October 25, 2010

Bridgetender School Update--Kids

I talked about the curriculum and some of the fun stuff we did during our first nine weeks of school. I thought you might be interested in hearing about the individual kids.

Elizabeth, sixth grade: Elizabeth is not liking sixth grade very much. She is in what Tapestry of Grace calls the "dialectic" stage, when they expect kids to start making connections. She is used to discussing facts, not trying to make connections. She has a lot of reading and extra work to do verses the other kids. Her favorite form of non-fiction is diaries, which she decided after reading Diary of a Napoleanic Foot Soldier by Jakob Walter. I had her write about three page paper about John Watt, the "inventor/improver" of the steam engine. We both learned a lot from this process, particularly how few books there are for kids considering the man jump-started the Industrial Revolution. I will be sending out her paper to family. If you are not family and I know you, I will be happy to send it if you send me a request in the comments section. She has almost finished Epsilon in Math U See, which involved learning about fractions and everything related to fractions, like factoring, finding the greatest common factor of two numbers, etc. It also introduced some pre-algebra concepts. Her biggest challenge, this year, however, is to write legibly and follow directions. Whenever I ask her to write neatly her response is, "I am like my dad, Mom. I can't write neatly." She is taking horseback riding lessons once a week, guitar lessons and is attending a homeschool youth group once a month. She is also serving with her dad in 1st grade and has developed a knack for being able to calm a special needs kid down when he gets out of hand.

Jessi, fourth grade: Jessi worked very hard to master multiple digit multiplication to be able to graduate to the Delta book in Math-U-See. Like Elizabeth, it took her a long time to get neat enough to be able to properly add the lines without forgetting or mis-reading numbers. She is doing great remembering Spanish words and loves putting together newsletters which have been assignments for science. She is getting very talented at using Hallmark Card Studio. She is enjoying all of her reading. She is also learning to be organized, with some progress. She started her first horse-riding lessons last week and really enjoyed it and she loves playing the piano. She also participates in the church's children's choir, which leads the elementary and pre-school in worship and verse memorization once a month.

Kyle, Second grade: His biggest challenge is in writing. He writes beautifully, but it takes him a very long time to write a short sentence and his hands tire out easily. However, with all the writing he has had to do, he is making progress in this area. He loves math the most, though I think he is also enjoying learning about mammals. He has not met a book that he doesn't like. For "fun" reading, he picks books about Canada, the Mexican-American war and other wars. He is even reading long chapter books like "The Hardy Boys" series and "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series. He is playing baseball and enjoying being a Tiger Scout. He was absolutely ecstatic when he learned how to shoot a bow and arrow and a BB gun at the last Boy Scout camp.

John, Kindergarten: He is picking up sounds of letters very quickly, knowing at least 13 different letters. We are using the Ruth Beechick method of phonics to teach him to read. It has worked for my three oldest kids and he seems to be enjoying it. He has picked up blending sounds very quickly. While we learned about the letter "L", we worked on his pronunciation so it no longer sounded a lot like the "r" sound. For math concepts, he has learned the days of the week and can count to 100. We are working on months of the year and being able to recognize numbers up to 100, mainly by dot-to-dot pictures. He also listens in on some of our group studies, like science and our history discussions. He is really good in art, IMHO. His biggest challenge is to know when to stop being "funny" or "sarcastic" and give me a serious answer. He is taking Tae Kwon Do twice a week and really enjoys it.

Our week off started with a little excitement as Kyle learned that bagels do NOT need 20 minutes in the microwave on high to defrost. I stopped the microwave much sooner than the 20 minutes mainly because the fire alarm was triggered by the yellow smoke pouring out of the microwave. After turning off the alarm, stopping the microwave and re-assuring the alarm company that we really didn't have a fire, I set up fans to send the smoke outside. The bagel was charcoal and the red, plastic, flower-shaped plate was partially melted. The kitchen still smells of smoke and we are hoping that the baking soda in the microwave will absorb the smoke that seems to have been absorbed by the microwave.

If you are getting tired of homeschool updates, rest assured, this is


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