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Today Caleb and I worked on his first outline using CQLA. It was so fun to do this with him. I really enjoy my time teaching Caleb. We read a picture book on David & Goliath. We had to write the title, author and when it was published. He then had to give a short summary which I wrote down, we wrote the main characters and the plot. Next wee I think we will finish it.

Caleb doesn't like reading the same passage everyday of the week but hey, it's life. We read the passage. He had to highlight the main subjects. We used an orange highlighter. He really enjoys using highlighters. Makes it more fun than just underlining or circling .

On the Well Trained Mind forum someone mentioned that they use Elementary Speller by William Henry Wheeler, so I took a peek and loved what I saw . I thought I would add it to our homeschool. Today, Brent & Caleb copied the first half of the poem, underlined the vowels and illustrated it. I love how Caleb, put different layers of soil. He made top soil and other layers under it. Brent, made a picture of a seed sleeping deep in the soil. Next week we will finish copying the poem and illustrate how the seed will wake.

Here is the first half of the poem: In the heart of a seed,

Buried deep, so deep
A dear little plant
Lay fast asleep

Caleb & Brent also finished Week 10 of The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading. They still need to practice some words but I think they will be ready for week 11 on Monday. I keep their spelling list on the wall and through out the week I drill them (weekends too). The list hangs in the kitchen so it makes it easy to remember. I just call out, "Brent, how do you spell house?"

Something great is happening at the Beltran house. Caleb is a reader. He is reading books. Yesterday he said, "Mom, the reason I don't read very well, I think it's because I'm not desperate to read."

He has not been interested until now. He wants to work at Yellowstone National Park when he grows up . He knows if he is going to work there that he must know about the plants, animals and so forth. Now he is interested in reading about animals. Yahoo! He has been reading Christian Liberty Nature Reader.

I'm so much more relaxed than I was with Josh. I look back and see how stressed out I was with Joshua. Feeling he was 'behind'. I know I did a real disservice to him. I see how I was shoving so much curriculum down his throat trying to keep at 'grade' level with his peers. By doing so I think I hindered him more than anything.

As we all know, each child is so different. We can read books like The Well Trained Mind or Never Too Early which promote early reading or Better Late Than Early or School Can Wait which is more for waiting until a chld is older. And to make it more confusing they all have their research to back-up their book. You get pulled in so many different directions. Unfortunately I found books that were bent toward reading early. I panicked when Josh wasn't reading at an early age.

It seems my boys aren't in the 'early' category and I'm fine with that now. We still start phonics instruction in 1st grade but I don't expect them to 'get it' all at that age. I see with my boys that phonics and all the spelling rules is very overwhelming for then at that age. Even though I would love to get phonics over with and be done with it after 2nd grade that it's not happening here. My boys need to continue their spelling & phonics instruction. I'm so thankful that we found The Phonics Road. This seems to be what we need. It's not cartoonish or anything, so even though the program is technically for 1st grade, my 3rd grader doesn't feel that it's babyish. No cute little animals or title. The binder cover actually looks more for the mature and grown-up .

Some of the things the children are up to these days.

  1. Joshua, is making a rope from plastic bags.
  2. Annette, is writing down all the states & capitals as well as the state birds.
  3. Caleb, is reading and loving it!
  4. Brent, loves to copy maps
  5. Ethan, continues to catch lizards.
  6. Lance, loves to act like he is reading.

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