her favorite animal.
We are continuing on with All About Spelling and Beth actually really loves this program. Again, spelling is very easy for her, but she loves using the tiles and enjoys learning all the rules.
We also still work through the dictation as written in the Heart of Dakota guides and I'm very pleased with her progress. You can see her adorable panda journal in the bottom left corner!
Rose: Creation to Christ Unit 27
Rose continues to excel in this guide. She loves learning as much as her younger sisters and sets an excellent example of diligence. Because I create at weekly grid for them to check off their work for each day there are often times she gets up and begins schoolwork on her own without my prompting. She knows what she can manage independently and likes having this freedom. In fact this week she helped her younger sisters get started on work while I was still getting dressed for the day. They were so proud to be able to tell me the 2 or 3 things they had accomplished before our official start time of the day and I know Rose had a lot to do with prompting this.
Until Math Mammoth came into our home I struggled to find a fit for my oldest. I have a feeling part of her struggle with math is due to my own inadequate feelings about teaching it. However, she now smoothly flows through the lessons each day and when we hit bumps there are fewer tears, more patience, and lots of smiles once it is conquered!
My girls can be found reading in any number of rooms around the house or even outside when the weather is nice! One of Rose's favorite places for reading history and literature now is on the couch snuggled up near the Christmas tree. Can you blame her?
We do not us the recommended Bible along with Creation to Christ because we own so many Bibles already! Instead we use Illustrated Bible Stories from Masterbooks. While it doesn't match up absolutely perfectly we use it when it does and just read the passage directly from Scripture when it doesn't. This is the main reason I love Heart of Dakota. My girls are learning to study God's Word on their own, consistently, faithfully, and deeply all the while on their level.
Just this morning as we were working on finishing up the work for the week we had something new occur. I was listening to Grace read her literature for the day and Beth asked if Rose could teach her grammar lesson instead of waiting for me. I knew the topic was something Rose had already mastered and was also actually review for Beth so I thought it was worth a shot. Wow! It was so beautiful to hear the girls interact in this way. I'm not planning on giving over teaching responsibilities to them or anything, but I think it was a very neat thing for Rose to take on the role as teacher. She corrected gently and Beth patiently listened. It made my heart smile to see them working together and I know it benefited them both.
We had a fabulous week. Not all of our weeks are this lovely, but this one was. I'll need to tuck it away in my mind to pull out and remember on those days when my plans fall apart!
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