Friday, June 29, 2012

Four more days until judging

4H is a good program.  Sean is learning a lot as he works on his project activities and designs his activities.  I am hoping he gets several blue ribbons so that he will be motivated next year.  He’s learning how to use the computer to type and print pieces for his poster, learning about the importance of cutting straight and about using too much glue. 

I have learned that he is rather creative and I love his poster designs and enjoy helping him accomplish what he has chosen to do. 

I am thankful that he had a dream (nightmare) that there was only one day to get all his projects done.  It has helped his motivation tremendously.

It will be interesting to see how next year goes.  Will he choose fewer projects?  Will he start sooner?  Time will tell. 

He chose many projects.  We did not do a few of them including performing arts, public speaking and caged critters.  He is hoping to complete Geology, Entomology, Electric, Child Development, Health, Crafts (Fine Arts).  Let’s see how many actually get turned in for judging in four days.  Geology and Entomology are on track.  Health should be doable (make a family first aid kit) and his dad is helping him with Electric. 

When he first made his list last year, he chose fourteen projects.  I’m glad we did not sign up for that many. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

More friends leaving

We are sad to see good neighbors leaving the neighborhood.    The kids play well together and losing another girl to play with is sad for Sierra.    We will miss them but hope to see them around. 



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Great summer for tennis






Took the kids and the grandsons to the park to play some tennis today.    Great weather. 

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Maybe I should try fertilizer on my flowers

My mom fertilized her hydrangea this year.  This is the biggest and fullest it has ever bloomed.  




Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Foods I Hate

After I put yet another food on her plate that she does not like, Sierra, 7 1/2, made a list for me of foods that she hates.  I guess she was hoping to help me out.

Last night I put a tiny spoon of spinach on her plate.  She went to her list and pointed out that it was second, meaning it is high on the list of dislikes. 



I had to laugh at the last item.  I told her that there are all kinds of casseroles and there might be at least one that she will like.  So far I guess I haven’t found one.  Funny that she lumped it into a food group. 

One thing I noticed, is that she isn’t too fond of many Feingold Stage 2 items (tomatoes, peppers and berries).   It’s too bad that her brother absolutely loves those foods that he is very sensitive to. 

Monday, June 04, 2012

The V-Sign

We went to the library today after tennis was rained out and ran into some other homeschoolers who were supposed to also be at tennis.  One of the mom friends that I’ve known for a few years but haven’t seen in a while due to them relocating for a year, came over and sat at my table and we were talking.   Sierra came over to us and was just standing around and my friend asked her a couple of questions.  Now, Sierra is very wary of strangers but I was surprised when she replied, “Do I know you?” in the most serious voice ever.  After my friend replied to her the best way she could to explain how she knows Sierra, Sierra did the V-sign and pointed them to her own eyes and then to my friend’s eyes…. as to say, “I’m keeping my eye on you.”   I’m glad my friend has a sense of humor.

Sierra is my shy one.  Apparently not so much these days.    

Friday, June 01, 2012

Spelling Power

I used a new curriculum this year for spelling and thought I’d write a sort of review.  I have always had Sean using workbooks for his grade but they were too easy.  He spent too much time practicing words he already knew.  Then I heard about Spelling Power and decided to give it a try. 

The program has words grouped according to the frequency of use and they are grouped by spelling rules.  You introduce the rule and then give a test.  Each day they get new words and retest on ones previously missed.   The kids enjoy taking the tests because they like to see how many words they can already spell.

This first year, we did not use the activities, because the kids started reading a bunch and quickly moved ahead in their spelling skills so they were not missing a lot of words.  Next year, I will need to implement the entire program including the activities which help teach spelling skills because the kids have skipped a whole level and will have much more difficult words.  At the end of the year, we did the survey test and placement tests.  According to Spelling Power’s assessment, Sierra will be starting with 5th grade words (in 2nd grade) when we start school in August.   Sean still needs to complete the placement test but will either be starting with 6th or 7th grade words (in 4th grade).   For both of them, they spell very well because they read a lot and they have visual memories (especially Sierra). 

It cracked me up when I was giving Sierra her placement test… she was trying so hard because, as she said, “I don’t want to be in a too easy level next year”.   She does not like to spend time doing workbooks or spelling words that are “too easy”.  One of the words she worked the hardest on was turquoise.   She kept going back to it and making little corrections until she ended up with turgoise.   She has a good visual memory and has seen the word spelled before.  She hasn’t had a lot of experience with the letter Q (q) but what was interesting, is that she wrote her g like q so I had to ask her if it was a g or a q.  She wrote it how she has seen it in type and thought it was a g. 

Anyway, Spelling Power will stay with us throughout their school years.  I invested once in the teacher’s manual (used on eBay) and the activity cards.  I did buy them notebooks for this year, but next year I will use the accompanying CDs to print their pages as needed at the copy place.