Archive | August 7, 2017

Our 4th week (almost) done…

Last week we had a nice week. Our book of the week was “What Do You Do With A Tail Like This?”

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We learned all about the ways different animals adapted certain features and what they use them for. For instance, monkeys use their tails to hold onto branches like a hand. Archerfish can use their tongue to spit water into the air to shoot their prey like an arrow, and beavers use their tail to warn of danger. Elephants use their noses to spray water on themselves to keep cool. Amazing how different structures are adapted for each animal!

We played lots of games like pin the tail on the monkey, race car rally, and we did some nice arts and crafts too.

beaver

The word of the week was “this” and Peanut had it memorized by sight within two days! The letter of the week was “T”, so we did a lot of practicing with it.

I did manage to assess his handwriting readiness again, and he still isn’t really ready to write yet. Instead of focusing on writing, I’m going to switch gears and have him do a lot more coloring and a bit more cutting.  Also, lots of Play Dough, sand play, anything to get his fingers moving. I’ll also be using the whiteboard more often for his handwriting practice, having him write huge letters.

One thing he can do now while we work on his fine motor skills is learn to read. I’m going to be introducing one easy reader a day now, and they will be using the words he knows as well as the words of the week. I’ve pulled some from This Reading Mama, Progressive Phonics, Reading A-Z  (I used a free 2 week trial, but won’t continue since it’s a $110 subscription fee per year, or raz plus which is $200 a year! Eeep! ) and a few other printable books I’ve stumbled across.

Just because he can’t write doesn’t mean he can’t learn to read and spell! We can use letter tiles for spelling, and when he’s ready to write, he’ll already know how to spell! Even if he only learns to type, I’m okay with it, as long as he can get his words on paper (or computer) eventually. Even if it takes him several more years. Until then, I’ll be his scribe, but also insist he at least try to write too. Effort is what counts.

I’m also beginning to use Alphabet Fun Pages which are fun and a little bit challenging, but not too much! Also, Reading the Alphabet  has some nice resources like word mazes etc to help reinforce our word of the week, and coloring pages as well as poke pages for the letter of the week! I have to admit, I really love This Reading Mama’s things. I’m becoming a fan!

I also stumbled across Discovery K-12 again after rejecting it two years ago. I may use part of their curriculum too, but only as a suppliment to what we do already. Unfortunately, Peanut works at a pre-k level for writing, K for reading, and K-1 for social studies, art, and science. The issue is that they don’t offer customization, so you have to pick one level and stay with it, or keep swapping your level out every day. They do say it will be customizable soon though.

So now it’s our week off, but we still have last Friday’s lessons to do this week sometime. Both Peanut and I have been a bit under the weather, so we’ll get to it by Sunday at the latest, gotta luv the flexibility of homeschooling!

What do you do with a week like this…

This past week was very weird. Small things began to annoy me, and as the week went on, things began to build. It was as if a dark cloud was ready to start pouring down on me, then by a week ago Saturday life took on a real weirdness that even though I don’t want to explain here, come the night of July 29th, my emotions were all over the place. Just to tell how much of a basket case I was, Hubby and I and Peanut went for a drive that night and bought dinner and ice cream. Hubby wasn’t feeling good, so instead of a nice long drive, we came home early. Good thing. In my addled state, I forgot I had put the kettle on because Peanut wanted some hot chocolate. It was happily burning away on the stove 90 minutes later when we got home. Saying I was distracted is an understatement. Now I have one black kettle to show for it. Nothing a bit of elbow grease won’t fix, but it was just another reminder of how my emotional state was upside down.

On July 30, I was preparing Peanut’s lessons for the upcoming week, only to discover that our game based math curriculum was missing the crucial parts – the GAME BOARDS!!!! Not one single game board was included! Okay, could my week get any worse? Hopefully this was the end of it.

Last Monday I contacted both Rainbow Resources (the company I purchased the Math curriculum from) and McRuffy. McRuffy replied quickly, they sent me a pdf of the first two game boards, and assured me they would mail me them all ASAP, but it would probably take 3-4 weeks to arrive. Phew, my bad luck/bad streak was ending, or so I thought…

Tuesday after Hubby got home from work we received an awful phone call. Peanut’s Godmother passed away. She was only 38! She was estranged from the family since she and my brother in law were divorced a few months ago, but still, she was Peanut’s Godmother and would always be a part of his life. She went into hospital about a month ago, and died of acute aggressive leukemia. Way too young…

So even through all this, we carried on. We did our lessons (we missed Friday, but will make up for it this week). We had fun, laughted, and learned. Still, this past week has really made me treasure all the little things. All the small moments we take for granted. Give your loved ones your time. Put down the darned tablet and smart phone, and wrap your arms around those you love. People should always come before things…