Tuesday, July 28, 2009

small expression of gratitude

We have a ward (church) email list where people can send out requests/offers/etc. A while back I put out a request for paper that had one blank side, and since then I've had people periodically drop off sizable amounts of one-sided paper. When you homeschool AND have a prolific artist in the house, you can't have too much free paper! It really has been a great blessing. Right now I'm printing off these beginner books for Spud and am using one-sided paper. I'm planning to get them spiral bound but figure since my printer really only does one-sided well, I might as well save on the paper cost.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

abc master

Spud knows almost all of his letter sounds! There are a few still giving him trouble, but tomorrow I'll make note of those and hopefully by the end of the week he'll have them nailed down.

New book

One of the best things to encourage novice readers is high-interest books at below their current level. The problem I've had is that there just haven't been any of high enough interest for Noodle. On Friday I took the kids to Barnes and Noble to use a gift card I'd gotten for my birthday. She originally picked out a single "Biscuit" story (for $3.99), but then we found a collection of 10 stories for $12, which I figured was a pretty great deal per story. She was quite excited about it, and has been reading a couple of stories every day since then. She really loves the illustrations and frequently comments about how cute the various characters in the stories are. And she is looking forward to finding some more Biscuit stories next time she is able to buy a book. I know it is a small thing, but it is certainly notable. She was also reading stories to herself, and skipping words she didn't know but then figuring them out as she went on, which is a big improvement over getting frustrated about not knowing the words. So, yay for Biscuit!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This past week

We bought this for Spud & Sprout (eventually). (It was only $20 at Wal-Mart.) I've decided that I hope the two boys can pick up a lot of the reading fundamentals on their own, so I'm all in favor of tools that help, and the Fridge Phonics set was recommended by a lot of people on the Well-Trained Mind forum. Noodle continues to improve steadily, so I feel okay about her progress. This week she finished up Ch 9 in Alpha MUS, and Lesson 6 in ETC 3. We are through Lesson 14 in Blend Phonics. She read "The Visit," a BOB Book for four days just to build confidence, and by the 4th day was very quick and fluid for most of it.

Spud passed off his short vowel sounds to me this week. We also did the first two Progressive Phonics books. He can be so obstinate about doing things that aren't his idea, so I'm hoping as time goes on he will acquiesce as he gets used to the routine.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

9s addition facts

We have opted to do the Math-U-See curriculum with the kids. Noodle is in the Alpha book, and today we just started lesson 9, which happens to be 9s addition facts. I wanted her to "get it," but knew that it would be best if it clicked in her brain without me making it too obvious. We watched the chapter intro video, then started doing some practice problems. And it clicked! We drilled the facts by her marching around the ottoman while I tried to build the problem/answer pair with the manipulatives before she could recite the problem/answer, i.e. "Nine plus five is fourteen!" She really enjoyed it and she was fast! We probably did 20+ problems and I was only faster twice.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

preschool fun

So because I have been spending so much time with Noodle (just turned 7) trying to get her up to speed with her reading, it's easy to let Spud's preschool activities get shuffled to the side. He does his UpStart preschool/reading learning 5 days a week for at least 15 minutes, and I can tell he is learning his letters and sounds and making progress. Anyways, on Friday I took the time to do the Happy Phonics Muffin Match game with him. We had quite a lot of fun reviewing the letters, pretending to bake the muffins (the sofas were our stoves) and then having a muffin party with some of the stuffed toys and giving them their appropriate letter. From left to right there is "Beary, Fuzzy, Woggle, Daisy, Spot, Monkey, Rat, & of course my cute C boy. I was happy to spend a bit of extra fun "school" time with him this week. We did a couple of other activities earlier in the week as well.