Kenny was very anxious about his reading test, wanting to see a huge improvement as he feels he has really made some gains. I had no idea where he would sit but assured him that we were making progress no matter what the test showed. While his reading comprehension remained at 5th grade, his reading fluency did take a humongous leap! Since the end of August, he has more than doubled his reading speed, going from 45 words per minute to 95!!! While that is still far slower than I'd like to see a 12 year old reading, it is tremendous progress for him and I give all the credit to our dear long distance friend and blog commenter, Peggy, who sent us the Reading A-Z mysteries that Kenny discovered and devoured. It made all the difference in the world to find something he really loved reading and to have a treasure trove of selections to read.
So testing is now behind us and we can get back to learning rather than evaluating! We had a lot of fun the past couple of days as I opened our new semester with a little surprise...all the Usborne books we earned/purchased with our sales and discounts. I told the kids I had a "small" surprise, as I didn't want them thinking it was something really cool, but when I brought out the box of books their faces lit up so much that you would have thought I had given them tickets to Disneyworld! It was a great way to start the second half of our year and they were very excited. I was able to get a great selection of material, everything from The World of Spies to Knights to Dog Stories to the Titanic! Thanks to all who purchased books from us to allow us to get this wonderful library. As you can see, they will be enjoyed for a long time to come!:
|This image captures what I love most about homeschooling!!|
We also checked out Olesya's rock tumbler and saw the results after just one week...erosion had done it's work already and there was a significant difference in the stones. We are anxious to see the results after week 2.
We also started a new curriculum for history from http://www.connectthethoughts.com/ . I wasn't sure about this, about how engaging it would be for the kids but I have been pleasently surprised to find they LOVE this and we spent 2 full hours on it this morning without even looking at the clock. We are doing one for 7-8 year olds...supposedly...it is far more rigorous than anything I have ever seen for 7 and 8 year olds as lesson 2 included the introduction of Herodotus and Confucious as it discussed exactly what history is.
The kids were shown photos of cave drawings and ancient Egyptian artwork and were asked to explain what they could discern about the lives of the people who drew them and what was it that they thought those ancient people's were trying to tell us. Then they had to create drawings themselves about the history of their own lives, making something that might explain what their lives were like if others were to view it. Can I tell you how funny it was to see airplanes as part of the life story drawings of each of our kids? A couple were even labeled "Lufthansa"...such different life stories than most children have to share.
That's about all that is going on around here, nothing of much interest to anyone, I am sure. Just getting back into routines and enjoying the peace that abounds. Sorry there is nothing to share that any of you really want to read!