Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Eleventh Plague

The Eleventh PlagueThe Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Re-teaching a child to Write

This week I have been wondering how I was going to tackle writing with Carl. His fight with Lyme disease left him with some cognitive challenges...especially in the area of writing.

I have come up with a plan of attack, based on my knowledge of Charlotte Mason's teachings and Susan Wise Bauer's writing programs...and my own experience in teaching my kids to write.

Writing has several components....there is a physical component and a mental component. First, you need to have words in your mind...and then those words need to be transformed into characters on paper, or computer screen.

Then physical act of writing can be a roadblock to a child who has never learned proper mechanics or a child who has had a long illness....and needs reteaching.

Mechanics include penmanship, grammar, punctuation, spelling all the nitty gritty get it on paper details.

The there is the creative aspect...the WHAT to write. At first, that should not be an issue. While mechanics are being learned, creativity should not be expected or set up as a roadblock. This is where copy work, dictation, outlining, summarizing, oral and written narrations come into play. We can not move onto a higher order of thinking without a shored up, solid foundation. When then foundational skills are developed, creative and rhetorical writing can come into play. This is now thinking. We write to try out our thoughts, to convey our opinions, to communicate to an audience...even if that audience is just ourselves.

So, following is my plan to remediate Carl's writing...Other components may be added later on
Step 1.....
Copy work.....daily, until he can fluently write 2 full less than 10 minutes...this is to strengthen his hand back up....and remind his brain about capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure...etc. be added in after a couple of weeks....and done on opposite days of copy work...working up to 3-6 memorized sentences at a time...after 2 readings. This is to re-learn keeping sentences, grammar, punctuation in his brain while getting it down on paper.

Outlining/summarizing.....from articles, textbooks, encyclopedia....we will move onto this when dictation exercises become fluid. we will move from easier to harder source documents...then outlining/summarizing from more than one resource and writing a more complicated summary.

When these summaries become fluent, I plan to move onto reteaching the different essay types....including 5 paragraph essays....expository, persuasive, compare/contrast, etc.
I will also reintroduce literary response essays and written narrations in math and science.

Seeing as these were all skills he has already possessed, I do not think it will take too long to move through these steps.

I will probably buy WWS and work through some of those exercises with will need it for my boys in a year or so anyway......

Once we have these basic building blocks back down, I will probably sign him up for a CC English 101.... And work it with him....

So, any comments or suggestions on this plan?

Thanks for helping me work this all out....and for the outpouring of prayers and positive thoughts for my ds. It means so much to us!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Way I See It

The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House by Melissa Anderson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Boring, badly written...and after reading Alison Arginams's Prairie B*tch, I can see why Alison thought as much of Missy as she did < sarcasm>

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Confessions of a Prarie B*tch

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being HatedConfessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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2/6- 2/ baby is 8!!!

Week in review time...well, it is really sleeping time...but that is not happening, so.....

We had a decent school week. I am very happy with our new clip board planning. I have each child complete their clipboard assignments daily. It seems to be working. They can understand what they need to finish, and go at it.

We picked up WWE again with Cubby and Sam. They are both doing very well and tolerate their assignments without complaint. Hammy has done some fun summary sentences and Cubby's cursive handwriting is pretty.

Grace wrote a narration using an assignment which studied "dialogue in mythology". She wrote it in a medieval type voice and it was actually readable, enjoyable and impressive for her age. I was surprised.

Hammy & Cubby completed 4 math lessons...
Grace finished CLE 705 and begged to begin Teaching Textbooks Algenra 1. I agreed to let her try...and she loves it. She loves the DVDs and her ability to rewind and rework problems. Ok...did I actually catch this kid up in math! Time will tell!

We have begun our study of Rome. We are using Archimedes and the Door of Science as our read aloud / science biography. This is my 3rd time through this book with my kids, but it is still sweet and enjoyable.

I am also reading " a Triumph for Flavius" which is a little paperback which was recommended in Heart of Dakota Preparing. What a darling read. The boys are loving it and beg for more. We will finish this one tomorrow night. Then onto Eagle of the Ninth, which I have read and enjoyed before.

I love homeschooling in February and March. This is usually such a hard time of year for homeschoolers. Cabin fever, on each others nerves, curricula seems old...etc. So, I learned to mix things up every year for our 3rd and 4th books, new science
Experiments or art projects, Even a new writing program or math book makes things newish.

This year, we have new math books, revisited writing programs and I am awaiting some science kits.
Thursday we only had seat work duento a wasted neurologist appointment. I hate when you wait weeks for an appointment, then meet a quack! Awful.
Friday was Hammy's 8th birthday. For some reason the anticipation of his birthdaybdrove this poor kid to distraction. He was NUTS!!! He must have thought it was going to be his own personal Christmas or something. I don't know, maybe he thought the sky was going to open and confetti and balloons were going to pour down from the heavens. He did have a nice day, with a cake baked by Gracie, a new Lego kit, and all his siblings together. We also took just him to dinner....and he had the staff sing for him.

So, now my baby is 8!

Next week, we add in logic puzzles and some new art lessons!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week in Review 1/30/12 -2/3/12. Great week here

We had the best homeschooling week that we have had in loong time!!
Last week I decided there was too much whining, complaining, beefing, sobbing, etc...mine and theirs, so a shake up and reorganization was called for.
I tried 2 new things that worked so beautifully it scares me to share them...but I will....I am a daring person.

Thing 1: I found our trusty clip boards and pulled one out for each child. On that clipboard I placed their math, grammar, copy work and logic puzzle worksheet. I also placed their reader for the week on top of that and 2 sharp pencils. That " gift" went on their favorite snuggle recliner for Hammy, one end of the couch for Cubby and the bother end for Gracie. When they wake up in the am, I am usually still working in my in-home office. They usually all come down one at a time and sit and stare or snuggle up in a blankies and wait for me to emerge sometime around 8. So, now...they are greeted with their own book and package of daily work.

I wasn't sure how that would go over, but each kid was happy to have their reading book...and read until they were awake enough to function. We like a slow rise around here.

This worked BEAUTIFULLY!! The kids read a chapter or 2 in 15 minutes and then are ready to move. They get breakfast...take care of doggie , kitty and tank pets...then they get busy on their clipboard work. I check everyones progress....and teach what needs teaching.....and then...we are able to do our together aloud, bible study, history, etc.

I didn't want ti jinx my luck last week, so I did not add in any projects or experiments yet. I did swap up Hammy and Cubby's day historical fiction, one day science, one day biography then back that was the extent of my creativity.

Dropping CLE Math for Hammy was a extraordinary change for him. He is less overwhelmed by volume and happy to do what I leave for him. He finds it so less intimidating to have ONE worksheet...and not 5 pages...even though we are covering the same exact material.

Ok...THING 2.

Moving our stuff OUT of the schoolroom...sigh....and relocating back to the main part of the house. I give up! A schoolroom will never work for us. Our materials just migrate out to the living room and there we school. My big giant whiteboard was nice in theory....but in reality...our lap ones work much better. I am doing one on one tutoring after

Ok...our week in review:
every kid completed every assignment....and I covered ALL the material I wanted to cover...and we are here to tell the tale. That and we had NO TEARS! None. Not mine or theirs.

I call that a successful week!