Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Official Week of School

Well, we got through it.

It was definitely not the world's easiest first week of school, not by a long shot.  But together, we got through it. 

I was sick all week with a bad virus, so no "first day of school" pics.  I was doing well to get through all of Hunter's lessons with him.

Kaleigh didn't even do school work this week because I just wasn't up to it.  She has been doing a series of sort of "screening" tests for the last couple of weeks, so I can get an idea of where she's at and what she needs to learn this year.  She went above and beyond the goals I mentally set for her last year, so in many sub-areas, she is well ahead of the "typical" student starting kindergarten; however, there are a few things that I can see we need to work on.  She is somewhat lazy as far as reading; she has known most of the letters and their sounds since she was 3, and has known all of them except Y and W (sounds) since early last year.  We have been working on putting the sounds together in 3-letter words, and though she can clearly do it, she seems uninterested in learning to read overall.  It's definitely not something I can relate to!  I wanted to read SO badly that I started at 3 and was reading by 4.  At her age, I was sitting in a mainstream kindergarten class trying to figure out why a teacher was teaching me things I already knew! LOL.

Oops, sorry for that little sidetrack :).

Anyway...  Here's what I did with Hunter this week:

We continued science and Bible from last year; there's not much of a difference between the content at the 5th and 6th grade levels in those subjects, and why would we discard all the learning he can still gain from the 5th grade books just to put him in a book that says "6th grade" on it?

In reading, we are going to have more guided reading this year; I am going to alternate between current works and classics.  Last year, I let him pick what he wanted most of the year, because I just wanted him to READ.  He has developed enough of an enjoyment for reading, that I think he will get more out of guided reading this year than he did early on last year, when I tried the same thing.  Right now, we are reading Black Beauty, and he is really enjoying it, which makes me very happy :).  I am also planning to do reading comprehension again this year, but probably 2-3 times per week, rather than every day like last year.  I guess I'm kind of swapping the ratio on literature and comprehension this year.  Also, sort of related, my mom got me a bunch of used books from one of the schools where she teaches, so between that initial stockpile and Goodwill, I don't anticipate any shortage of good reading material.

We still have some catching up to do in math, but he is much closer to 6th grade level than he was to 5th grade level at this point last year, if that makes any sense.  Meaning, I think we made significant progress in getting him caught up last year.   He is now learning how to do long division with a 2-digit divisor.  He doesn't care for it any more than I did at his age, but by the end of the week, he was catching on.

In spelling, we also continued with his 5th grade book.  We use Zaner-Bloser, which is pretty advanced anyway; and when you get behind in a subject that already doesn't come naturally for you, well...  Let's just say I think spelling is going to be one of those things he always has to work harder at than anything else.
I am still putting together a social studies curriculum.  More on that later.

Well, I guess that's about it for the summary of our first week of school.

I hope the rest of you, whether homeschooling or with kids in mainstream school, had a great start to the school year as well!

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