Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Made mac&cheese mostly by himself, he was very proud


Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekly Review Feb. 14 - 18th


Hi everyone! I hope you had a good week and maybe some nice weather.  We have had a case of Iwanttoplayoutsideitis this week.  They weather has been so nice, we have enjoyed playing outside.  Since the weather has been nice we had a light week.  We always take advantage of nice spring weather because it will be summer and too hot for Kiddo to play outdoors before long. 

He has been doing Teaching Textbooks Math for a week and half now, he is on lesson 15.  He is loving it.  He has started learning some geometry terms and thinks that is the coolest thing ever. (He made need to have his head examined, if you ask me).  I can tell his mental math is getting faster and better, so I am thrilled.   No experiments this week, but he is begging Dad to do the menthos and Diet Coke one this weekend. 

We are doing the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend.  We have been outside today counting and identifying birds,  Who knew bird watching could be so much fun, but getting to count and identify a bird is jump up down exciting at our house.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekly Review 2/7–2/11



My weekly review is late, I know. It has been a busy week, with headaches and no sleeping thrown in for extra fun.. 

We had a good week in homeschool.  We got back to our regular schedule and I am back to doing school after lunch.  I tried the entire month of January to get school done in the mornings but he was just not adjusting to it and I saw no reason to fight it.  Maybe I will start sneaking in a subject and here and there and see it I can slowly get him used to the idea.

This week we started Teaching Textbook in math. He is loving it is so far.  We are back studying Zoology.  We have worked on homophones and synonyms this week. We read about the War of the Roses and Joan of Arc.  I did not do any “handwriting” per say this week, I just worked in a good deal of writing into our other classwork. 

I would tell you what we will be working on this coming week but I am behind and have not done lesson plans yet.  I better get busy myself. 

Teaching Textbooks Math 3

I had posted a few days ago about deciding to switch to Teaching Textbooks for math. We have been using Singapore for the past 2 years and I have been happy with it.  I use the textbooks along with extra practice workbooks and the challenging word problems book.  We sailed right through the workbooks last year so it was an easy decision to decide to use Singapore again this year. 

Kiddo did ok with the workbooks at the beginning of the year a little slow in getting his work done. It has gone downhill from there, he complained about having to do his math, he claimed he couldn’t do it, he took forever to get  one page done.  I was pulling my hair out and he was getting frustrated. After trying different ways to get him to do his math better, and none of them working, I decided maybe it wasn’t’ him maybe we just needed a different way of doing math. 

I already knew a little about Teaching Textbooks from a friend of mine,  who is using it with her kids. I thought Teaching Textbooks started with grade 4.  While I was researching different math curriculums. Saxon, Horizons, MathUSee, private school(joking), I discovered Teaching Textbooks now has grade 3.  I was thrilled they now had grade 3 but I wondered could he do that level. I looked all over for a review of Grade 3 and could not find one.  I went to their website and printed off the placement test and he got ever answer right.  I then printed off the placement test for grade 4 and he got more than half of those answers right but I do not think he is ready for grade 4.  After looking at the placement test and sample pages online, I agree with most, Teaching Textbooks is a year behind from the grade level they provide.  For example, we have been using Singapore 2A and 2B workbooks and Grade 3 of Teaching Textbooks is about the same level or even a little behind what is in the Singapore books. 

I then had to decide if I wanted to order just the cds or both the cds and workbooks.  I decided since we still have the Singapore workbooks to use that I would order just the cds.   I ordered the cds from for $99.00. They arrived 3 days later, and Kiddo was ready to use his new computer math right then. 

He loves getting to work on the computer and he having his own password to use for the curriculum.  He has done 4 lessons so far, I will be able to tell better about the curriculum after he has completed more of the 118 lessons.  The first 3 lessons have been very easy, learning the even and odd numbers,  the vocabulary works sum and difference.  The math problems are very easy 9+0, 1+2, etc. The first lessons are definitely a review. 

If you are thinking of using Teaching Textbooks head over to their website, they have placement test and several sample problems for each grade to try.  Having the sample problems really helped me to decide this curriculum was worth a try for us.  The Grade 3 curriculum came with 4 cds, and has 118 lessons.  Each lesson has a short lecture, practice problems and 22 graded problems.  There is a hint button and a detailed how to solve this problem button. Kiddo can do this on his own with no help from me.  It took just a little instruction on using the keypad on the laptop and he was ready to go. 

I will still use the Singapore workbooks in addition to Teaching Textbooks.  I have high hopes that this will work for us and make learning math easier.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekly Review 2/4



I am pleasantly happy with how well this week has gone. As I have posted before we have been having a few behavior issues with getting work done in a timely matter.  I switched things up this week, and looked into making a curriculum change.

As I had posted earlier I had to break out my old kitchen timer to encourage Kiddo to get his work done in a timely matter.  Taking an hour to do one handwriting page or dawdling so much on math we did not have time to finish in a day.  We were both frustrated and getting no where. 



The timer helped, he saw it as a game, could he finish before the timer went off.  This helped with handwriting.  Math he was still getting frustrated saying he couldn’t do the worksheet when I knew he could.  Instead of moving forward I pulled out the extra practice workbook for Singapore and went back to easy addition and subtraction to see if that would help, it didn’t.

It finally dawned on me maybe it was the curriculum not one of us.  That lead to a search of math curriculums. I like Singapore but if it is not working for him we need a change.  I found that teaching textbooks has a new 3rd grade program, I was excited to find this.  I had read such good things about teaching textbooks but didn’t think it started until 4th grade.  I printed off the placement test from their webpage and Kiddo got every answer correct.  So, I printed off the placement test for 4th grade and he did really well on that one but I do not think he is ready for the 4th grade program yet.  I then let him try the sample problems they have on their webpage and not only did he love it, he has asked everyday this week to do more math!  I was wondering about spending so much money on a single class but if he is asking to do more math, I am happy.  I ordered the cd set for 3rd grade. I chose not to order the workbooks because I have the Singapore 2A and 2B books we can use for extra practice.  I think he will go through it quickly, it will be easier to tell once we get the program in but I feel he is between the 3rd and 4th grade program.  The 3rd grade level may be a little too easy for him and the 4th grade level too difficult, I chose the 3rd level because having an excellent foundation in math is so important. Extra practice learning the basics is never a bad thing. 


One of the other things I did this week was change up our schedule. We did a subject a day this week.  We spent our entire school time on only one subject.  Kiddo really enjoyed it and I will do this again when we need a switch up from our regular school schedule. This is what we did this week.


Monday – Science:  We finished reading the Apologia Astronomy book, Built the international space station with Legos, watched Journey to the Stars DVD, spent time on NASA’s website looking at the mission to the moon Titan and as a bonus watched Apollo 13 movie. 

Tuesday – Math:  Took 2 placement tests for Teaching Textbooks and did sample lessons online.  He spent over an hour doing sample lessons because he like them.

Wednesday- History: Read 2 chapters in Story of the World and did matching maps and activities from the Story of the World activity book.  Looked at photos for some of the things we read about and researched the Black Plague in detail, he found it very interesting.

Thursday – Spelling/Vocabulary/Reading: Started on new spelling words with sentences and a story.  Did 3 exercises in our Vocabulary workbook and started reading a new chapter book.

Friday- Experiment Day various experiment and activities to go with what we learned from the week.


It was a much improved week over the past few.  I am glad switching things up did the trick and I am looking forward to getting the new math curriculum. 


Thursday, February 3, 2011

3 in 30 Goals–Week 1

How did my week go?  I made progress not as much as I wanted to, but that is always the case. 
1. Deep Clean the whole house  - I started on the office, the worst offender in my clean the house plan.  So many things to organize, clean out, file, etc. etc.  I made progress, have not finished yet hope to this weekend. 
2. Make a 30 day menu and shopping list.  I made my menu 30 days of breakfast, lunch and dinners.  It was easy for the most part, I have done this before and since I am planning for just two while my husband is travelling.  I was heavy of meals that Kiddo likes and ones that make good freezer meals.  Now who wants to make the shopping list and cook all the food?  NOT ME   I will probably do the cooking at the end of the month.
3. Blog more often  I have not had a chance to schedule any preplanned blogs.  I am going to set up a file to make notes of ideas I want to blog about. I am planning on doing a weekly review post every Friday. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011