Hyrum loves the What Your Preschooler Needs to Know books. And like my other kids that I've had this series with, he has periods of nothingness, and then binges where he works through pages at a time. Most notably, we did LOTS Goldilocks and the Three Bears and I'm a Little Teapot.
Five in a Row:
We have only done this when we've been capable. If it's been a nice day, we've valued play above extra seatwork for the five-and-under crowd. As a result, we've only rowed two books: Peter Rabbit and Ferdinand. We did some lapbook Elements with Ferdinand, but Peter Rabbit was all oral. We'll have to do more lapbook elements, though, because Ellie loved it.
Abby has completed lessons that discuss nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs as well as diagramming sentences with these parts of speech. She was SUPPOSED to memorize A Tragic Story by William Makepeace Thakeray, but she's resisting. In the past few years, she has loved memorizing the poems so I'm not sure why she's resisting.
We picked up the Writing Road to Reading this year. We started with just working on memorizing all of the phonograms. Abby whizzed through these. Emmett has spells where he remembers the first 60 (out of 72) that he has learned, and other times (especially when applying to reading or writing) that he can't recall any phonograms and makes random guesses. I'm not sure how, but the spelling words I've given him have still stuck and he spells them correctly. I suppose he might be more a whole language reader/speller. Abby detests spelling, but does not struggle with it at all. Once she marks the words, she remembers them.
Abby enters her word in her book in cursive and Emmett does manuscript.
Hyrum is very often hanging around when we're drilling phonograms with any other kid. He loves to write his letters and is pretty decent with his capital letters. He often steals the iPad with the kids' spelling game (Spellosaur) and tries to play it as well. I set up his own account with simple words (no, yes, stop, play, go, etc) and he loves doing "spelling" too.
Abby is zooming through the list of books I had made up based on the time period we're studying in history. A lot of them are abridged or edited versions of the books because she is a bit young for some of the more mature themes in early modern literature. I'm aiming for familiarity of the storyline so language isn't a struggle in later years. She has done Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables, and the Three Musketeers. This last week the local Performing Art Centre was playing Les Mis and her and I enjoyed an evening together. She loved going and watched the whole play.
Emmett took nearly six weeks to buddy read an abridged version of Robinson Crusoe. BUT, he finished it! He and I were both pleased it was done. We watched Cast Away as a celebration and all of the kids, even the three-year-old, watched the whole long film in rapt attention. After Crusoe, though, I decided to pick up something fun with him. He's working through Wayside School and the short chapters and funny stories are good motivators all on their own. I'd like to transition him to reading on his own, but he still sort of lazily skims through a book if I ask him to read something that wasn't his choice.
Ellie is working through her lessons beautifully. This is the ONLY schoolwork that I'm requiring of her right now. And even then, her fine motor skills are such that I do not require her to complete the accompanying worksheet. She has thirty lessons left and then we will move on to her reading us real books. She has done better than I had even hoped she would.
I took Abby through the first section of Treasured Conversations. This section emphasizes strong word choice and grammatically correct sentence structure. She really enjoyed it. We took the last week off from writing and now I'm not sure what we'll move into. I'm not sure if she's ready for the second section. I may move into WWE 3 or CAP's Writing and Rhetoric program...it's a good thing I have a week to figure that out.
Emmett has completed the first nine weeks of WWE 1. He tried the first few weeks last year, but he was very resistant. It is a much better fit this year!
Abby is LOVING Getting Started With Latin. Just yesterday, she has just completed the lessons where she learned about conjugated her first action verb. I found this video on youTube, which she thought was really funny.
I had hopes that we could still use Beast Academy for Abby on Fridays, but she was very resistant. Teaching Textbooks has been a very good fit for her. Level four has yet to find anything that she's not learned yet and she hasn't struggled with any of the lessons or problems. She is halfway through Year Four. At this pace, she'll work through most of Year Five as well.
Emmett is finishing up Singapore 2B. Most days, I point out the main point of the lesson, he directs me in working through a few problems from the textbook, and then works the workbook problems without issue. I should probably test him out of plenty of this, but he is working through all things reading and spelling related, so I want to let him have something easy. He is also greatly looking forward to beginning Beast Academy.
We have finished through chapter eleven discussing the Moghul emperors of India. I did have to sit down each kid at a point and explain to each that my goals for them were different with history. Emmett is working on holding the picture in his head. Abby is working on having a bit more understanding of the details.
We have a local family that we are teaming with to do history projects. The kids enjoy it and it reminds me to DO all of the project ideas. For the chapter on slave trade, we built plantations out of Lego. For the chapter on Indian spices and the hunt for a better route to them, the kids explored how different foods tasted with different spices.
We also have been singing the timeline song from Veritas Press's Explorers to 1815. The kids have memorized up to event 17 (out of 32). When we can, we look up the extra information from the back of the card in Joy Hakim's the Story of Us.
Abby is working out of the Big Book of Geography and Emmett is working through Beginning Geography. I don't teach out of these. The kids read and do two sheets every time we do history.
The kids LOVE the projects we've been doing (from Adventures with Atoms and Molecules), but they HATED writing about their projects. There's been lots of illustrating projects. Because of other extra-curricular activities, we are barely getting history-work done during the week so we have moved science projects to Saturdays. This has the added benefit that Daddy can be home to help out with the projects and with the Littles.
Abby picked piano back up this year. She took it like she remembered everything. I regret having to pause it because she really does derive a lot of satisfaction doing it. Her current teacher is really expensive so I'm not sure she'll keep with her teacher after her recital in November. She is enjoying having lessons from someone other than Mom.
Emmett's swim is going okay. He still has focus issues or knowing-when-to-stop issues. HOWEVER, he has an awesome coach. When I asked him this week what he was working towards on each stroke, he could give me a technique for each one. He had a meet a couple of weeks ago and had great times. He placed first place in the 8 and under 25 back (25.33), third place in the 8 and under 25 free (20.43), fifth place in the 8 and under 25 breast (29.33), and disqualified on his 25 fly (swam the wrong stroke).
Ellie did swim for a bit, and even swam one practice with the pre-team. She's decided it's too much work. We'll wait a few more months at least before she tries again.