Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Guacamole!!!!

We are trying to eat healthier around here and make more of our foods. Yesterday, as part of a new curriculum we are reviewing we made guacamole! The kids love to work in the kitchen so I let them do most of the work. Here they are scooping out the avocadoes, chopping cilantro, onions, tomatoes and more. Molly wanted to eat the tomato like an apple!

Here is the guacamole all made up!

And then, the real test, the kiddos all tried it. They were super excited to try it, which is rare for them--they DON'T like to try new foods, especially when they are green. But because they made it themselves they couldn't wait to give it a try! Zach was the only one that like it. I was surprised that Molly didn't like it--she likes everything.

Since, the new snack was not such a hit they all enjoyed a bowl of applesauce instead!

So, once again, there is my "not so wordless Wednesday!"

Don't forget to head over to and see all the other post for this fun meme!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Goal Planning Monday

After a couple of weeks of craziness life was nice and calm this week! It was such a blessing to be able to have a regular week. We learn to thank our Heavenly Father for simple things when we have a couple of crazy weeks. We enjoyed a week of beautiful weather and picnics on the trampoline (can't picnic in the yard because of the dog so we just move to the trampoline), some great baseball games played by both boys--Paul got his first hit in "kid-pitch", and just some regular days of school work, chores and hanging out at the house--what a blessing! I was able to catch up on laundry and the house is back to semi-normal order. So, this week maybe I can work on a few extra things. My goals for this week:

1. Play a board game with the kids 3 days this week. The kids LOVE board games and we have a ton. Plus, they are very educational. During baseball season we don't have as much time to play in the evenings so I am going to try and make sure to get them in atleast 3 days this week. It is supposed to rain a good bit so board games will be great inside fun.

2. Cut out the pattern for Molly's dress. Right before all the craziness started around here I bought a simple pattern and some material to make Molly a dress. I know the basics of sewing and I own a sewing machine I just haven't used it in many years. So, I am hoping to get started on a dress for Molly this week!

3. Organize two cabinets in kitchen. My plan to get (and stay) organized was thwarted the last few weeks so I want to get back on track. I can't possibly do my entire kitchen this week so my goal is 2 cabinets. I am trying to keep my goals small enough that they are attainable.

4. Call a friend I haven't talked to in a while. I have lost touch with a good friend over the last few months, and I am not sure why--I guess life got busy for the both of us and we haven't made time for our friendship. So, I am writing that as a goal so I will actually do it.

5. Find Easter suits for the boys and a dress for Molly. I like to have this done a few weeks early so I can get their pics done. Finding Molly a dress will be fairly easy; finding the boys suits will be a more challenging task. They are in different sections now--Paul is in the big boys section and Zach is still in little boys, so it's hard to find matching outfits. Plus, it means I have to take them shopping with me and have them try stuff on--which they HATE.

So, there's my week.

Thanks to Katrina at MamaManuscripts for setting up this meme.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Big IQ Kids - Review

Big IQ Kids is an online program designed to help kids "become and stay A+ students". There are four areas that Big IQ Kids works on: Spelling, Vocabulary, Math, and US States. There are many different options for using Big IQ Kids, one of which is FREE. The rest of the options can be found here and you can see the differences between the free and Premium memberships here. The program is designed for Kindergarten - 8th grade students.

Big IQ Title Banner

We were asked to review the Premium Membership option. Each area that is worked on can be customized to your child's level. So, if they are working on a 1st grade level in Math but can spell like a 5th grader then you can put them in 1st grade math and 5th grade spelling! I love this part of the program. I also love the daily drill and practice, and the fact that I don't have to be right beside them for them to get it done.

There is so much to tell about this program so I am going to discuss each area indiviudally.

I have never liked doing spelling lists with the kids. Paul had Spelling lists and spelling tests in 1st grade for about the first two months, and then after much thought and prayer I put our spelling curriculum to the side and decided that spelling is best learned through reading and writing. I still agree with that philosophy for the most part, BUT, Paul is an atrocious speller. He is an avid reader and loves to write, but he is not a good speller. So, I had been researching various curricula for teaching spelling, and in comes Big IQ Kids--God always knows what we need! There are 40 lists for each grade level or you can make your own lists. For Paul I used the lists they had and then each week I went through his writing and selected the words he misspelled and added those to his spelling list for the next week. For Zach he just had the words that were on the 1st grade spelling list. Zach is a great speller so I was able to put him in the 1st grade spelling. Both boys really enjoyed doing spelling this way. One lesson each day gets them through a list in a week. They have a couple different activities to do with each list including writing them on a sheet of paper. I liked that they were made to do this! I still think that spelling is best learned through reading and writing alot, but it never hurts to add a little extra, and I have already noticed a difference in Paul's reading, and Zach is spelling even better and it has also helped his reading skills. There are very few things Zach can do independently so it was great for him to be able to do this. It increased his confidence and gave me a few minutes to work with one of the other two.

The vocabulary starts on a 3rd grade level so Zach was not able to do the vocabulary but it was perfect for Paul. It is set up much like the Spelling; there are 40 lists and they can be modified. I modified Paul's by making his list the same as his Science vocabulary. He enjoyed this much more than our regular method of defining vocabulary words, and he learned it just as well. One of my favorite features is that they cannot move on to the next list until they have scored 100% on the current list. In our homeschool we teach to mastery, not just until the end of the week, so this feature is perfect for us.

Zach was the only one that used the Math portion of the program. I was able to choose which addition facts I wanted him to work on as well as how many problems I wanted him to do each day. As he mastered each set of facts the program automatically moves him on to the next set. He loves Math and drilling Math facts can be so monotonous so it was really nice to have another way to drill the facts on a daily basis. This program would greatly benefit older kids as well. You can mix and match different operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and it is not just the basic math facts, but also multi-digit mulitplication and long division. I simply did not use it with Paul because he has enough Math going on right now and asked not to do any more Math. I will start him on the Math at the beginning of next school year.

Paul used this portion of the program. This portion has the child work on the location, capital, abbreviation, and spelling of each state. At the beginning of each daily lesson the child chooses a state and there is information given about that state and then a quiz question on what they just told the student. I liked the little tidbits of information they gave the students. There was lots of positive reinforcement along the way. There are different levels that the child works through for the spelling, abbreviation, location and capital so at the end of the program they will know all of the above for all 50 states. Paul really enjoyed this portion as well and learned so much!
Big IQ Kids
At the completion of each daily lesson in each of the 4 areas the child earns a "game token" they can then use in the games area of the website. All other online educational programs we have used have had unlimited game play, which did not work well because I had to monitor the kids more closely to make sure they weren't spending all their time on the games. I loved the way they had to earn each game. Most of the games were pretty short too so most of their time was spent learning. Paul did find a couple of games that had unlimited play time and I had to instruct him not to play those.

There are also reports that the parent can view for each skill area. The reports are very thorough and keep the parent up to date on how the child is doing. One of my favorite aspects of the program is at various points in the program you are sent emails updating you on your child's progress. You get an email if your student misses the States Quiz, each time your child takes a pop quiz or a test in the spelling and vocab portions, and each time your child moves up a level in the math portion. In spelling and vocab it also tells you what words your child missed. I loved receiving the emails to make it easier to keep up with how the kids were doing. It also came in handy when I had to be with my Mom at the hospital and the kids were at their other Grandma's house and I knew they were doing their Big IQ Kids because I got emails on their progress.

Overall this program was a great fit for our family. Paul started his school day with Big IQ Kids and it motivated him to get his morning responsibilities completed more quickly knowing he got to "play" on the computer. Zach always did his at the end of his school day which motivated him to get through his school work to have computer time. Big IQ Kids is definitely a program we will be continuing to use in our homeschool!

This would also be a great program for non-homeschoolers to use to keep skills sharp during the summer or after-school.

If you would like to see what other Crew members thought of this product you can go here.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2011-2012 Plans--MOLLY

One last child to plan for. The boys both went to preschool for their 4 year old year, but we have decided not to send Molly. I am excited about this, but a little nervous about teaching all three kids. Of course Molly has been here this year but she hasn't had a set curriculum (except for a few review items that have worked well for her) and we have only schooled when she wanted to. She stays with us most of the time for Zach's Math and can count to 100 with ease and is starting to learn to tell time. She knows her letters and we are working through her letter sounds (thanks to the All About Reading curriculum we are reviewing--review to come in April!!!)

So, I am open for suggestions for this. I know she will only be 4, but she is eager to do school with the boys, and she is so incredibly smart. Do I just continue to let her listen in as the boys do school and not worry about her yet, or do I do a set curriculum with her for writing and reading. I am really enjoying AAR so I might get the Level 1 when that becomes available, but not sure what to do with Math. She is ready for more of a Kindergarten level Math and not preschool, but am I ready to have to do school with her everyday. Paul will be working more independently next year (hopefully anyway) so that will free my time up some. But, Zach requires me to be right beside him for most things! Anyway, any one have any thoughts for my super smart, extra creative baby girl. I want to enourage her but not push her too much. I am not the type that wants my kids above grade level just to say they are. But, if they need to be above grade level I am good with that too. Thoughts???

2011-2012 Plans--ZACHARY

I have finally figured out what we are doing for Zach's curriculum next year, so here goes:

Bible: Landmark Freedom Baptist 1st grade Bible--Old Testament Characters. It look simple enough for me to not have to do alot of prep work but in depth enough that he is learning the Bible.

Math: Singapore 1a and 1b (and possibly 2a if he continues to excel in Math)

History: Sonlight Core 1: Introduction to World History Part 1. I know that doing two separate history studies with the boys is going to be challenging, but I really think we can make it work. I am also hopeful, that since Paul hasn't had any World History he will listen to the read-alouds along with Zach and learn some basic World History before we move on to more in depth World History with him next year. But, Paul really still needed the second half of American History, which Zach is not ready for, so I am praying that this will work for us. They both love to listen to stories being read to them so I think we can make this happen.

Science: Apologia's Zoology 1 - Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

Handwriting: Queen's Homeschool Copywork Book. I haven't settled on which one(s) I will get for him. I will decide when I see them at the convention in early May.

Grammar/Language: Abeka's 1st grade Language

Phonics: Abeka Phonics Workbook and flashcards as well as readers from Sonlight. Zachary has become an excellent reader but he doesn't think he can read without me by his side. He also thinks that he can only read the phonics readers. So, I am hoping using real books for reading will really help him with that.

Spelling/Vocab: BigIQKids

My goal for next year is to have 6 weeks planned at a time and then take a week off for me to plan for the next 6 weeks. I am also trying to find things that will not require alot of daily prep work for me. I need to be able to focus on teaching them and keeping up with all of my other wife/mom responsibilities without having to spend hours each night setting up for the next day.

Wordless Wednesday - Homeschooling in the Spring

My avid reader!
My budding reader!
My "wanna-be" reader!
Reading time turns in to "wrestle time" (aka-sibling bonding)
And then play time turns in to science with the discovery of a snake. Molly was TERRIFIED until we read about them and I explained it's a kingsnake and they eat other snakes.
Ok, so it wasn't "Wordless Wednesday"--few moments in my life are "wordless"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Goal Planning Monday

Well, last week was another wash! Molly got sick on Tuesday and I panicked because she had the same symptoms as my Mom had with meningitis--severe headache and vomiting. Since I am no longer a "new" Mom I don't typically panic when the kids are sick but since I knew my Mom had been in excruciating pain the week before I did panic. I called Steve (who was in jury duty all week) and he happened to be on a quick break. He calmed me down enough to not rush her to the ER, but we did head straight to the doctor. Where we spent 2 1/2 hours of them ruling everything out and deciding it was probably just a stomach bug, and when it was gone the next day we agreed it was just a stomach bug! On Wednesday Zach had a dentist appt to get a filling replaced and another tooth looked at. Well, we didn't get the filling replaced on the one tooth because he had to have what amounts to a "mini-root canal" on the other tooth! My poor little man has horrible teeth! I am not sure what we can do about it since he already eats no candy. On Thursday some of the kids cousins had a 1/2 day of school so they came over to play, and I had to make 40 lbs of meatloaf for our monthly trip to our church's mission in Atlanta. So, like I said, between all that going on and trying to get a little school in, last week was a complete wash. So, this week, I am just linking to last week's Goal Planning Monday.

So, hopefully I will make some progress on all the laundry this week, but it is already Tuesday and we are heading to the dentist (again) with Zach this morning and we have baseball every night this week, so we will see how it goes. At some point I have to do laundry because we are all running out of clothes! I did atleast settle on what curriculum I am using for Paul, I blogged about it here. I am almost decided on Zach and Molly and will blog about that later this week.

Thanks Katrina at Mama Manuscripts for this great meme!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011-2012 Plans--PAUL

This is one of my favorite times of year. Not only is our school year coming to an end, it's time to plan for next year. It's time to sit back with a pile of curriculum catalogs, my laptop, and a pen and paper and assess what worked this year, what didn't work and what we want to do next year. So, here are next year's plans for Paul...tentatively. I am really bad about deciding on something and then changing my mind. There are so many great curriculums out there that it is really tough to decide what will work best for each child.

Math--Singapore 4a and 4b (and possibly 5a). This will be our third year with Singapore after two Math curriculums that didn't work out I am so excited that we found and fell in love with Singapore! We will also continue to use TenMarks that we reviewed through the crew this year.

Bible--Queen Homeschool's "An Honorable Boy" Bible Study, "Journaling Through the Bible" and "Increasing in Wisdom". I have looked at these for a couple of years but I always had a different plan for Bible so this year I remembered to look at them before I made a plan, and I am excited about him getting to do these 3 studies and learning to study his Bible more independently.

History--Sonlight Core 4 - American History Part 2. I am so excited about this. I have looked at Sonlight since we started homeschooling but haven't been able to bite the bullet and spend that much money, but this year I am doing it!

Science--Apologia's Zoology 1 - Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

Handwriting--Queen Homeschool's "Copywork for Boys" I have made the kids copywork books for years and now have decided it's not worth the trouble. Especially since this one is only $10

Grammar/Writing--IEW American History Based Writing and "Fix It". Linguistic Development through PoetryMemorization

Spelling/Vocabulary--Big IQ Kids

Reading--Sonlight Core 4

I will post Zach and Molly's throughout this week.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cleaning OUT

I have a few more odds and ends to list for sale. I am also relisting anything from my previous post that did not sale. Prices do NOT include shipping. I will give you the exact shipping amount after I get your zip code.

"Legend of the White Wolf" novel and study guide. The novel is in like new condition. The study guide is not bound and a few pages are missing and a couple pages have been completed (in pencil). Study guide includes vocab, comprehension questions, and various activities for each chapter. Get both for $5

Abeka Arithmetic 2 Work Text - Abeka's 2nd grade math book. The first 7 lessons are not in the book, page 41-42 are competed in pencil. Pages 43-46 are not in the book. Otherwise the book is in good condition. $4

"America's Providential History" by Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell. Excellent, like new condition. $10

"New Testament Highlights" - North Valley Publications. Part II 1st -3rd grade. Student Activity Workbook and Teacher's Manual. Both are in excellent, like new condition. $5 for both

"Life Science Writing Styles, Photo Prompts" - Grade 2 All cards are in like new condition and are still in the original box. $3

"Health Safety & Manners" Abeka 2nd grade Health book. Book is in excellent, like new condition. $6

"Pilgrim's Progress"-simplified. Abeka 3rd grade reader. excellent like new condition $6

"Adventures in Nature" Abeka 5th grade "Speed and Comprehension Reader" The comprehension quizzes in the back of the book are completed and their is a name written in sharpie on the top of the front cover. Otherwise the book is in excellent condition. The cover is different than the newest version of the book but I believe the stories are the same. $3

"Good Morning, GOD" by Apologia. Excellent, like new condition $8

"Alternatives to Worksheets"- Motivational Reading and Writing Activities Across the Curriculum. By Creative Teaching Press. Grades K-4 96 pages of activity ideas in all subject areas. Like new $2

Veritas Press Genesis through Joshua Homeschool Kit with CD. This includes the cards (which I had laminated), the cd which includes the memory song as well as a PDF version of the teacher's manual. Excellent, like new condition. New $44, asking $30

Beautiful Feet Books Geography through Literature Study Guide and Maps. These have never been used. Paid $30, asking $20 for both.

"God's Design For Life - The Human Body" Answers in Genesis. Includes textbook, teacher supplement and CD. New $32.99, asking $25. Excellent, Like new condition

I am in need of Sonlight's Core 4 - History, Readers, and Read-alouds. So, if anyone wants to do a trade for any of the books I need please let me know.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Goal Planning Monday

So, last week I did not get my goal planning posted. Last week was a BLUR! I got a call from my sister about 6am Monday morning that they had rushed my Mom to the hospital with severe head pain and vomiting. So, I headed for the hospital myself. A few tests and a few hours later she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis--talk about scaring us all! Anyway, we found out that it is the least contagious of the various types of meningitis, but very serious. Long week and lots of missed sleep later she is home and recovering. But most of my week was spent at the hospital with my Mom last week. I have never seen anyone in so much pain. So, here are my goals for this week

1. Catch up on all the laundry that didn't get done last week!

2. Catch up on all the laundry that didn't get done last week---a week of no laundry being done means there is lots of laundry and so it deserves two spots in my goals for the week!

3. Finish researching and make a decision on what curriculum to use next year--I know it's early to decide but I will dwell on it for months if I don't make a decision now.

4. Spend lots of time with my kids this week. They were left to their own devices alot last week. Fortunately Steve has a job that allows him to work from home so after we knew Mom was going to be ok on Monday he went back to work on Tuesday. So, he was here with the kids but he was working and they were doing whatever. So, I want to spend lots of time reading and snuggling with my babies this week!

5. Did I mention how much laundry there is--so I am giving laundry one more spot on my 5 goals for the week!

Thanks to Katrina over at Mama Manuscripts for hosting this wonderful meme!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reading Kingdom - Review

I have one son who is a proficient reader but an atrocious speller and one son that is just now learning to read but can spell roads that he cannot read. So, when the opportunity to review a new online Reading program came along I thought it would be a great opportunity to work on reading with Zach and spelling with Paul.


According to the website, Reading Kingdom is an online, fun, and interactive game that "teaches children 4-10 years old how to read and write to a third grade level". Subscriptions to Reading Kingdom are $19.99/month or $199.99/12 months. You can also add an additional child for $9.99/month.

The program is cute and fun for the kids. For younger kids it starts with keyboard and mouse training. It is very important that kids know how to use the keyboard and mouse quickly and smoothly to utilize this program. Paul did not need any help with this although I did make him go through a couple of sessions to make sure he knew what this particular program expected of him. Zach spent 2 weeks learning to use the keyboard and mouse.

After this training the kids were given a "skills survey". Zach tested in to the Introduction to Reading: Seeing Sequences and Letter Land. This section works on sequencing as well as letter recognition and moving from left to right. Zach really likes the fun characters and the positive reinforcement that is offered. However, he gets very frustrated with the program due to the speed he was required to have with the keyboard and mouse. If you do not answer in the set amount of time (which seems very short for a beginning reader) the program shows you the answer and then has you try again. I like that it doesn't just give him the answer and move on but it makes him do it until he gets it right. After much work with Zach he just recently moved on to the reading portion:level 1. However, we are now seeing more frustration. Reading Kingdom does not teach phonics, instead it teaches whole word. Zach is learning phonics with our reading curriculum and doing very well, so switching to here is the word this is what it is is very difficult for him. The program jumps from making sure they know their letters to reading words like "girl" and "some". Zach is not ready for that. He did enjoy the games that were trying to teach him the word, but he did not grasp the concept that he was actually learning that word and was not able to read it even a few minutes after the lesson.

Instead of me repeating everything here I will just point you to their philosophy on reading on their website--here and here . In a nutshell Dr. Blank states that phonics does not work. Having taught Paul how to read with phonics and having learned with phonics myself I have a hard time with this concept.

Now, for Paul, he knows all his phonics and reads very well. However, the "skills survery" placed him in level 1 of the reading instruction. He was immediately frustrated as he had to learn to read the word "girl". The lessons are short--maybe 10 minutes, but he felt like it was an eternity for him to learn a word he already knew. The program does adjust to each child's ability by asking them to type words at the beginning of each lesson. If the child can type the word correctly they move on to the next word. There are a few words that the child cannot skip even if they type them correctly--for example; "and", "some", "the". Paul moved on to level 2 fairly quickly and is still bored and frustrated. The other frustrating part to him is if he mistypes a word he cannot go back and correct it with backspace. He will miss a key on the keyboard or be typing too quickly and switch two letters and then he has to do the entire lesson on that word that he already knows.

The parent/teacher can log in to each child's profile and view their progress. It does not give detailed information on what words they are learning, but it does tell you how they are progressing in each level.
Reading Kingdom

Reading Kingdom

So, as you can tell, Reading Kingdom did not work for my two boys. They were very frustrated. However, I know not all kids can learn phonics due to auditory processing problems, if I had a child with auditory processing problems I would definitely take a look at Reading Kingdom. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial and see if it is the right fit for you and your family.

Also, don't forget to take a look at what other Crew members had to say here. I happen to know that several of them really liked it and found it very beneficial to their kids.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review

Friday, March 4, 2011

Curriculum Clean OUT!!!!

I am trying to clear out some curriculum and make room for next year! I have the following for sale. Prices do not include shipping. If you want an item send me your address and I will calculate shipping based on your address so that you are only charged for exact shipping.

SOLD!!!Vocabulary from Classical Roots Level A--Workbook and Teacher's guide and Answer Key -- $7.00 for both. Has some shelf wear but no writing in either book.

Diana Waring's "Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries: Resurrection to Revolution" Book B Study Guide and Activity Book. These are older versions but still are in great shape and have no writing or tears in either book. I have never used these--don't know how I ended up with them :-) -$5 for both.

"Alternatives to Worksheets"- Motivational Reading and Writing Activities Across the Curriculum. By Creative Teaching Press. Grades K-4 96 pages of activity ideas in all subject areas. Like new $3

"Homework Helpers- Reading Comprehension" - Frank Schaffer Publications - for Grade 3.

"Teaching Beginning Writing" by Creative Teaching Press -Lesson Plans to support 5 developmental writing stages- Pre-emergent, emergent, early, developing, and established. K-2 112 pages of activities. Like new $5 -SALE PENDING

"Poetry Writing for the Early Grades" World Teachers Press. Grades 2-4. 48 pages. Like new $3 - SALE PENDING

SOLD!!! Abeka Insect Flash Cards. 114 teaching cards, all about insects. Used in Abeka Science 4th-6th grades. Excellent condition. $10 - SOLD

SOLD!!Abeka Clue Word Cards. 119 phonics cards used in K - 3rd grade. $8

Maestro Classics "Peter and the Wolf" $5 - SALE PENDING

Veritas Press Genesis through Joshua Homeschool Kit with CD. Excellent Condition. Cards have been laminated. New $44, asking $30

Beautiful Feet Books Geography Study Guide and Maps. These have never been used. Paid $30, asking $22 for both.

"God's Design For Life - The Human Body" Answers in Genesis. " Includes textbook, teacher supplement and CD. New $32.99, asking $25. Like New

SOLD!! I also have 17 made and laminated file folder games that are for learning phonics. If you are interested I am selling for $1.00 each. If you would like specific titles and skills worked on please let me know. If you want all 17 I will pay for shipping.

If you would like more information on any of the above please ask. Also, all prices are OBO.


Weekly Wrap Up

I am going to attempt to start doing a weekly "wrap-up" of what has gone on in our homeschooling world each week. I think it will help me see that we are making progress, because some weeks I am not convinced that we make any progress at all.

History: We finished up learning about Thomas Jefferson and started our study on Daniel Boone. The kids are really enjoying learning about Daniel Boone and the adventures he had.

Paul - He finished the book he was reading "Danny Orliss Goes to School" published by The Sword of the Lord. He really enjoyed this book and was able to apply some of the character lessons taught in the book to his own life this week! He started reading a novel about Adoniram Judson. I think he will enjoy this book as well. It is a pretty easy read for him.

Zach - Zach is continuing to progress very nicely in his reading. We use Abeka Phonics and he finished one of his readers this week. He also learned several new special sounds - sh and th as well as the "e" at the end of a short word says its long sound--like me, he, and she. He also learned that "y" at the end of a short word says the long "i" sound -- like fly, my, and by. He is doing so well lately with his reading.

Molly- I am so blessed to be able to review the new All About Reading curriculum. It starts with learning letters in a very gentle way. It has been great fun for Molly and I to do this together this week. We are doing two letters each day. We worked on it three days this week and are through letter F. She knows most of her letters already so this is a review and a reinforcement!

Paul - He is working on measurement right now and doing very well. He is using Singapore as well as TenMarks ( you can see my review of this here.) He is almost done with his 3rd grade curriculum.

Zach - He is continuing to work on counting money and telling time. Counting by ten and counting dimes he pretty well has down. Counting by 5's has proven to be a little more challenging but he is coming along nicely. We are also working on writing numbers correctly and he is doing better with that. He is great with addition and practices daily on BigIqKids (review of this coming soon!) Telling time he can do hour and half hour quite nicely. We are not going to move past that until he can count by 5's effortlessly.

Molly - She sits alongside me while I work with Zach so she is learning alot that way. She can count to 30 on her own and can also count by 5's and 10's pretty good. She is also learning to tell time just by listening to my lessons with Zach.

Science: We started a unit on Biomes this week. Basically all we got to was discussing that there are different biomes and what a biome is.

Bible: We are working on different character traits and this week was Being Attentive. We all memorized Proverbs 4:20-21

English: Paul is working through the IEW SWI A (review coming at the end of April) and we LOVE it. He completed lesson 8 this week and wrote a wonderful story about an adventurous treasure hunter. He is also working through Rod and Staff Grammar (3rd grade) and should be finished with that in a week or two!

Spelling: Both boys are doing spelling and vocabulary on BigIQKids and that is going very well. Both boys made a 100% on their spelling quizzes this week!

So, there is our weekly wrap up for school. The kids are all progressing nicely. There are of course other things that we did but there are the basics. It was BEAUTIFUL here this week with highs in the high 60's and lots of sunshine so any extra time was spent outside playing, instead of on extra school stuff. The "extras" (arts and crafts, baking etc) tend to take a backseat to playing when Spring arrives. Playing outside is what kids are designed to do!