{Update} Our Fall Semester

We have survived the fall semester – our first semester in a new house and a new state (and with a new homeschool room – which I still love by the way). So how is our year going so far?

Overall things are going very well. I feel like we are making a lot of progress in our little homeschool. I’m also feeling more motivated to get schoolwork done (as opposed to last year when I was feeling a lot of homeschool burnout).

She just turned 3 and is quite a whirlwind. She loves to play and prefers to play with My Little Pony as opposed to doing anything school – related (which is fine by me at her age!). She is talking like crazy and has recently learned how to use glue, use scissors, fold paper, and paint. She’s a huge fan of cutting things – especially important papers of mine.

She will soon be turning 5 and preparing for Kindergarten next year. She is a strong-willed drama queen. Wow! She wears me out!

Math – She has learned patterns and shapes this year. I think she’ll be ready to slowly begin Right Start A in the spring semester. She has already begun to try to add numbers together.

Reading – We’ve been working on pre-reading skills with All About Reading Pre-Level. She is able to distinguish beginning and ending sounds, understands rhyming words, and can write many of her letters. She has begun asking me to learn to read and often pretends to read picture books from our shelves. I think it’s time to focus more on her reading skills and even start All About Reading Level 1 to start reading! She is very motivated.

This is my silly, creative, artsy child. I never quite know what she is thinking and everything is a funny little joke to her. She also loves to argue! She will be 7 toward the end of spring.

Math – I’m not sure that Bee is very interested in math right now. She does well during our lessons but it is difficult to keep her focused. She is half-way through Right Start B and I decided that some review time was necessary so we’ve back up quite a few lessons and are redoing them for more practice. She is working to get her addition facts solid.

Reading – Bee loves to read! She finished All About Reading Level 1 and is now in Level 2. She is still making steady progress. Reading has really “clicked” for her this year. She is now asking for additional books that she can read on her own.

Spelling – We are taking a very slow pace with our introduction to spelling this year. She is using All About Spelling 1 and we cover one lesson per week or less.

Grammar – She has learned about nouns and verbs so far this year. She is doing a good job recognizing both parts of speech in sentences and is memorizing poems and definitions.

Spanish – This subject is moving slowly for Bee. She is able to remember words in the context of the songs (Song School Spanish) but forgets the vocabulary when she hears them in another context. I think we will finish this program in spring and then she will use it again next year as well.

Science – She is enjoying science with Tiger where they are both learning about life science this year. We are going to plant seeds, raise caterpillars and watch them become butterflies, and hatch ladybug larvae.

History – This is Bee’s first year to listen-in on our history readings. I have her narrate a short sentence or two about our readings. I can tell she’s learning quite a bit about history and remembering some of the key events and famous people.

He is my laid-back child who sits back and rolls his eye at the drama of his many sisters. He’s a jokester who loves sports and can’t get enough pirate and knight stories on audiobooks. Tiger just sails through life and doesn’t take things too seriously. He just turned 8 and has become such a huge help around the house.

Math – Tiger loves math. He seems gifted in math and often answers the math assignments of his siblings. He is learning multi digit subtraction and multiplication. He is making tons of math progress this year! He is in Right Start C and may even be able to start on Level D in the spring.

Reading – Reading is not Tiger’s favorite thing and his reading progress has been very slow. However, he is making steady progress this year and is about to begin All About Reading 3 in just a few weeks. His reading fluency has improved and he no longer struggles to sound out words.

Spelling – Despite his slow start to reading, Tiger spells fairly well. He is making very steady progress through All About Spelling Level 1 and may even slowly start the second level later in the spring. I wrongly assumed that spelling would be a struggle for him. Nope, he is able to piece words together systematically.

Grammar – Tiger is learning about verbs, adverbs, and adjectives as well as learning to memorize several poems. He is applying the grammar concepts well and memorizing the definitions of the various parts of speech.

Spanish – Tiger is picking up on Spanish vocabulary very well. We go over flashcards each day and he’s starting to remember the words and even use some of them in daily conversations.

Science – He is doing well in science and remembering the vocabulary words that we learn. He really enjoys the hands on activities and learning about the types of life science.

History – He listens in to our history readings and provides narrations to me. He gives me very detailed and lengthy narrations so I know he’s listening well and remembering quite a few key facts.

She is my studious, conscientious, perfectionist first-born. She has high ambitions to become an author and every day she regales me with more story ideas. She is very motivated and takes her school work seriously. She is my helper who sometimes forgets that she isn’t the parent of the house. She turned 10 and is the designated read-aloud person for the little girls. They love to snuggle up with her in a chair as she reads to them.

Math – Curly will be the first to tell you that math is not her favorite subject. However, her math abilities do not suffer over her lack of enjoyment of math. She is doing very well in math this year and is learning fractions, decimals, percents, and division right now. She is blazing through Right Start E and will work on the fractions lessons after we complete the book.

Literature – This year I read some of her books aloud to her but I also have her read a few of the books on her own. I created some simple literature guides with comprehension questions for those books. After she reads each chapter, she fills out the guide and we review it together. She still loves to read and she comprehends her reading assignments very well.

Spelling – Curly has struggled some in spelling so we took this semester to review spelling concepts with All About Spelling Levels 1-3. It has been great review for her to practice the syllable division rules as well as remember when to use each phonogram. I feel like her spelling skills have become more solidified. I think we will work through Level 4 of the program and then go back to Phonics Road to finish out Level 3 of that program.

Grammar – Curly seems to enjoy grammar and this year she’s learning about prepositions, indirect and direct objects as well as diagramming. Each day we digram various sentences together as she learns about the different types of phrases.

Spanish – We are taking a bit of a Spanish review year after completing Getting Started with Spanish. We are reviewing flash cards of vocabulary words and she’s practicing Spanish on her own using the DuoLingo app.

Latin – This is our first year studying Latin together. Curly just completed Song School Latin 1 and will be starting Song School Latin 2. I decided to take a more relaxed approach to our first study of Latin and it has paid off. Curly has had great retention with the program and will be ready for a more detailed study of Latin next year.

Bible – This is our second year studying the Old Testament with Classical Academic Press. We enjoy our Bible time together in the morning. Using this program has allowed us to start having some light theological discussions about different Biblical events.

Science – Unfortunately science is the one subject that was bypassed this semester. I’ve chosen a new program that we will start in the spring to cover earth and space science.

History –  Curly loves our history reading time and she listens carefully and gives great narrations of the events and people. At some point I will move her to written narrations so she can have a written record of what we have covered in history.

What has been our biggest progress so far this year?

Ladybug – Readiness
She is motivated to learn and do school and wants to read and do math. She’s showing signs of readiness for both subjects.

Bee – Reading
Her reading is taking off and she can be found frequently with a chapter book in her hands. She is very excited to continue learning to read.

Tiger – Math
This boy just “gets” math. He has learned subtraction and multiplication this year. Also, his mental math abilities are just incredible. He is blazing through his math lessons right now.

Curly – Writing
She loves to write stories of every kind and hopes to be an author. Her spelling and grammar skills are all starting to come together and to show up in her compositions. She is writing some very well-written short stories.

Me – Motivation
Seeing the progress we have made so far this year is really motivating to me. I feel much more comfortable with the curriculum we are using as well as with our homeschool schedule and routine. We have found curriculum and a homeschool rhythm that works for us.

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