Sunday, January 19, 2014

We're Half Way Through the Year!

Usually I'm a bit depressed when I hit the halfway mark because I feel so behind and I feel like I haven't accomplished that much.  This year though, I'm just excited that we're here.

I think one reason I'm glad that we're half way through, is because I pushed to make sure we were not behind in math.

Well, Hyrum is a bit behind, but that's because we were going very slow at the beginning until I came up with our breakthrough that I described in this post. Now however, Hyrum is catching up to speed and I'm very happy with where we're at.

He can count by 2s to 30, by 10s to 100, by 5s (if he's using nickels), can count backwards, is very familiar with odds and evens, knows his shapes, and simple adding. Of course, he is still using "Rightstart" language. By this, I mean that instead of saying "thirteen" he says "one-ten three" and instead of saying "twenty six" he says "two-ten six." This is brilliant. If every child did this for the first year or two in school, we would have kids who were better in math. I have no intention of changing this language until sometime next year.

He's doing really well with money math lately, and can find all the different ways of finding change with pennies, nickels, and dimes.

However, do you see that apple core he's eating? It's become a very strong habit that he HAS to be eating an apple (an orange or carrot or other fruit or vegetable will do in a pinch) while we are doing school. I think it's partly because of ADHD and partly because it gives him an excuse to answer a question delayed. (He's chewing, he can't possibly answer that question right this second.)

Also, note Monster William wrecking Hyrum's carefully made tally marks.

Maxwell really is half way through with his book. It's interesting. Right now, Rightstart is having Maxwell do tons of geometry to teach fractions and multiplication. He is LOVING this.

Maxwell has caught onto what hyrum does and also loves to eat while doing school. Hummm.

As far as writing goes, Daniel has learned how to do all the uppercase letters properly.

Hyrum's printing is as good as he wants it to be. In other words, if I bribe him or he's in the mood, he has the straightest nicest letters that a 6 year old has ever produced. But if not, they are letters that are having a story with one another and are fighting and partying and living it up. (I'm not making this up! They're perfect, or a toy for him to play with.)

With reading, spelling and grammar, I'm trying something new. I've decided to try the Barton system. I will post about this later. I want to try it out for a few months first. I will post when I feel like I've seen success or when I think the Barton system is junk. I'm REALLY optimistic that I will find success, not junk.

Anyway, since I've just started the system, I'm not down in the dumps that we're half way through the year because I have new hope in a new program.

Well, let's move on to what actually happened this week:

In science we started studying rocks. We talked about how scientists check to see what rocks are made of (scratching, streaking, weighing, etc)

And we also started some crystal experiments since we will talk about crystals next time. We did our sugar crystal candies again. I thought it was okay to do this experiment every two years instead of every four. No one seems to mind repeating sweetness. Behold our sugar crystal starters:

Next week you'll see how they've transformed into rock candy!

For geography, we studied Denmark. We made woven hearts for our activity.

Each boy made two of them which we taped together at the bottom so we could have them as a container for the popcorn we had for our movie Hans Christian Anderson. I remember liking that movie as a child, but as I watched it as an adult, I realized that it's a bit whacked.

We also studied France. It's fun to point out which fairy tales come from which country. We read Beauty and the Beast, Puss in Boots, and Cinderella for France, we read Jack and the Beanstalk for England, and Thumbelina for Denmark. Daniel asked "where's Humpty Dumpty?" When we read puss in boots. I guess we've watched that movie too often. We made "bilboquets" as our activity:

Hahaha, did you think we actually made THAT? No, our bilboquets were made out of styrofoam cups and balls. I just thought this was a little more impressive, and you can actually tell what it is.

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