Friday, October 9, 2015

Homeschooling Roo

Next I will talk about Roo.  Roo is doing great this year.  She loves homeschool and I love teaching her, though she does so many things independently that I feel like I hardly spend any time with her.  

This is her 4th grade year.  I put her in Teaching Textbooks level 5 for math because I found out last spring that Teaching Textbooks runs a year behind.   Since she did Horizons math last year, I figured she'd do fine and she has.  I love it that it grades her stuff for me.  Last year she would do her math all on her own and tell me she did it but I didn't grade her assignments as often as I ought to have... then toward the end of the year she kind of stopped doing her math.  She would misplace the book or just "forget" to do it.  This is unlike her, but not surprising considering the chaos in our lives over the last year.  Anyway, I was excited to put her in Teaching Textbooks where all I have to do is log in to the grade book once a week or so.  

For language, she does several things: 

First of all, she does daily journal writing.  She is my most enthusiastic journaler. 

She also does copy work twice a week and loves that.  I usually find a poem from her Pathway Reader for copy work.  

She has a spelling lesson with me once a week from All About Spelling (wish it was more often but I don't have enough time...) and she works on Spelling City a few times a  week as well.  Last year I entered all the third grade words from Sitton Spelling into Spelling City because that was the program the public schools used where we were.  But then we never got all the way through them, so I am having her go back through them now.  Working through those lists on Spelling City helps her memorize how to spell lots of words and then All About Spelling gives her tools to use to understand how words are put together.   Spelling in general is not a problem for Roo; she learns quickly and retains well.  

She and Fish are working through Wordsmith Apprentice.  The three of us are having so much fun with it.  It is just perfect for them: a gentle introduction to grammar and sentence structure and different styles of writing.  It's been good for Roo because while Roo is intelligent and does her school work thoroughly, she has a bit of a tendency to do things bare minimum with not much thought and imagination.  With Wordsmith, she writes something and brings it to me and I probably say, "okay, that's a good start, but now we need...." and I help her put more creativity into her writing.  It's just what she needs, and the lessons are short and simple and not overwhelming for any of us.  

Oh yeah, I also bought Roo a grammar book.  It's made by the same company that made the Easy Grammar book I did with Bean last year.  It's called Daily Grams.  Every day she has one page to do and it will quickly review several different topics: punctuation, capitalization,  sentence combining, parts of speech, etc.  It's been a good book for her.  

On to other subjects.  She is doing Discover the Old Testament.  She has done Discover the Scriptures before,  but this is the first time she has done one of the older grade versions.  While Bean and Fish simply tolerate and endure their scripture curriculum,  Roo really enjoys it.  When there's some enrichment project she will actually come to me and say "can I do this?" and then bug me about it until I help her.  At the beginning of the curriculum when it teaches about God making man in His own image it gives a recipe for gingerbread men.  Roo insisted we do this (Bean and Fish never showed any interest) and bugged me until I had procured the necessary ingredients and then helped her make and decorate them.  They were very tasty and we all had a good time making them, so I am glad she kept bugging me about it.  

I decided to start at the beginning of Lively Latin this fall with Bean, Fish, and Roo.  Bean has been messing around with this curriculum for the last four years, enjoying it but not working hard enough to really get anywhere.  I figured he could use the review and Fish and Roo were ready to start Latin.  It is an excellent curriculum, and Roo is doing great with it (they all are.)  Sometimes I see them helping each other review the flashcards and that makes me happy.

Roo also practices the piano every day.  She is my most dilligent child when it comes to working through the songs in her book and pushing forward on her own to learn new ones.  Rhythm is a little tricky for her, but she's working hard and making good progress.   

She does a page from Critical and Creative Thinking every day too.  She does these without complaint, but she has a tendency to not put much thought into them, or to just skip parts that are hard for her and not say anything.  Because of her tendency to do this, I instigated a rule this year that the kids can't check anything off on their homeschool sheets until they bring it to me and I check to see if it's done well and thoroughly.  They have honestly had a hard time getting used to this rule, but I think it's a good rule so they're just going to have to get used to it.  

Here is a picture of Roo with her school binder.  She loves the binder.  When I gave it to her at the beginning of the school year she said it made her feel grown up.  It has her weekly check-off sheet in the front and then tabs for each subject. 

It is such a blessing to have a child in my homeschool that is as diligent and persistent and happy as Roo is.  I love my Roo!

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