Sunday, June 19, 2016

Our First Week of School

Well, we’ve got the first week of our new school year under our belts, and I’d have to call it a complete success! 

MATH

Haylee’s doing well with her new math program, Unlock Pre-Algebra, and got 100% on her first test! 

Holden’s doing grDSCF4665eat with his new math program, Teaching Textbooks 5, and he’s able to do the lessons all by himself!  That’s a big change.  He’s been scoring 95-100% on every lesson, and he loves the sound effects and animations it gives him for positive reinforcements.  I’ve actually heard him cheering himself on in the school room!  He likes to print out the report of his work for his dad to see.  And the best part…it’s only taking him about 25 minutes to get through the video lesson, the practice sessions, and the problems!  Yay!  Of course, the content so far has been review-type lessons, so it will get harder and take longer as he moves on.  But he likes the setup of it, and he can follow it himself.  The real test will be how he does when he has to start writing problems down to work them out.  Time will tell!

BOOKSHARK:

Both kids are doing Bookshark for history this year instead of Sonlight.  They really like it so far!  The read-alouds and the readers are not taking as long since there DSCF4666are significantly fewer books, and it makes it easier to follow along with just one story at a time.  We’ve always enjoyed the Story of the World books, and this year, Haylee’s core has books 3 and 4.  To keep her attention and make it more fun, I scan ahead as to the subject matter before I start reading and then do a quick Google search for printable coloring pages of the people/subject matter from history so Haylee can color while I read aloud.  She loves that and has been looking forward to it!

Holden is doing great with his reader, and he’s keeping up with the length of the chapters.  Great news!  His reading really improved after we dropped the 2 Advanced Sonlight readers in favor of the 2 Intermediate ones this last school year.  It restored his joy of reading, and that was a good thing.  Now he’s better prepared for the longer reading assignments, but because we’re doing Bookshark, there are fewer books, which means the assignments aren’t too long for him.

SCIENCE:

Haylee is doing Bookshark Science 7 this year.  So far, she absolutely LOVES it!  She is studying the book on Robotics right now, and every Thursday, she has a hands-on experiment or building project.  This week, she got to make her first robot…an Art-Making Vibrobot!  She had so much fun and made it all by herself.  We took a little video to show how it works.  She said she wants to take a picture of her creations every week and keep them in a folder so she can look back at them at the end of the year.  She’s never asked to do that before!  That seems like a good sign!

COMBINING:

The kids are combined this year (for the first time ever) for bible study using Apologia Who Is God? and for music using Music Appreciation Book 1 by Zeezok Publishing.  That’s going really well, too! 

SCHEDULING:

The amount of work I have scheduled for both of them seems to be just right!  They are both finishing all but the reading before lunch time.  That’s so wonderful!  Holden even likes his new handwriting book, and he’s writing in cursive without tracing for the first time ever!  I’m so happy that our days are not too long.  It allows us to have more down time and relax and do fun activities after 2 PM when I would normally be preparing to pick Hayden up from school.  Yay!

SUMMER FUN:

Hayden just finished his junior year of public school on Friday, so I now officially have a senior, a 7th grader, and a 3rd grader in the house!  We all have 2 weeks off together now before the homeschoolers get going on their school year in earnest and the public schooler starts his summer cross-country training.  I hope everybody gets along.  They can start to irritate each other when they are all together!  I’m hoping the weather warms up again so we can have some fun afternoons at Ocean Breeze Water Park.

We always do an annual end-of-school year dinner out, which is a rare treat for us.  The kids picked dinner at Mi Casita, so we headed out on Friday night to celebrate and also for an early Father’s Day outing.  It was fabulous, as always!

Here’s to a successful and far less stressful school year!  2016-2017 is gonna ROCK!!!