Monday, March 30

Writing With Ease

I received my copy of Writing With Ease today. I've resisted the temptation for so long, but I'm glad I have it now. It really is a wonderful book, and I think it will complement LLATL very nicely.

When *B* started 1st grade I followed The Well-Trained Mind exactly. Since then, I've eased up a lot in the area of Language Arts. (Ruth Beechick helped me to see the error of my way.) So, when I saw that Susan Wise Bauer had come out with a writing program I was very hesitant.

I caved. I bought a copy and I LOVE it!! We're starting evaluations tomorrow. I'm pretty sure that *B* will be able to start on Level 2, I don't have high hopes for Level 3. I do think that this will help a lot before moving into Writing Strands, as I had planned.

Friday, March 27

Back to Singapore

I love love love love love Singapore's Primary Math program. *B* and I started 1A at the beginning of her 2nd grade year. She probably could have started 1B, but I wanted her to start from the beginning. So, we got to the end of 1B and I decided that maybe something else would work better. (I'm kicking myself in case you can't tell.)

I bought BJU Math 3. I felt that BJU would give me a little more guidance. It is an excellent program, but it seems that you really do need to buy ALL of the supplements to make the program live up to it's reputation. It just got to be too much!

So, I had this excellent idea (now I'm rolling my eyes) to try Saxon. Again, it's a wonderful program, just WAY TOO teacher intensive for me. Realistically, with 5 kids I can't really spend 1 hour each day with them individually.

After all of that, I finally went back to my true love. And I feel such peace about the decision.

Why do I love Singapore?
1. I can multi-task math time. Get one started, go to the next. Awesome!
2. I've always believed that math needs to rely on understanding, NOT memorization. I do see the importance of memorization, but I feel it is more important to know WHY you get the answer you get.
3. Plenty of practice without overloading my child's brain. BJU just didn't have enough practice. Horizons (which I used with *C*) had way way way too many problems even after I crossed 1/2 of them off.
4. It's fairly inexpensive.
5. The Home Instructor Guide (HIG) is not 100% necessary. The text books explain everything so well, you can use just the Text and Workbook if financially necessary.

Now that I'm at peace with all of my curriculum choices... I don't know what to do with my time!! :)

Sunday, March 22

Pregnancy: 17w3d

17w3d

Oh my gosh! I'm huge already! I don't *feel* that big... the sad thing is that I have 5 more months to get even bigger!!

The Red Envelope Project

We've decided to particpate in the Red Envelope Project. Our Pastor handed out instructions and red envelopes to anyone who wanted them. They are to be mailed out on March 31.

Monday, March 16

Pinewood Derby and Ceremony

The Royal Rangers traveled to Dublin, VA on Saturday, for the Annual Pinewood Derby. The sad part is that they made the wrong cars. BUT they created a division for them so that they could still race, they just couldn't win a prize. They had fun.




On Sunday, the boys were presented with their next patch. The Ram.


To earn this patch they had to:
1. Prevously earn the Antelope Patch.
2. Complete Tasks in 4 Categories:
Physical - help the commander set up and clean the room for one month; Make a patrol collage.
Spiritual - Memorize Proverbs 18:10 and Romans 1:16
Mental - Learn the pledge to the United States flag; learn the blue point Loyal.
Social - Learn the Pastor's name; go to an outpost activity (Pinewood Derby)

Tuesday, March 10

Introducing My Newest Niece

Born: March 9, 2009... 7lbs 9oz... 21" long

I'm a proud aunt... can you tell? I won't even get to see her until our trip to OH in April. {{sniffle}}

Thursday, March 5

The Scoop on LLATL

I had planned on using LLATL (Learning Language Arts Through Literature) next year, but when my husband was laid off I started looking into cheaper alternatives. Then I had a lightbulb moment! Why not just use the earlier editions? They are cheaper (if you can find them) and there are no student books. So that's what we're doing.

After a little research, I like the earlier editions better anyway. Most of the actual content is the same except the student book adds a lot of extra "non-real life" practice sentences... or busy work.

*T* will be starting LLATL Blue in May. I have everything I need and was very lucky to find it in near new condition! (I already had the Bob Books and had to purchase the Italic Book and the Appendix/Materials Booklet.)

As far as I can tell these editions are almost identical. If you don't take the workbook into account, the biggest difference is that Common Sense Press has published their own Beginning Readers to be used with the program. The letters are taught in a slightly different order to accomodate this.

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*C* will (probably) start the Red Book soon and move through it a little faster so that he can start the Yellow Book by October or November.

The Red Book editions are A LOT different. They both cover Grammar as well as Phonics, but the Revised Red Book follows the formatting of the Blue Book for the majority of the lessons. Then the formatting changes to be more like the Yellow Book to get the child ready for the next book. The Revised Edition also requires Phonics Readers. The Earlier Edition requires only the TM.

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*B* is working through the Yellow Book right now.

The daily assignments are pretty much the same. The Revised Yellow Book has Literature Links, an introductory version of a Book Study. The workbook provides some practice to further what you've been learning. This could also be accomplished with a Grammar workbook from Barnes & Noble, if using the earlier edition.

She should be ready to start the Orange Book by September. I haven't scrutinized the differences in it yet, but I assume they are the same as with the Yellow Book.

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Tuesday, March 3

Revised Plan for 09/10

I wrote about my "wishes" for the coming school year. Then, my husband was laid off... changing most of my plans.

Bible/History/Science/Music/Art:
MFW Creation to Greeks
~ I've found very good prices on most of the package. I'm still about 5 books short, but we'll see how that goes. Instead of God & the History of Art (which I still really really want), we'll just use Art Adventures at Home, since I already own it.

Math:
*B* ~ Singapore, not sure which level yet
*C* ~ Singapore, 2A & B
*T* ~ Singapore, 1A

Language Arts:
We are using the Original LLATL books. No workbooks. I am not opposed to workbooks, but the Original books are more inspired by Ruth Beechick than the newer ones. (I love Ruth Beechick!!)
*B* ~ LLATL Orange & Writing Strands 3
*C* ~ LLATL Yellow & Spellwell B/Bb
*T* ~ LLATL Blue

Handwriting:
The older two will use copywork for their handwriting exercises.
*T* ~ Italic Handwriting, Book B, it's scheduled in LLATL

French:
I still want Ecoutez, Parlez! though we may have to wait til the next school year.
(UPDATE: I GOT IT!! YAY!)

We're dropping Latin as a language, but will be using English from the Roots Up and Rummy Roots as vocabulary builders.