This blog has permanently moved to a new blogging address. Come on over to
The Potter's Shed!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Homeschool Weekly Reporter: February 25th-29th

Yikes, it's been a few weeks since I did the "Weekly Reporter" thing. But we have been doing school! Here's what we've been up to this week:

Family Prayer - we've been pretty good about getting at least one session of family prayer in either Morning or Evening. We use Anne Kitch's The Anglican Family Prayer Book and Vos' The Child's Story Bible.


DD 6 - completed her Singapore "Early Bird" 2A workbook! We've picked up 2B and will start that next week.

DS 8 - almost done with his Singapore 1B. We'll finish that up next week and then work on fact drills for a good bit of time. I'm considering using Math-U-See with him starting with Beta in a few weeks, but I'm still a little undecided.

DS 11 - since I last posted a report, he's finished his 5/4 Saxon and we are jumping ahead to 7/6. We are cranking through this - generally 2 lessons a day with our DIVE CD and some practice problems selected from the Saxon text (10-20 a day).


DD 6 - has finished her "Get Ready for the Code - B" and started "C" this week. We try to do a letter per week, which means we do 3-4 pages a day.

DS 8 - his reading is coming along wonderfully. Yesterday, as we were driving around town, he read "Providence Road" and asked me, "Hey, Mom, what does "Providence" mean?" I replied, "Why? Did you just read that sign?!?!" We just do a little reading together each day and play "Sight Word Bingo" sometimes. He has started Handwriting Without Tears "Cursive" - by his request and is really enjoying it. We also are practicing basic parts of speech with MadLibs. I'm thinking about starting him on "Simply Grammar" in a few weeks.

DS 11 - We are working through our weekly assignments from Classical Conversations "Essentials" Grammar and Writing classes. We did not complete the writing assignment for this week. He's also reading "Sherlock Holmes" and thoroughly enjoying it. He started on next week's writing assignment which is writing a critique.

Family Studies

Christian Studies - we didn't do anything specific (beyond our family prayer and bible reading) this week.

Modern - Read in "The Last 500 Years" about China and the Cultural Revolution, The Cold War, and the Space Race.

Science - we skipped our science reading at home this week. At classical conversations they talked about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and did some cool experiments with building bridges (the two subjects are not connected, of course).

Friday: Folk Tales, French, Fine Arts - we were behind on some lessons, so instead we focused on getting that work done. I'll read the folk tale tonight at bedtime and we'll save the French and Fine Arts lesson for next week.

Individual Studies

Literature -

DD6 - read "Rama and the Tigers"

DS 8 - read 1/2 a chapter of The Hobbit

DS 11 - read the rest of As You Like It (Tales from Shakespeare)

Modern -

DS 11 - read "Communism in Asia" and "The Vietnam War" from Story of the World 4

Classics -

DD 6 - read 2 Aesop stories

DS 8 - read "Skade" from D'Aulaire's Norse Myths

DS 11 - read from D'Aulaire's Greek Myths

Classical Conversations

All: reviewed week 19 and introduced week 20 (Bible, Math facts, English Grammar, Geography, History sentence, timeline cards, Science sentence)

DS 11 - worked on his "President" presentation on JFK (fact gathering, collecting photos, writing notes)


DD 6 - made a copy of "Hop On Pop" (copied the text and pictures); Ballet class
DS 8 - made a jungle scene with clay, started lettuce and sunflower seeds
DS 11 - continues to voraciously read and learn about the history of aviation; Drama class


Debbie said...


I just emailed you with alot of questions about CC, then I popped over here and you've answered alot of them! Boy do I feel dumb!LOL


Jamie said...

Hi Kerry,

Do you think Explode the Code has been helpful to your daughter? My son (also 6) finished his primer, and I've been having him read aloud each day but I feel he needs some phonics reinforcement. He loves worksheets (bleh) so I have no doubt he would enjoy them. Just wondered what you thought of ETC overall.

By the way, thanks for mentioning the DIVE CD's last week. I may just use them in coming years, and I also was able to mention them to a friend who may be pulling her now 4th-grader out of public school next year. She was specifically asking about math resources, so I was glad to have something to offer her. :)

Kerry - A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

Debbie - There is no reason to feel dumb! :)

Jamie - Yes, my daughter has really enjoyed Explode the Code (ETC). She insisted on some "real school" this year (ie. workbooks), so I purchased these. If she hadn't requested workbooks, I'd have used some games to reinforce phonics.

ETC "Get Ready for the Code" has been a steady and good introduction to phonics for her. We clipped through it pretty good pace, however, because she was catching it all so quickly. I think she was REALLY ready to start reading (unlike my middle son who is a late reading bloomer and would have HATED ETC).

Once she is reading fluently (not decoding every sound), I'll probably stop ETC and just keep giving her harder and harder reading material.

Do you think your son has gotten a good grasp of the material in the "Get Set for the Code" Primer? If you are concerned that he hasn't, you might find a phonics game (there are some fairly inexpensive "bingo"-type ones) and just spend a few weeks playing that. (And of course reading to him and having him sound out words with you.) All this might help cement in his brain what he's learned in the Primer.

On the other hand, if you think he has learned the basics from the Primer, I think going on to ETC Book 1 will help him with moving from decoding to fluency.

And about DIVE CDs - we really, really love them!

Belinda@upsidedownbee said...

Kerry - Good to see you're involved with CC. Leigh Bortins (CC founder) goes to our church and a good friend of mine is involved in the CC group here in NC. Small world. Take care. B.

Jamie said...

Kerry, thanks for taking the time to comment on ETC. I should have clarified, he finished his reading primer (Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading)--we haven't done any ETC books. Sorry about the confusion.

But I'm glad to hear that you think it has helped your daughter. Going to order one this week, and we'll give it a try.

What kind of phonics games do you play? Uncreatively, I've done some reviewing with flash cards I made, but that's about it.

Kerry - A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

The phonics games I use are just little box games I've gotten from teacher's stores and our local used homeschool supply. Simple things like "Phonics Bingo", "Clifford's Alphabet Bingo", and now I've got "Consonant Blends".

Another GREAT, GREAT resource that is FREE is This is an entire phonics program online. There are workbook pages you can print, if you like. I let my daughter and son get on there and play the games, watch the "movies" - like "When Two Vowels Go A-Walking", and read the stories (interactive stories - lots of fun). I used starfall a bit formally with my son who HATES workbooks, but my daughter just plays on there, which is fine.

I bet your son would enjoy the website!

Jamie said...

Well, duh, I didn't even think about checking teacher supply stores. Thanks, Kerry, for the suggestions. You've been a great help, and even a partial replacement for my brain! :)

Now I just have to decide: do I really want to have to share my computer time with my son (as I have no doubt he will LOVE starfall). Is phonics REALLY that important, anyway? ;)

Kerry - A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

Isn't that the truth?!?! I'm not at the point where I'm sharing my computer with 3 kids -stinkers. We do have another computer, but it is so old and slow that NOBODY wants to use it.

You might also try online, if you don't have a teacher's supply store near by.