Monday, February 28, 2011

School Progress

I suppose I'm overdue for a progress report about how the schoolwork is going. The girls got a little out of sync with their school work during the month or so we were doing half days. The Adrenaline Junkie, being on a half day schedule anyway, continued at the regular pace. The Pillowfight Fairy, being on full days, is now three weeks behind her sister. We would have been finishing up at the end of April if this were a typical year. Since it is not, we will probably be finishing up near the end of May. Although the Junkie will finish first, I plan to continue her studies with a variety of items to keep her busy and learning as well. The plus side to all of this is that they will have less time to forget what they learned before the next school year begins in July.

So, What is the Pillowfight Fairy doing? In her Bible reading, she is starting II Kings. In her spelling, she is being challenged with 4th grade level work, although I consider her 3rd grade by age. She has daily piano practice, and although she complains, she is doing well and making progress. I'm pleased with her progress in grammar, and she is quite good at sentence diagramming. She likes her Latin lessons enough that she has been spontaneously making sentences with what she knows and trying to teach it to the Junkie and the Happy Boy. She is getting the hang of narration and questions for reading comprehension which I have been concerned about in the past. She still has trouble when we read something she has no interest in. She has also developed a dislike for most of the literature I have chosen for her to read. Right now we are reading the Hunchback of Notre Dame (an adaptation for elementary school level) and she doesn't like it much, but she is starting to identify with Esmerelda. I think she is going to be furious when she finds out the ending. It will confirm her suspicion of all things French. We are also studying about the French revolution in history. She was really worked up about how French society, pre-revolution, was soooo unfair. Tomorrow I get to teach her about the reign of terror and how French society, post-revolution, was soooo unfair too. We are doing chemistry in science. Today we did an experiment that created visible layers of liquids of different densities. It was pretty cool. In math she is starting to learn about remainders when dividing and is getting the beginning steps toward long division. She is doing well. She is learning. Every little bit seems to build on what there was before. I feel like I'm starting to see progress in understanding, that previously, I was only trusting would eventually come.

What is the Adrenaline Junkie doing? She is practicing her reading everyday and getting better steadily. Currently we are using the "Phonics Bible" for this since she likes the stories and it gives good reinforcement of phonics rules. She is also practicing reading with the McGuffey Primer. But with the primer, I am having her do copywork exercises to practice writing. She has daily spelling lessons that help her learn simple words and reinforces the reading. Once a week I have her write out ten dictionary words from her spelling book as writing practice, vocabulary building, and composition practice by making up a sentence using one of the words from her lesson. She has daily math lessons and can add and subtract, understands a little about clocks and coins. She has made good progress with getting her two digit numbers correct and rarely miswrites them anymore. She also has piano practice. She has made good progress, too. She struggles more than her sister, but her sister struggled early on as well.

The Happy Boy mostly just want to play. He will play by himself or with whichever sister is taking a break at the time. He loves to be read to. I try to make sure that he gets some book time with Mommy during the day. He is making progress with his potty training which is a little more important to us at the moment. So far my three oldest kids have all potty trained after age four and it gets old after a while.

Little Chunk is usually a content baby. He has fussy times when he gets overtired or goes through a teething bout, but still is amazingly easy-going most of the time. This is very helpful for our school days. I have to work feeding and diaper changes around everything else we do, so it's nice that he isn't too demanding. He is a hungry child most of the time though. It is not unusual for this child to drink a quart of milk a day. He is supposed to have his four-month check-up tomorrow. I hope all of us are well enough for a well-baby visit to the clinic. However, it was not looking promising this evening. I'll have to figure that out in the morning. I would kind of like to know just how much this huge child has grown. At four months old, his 6-9 month clothes are tight. Either he needs to slow down his growing, the weather needs to warm up or I need to go shopping, because I don't have many long-sleeve/long pant clothes for the 9-12 month size. (Boys can wear pink can't they?) I'm also concerned that he will grow too big, weight-wise, for his car seat carrier. We have another car seat for when he does grow out of it, but I don't have another stroller that can handle a baby that can't sit up yet. This is an example of when my plans don't always match up with what reality throws at me.

Our cat, Misha, has improved some since I last posted. She will come out and visit with us in the evening, but she still doesn't move much beyond that.

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