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Writing and Math Changes

It seems with the subject writing, it's been evolving this year. Both Josh and Annette's writing programs have changed some. They both continue with Learning Language Arts Through Literature but we have dropped a few things. What we have tried or are still using this year:
  • Writing With Ease 3.
We still do a lesson here and there but it's not our main program. I am using it for dictation and narration.
  • My Father's Writing Beginning Essay Writing
This was really good but I was not keeping up with it on a daily bases with Josh. I need to do some teaching (which is fine) but I the teacher needs more hand-holding.
  • Pattern Based Writing is what Joshua, is currently using.
This is our second week using Pattern Based Writing. We both like it's step-by-step instructions and it is written to the student. I do check his work to make sure he understands.
  • Hands on Essay, Annette, is currently using this. I purchased this at the beginning of the year and am glad I kept it.
Annette, really enjoys (as much as one can enjoy a school subject) Hands on Essay. What we both really like is the DVD. She pops it in, watches her lesson, then does the assignment. We are using the older version. At the time of purchasing I wasn't sure what to use for writing, so I purchased several writing programs and it made sense to get the older one at a great discount!
Hands on Essay, is non consumable. Annette, uses notebook paper for her assignments.


Her first lesson was learning an essay format, so she had to trace her hand and label it. Her thumb is the beginning, the three middle fingers is the body of the essay and her pinky wraps it up.

I think we should have had her trace the other hand. She traced her left hand, making it look backwards.
Here is a peek inside the book.
 Today, she had to develop her topic for the essay.
Her essay is going to be about her three favorite dog breeds. She had just begun when I took this picture.

With Math, things have changed for a few of the children.
With Josh, I had planned to use Bob Jones 4, then Saxon but they didn't work out. Finally we settled with using Spectrum Math books. He is doing well with them. They have him do the problems so many times, that he is forced to remember them.

Annette, started with Horizons and is now using Saxon 6/5. She didn't mind Horizons, but I needed a better teacher manual. Saxon is a great fit for her.

Caleb, is still using what he started out with, yeah! Bob Jones, is great. At first I wasn't too sure about the teacher manual. It wasn't scripted enough for me, but I stuck with it and am glad I did. What I do to help me remember is highlight things. Some of the lesson is scripted but there are other parts that tell the teacher what to do, so I highlight those parts, so I don't forget to tell Caleb.

Brent, started with Bob Jones 4 along with Caleb. I skipped a grade of math with him and that didn't work out, so he is now using Saxon.

Ethan and Lance are using a combination of Saxon and McRuffy Math. We alternate.

I signed Josh, Annette and Caleb up for Math Whizz as well.

We all love Math-Whizz.

Each child takes an assessment, first thing.
Annette's actual math age is 11.43. When she joined (1/27/11) her math age was, 10.13. Her math age to date is 10.62. She has improved by 0.49.

Joshua's actual math age is 12.77. When he joined (2/10/11) his math age was 10.56. His current math age to date is 10.60. He has improved by 0.04%.

Caleb's actual math age is 10.42. When he joined (2/24/11) his math age was 10.34. He joined today so there are no improvements recorded yet.

With Annette and Caleb, their birthdays fall in September. They both didn't meet the Texas cut-off date, so Annette's 11 years and in 5th grade. She is an older 5th grader. I don't know if that made a difference with her score or not because she hasn't completed 6th grade math yet. Not that it's a biggy but it just came to mind today. All-in-all I think they are doing great!



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