Friday, January 7, 2011

Progress

We are mid-way through Isaac's first grade year, and Graham's 3 year old preschool year! I have lots of things planned for the rest of the year, and I am trying to avoid the mid-year blahs by re-vamping some things and getting re-organized. I took some time this week to re-organize my homeschooling closet. I took out anything related to scrapbooking and am using the whole thing for homeschooling activities. I needed to make it so everything was easily accesible for me. I have found that is the key for me. Not to sound lazy here, but if it is not easy or accessible, I have found I don't bother to do it. My life is busy enough the way it is, I need to SIMPLIFY everything I do.

Graham used his do-a-dot set that I got him for Christmas for the first time today. He loved it! It is such a good activity for fine-motor skills and color identification. It was also good for Graham to use self control as he colored. He likes to just scribble when using markers or crayons. With the do-a-dot printables I found online, he had to identify which color to use first and fill in the correct circles.

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Isaac is improving in his reading, although sometimes it is hard to see the overall progress. I know he is reading longer books, reading brand new material much better, sounding words out on his own and identifying long and short vowels better. I have realized how complex the English language really is. There are really no "absolute" rules with English. I wish I could tell him that EVERY word that has two vowels is ALWAYS long, but that is not true. There are exceptions to everything.
We plan to continue are current curriculum for reading, phonics, spelling and math. I plan on trying to find something new for handwriting, possibly, "Handwriting without tears," but we will see. I also would like to find a better daily devotional to use with Isaac.
Next week we will be starting a LEGO lapbook, this should be really fun for both of us.
Other unit studies we plan to do are: space, pirates, pioneers (may concentrate on Lewis and Clark and follow with a field trip to Bismarck) and Butterflies (in the spring we will do another painted-lady butterfly cocoon study). I would also like to do another spring trip to the farm during calving season, but I don't know if we will do a lapbook/unit study for that yet or not.
I plan to try to make Graham's preschool time more structured and to do a better job of keeping him busy without television!

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