Friday, October 31, 2008

Progress Report

Just a small update about how school has been going around here. Today, we finally finished what I had planned to get done in the first week. Four weeks later. But it's okay. I had planned to take it slow, and there were several days that I just had to focus on surviving so school didn't happen. And there were several days that we just didn't get everything done. But the kids have been doing really well, and we're all still really enjoying this.

Both of the older boys now have the planets memorized and usually can get them in order. We talked about the difference between comets and asteroids as well as the difference between meteors, meteoroids and meteorites. They know all about orbits, and how the planets rotate and revolve. We've also studied the months of the year, and the last few weeks we've studied the winter months and the kinds of the things we eat, do and wear during the winter. We did some experiments to show the power of gravity and centrifugal force and made up a little song about how Isaac Newton discovered gravity.

Math has sort of fallen by the wayside because that's something that I have scheduled to do one on one with Stephen during the other boys' nap time, and most of the time, I have to get a nap, too. But I'm not too concerned about that yet. He understands as much or more about math in practice as most kindergartners, I think. His reading is getting better as well, and he's able to read more without sounding choppy. The sentences flow better and he's also getting better with comprehension. And when he gets to a word he doesn't know (which is rare), he figures it out on his own using context. We've been studying some poetry as well, and both boys have blown me away with their understanding and interpretation of poetry. Zachary listens so well and can answer any question about what we just read and Stephen is able to not take the poem literally and is able to interpret what the poet is actually trying to say. He was able to explain to me what a Robert Frost poem was actually saying. And then I prayed that I would be able to keep up with him past first grade.

Handwriting is just okay, but I've backed off of trying too hard. The last two days, Stephen has done great and there has been no tears about practicing the letters H, K, L and U. Which is nice since the program is called Handwriting Without Tears. Zachary is tearing through his Explode the Code book as well, but we're skipping a lot (but not all) of the handwriting exercises because I think he's just too young for all that writing.

Now that I've shamelessly bragged on the intelligence of my kids, I have to share a funny with you, lest you think that I'm snotty about thinking my kids are actually geniuses or that I think that I'm the best teacher ever (I so don't). This morning, we were studying and talking about February and so we were discussing President's Day. I read them a poem about George Washington and asked some questions afterward. The poem talked about George Washington "hearing the bugle's call" and going off to fight for the country. I started a "leading" sentence that I intended for Stephen to finish. So I said, "He heard the bugle's call and went to join...." And Stephen finished the sentence "....joined the.....Midianites?"


I almost couldn't finish the lesson because I couldn't quit giggling.


chewymama said...

great job mama! we are still growing and changing in how we do school. its so good though. of course at our house math is ALWAYS done but so far ive stayed pretty far away from science (much to noahs chagrin).....the planet stuff sounds fun! intimidating but fun :)

kelli said...

I can't stop giggling either! That so sounds like Gilly! She's always talking about the Israelites lately.

kelli said...

Okay, we're up to the Midianites, and I couldn't read the part about them blowing the trumpet with a straight face. I had to come back and read this again.