Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Luvs

Luvs diapers recently announced a recent redesign -- they're replacing the Blue Clues with a cute purple monkey. The diapers themselves will remain unchanged except for the print. The blog And Twins Make Five is having a giveaway contest for a free pack of the diapers here.

A message to me?

Here was Pauly's spelling quiz/practice from this morning. He was told to write two sentences after the quiz.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

1st Quarter Progress Report

This isn't so much a report on the kids' progress as a report on our home school's progress. We're roughly through week 8 of our planned curriculum, and as it only has 32 scheduled weeks that's a quarter of our way through our year.

I'm fairly pleased with how we've been able to stay on track, although perhaps that's because I've been somewhat free with our definition of "on track." The last two weeks I've been not feeling well and often at least one of the kids has been sick as well, and we've definitely been missing more things than we had previously. We are doing an exceptionally bad job of completing Pauly's assignments in the Primary Language Lessons book, and we're now behind on memorizing their poetry, although only by a week or so. I've meant to schedule a time for them to recite it for their dad, but we've been so busy that we haven't managed to do so.

Language Arts: We're still learning the routine and tweaking things, but I'm overall fairly happy with this for our spelling, phonics and handwriting instruction. I've tried doing the work with the boys together, tried separating them for a few weeks, and have decided to put them back together, although that means that Pauly will be reviewing words that he's already done. Our biggest problem with this curriculum right now is review. It is designed as a complete language arts curriculum, and when used as such you would be reviewing spelling rules and words during the "writing lesson" each day in addition to the work done in the "spelling lesson." As we had intended to use this only for phonics and spelling, I'm trying to figure out how to add in the necessary review. I'm considering adding in the WRTR "writing lesson" and possibly dropping Pauly's Language Lessons book. I do think the Language Lessons book could be good and helpful, but Pauly really does not like it and it tends to fall by the wayside. Just because he doesn't like it doesn't mean that it isn't good for him, though. So I'm still trying to work out exactly what I'd like to handle this whole area.

Math: We are still using Math Mammoth and I am still pretty happy with it. Math tends to be very frustrating for Roger and we often have lots of tears, but I think that much of this would occur with any math program. He doesn't like being told what he ought to do, and this can sometimes also become an issue with spelling as well, and I think that he easily gets overwhelmed even when he knows something. I like the Math Mammoth books and as I don't think that switching is likely to help, we just keep plugging away at it. Pauly is doing well in it, for the most part, and seems to enjoy it.

Other subjects: Science and History are going fine for Pauly, as far as it goes. I'm not very inspiring and we don't always get to the science experiments. I need to exercise some self discipline there and get better at making sure those get done, to keep things interesting. I feel that there is not really enough for history, even with the supplemental reading he breezes right through it, but he does seem to be learning. Religion is fine. We had a bad week in terms of the Faith and Life books: the activity book pages all seemed to be busy work without adding anything to the lessons whatsoever, unlike most of the earlier pages. So many of those went undone just because I thought they were unnecessary. I'm not sure what I think of the series overall, at the moment.