Winding Down to Christmas

School this fall has been a bit up and down. We got started nicely towards the end of August but then had a series of out-of-town trips, followed by a massive reorganizing project that took over our lives for about a month (and from which I had to be rescued by my mother and a few friends). We have managed to get back on track the last couple of weeks and I found to my surprise that we hadn’t gotten as far behind as I had feared.

For one thing we kept at least the basics going (Reading, Phonics and Math) and sometime in the last month or so Su started really reading. She can now pick up most easy books and read them, and can read her reader stories essentially unaided. Passing that point is always such a relief!

She finished her first grade (Rod and Staff) math book last week and has 20 lessons of Phonics and 27 lessons of Reading between her and the end of First Grade. We are hoping to finish by Christmas. She has really been pushing hard on the phonics (today she did three lessons) and I have been letting her push ahead there without trying o get her to keep up in the reading book. The two are intended to run together in this program but I’ve noticed with her that she does much better with the reading if she has really gotten the phonics behind the new vocabulary in her reader first.

Update: She finished her Phonics book today (we did ten lessons in one sitting as she kept saying “Let’s do one more.”)

She is very excited about starting second grade after Christmas and getting her celebratory lunch at the local Chinese buffet!

Frederick is plugging away at his second grade work. Reading continues to be a breeze (actually easier than what he reads for fun) but I think the comprehension exercises in the workbook are excellent for him as he tends to skim instead of reading closely.

He also finds the Phonics workbook fairly straightforward but we have had to slow down in Math as there are some concepts that he is struggling with. I think those things have started to click especially as I’ve started letting him play math games on the computer whenever he does his math papers without fussing or panicking! He really doesn’t like situations where he knows he might make a mistake so math which is all about making mistakes and learning from them is a difficult subject for him from a personality standpoint!

W too is doing well in his learning. We are working our way through the same preschool program I used for the others and he is also doing a lot of drawing (mostly of snakes!). He does “school” for about 20 minutes then goes off to the playroom or entertains J while I finish up with the others.

We will take ten days or so off for Christmas and then jump back in with some new unit studies and two second graders!

Exciting times!

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