Sunday, November 6, 2011

Back to work

Here is another belated post. Sigh.  The last two weeks were spent getting back into the swing of things with our lessons.  I always find the kids are excited to get back to doing things after a nice long break, like the one we've had.  So here is what we've been up to.  We are continuing with Mammoth Math, finishing up Multiplication 2 and Division 2.  It is a nice thorough program, with lots of practice examples to make sure mastery is achieved.  However, there is a certain amount of overlap between various units, which sometimes can prove to be an overkill and sometimes allows one to skip some units altogether.  Once we are done with this, we'll continue with Fractions 2 and I really would like to do some geometry with the boys this year.  We are continuing with Beautiful Italics for copywork.  Ds9 requested some spelling work, so I am looking at various possibilities, Zaner-Bloser has a free program here which is one possibility or The Natural Speller it the other one I've been considering.  But I haven't made up my mind yet.  We've started Grammar Land by M.L. Nesbitt and the boys like it and we do the exercises in the end of each chapter.  I am trying out some chemistry lessons from Ellen McHenrey's free downloads to see how he boys will like it and we'll decide whether to continue or try something else.  We've done some baking together, which everyone enjoys.  There has been a lot of free form crafting by all those so inclined.  I started doing some more formal math with dd5 and dd3.5 is also making nice progress with counting and other basics.  We've listened to some classical music, the youngest two would dance to pretty much anything.  The boys are making nice progress with their English reading with ds9 finally getting to the point where he would consider reading something in English to himself of his own free choice, thank G-d.  Ds8 is getting better but we definitely need to do some phonics review with him.  He is also very into science and history these days so I am hoping to add more of this kind of stuff as we get more settled with all the basics.  They are doing fine with their Hebrew reading, writing, grammar, etc in the workbooks we are using. The weather has been very mild for most part so everyone still spends a lot of time outdoors, playing, swinging, watching birds, contemplating life, etc.  We've done quite a lot of reading out loud catering to various interests and had many great discussions on a variety of subjects as the result - Einstein, nuclear reactors, astronomy, current events, to name a few topics that come to mind.  I am still trying to come up with  a suitable schedule which will work best for all of us.  There are so many things that I'd like to be able to do with them and so many individual needs and interests that I'd like to address but I guess it will have to wait a little more and sometimes just going with the flow to a certain extent is an acceptable solutions for the time being too.  In the coming week, I am hoping we'll get to do some more formal history and geography and art would be nice too as would be an official crafting project day but it might have to wait another week if we can't fit it in:)  I have lots of great links to post for many, many subjects, which is another project for the upcoming week.  Overall, I think we are making good progress, even though some days are rockier than others and many times the lessons take a whole lot longer than I expected.  I really hope they will be able to do more independent work in the future but for now I feel I need to invest the extra time to gets things off to a good start and besides we like spending this time together:) To be continued...


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