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Day 136/Little About Saxon Phonics

Ethan, took his pretest in spelling (Soaring with Spelling). He did very well. I thought to move him to the next lesson but then decided that working with the /ay/ sound would be good review.

When going over the long 'a' sound with the vowel digraph 'ay' I did tell him that 'ay' is used at the end of English words. When we go over the long /A/ sound for the vowel digraph 'ai' I inform him that we do not use this 'ai' at the end of English words. I may be using a few programs (Soaring with Spelling and Saxon Phonics) that don't teach the 70 phonograms but I still mention the rules to him.
In the picture of his Pretest below, he spelled the words correctly. On the right where you see some a's and y's, I was showing him how to correctly make the letters because he kept starting his a's at the bottom instead of at two o'clock.
Today, Ethan completed Saxon Phonics lesson 80! It was an assessment lesson. I know I've mentioned that I'm trying to keep Saxon Phonics as is as much as possible but I think I need to change a few things.
For instance today on the assessment I didn't have him spell words in the first section. He was suppose to spell quick, thorny, such, gargle and junkyard. I had him skip this because he starting to struggle with spelling them. He can read the words fine but spelling them is more difficult. I am separating the spelling lesson from his phonics lesson. This is why I had him start using Soaring with Spelling.
When a new sound is introduced, I do have him spell the words them. For example in lesson 79 the long /O/ sound for the digraph 'ow' was introduced. On his worksheet I dictated the words blow,grow, mow, shadow and slow. I did have him spell those words.

Tomorrow, on lesson 81 a new sight word will be introduced, 'early'. Since 'technically' it's not a sight word, I will teach him that that 'ear' says /ir/ and let him figure out the word by sounding it out. He knows the 'l' sound and the vowel 'y' will have the long /E/ sound because the second syllable is un accented--translation for Ethan, the vowel 'y' will have the long /E/ sound at the end of a longer word.

Hopefully with the few changes I won't ruin Saxon Phonics for Ethan. I am still using the program 80% as is. I know that most of the sight words can be done phonetically.

My tutoring sessions for today:
  1. Bob Jones Math 4/Caleb
  2. Writing Tales 2/Annette
  3. Dancing Bears Reading/Brent
  4. Saxon Phonics 1/Ethan
  5. Phonics Flashcards/Lance
All the children have used their online math programs (DreamBox and MathWhizz and Math Rider)

Day 135

My Sweets, brought home the mail but didn't tell me about all the wonderful homeschool catalogs. I found them this morning!
Three of my favorite homeschooling programs. That WinterPromise catalog is so pretty. Maybe in a few years I can use a their Jr. High programs with Caleb and Brent.
I think my Sonlight days are over but I still purchase from them. I love Sonlight! It was my first homeschool program that I tried.
My Father's World, is another favorite. I hope to use the High School programs with Annette. Would love to use it with Josh, but I think he's more of a textbook kid.

Joshua, is still on pattern 5 of Pattern Based Writing. He continues to write paragraphs with the topic provided. He then writes the topic sentence, followed by the D-A, D-B, D-C sentences. D=details, then he wraps it up with Be Creative sentence.
Tomorrow he will use the Perfect Paragraph Organizer. This is where he comes up with his own topic sentence (which is the Secret A,B,C sentence), continues with the three detailed sentences and Be Creative ending sentence.
Next week he will start Pattern 6: Brainstorming for Details.

Joshua's Math-Whizz test percentage is improving. Last month his average test mark was 55%. Now it's 62%. I'm happy that he enjoys using Math-Whizz and learning at the same time.

Ethan, completed lesson 79 of Saxon Phonics. He is doing well. I do need to get him reading more though. Starting tomorrow he will be required to read his readers at least 15 minutes a day. Hopefully he'll start picking up some 'real' books too.

Caleb, enjoys his MCP Plaid Phonics book. Today he had to circle consonant digraphs. We did the first row together. I also had him underline any vowel digraphs too, then read the word. His reading is improving. Today, in math he learned about measuring and distance. He pretty much knows 12in.=1ft. 3ft=1yd. but it was good review. I would like us to get through this chapter quickly. I'll have to look at the lessons and see if we can double up on some.

Brent, LOVES Math-whizz. He has already logged 133 minutes. Yikes! I need to get a bit more strict with his studies. I'm looking forward to next years picks. I think Easy Classical Main Schedule will keep me accountable and I am also looking forward with starting Shurley Grammar. His grades K-3rd have been pretty light and he as been asking for more grammar.

Annette, can be a challenge sometimes. If I don't check her work, she'll skip things. That girl of mine. Last week I didn't check her math. When I asked her for her test she just looked at me. I checked her lesson planner and it showed that she completed one lesson. 1 lesson! My goodness girl. I told her she can't use the computer or play outside until her math is completed. Other than that she is doing great!
I let her skip two weeks worth of lessons in spelling (Soaring with Spelling). She took the pretest and spelled the words easily, so I thought why have her practice words she already can spell. She does want to go back to the skipped lessons and do the fun stuff (crossword puzzles and unscramble words).

Lance, is slowly learning his letter sounds. He can read some words (cat, pat) but will still forget some sounds that we have been going over. He's so immature and goofy that it's hard to know if he really doesn't know it or is he just being silly.
He is learning verses, so that's a good thing!

Most of all the children are reading their Bibles and learning more about Christ. They continue to grow as servants for the Lord. This has been a little bit of a rough year and their hearts have been very forgiving. I love seeing them grow in Christ.

Day ?

I'm not sure what day we are on. I'll have to figure it out for tomorrow's post.
Ethan, may be my 'Nature Boy' but he likes to look sharp too! As you can see, he gets pretty wet.
 Ethan's spelling page. He didn't finish last weeks lesson. Hopefully tomorrow.
 Caleb, is half way through Bob Jones Math 4.
 I haven't corrected any work today, so there are a few mistakes below. Brent's math page.
 Joshua, likes coloring his Science pages now. But if you look closer at the teeth, you'll see he added plaque. That's a boy for ya.
Today, I signed Brent up for Math-Whizz. He was so excited. Hopefully I can sign him up for a year but for now it's month by month. His actual age is 9.46. His math age is 9.61.
All the children are loving Math-Whizz. Annette's enthusiasm has slowed down but the boys are having fun competing with each other.
With Math-Whizz they are allowed to have buddies. Josh and Caleb, can see each others scores and how much points they have. It's great because they are always trying to out-do each other.
Caleb's math age is 10.82. Joshua's 10.78. Annette's 10.72.

Mini Vacation Days 2 & 3

On our second day we slept in, to about 8:30 maybe 9:00. Can't remember. Yikes!

Of course the day started off with donuts!!!! Since Lupe and I slept in, I gave my dad some money and he took a few kids to buy some donuts. Yummy! My favorite is a plain or sugared donut.
By the time the donuts were devoured, Lupe was ready to start getting the frame work done for the garden
 Lupe and Annette are measuring.
 Our plants.
I pray that they survive. I purchased a Stevia plant. Figured it would go with the Mint Tea plant.
 Frame is finished. The children put a layer of our good compost (finally get to use it) and dirt that Lupe, purchased.

We haven't put the plants in yet. Hopefully this coming weekend we can finish this project.

My Sweets, decided that we would take a drive to Oklahoma and stay the night there. This was last minute but hey, we are on our mini-adventure-vacation. I started packing. The kids packed their backpacks with books, crayons and favorite toys.
When we arrived in Oklahoma City it was 7:00 pm and getting dark. Since we didn't know the town and not sure when we'd see more food places, we stopped at Subway. We took it to go and were off to find a campsite at Chickasaw National Park.
By 8:00 it was dark, we were hungry and just wanted to find a campsite.
We finally found one, unpacked our little tent. Lupe, Annette and I planned to sleep in the van. The boys would sleep in our smaller tent (since this is an over night thing).
While Lupe and Josh, set the tent up, I unpacked our Subway sandwiches, got some 100% Juice Drinks and chips out. The kids and I started eating.
One thing I was not prepared for was the 41 degrees weather. I forgot to check before we left.
We were cold but having fun. The kids ate smores. Lupe took the seats out of the van and made it nice and comfy.
It was a rough night, with the cold and the hard bed but again, it was our adventure.

Day 3.
We all woke, made a fire and the kids snacked on chips, Beef Jerky and had some juice.
We realized there was no showers, so I did the best I could to look decent.

 I said, to the love-of-my life, don't take a close-up. Of course, he loves me so much and thinks I'm cute, so he took a close-up.

Since, we hadn't planned to go camping, we didn't really get to explore the park but we did take a few pictures on our way out.
Josh and Brent.
Brent, waving.
 Close-up of the above picture.
 We didn't camp this close to the stream, it was taken when we drove in, late the night before. Would have been nice though. I love the sound of running water.
 My Sweets!
 Lance and Ethan.
 Caleb with his Two-way radio that he and Annette, purchased a few months back.

 Mom and dad. Tired, cold and had no shower that morning.
 Caleb, Brent and Annette.
Lance, found his own way to climb up. He said, "See, I found my own way to get up."
 This was our campsite.
 Ethan, started to make his own shelter.
 On the road again.
 Country road, take me home, to the place where I belong. Mountain mama, take me home................words from a song I remember from childhood. At least I think those are the words. Hee, hee.
Josh, fast asleep.

We were back home at 4:30pm. We took our Sunday nap. Lupe and I woke at 7:00 pm.
We cleaned and unloaded the van. Lupe and Josh, went to Chicken Express and brought home lots of chicken, mashed potatoes, corn poppers and stuffed jalepenos (did I spell that correctly?).
While Josh and Lupe, were out buying dinner, the rest of us cleaned the living room, so we could eat and watch t.v.
It was a perfect ending to our mini vacation.

In-Town Vacation Day 1

  • Watched Yogi Bear in 3D; 12:20 show
  • Went to Boarders Books. They are going out of business. Josh found a book.
  • Late lunch at Taco Bell. Yummy, shrimp tacos.
  • Bowling for two hours.
  • Boys and Lupe, played Lazer Tag
  • We all played some games at Strikz
  • Had dinner at Costco
  • Bought Mint Tea, Tomatoes plants, Bell Peppers etc. and I found a Popcorn popper for $10.00 at Lowes.
  • Lupe, dropped Annette and I off at the house (Lance and Ethan too).
  • Lupe and the older boys went to Home Depot to buy wood. Tomorrow we will make a raised garden.
  • Boys, staining wood at 11:00 p.m.
I'm so ready for bed.

Strikz is a place that has bowling, lazer tag, games and eating. It's next to Stonbriar Church (where we use to attend). There is a Hooters right across the street from Stonbriar Church and Annette said,  "I remember Hooters. It's a landmark." Okay.......

Week 26/Day 131

Week 26. Day 131. March 21st-25th 2011.

We completed another week. Hard to believe we have 10 weeks left of school. Not that we won't continue, but our school-load will become lighter. Mainly math, writing and grammar.

My tutoring sessions for today:
  1. Bob Jones Math 4/Caleb
  2. Saxon Math 3/Brent
  3. Soaring with Spelling/Ethan
  4. Soaring with Spelling/Annette
  5. Soaring with Spelling/Josh
  6. Flashcard Phonics with Lance
  7. Dancing Bears reading/Brent
  8. Dancing Bears reading/Caleb
Ethan, went with my dad today. He didn't get much school done.
I'm really tired, so that's about all for today.

Day 130

Tutoring sessions for today:
  • Saxon Math 3/Brent
  • Saxon Math 2/Ethan
  • Saxon Phonics 1/Ethan
  • Dancing Bears Reading/Brent
  • Phonics Flashcards and Blending/Lance
  • Catechisms questions/Lance
  • Soaring with Spelling/Ethan
  • Bob Jones Math 4/Caleb
Another Saxon Phonics lesson done! Yahoo!
Ethan, learned about the 2nd sound of the letter 'c'. It's soft sound /s/.
     Saxon Math lesson 34.
     Soaring with Spelling. I had Ethan, read the words, do the workbook page and spell the words out loud. "T-a-k-e, take, c-a-v-e cave." etc.
    Brent, completed Saxon Math lesson 62. I'm basically teaching from the page. I check the teacher manual but am not using it as is. Brent, also uses DreamBox online math and will eventually use Math-Whizz.
    Annette, taking a break between subjects.
    Today, I had Lance, go over his letter sounds and practiced blending (ba, ca, ta etc.) Tomorrow, he'll do the same thing and hopefully next week, we can start McRuffy K again.

Day 129

My tutoring sessions for today:
  1. Saxon Phonics/Ethan
  2. Saxon Math 2/Ethan
  3. Saxon Math 3/Brent
  4. Phonics Falshcards/Lance
  5. Dancing Bears Reading/Caleb
  6. Dancing Bears Reading/Brent 
  7. Bob Jones Math 4/Caleb
  8. Soaring with Spelling/Ethan (pretest)
  9. Soaring with Spelling/Josh (pretest)
  10. Memory verse/Lance
  11. Read aloud/Lance

This is what my table looks like right now.
     Ethan and Lance, love to pick flowers for me. It's so windy today that they all fell over.
     The stud!
     Love his smile. It's so sweet and shows how much he loves me.
     His Saxon math sheet. I think DreamBox Math is really benefiting him. Adding numbers to equel ten, he can do them quickly. He doesn't have to stop to think. He just knows them now.
     He took his pretest. He missed the word cake. I wrote the word and went over the spelling rule with him, pointing as I talked. When explaining that we use a 'c' before the letter 'a' I am pointing to the letters. I then had him copy the word at the bottom where it says 'carry-over words'.
     Saxon Phonics lesson 77, Ethan learned the sound /ur/. The top flashcard shows a purse to remind him that 'ur' makes the /ur/ sound. He also learned that it's a combination, so he marks it with an arc.
     Ethan, spelled words with the combination /ur/ sound. He coded and read words as well.
    (he read two words wrong, can you find them?)
    With Lance, I went over his memory verse and read the story again. We are still finishing Easy Classical Week 4. Last week I didn't get anything done with him. It was a hectic week. Only the older kiddos did school.
     I read from Fables about the frogs and the rainbow.
     I am still using McRuffy K (will we ever finish it?) but am using Saxon Phonics flashcards. He can blend letters but still doesn't remember all the sounds that I've introduced him too.
    I checked out Bob Jones Heritage Studies 2 from our church library and am reading it to my younger crowd. Today I read about communities, fire station, post office, neighborhoods.
     Josh, is still working on pattern five. He has to write a paragraph using the topic sentence provided, three detailed sentences and an ending (sorry, I don't have it in front of me right now). Pattern Based Writing works so well for Joshua, because he needs something that is thought out and makes sense to him. If you have followed my blog you know that Josh, needs things very organized and easy to follow.
    Annette and Josh, contniue to do their full load. I need to take more pictures of their work and blog more. I'm really looking forward to using Bob Jones DVDs with them. Praying that we can also get at least one laptop computer. This would help out A LOT! Right now we have one computer that is hooked up to then internet, one computer in Joshua's room that we use for games, one television.
    The computer in Joshua's room (without internet) is sooooo slow and doesn't always work. Right now Joshua uses it to learn Spanish using Rosetta Stone, but to listen to an audio book, it's a hit or miss. Very frustrating.
    If we had to, we can make it work with what we have but I'd really love another computer.