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  • Our Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up

    I am going to attempt to do a weekly wrap-up of our school activities on a weekly basis.  We all know how awesome I am with keeping up with my blog though so don't get your hopes up too much... :)  I'll try though.

    We always start our school day with the handwriting assignments because Anna definitely likes those the least of everything we do...so we get those out of the way.  Ever since she started holding a pencil (or crayon/marker/pen/etc) the "right" way and not holding it in a fist, she has used all 5 fingers to hold it.  I think most people use three (thumb, index, and middle finger) and some use four (like me).  I've been trying to make her do her handwriting assignments using either 3 or 4 fingers instead of all 5 because when she uses all 5 fingers it just looks awkward and uncomfortable.  Her handwriting assignments therefore end up looking not quite as neat as how she typically writes, but it's getting better and she's getting more comfortable writing with 3 or 4 fingers.  Somewhere down the road I'll have her write the "correct" way for all of our school work...but for now we'll just keep it to the handwriting assignments.

    This is what a typical handwriting assignment looks like. 

    We've already gone through the whole alphabet so now she gets two words to write and a sentence.  The two words are typically spelling words. 

    And yes, it does say First Grade at the bottom.  The Language Arts/Spelling/Handwriting/Phonics curriculum that we're using is a First Grade edition because the Kindergarten edition seemed to easy at the time we purchased it and this is right on track for her right now I think.  We're only on lesson 37 of 150 so we'll continue this into her actual 1st grade year next year.

     

    Ok, that was probably too much of an explanation of our handwriting activities.  Moving on....

     

    We always followup handwriting with math because she's not super crazy about it most of the time, unless the lesson calls for us playing games which it does quite often.  We're using RightStart math and love it, well, *I* love it.  We completed lessons 66-69 this week and we only have 7 more left until we're done with this course!  I have the next level all ready to go so we can continue without stopping.

    This week we learned about the term "half" and folded rectangle and circles in half.  She already pretty  much knew what "half" meant, but liked folding paper.  She also got to play with her geoboard and make rectangles out of rubberbands, which she would cut in half with a 2nd rubber band.

    We continued (from last week) learning to tell time with an analog clock.  She learned the "o'clock's" last week and this week we learned about the half-hours.  She also counted by 5's all the way around the numbers on the clock to 55 (after 55 she says "o'clock").  We played a couple of clock games which were fun as well.  She thoroughly enjoyed those.

    Today we talked about the term "longer."  I cut a bunch of strips of paper in varying lengths and she picked two and determined which was longer.  We also found different ways to measure them when we couldn't place the strips side by side to compare.  She used our tile manipulatives, some crayons and the side of a piece of paper to measure. 

     

    After math we move on to the rest of our Language Arts work.  We're using McRuffy's 1st grade language arts and it includes handwriting (which I wrote about above), spelling, phonics and some grammar.  I REALLY like this curriculum.  It's very well put together.

    This curriculum is meant to be used 5 days a week because they group 5 lessons together for spelling.  The 5th lesson in each group is the spelling test.  However, because we only do school 4 days a week most of the time it's never a Monday to Friday thing for us.  I'm going to change that soon, even if it's only for this curriculum.    So, at the beginning of this week we were finishing up our phonics reader "Snuff the Snail."  Her spelling words last week had introduced the vowel digraph "ai" so there were a lot of "ai" words in the story.  She had her spelling test on Tuesday and got all of the words correct!  The words were: snail, nail, mail, waist, bait, grain, laid, paid, tail, and stain.  She is proving to be a very good speller, just like her Mom and Dad were when they were younger.  She loves spelling too which helps.

    Yesterday we got our new spelling list which introduces the consonant blends "br" and "tr".  The new spelling words are: brave, train, brake, truck, brush, tree, broke, trip, breeze, and trade.  Every day I call out the spelling words to see how she's doing with them to find out if I need to work a little extra on any of them and today, the second day of having the new words, she spelled the all right on the first try.  I was actually kind of surprised since there are a lot of different vowel spellings in them (like train and brake). 

    We also started a new book called "Brad the Brat."  She found the "brat" part kind of funny after I explained to her what a brat is.  We don't use that word so she'd never really heard it I don't think.  After I told her what a brat is she got really serious and told me that she'd never be a brat and that she'd always be nice....  Uh huh.  When she started talking back to me and whining tonight after I told her to clean up her toys I asked her if she thought she was acting like Brad.  That actually caused her to straighten up a bit.  I think I like this new book!  :)

     

    And....moving on.

     

    We only got to one lesson in our Moving Beyond the Page curriculum.  I'm not as into this as I initially was.  I still like it, but for some reason I feel it's lacking something.  I can't quite pinpoint it yet, but I think I may switch to something else next year for science.

    We've been studying the weather and seasons and the lesson we did this week talked about winter.  It wasn't super informative but she did learn that in the summer the Earth leans closer to the sun and in the winter it's further from the sun.  She got to tell a winter story, which I wrote down, and then she drew a picture of it:

     

    On Wednesday we met up with a new homeschool group that I found on Meetup.com.  One of the moms organized an activity to create cherry blossom trees.  Anna got to use a straw to blow brown paint on a piece of paper for the trunk and then she glued pieces of dark pink, light pink and white tissue paper on top to represent cherry blossoms.  We did this at the park so her attention span was super short since the playground was right next to us.  She did complete the activity though.  She met another little girl her own age and they played together the whole time.  It was a great group and they seem to be pretty active so I think I'll start participating a bit more.  I attached some photos of the meet up to this post (they're also in Anna's March album).

     

    As far as her sportiness goes...  She had a gymnastics meet on Sunday and had a lot of fun.  Here's a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99LiJNVViuI  It's also in the video section on this site as well.  She had her two days of gymnastics and finished up the session of ice skating lessons that she's been doing.  This last day of ice skating was testing day and they skipped her to "Pre-skate 3".  This was her first session and she started in Pre-skate 1, so that's pretty good!  However she doesn't seem as into ice skating so I don't think we'll continue it for right now.  I have her signed up for a theater class for 4-5 year olds that starts the second week of April so we'll see how that goes.  I took her to the park today to introduce her to tennis (which I LOVE to play) and was surprised that she did as well as she did.  She has great hand-eye coordination and while I only tossed the ball to her while we were there, she connected the tennis racquet to the ball almost every time.  Towards the end of our time on the court she was starting to hit it over the net from inside of the service line (the line in the middle of the court).  She seemed to really like it so I'll continue taking her out when we have nice days.  Here's a short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CL2ls2k9a4

     

    So that was our week.  Next week we only have the two days of gymnastics and then maybe a playdate, so we won't be quite as busy.  I'm hoping for some nice spring weather though!!

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