This past week I had planned to jump back into MFW Adventures, but that did not happen and I just am not going to worry about it. It may take us two years to do this little one year program, but I am more concerned with enjoying it than just getting it done. "Just getting it done" was my focus for a while and I have learned that there is no benefit from that. We are all quite excited to start the state studies and bird study, though. I'll shoot for starting that this coming week. We will be more prepared that way anyway. For Savannah (3rd) we did our Spelling (Rod & Staff) with double lessons. We did a "Review week" lesson and a normal week lesson at the same time. I was confident in Savannah's ability to handle two weeks of study at a time, so I did not feel this was too much for her. She aced her end of week test with a 100. The normal week lesson was with words like cutting and other -ing words and adding suffixes (-ing, -ed, -en). We did four days of math lessons and speed drills (and I still don't get why she is suddenly liking these, but I will go with it... Hehehehe!). We do "math extras", which includes using "wrap ups" and other math toys or flashcards, as well as, writing mulitiplication facts. I hear that using math songs for skip counting works well, but I have failed at implementing it so far. Maybe we will do it sometime. I also, want to start using math games online, etc. more as we just purchased two more computers as part of our school expenditures. We have saved money by borrowing some of our curriculum that has made this possible. God supplies all our needs!! Since Savannah did double lessons in Spelling I only had her do one day of handwriting practice. A normal spelling lesson consists of 16 spelling words (3 review) and the review week consists of five weeks of words (13 words each) totalling 65 words. She had only previously missed one of the 65 words so her testing consisted of the 16 words from the normal list and the one previously missed word. She made a 100. And by the way I "grade like so... all correct = 100... any missed = -1 (etc.). I don't give number grades. I have no concern for grade numbers and I would only move on to the next thing if she really knows the information. I like a Content Mastery approach and a focus on actually learning. I don't want my kids simply memorizing information for a test. Anyway, back to the handwriting... She did one day of writing her spelling words (the 16) in cursive. We usually do one day of a Bible verse, two days of the spelling words, one day of family names , and one day of other random words/sentences/verse. As long as she is writing I do not care what as long as it fills a page and is dated and signed. I had a handwriting curriculum this year for both my girls, but found it to be monotonious..... write " j j j j ..." ... we skipped all that and grabbed the old style writing paper and did what comes naturally. Much more enjoyable! Savannah read library books and some of our books. That was reading!
Before I go into Sierra's I want to tell you our schedule. Sick people just don't care..... we rested... we played when we felt like it and sometime in the late afternoon we would start some schooling. I usually started with Sierra this week and let Savannah start her independent work in Spelling or Math. We did school outside, on the couch, in the school area.... whatever felt good at the moment... sick people take a lot to motivate... especially, when it is Momma. Most of our school took place after Daddy arrived home and after dinner. It worked quite well and I would highly recommend it for those that are struggling with juggling all that life offers. I actually plan to use this "schedule" more often. I think it may be the key to getting some of our chaos in order. I can spend my days focusing on guiding my kids to help with chores and our attitudes first and foremost. We can prepare for dinner ahead of time and get more laundry done, etc. The stress of that getting lost in the shuffle greatly governs our day. With that front and center I think the schooling will just fall right into place in a more relaxed way.... even if it is in the evenings. The reality is that we can still do all our school in the same amount of time we used to do on just evening homework. I am seeing that it does not matter what time of the day we do our school. It should just be part of our life whenever it works good to do it.
And on to Sierra's... we started our "Goat Gg Week" in MFW Kindergarten. I actually want to get a bit "caught up" on where we are in lessons, so I look at the coming weeks and see that there are three weeks related to farming (Goats, Cows, Horses). I thought I would combine the Goat week with the Cows, but we were feeling too puney. Monday I finished up some unfinished work from our Insect week and did a little more preparing for the farming weeks. I have really had Sierra do more reading than the lessons call for, so I was happy to see that in the Goat week this week they finally add the first sight word (the). Sierra already knew it, so that was easy and confirmed we are on the right direction with her. She is the first on that I have had to teach to read, so it is really nerve racking sometimes.... but exciting!!! She is doing great! We did an animal matching file folder game and did some animal matching with a wooden hide-n-seek type puzzle that I have. I made some extra animals to go with it. We also used it to sing Old McDonald. I had each of the girls pick five animals and we hide them in the puzzle. As we sang we opened the little doors to see what animal was there and did each one and it's sound. For future reference 10 animals is way to long of a song when you are coughing your head off. ;) We mostly read books this week and worked through the MFW Reading Plan (I leave out some things that Sierra knows well) and did the worksheets. She did great and I am so gald that the worksheets are finally adding sentences for the child to read. The one thing I think this program is really missing..... and I say this lightly because I know it is meant to be a slow and easy approach to teaching reading and I am thankful for that.... I think it is missing little phonics readers. I have found with Sierra that the key to teaching her to read has been to put little phonics readers in her hands. Once she sees she can sound out some of these words phonetically she gets quite excited. I think it is great to write little nonsense story sentences using the words that you are focus on and let the child read those. And example off the top of my head is:
The cat is fat.
The cat is in a hat.
The cat is on a mat.
The cat sat.
The cat sat on the mat.
The cat is red.
The hat is red.
The mat is red.
I don't think we did any crafts... ooops! They did not miss it. Anyway, that was our week! Gotta run to church, again! Later!