Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our first quarter report card...

We're slowly getting our feet under us.  It's now been about 3 months since we started this whole homeschooling gig, and, if I do say myself, I think it's going OK.  We took some time to figure out what we knew (both Jude as a student and Mom as a teacher), and it's time for our first "Report Card."

I am very proud to say that, according to the iXL Math program, Jude has met the NJ state standards for pre-Kindergarten, and is 100% proficient in PK math.  We've started moving on to Kindergarten level math, and he is enjoying the challenge.  I'm in the process of acquiring a "real" math program.  We are going to use Progress in Mathematics, which is the same program that his siblings' school uses.  If we are able to get him back into school, at least that will be something he is familiar with.

Jude's language skills are coming along some. They're not great, but they're better, so that makes us happy.  We are working with Explode the Code for phonics. Jude has completed Book A, "Get Ready for the Code" in the Explore the Code series, and has moved on to "Get Set for the Code."  It's a challenge for him to learn the different letters and sounds, but he's trying very hard. His frustration threshold is rising, which is even better. When we first started, as soon as he was challenged, he would throw a tantrum or just stop trying.  Now, he really tries to make the sounds and learn his letters.  We are going to continue with this program for the summer, and hopefully move up to Explode the Code by the fall.  He also has discovered the PBS series "Super Why!" and enjoys the phonics reinforcement each episode gives.

We've added a new program to our day. It's called Five in a Row.  FIAR is a "unit study" program with a literature foundation.  We have just started it to round our studies out with science, social studies, and literature lessons. Currently, we are reading The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese, and next will read Lentil by Robert McCloskey.  I'm looking forward to sharing The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola, one of my favorite children's authors, and Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening with Jude as the "new" quarter goes on.

We have also added a bible study.  We currently are using Carson-Dellosa's Hidden Pictures workbook to guide us through Old and New Testament stories.  When we finish this book, we are going to switch to Discipleland's Amazing Heroes Kindergarten series.

One thing that is exciting is our "daily project."  We just completed a daily cross project for Lent (there will be a post on that later!) and are going to start a US Flag.  We have just enough days to finish in time for the 4th of July.  Each day, we will read a little bit about a state and add its star to the flag, so that all 50 are present and ready to celebrate Independence Day.

Jude also had some educational/behavioral testing done. It didn't do much other than put big word labels on what we already knew. However, having those diagnoses "in black and white" will help us be able to get him the extra help he needs.  He will have another evaluation for physical/occupational therapies and speech early next month, so it looks like we may be adding that to our schedule.  It certainly is going to be busy around here for the next while.  We are not taking the summer off, much to the big kids' dismay.  We will probably slow down a little, but learned the hard way that it's difficult to get back into the swing of things after a long break.  After taking off all of Holy and Easter Weeks, it was a rough re-adjustment back to listening patiently, following directions, and paying attention.  The big kids are upset because this means that they will have an hour each day they will be "forced" to read, draw, etc. out of solidarity.  I am certain they will have some assigned reading to prepare for next fall, and if they finish that before the end of the summer, there are several local libraries filled with books, along with everything Amazon.com carries! 

Thanks for following along with us! We expect there will be many more adventures to come!

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