3/4 Done

Friday marked the end of the third quarter of the 2014-15 school year. In just two months we’ll be finishing up completely and starting a nearly 3 month break. This quarter was slightly eventful since we changed math yet again and I made my final selections for next year and started working on 2015-16 lesson plans.

So our third quarter in review…

We finished watching the Doctrine and Covenants videos and started learning about the latter-day prophets after Joseph Smith. We completed through John Taylor.

We started the quarter off learning about South America and then moved on to colonization of North America. We touched on slavery for a week and spent the last month on the Revolutionary War and beginning of the United States.

Most of the quarter was spent learning about the three states of matter. We did some fun experiments. Our science curriculum is very hands-on.

Music and Art
We finished learning about Jackson Pollock and moved on to Claude Monet. We continued learning about Bach.

Language Arts and Reading
Cameron finished reading Narrative of the Life of a Slave by Frederick Douglass and read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, some fairy tales, and is now reading Alice in Wonderland. He learned some literary terms and how to write a literary criticism paper. Now he’s learning how to make a two-level outline. Fritz finished reading Five Children and It and read almost all of Dr. Dolittle. He learned about quotation marks, diagramming questions, and a whole lot more. We switched his spelling curriculum to Spelling Workout. We started with level B and he’s quickly done 9 lessons so far. We’re trying to get him through to a point where he doesn’t already know the words. He has only hit two words so far that he had any trouble spelling. He is getting better and better at narration and dictation. Adrian is continuing to learn to read. He started using Explode the Code and while he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t put up too much of a fuss. He learned about nouns and verbs and is learning to narrate stories back to me.

We switched to Math-U-See about a week and a half ago once we realized that no matter how popular Math Mammoth is, it just wasn’t working for the boys. Since they’ve all already done at least some of what their levels start with, I’m having them watch the video and take the test. If they get 100% on the test, they move on to the next lesson the next day. Fritz has done that every day and will do lesson 8 tomorrow. Adrian got tripped up on Friday because he doesn’t have all of the +2 facts memorized. He got 100%, but was slower with two or three than I want him to be so he’ll be staying in lesson 7 another day or two. Cameron had some trouble with lesson 2 (adding and subtracting negative numbers) so he stayed in that lesson an extra few days (and I think the extra practice really helped him). He’ll be on lesson 4 tomorrow. When keeping a kid in the same lesson more than one day at this point, I’m having them do one new page an done review page each day. 100% on both and they move on the next day. By the third day in the same lesson Cameron figured out slowing down and taking his time and proving he knew the material was the smart thing to do. Every day I also have the little guys do the “G” (enrichment) page and Cameron does the “F” review page since pre-algebra doesn’t have G pages. Cameron refuses to touch the blocks, Fritz hasn’t needed to, and Adrian absolutely loves them. Adrian really likes the videos, too. This is the first math Adrian hasn’t fought me on at all.

The boys are all still taking taekwondo. We just had a tournament (I should write a post about that). The little guys do two hours a week. Cameron does something like 6-10. Cameron also rides his bike pretty much every day. We just signed Fritz up for swim team (starts the second week of May) and our whole family will be able to use the pool all summer. Swim team practices 5 hours a week plus swim meets. Fritz likes taekwondo, but he loves swimming so he is very excited.

Ani has pretty much finished everything she had planned for psychology. She’s reviewing math trying to get to the level she was at before she entered public school. She really lost math skills over that year and because incredibly dependent on calculators. She’s planned really fun activities for her creative writing kids class. The kids really respond to what she’s teaching them and the moms are very happy with what their kids are producing. She spends a lot of time at taekwondo taking classes and helping in other classes. She’s amazing with the little kids especially. Most importantly, her health is improving so much. Removing gluten from her diet worked wonders. We’ve discovered she also is sensitive to dairy (casein – lactose-free still gives her pain). We’re not surprised since gluten and casein often go hand-in-hand.

The third quarter was a success. We are looking forward to finishing up the year and having a nice long break (though we’ll still be doing math until they finish the levels they are currently in and Adrian will continue learning to read over the summer as well). It really is fun teaching these three boys and it’s so wonderful seeing Ani get healthy enough to actually concentrate on what she is trying to learn.


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