Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Off and running

We're still working on establishing an actual routine for school this fall. So far, it's been a loose collection of educational odds and ends that pick up sometime after the morning chores are under control. I can't start school with a messy house. I just can't. Call me a freak.

Logan has continued to plug his way through Headsprout with good results. His reading fluency has improved, and I'm noticing that his vowels are becoming far more consistent. For a while there, it was a grab bag: "Long 'i.' No ... short! Silent 'e.' No! I'm going to use a long 'e' at the end of that word!" Insert exasperated Momma smilie, here, folks ... because that's about where I found myself. Logan is also continuing to explore his MUS Alpha skills. I'm still not challenging him in that area, as he seems to pick up plenty on his own. I sat down and selected a month's worth of Family Math games with him primarily in mind, and am looking forward to seeing how he responds to that. I also found a handful of sites that I plan on pulling from as the year goes on; Figure This!, Illuminations and one of our old faves, AIMS Puzzle Corner, will all be useful, I think.

Atticus is again the human computer when it comes to work. With barely any effort, he hurtles himself through Greek, Math, Science ... whatever you throw at him. I am planning on ramping up on a) what I require of him and b) the level of Language Arts instruction this year. I get the feeling that
Atticus does exactly what's required of him ... and not a whole lot more. He saves his creativity and actual brainpower for his own personal rabbit trails. Not that I mind his rabbit trails! On the contrary, I find them fascinating ... but often, far too obtuse for me to do anything more than place holds through our library system and find him some safe websites to explore. I need to find a way to tap into that curiosity and fan it.

Jo is feeling the weight of her new-found junior high status. She's spent the past few days filling in bubbles on a standardized test--I'll post more about that at a later time. This was a whole new experience for her, and one that she didn't relish as much as endure. She was delighted to find, however, that she not only could identify the math skills needed for the test, she could do the computations as well. This was a boon to her math confidence, and one I hope she can ride throughout the year.

Our Sonlight schedule has been relatively light thanks in large part to the fact that we had to order a new computer to utilize the World Book program that is an integral part of Core 5. People have posted on the forums that you can do Core 5 without the Eastern Hemisphere Explorer notebook or the World Book, but frankly, I don't see the point in that. The activities and research component are too big for me to gloss over. Besides, my kids are chomping at the bit to get into that program. A new computer is well worth it.

Oh--and what is Oliver doing while we dig into our homeschooling? Well, he naps. That's a big help, as you can imagine. And other than that, he's a pretty good independent play kid. From time to time, I assign a child to play with him, or read to him. I take my spare moments and make sure he gets Mommy time. I have pulled out a rotation of fun activities that he can only get into at school time. And, of course, there's always the Wiggles. If all else fails, Oliver is happy to dance with Captain Feathersword long enough for someone to finish up what they're doing and play trucks with him.

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