We took a two week break after the official “end” of our school year. We started back up on Monday for a light summer session of schoolwork.
I start out with Child #1 & Child #2 working together on Writing With Ease Level 2. It is primarily for Child #1 who just finished second grade of our homeschool. I determined that she needs to have steady practice in copywork, narration, and dictation. Knowing myself, I won’t give her daily practice in such things unless I have a curriculum that has it all laid out for me. So, I purchased the workbook for WWE2 to do this school year.
Child #2 just finished Kindergarten but she loves to write and does a pretty good job writing in cursive. (I started teaching cursive to them both last summer with sidewalk chalk and continued this last school year with Cursive First.) She needs help in cutting her “narrations” down from a retelling into just a couple-sentence summary. The copywork is a bonus and I don’t expect her to keep up with the dictation as she can’t read or spell well at all yet.
The WWE2 workbook is laid out so that Day 1 is narration. Day 2 is copywork. Day 3 is dictation. Day 4 is narration and then dictation. Days 1 and 2 went pretty well. Day 3 was horrid. I didn’t think Child #2 would be able to do dictation, but she did pretty well – with lots of prompting of how to spell the next word (which she pretty much remembered). Child #1 remembered much of the sentence but showed a lot of frustration when I gently tried to help her with her misspellings (flattery was spelled fatery, off was miswritten oof, guard was gard, etc.) or when she left a word out (your). She quit with three words to go and refused to continue. Eventually, she did write the last three words. But she had to take a break first. I am not looking forward to Day 4 or future Day 3s. I could take her back down to WWE Level 1, but I really don’t think it is necessary. She just needs more practice and more patience! (And I need to continue to have patience.)
My up & coming (pencil-phobic) third grader also started Growing With Grammar 3. It went fine the first two days. She even said she kind of liked it. Today, however, the writing got to her. There isn’t that much, but she was asked to rewrite run-on sentences into two complete sentences. There were about eight of them in the lesson and she balked at the first one. After two separate bouts of crying an hour apart, she took a nap. She’d gotten up at 5 a.m. and I decided she needed to lay down because the histrionics were more like Child #2 than Child #1. She completed the lesson at around 5:30 p.m.
I picked GWG because it is supposed to be easy for the child to do without much direction or teacher-time while also being comprehensive, spiral, quick, and not involve much writing. I have had to go back through the lessons with her each day so far. I will say that it doesn’t take long once she applies herself to the lesson. I find myself spending the time explaining things to her from the student manual and correcting her work as she goes along because she doesn’t seem to “get” the concepts when she puts them into practice. Her sentences frequently don’t end with punctuation and they definitely don’t all start with capital letters. This is why she needs a grammar program. We will continue and see how it goes in a few more weeks.
My little first grade not-wanna-be (she would prefer to stay in K) continues in the Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons book. We left off on Lesson 44 before Christmas due to extreme frustration on both our parts. We lent the book out to a friend in the spring and when it came back, my child actually got the book out on her own initiative and started to “read” the stories. We started back up at around Lesson 15 just doing the story section of each lesson. We finished Lesson 31 today and she does really well. I plan to continue until we get to another roadblock. Then, we’ll switch back to Spell to Write and Read (SWR) phonograms and spelling lists. To be honest, she hates SWR right now, so it is doing us good to take a break.
Both children do some math for about 15-20 minutes. The older child is working on making her addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts come more easily and quickly. We play games, do speed drills (timed/untimed), work with Math Wrap-Ups (timed & untimed), and other activities that is not tied to her official math curriculum. She is already 20 or so lessons into A Beka Arithmetic 3 and I think this time will help her when we start that back up.
The younger child is slowly working through the beginning of A Beka Arithmetic 1. We finished Lesson 19 today and do only about a 1/2 lesson per day (and sometimes less). She is struggling with the concept of reading numbers above 10. (It takes her a long time to “read” 34, 71, 14, etc.) She is also working on her addition and subtraction facts for the zero to five families. She does about five minutes of either flashcard work or oral math response per day as part of each lesson.
These activities have taken about an hour total to complete each day once you subtract the whining and delay tactics each child attempts. I hope the whining gets less as they realize that doesn’t help (i.e., they still have to do the work) and when they get back ‘into the groove’ of doing school each day.
The weather has been chillier than it had been with occasional rain. When it warms back up without the precipitation, they must have their schoolwork done to go to the pool. That will hopefully be a motivating factor as well.