Yes, another homeschooling blog...

P'once a little time there was a girl. This girl grew up to be a Mamma to three little girls all very much like herself. And this little Mamma knew she just had to have a place of her own to keep all things home school right at her fingertips.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A glimpse of our agenda.

A glimpse of our current schedule for homeschooling a 9 yo and a 5yo (3yo is our tag along!). This is our 5th year homeschooling and each year I've tried different ways of staying on top of our short term and long term goals. I've used homeschool planners, detailed and journal style notebooks. They've worked for the most part with varying levels of success.

This year a simple numbers (or excel) table has helped me to keep track of where we are week to week according to our goals for the year. I have made a couple adjustments along the way, but for the most part, this keeps it simple. I grey out the subjects covered each week and use pink to show what is current.

Anyone familiar with Charlotte Mason and The Well Trained Mind will see I've blended them together to make them our own. By the way, we are absolutely loving Ambleside's Plutarch offerings this year. Each week the lessons turn into wonderful humanitarian discussions.

Keeping a running list of topics to cover weekly allows for more wiggle room for days when life sometimes gets in the way. Speaking of life, we're off to the craft store to pick up some supplies for Halloween costumes for my little piranha, butterfly princess and witch! Daddy and Mama are getting in on the fun this year as a beehive and some kind of spooky deer spirit.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Biblical based History

Biblical based history: On the shores of the Great Sea 

Looks like a resource that we can use in the coming year.

Use above link hyper link.  //fix//

Just a couple quick thoughts that I'd like to expand on later ... I've been loving the loose rigor that was Amblesideonline Online and have used much of the framework to design our own home studies, howeve I have grown into my own style enough to recognize several key differences: mainly in History. I find their history suggestions to be ok, in that there is not a whole lot if depth there. I love using their suggestions as supplemental to our back bone History of SOTW by SWB. I do love the addition of Plutarch readings for elementary students and that will be something we tackle this year. More on the another time...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Update & Book List 2014-15 And Supply list for fun

Another busy year and another slight lull in our school year. Happens to me every.single.year. We just about stop dead in our tracks come March. Hello March 1st tomorrow!  From here on out it takes a little  lot more effort to pick up the momentum to find our way to the end of our school year.

This year I am picking up my excitement levels by buying books for next year and putting general thought into our larger plan for education. I have also registered to attend a Classical Education Homeschooling conference this April. Sounds fun, huh? Jealous? That's what I thought. Well, I'm excited.

Some updates for the year: Okay. Welp. Here goes. Mar has joined the American Heritage Girls back in early September. She also joined the Dinwiddie Archery team, which was fabulous but then it turned cold, and our car broke down and it was just a plain old pain in the neck to get there so we haven't been back since late fall. I should probably look for another Archery team here in Richmond.

Oh yeah, we moved. As in again. We are now Richmond, VA dwellers. On the upside to shoving all your personal belongings back into boxes and into a storage unit we are now part of a greater community with a ton of fabulous activities for the girls to do. (No really, it's not that bad.)

Where was I... Oh yes, updates.

Mar also joined St. Paul's Episcopal Church choir. She's been singing with them for most of the year and loving it. Over the winter we found a local acting group. She will be in her second play soon. Acting classes meet once each week and her instructor is a hoot. Heaven knows I could never have lasted up on that stage! Speaking of music and drama, both Mar & Elle have had their palates whetted to some wonderful Richmond Opera performances this year as well among them Falstaff, The Magic Flute, & Ariadne auf Naxos. Carmen is coming up soon. I do hope I can see that one.

Both Elle and Mar have begun Ballet. Trying to loosen Mara up! She says she rather be in Gymnastics. I'll have to look into that. Elinor just loves ballet, minus that yucky stomach bug that crept up on her at the last practice. yeah, minus that she loves it.

Let's see. Other than that we are looking into more swimming lessons for the girls.. which reminds me, I totally forgot about that deadline today. shoot. I think that's it for now.

Well here is my list so far for our up and coming school year. I'll just pencil in the things I'm eyeballing and color them in as I purchase them... (i like to say i'm going to do something, let's see if it gets done!)

Elle is Purple           Mar is Blue             Shared School Time in Green

  • History of the World, Bauer Book 1 The Ancients- purchased
  • HotW 1 Activity Book- purchased
  • HotW 1 Test Book- purchased
  • Who in the World was the Secretive Printer?- purchased
  • Life of Fred Apples, Butterflies - purchased
  • Life of Fred Cats, Dogs- purchased
  • Life of Fred Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft, Fractions, Decimals - purchased
  • Math U See, Delta- purchased Instructor Text
  • Math U See Student pages
  • The Creative Writer- purchased
  • Writing with Skill- purchased
Foreign Language
  • Matin Latin- purchased
  • French Reader- purchased
  • Children of Odin
  • Children's Homer
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem
  • Iliad for Boys and Girls
  • Aenied for Boys and Girls
  • Birth of Rome
  • Black Ships before Troy
  • Heros of Asgard
  • Myths of the World
  • Odyssey for Boys and Girls 
  • Odysseus the Wonderer
  • Jungle Books
  • Kim
  • Girls of the Limberlost
  • The Peterkin Papers
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile
  • Where the Mountain meets the Moon
  • Julius Caesar and other Biographies
  • The Golden Basket
  • Aristotle the Dean of Early Science and other Immortals of Science Biographies
  • Augustus Caesar's World
  • Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare

  • Continue to cover and drill concepts discussed in WWE from last year, integrate latin grammar skills, and use writing program to reinforce skills.


  • Modern Curriculum Press Spelling Workbook F  ~ Scratch that! We are NOT doing another year of Spelling... Mar is an avid reader and writer and knows her phonics rules well. I think we can safely free up the 45 minutes weekly we spend on spelling and concentrate this time somewhere else! And, of course, Elle is not quite ready for spelling lists. We'll be focusing on sight words this year with her.

School Supplies:
Crayons- buy 12 packs.
Elementary lined journals with illustration space (Elinor)
Blank paper journal for Nature Study/Science x3
Binder lined paper
Binder blank white paper
Perhaps Binder elementary lined with illustration space
Medium Filing storage box to prepare portfolios for each girl
Minimum 10 notebooks
Colored pencils
Glue - 6 bottles
Construction paper - Sams club
Painting smocks
Red pens
Red colored pencils
Erasable black or Blue pen
Index Cards

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Aback – When sails are pressed against the mast by the force of the wind.
Aboard – On or in a vessel.
About – A boat is said to be about when her sails are filled on her new tack. “Come About”
Adrift – Drifting unsecured
Alee – To leeward (away from the wind source) “Hard Alee”
Aweigh – Describes an anchor that is off the bottom and being hoisted.
Bailers – Small retractable devices in the bilge of a small boat through which water passes when the boat is moving rapidly.
Bareboat – The charter of a cruising boat that has no paid hands.
Barging – Forcing maneuvering room to windward of another boat at the start of a race.
Beam – The greatest width of a boat.
Bend – To secure “bend on a sail” or a line to a sail
Berth – A bed in a boat 2. A mooring location at a pier 3. A margin of safety “wide berth”
Bilge – The very lowest part of a boat’s interior, where water is most likely to collect.
Bitter End – The last part of a rope.
Block – A pulley through which a line is lead.
Blue Water – Ocean going, offshore.
Bosun’s Chair – Halyard supported seat to lift someone up the mast.
Broach – To round up sharply when sailing downwind.
Buoy – A small anchored floating object in any of various sizes and shapes to mark a channel, defines a race course, or
serves as a mooring.
Burgee – A small flag (generally triangular), usually with a yacht club’s emblem.
Chafe – Wear on running rigging or on sails.
Chart – A map of a body of water and its adjacent shore - showing as much as an ocean or as small as a harbor.
Cleat – Fitting around which a line under strain is secured.
Close Hauled – Sailing toward the wind.
Cockpit – A recessed area in the deck in which a tiller or steering wheel is located.
Code Flag- A colorful flag representing, in the international code, a number or letter.
Coil – To arrange a line in loops, which are then hung from a cleat or other stationary object.
Companionway – A series of steps leading below from the deck.
Cotter pin – A small wire ring or pin used to secure the clevis pin in a block or shackle to keep turnbuckles from rotating.
Cradle – Framework on which a boat rests when out of the water (on the hard).
Dinghy – A small, light rowing or sailing boat.
Dowse – To lower quickly.
Draft – The distance between the waterline and the lowest part of the keel. The distance a boat “draws” is the amount of
water needed for a boat to float. 2. The amount and position of fullness in a sail.
Drogue – Sea anchor used to slow a boats speed
Ease – To let out (a sheet)
Fall Off – Steer away from the wind
Fender – A padded or air filled object that is hung over the topsides to protect them from abrasion by an object or boat
Fitting Out – To prepare a boat for launching and sailing.
Foul – A tangled line, prop, etc. 2. Bad weather “Foulies”- Foul weather gear
Full and By – Sailing close-hauled with all sails full.
Furl – To roll, fold, gather or make up and secure any sail on its boom or yard.
GPS – Global Positioning System
Gear – All non-permanent equipment, running rigging, etc.
Gimbals – Supports permitting a table, stove or berth to pivot as the boat heels so that its top remains level.
Gunwale – Pronounced “gun’l”. The rail of a boat, where the deck meets the topsides.
Harden up – Head up into the wind
Hatch – Opening in a deck, covered by a hatch cover.
Head – Toilet room on a boat
Heading – Course, direction
Head to wind – A boat heading directly into the wind.
Head Up – steer closer into the wind
Heave – To throw
Heel – The degree to which the boat tips to leeward under the force of the wind in the sails.
Helm – The steering position on a boat. Helmsman – The person steering a boat.
Hike – For the crew of a small boat to lean over the windward rail to help keep the boat from heeling and go faster.
“Hike out”
Keel – A permanent or retractable heavy fin under the hull that provides the weight to counterbalance heeling as well as
lateral resistance to counteract leeway.
Knock – Slang for header, a wind shift that requires the helmsman to head off to keep the sails full.
Knot – One nautical mile (6060.2 feet) per hour. 2.Turns in a line that secures it to another object.
Lead – To rig a sheet or halyard
Leeward – Away from the wind. Pronounced “louard” rhyming with steward
Lifelines – A plastic-coated wire that encircles the deck, several feet above the rail, running from one support (stanchion)
to another and used as a handhold in dangerous conditions.
Lift – A wind shift that permits a higher heading. Opposite of header.
Log – A book in which a boat’s speed, distance, and activities are noted.
Long Eyes – Binoculars
Luff – To alter the course toward the wind, to head up 2. The forward side of a sail 3. When a sail shakes with little wind
Lull – A temporary decrease in wind velocity during a storm.
Make/Made – To go faster than another boat so that the land appears to move behind it. 2. To secure something.
Moore –To secure a boat to an anchored buoy.
Off the wind – Downwind, on a broad reach or run also “before the wind”
PFD – Personal Floatation Device (life jacket)
Painter – A short tow or mooring line, one end of which is secured to a dinghy’s bow.
Pawl – A hinged pin in a winch that, when engaged between teeth, locks the winch and keeps it from backing off.
Pinch – To sail too close to the wind, so that though the boat seems to be pointing high, she is making less progress to
windward because of excess leeway resulting from the drop in speed.
Point – To sail effectively close hauled.
Points of sail – By the lee, run, reach, and close-hauled.
Pram – A flat-bottomed blunt-bowed dinghy.
Pressure - Wind
Puff – A short gust of wind.
Reef – To shorten sail in strong wind. 2. A barely submerged chain of rocks, coral or sand.
Rhumb Line – The straight-line compass course between two points, - shortest distance.
Rig – To prepare a boat for sailing 2. The spars, sails, and standing and running rigging.
Roller Furling – Rolling the luff of a jib around the forestay instead of furling the sail by lowering it.
Scope – The amount of anchor rode let out in excess of the water depth. Like “4 to 1 scope”
Scull – To propel a boat forward with the use of the rudder or single oar over the stern.
Shackle – A looped metal fitting that secures the end of a line to a fitting, sail, etc.
Sheave – The roller over which a line passes as it goes through a block.
Shock cord – Elastic rope/line.
Sister ships – Boats built to the same design.
Skiff – A small, light sailboat or rowboat.
Splice – To make a loop in the end of a line by weaving strands from both over and under each other – the resulting
friction keeps the strands from slipping.
Spring Line – A docking line that runs at an acute angle from pier to boat to help stop fore and aft surging.
Squall – A sudden local storm.
Stow – To put something away in it’s proper place.
Tactics – In a race, decisions about course relative to other boats.
Trapeze – A wire hanging from the mast which, when attached to a harness, permits a crew member to stand out from a
one-design on the windward rail to improve the righting moment.
Tune – To adjust running and standing rigging until they are at optimum tension and position.
Turnbuckle – A tension-adjusting device composed of threaded rods joined by a threaded barrel.
Upwind – The direction from which the wind is blowing.
V-Berth – Two bunks, generally in the forward cabin, whose feet are joined.
Winch – A geared drum around which sheets & halyards are wrapped. It is driven by a hand driven arm (winch handle).
Windlass – A winch, powered by hand or motor, for hauling anchors.

Sailing Review for the year

Proud Mom moment this summer! Biggest Sister is sailing opti's all by herself now! We'll have to keep brushing up on all these newly acquired skills from the summer and maybe learn a few new tricks while we winter over. These are from the Little Traverse Sailors website which we may sign her up for next summer.

Seaman Third Class      
____Jump into deep water, with PFD - float for 2
         minutes calmly -
____Know the basic parts of a boat (nomenclature)
____Trim mainsail - spill wind
____Raise and lower centerboard
____Know how to balance the boat
____Help completely rig a boat
____Steer a straight course–point to point
____Tie two half hitches
____Demonstrate proper way to cleat a line
____Fold sails correctly
____Trim and tack a jib as crew
____Tie a figure 8 knot – know purpose
____Coil and heave a dock line correctly
____Know hand signals
____Name three ways to protect our lakes
____Tell wind direction three ways

Seaman Second Class
____ Rig a Lido alone in 7 min.
____Calm a person who is afraid of heeling
____Describe proper trim for a reach, run and
____Explain the use of a centerboard – why so very
        important at LTS
____Show you can skipper the boat away from
and to the dock
____Get out of irons - two ways
____Tell how to avoid collisions
____, ____Crew in two LTS races
____Demonstrate tacking with commands
____Show how to head up and fall off
____Tie a square knot and explain usage
____Tie a clove hitch and explain usage
____Sail a reach, run and beat properly
____Display proper use of body weight for
wind conditions
____Climb into a Lido from the water correctly w/ PFD 
____Sail a figure eight course
____Secure a boat and properly stow all
____Identify port and starboard tack six times
____Teach rigging to a Seaman 3rd in a Lido
____ Skipper for a minimum of 20 minutes

____ Demonstrate and explain the proper procedure

         for sailing on and off a beach
____ Name the Points of Sailing
____ Sail a Bug alone        
____Consistantly use proper tiller exchange and proper
         tiller extension use


Seaman First Class
____Rig and unrig Bug, Lido and Pixel alone – 5 min.ea.
____Sail a Lido alone – main only
____Assist an instructor with Seaman Third knots
         and nomenclature
____Show proper trim for a beat
____Show proper trim for a reach
____ Show proper trim for a run with a winged jib
____, ____Skipper in two LTS races
____Safely capsize and right a boat with crew
         using the scoop recovery method – explain and
____Know basic rules of the road - test
____Furl sail (“Point Day” Method)
____Discuss reefing a sail – demonstrate at dock
____Wing a jib properly
____, ____Correctly whip a line and show two
         different instructors (initials needed)
____Tie a bowline knot and know purposes
____Perform a controlled jibe with commands
               while holding mainsheet and tiller
____Sail a triangle course
____Know advanced nomenclature - test
____Explain a racing start
____Demonstrate proper hiking in a Pixel or Hunter
____Use wind direction telltales
____Tell wind direction three ways again
____Do a 360 degree turn around a buoy
____Consistent helmsmanship without
         excessive luffing or falling off
___ Points of sailing sheet
___ Tiller exchange – proper, faster, smoother
___ Review knots and fast cleat knot
___ Teach a Seaman 3rd to rig a Lido
___ Skipper a Bug in a race



____Retrieve a PFD from a beat, reach and run
____Retrieve-submerged object
____Jibe three times, consecutively
____Explain the use of an Outhaul, Cunningham,
Boom Vang
____Know various rigs of boats – test
         p. 98 old Start Sailing Right
____Use jib telltales and explain how to use to trim
____, ____Skipper two LTS races
____Life saving jump and tread water for 5 min.
____Reading the weather (as in SSR)
____Tie a sheet bend knot
____Sail with the jib alone
____Demonstrate a bowline around your body
____Know spinnaker nomenclature
____Make three good dockings in a row
____Crew a Pixel with spinnaker in a race
____Row the LTS boat straight forward,
        backward and maneuver to the dock





____Explain light air sailing
____Explain basic racing rules
____, ____ Skipper two LTS races
____Help an instructor secure boats for the night
____Crew in one Tuesday night race or other sailing
         experience on a bigger boat
____Help class boats land safely
____Stay afloat for ten minutes
____Swim 25 yards
____Explain and demonstrate Quick Turn man
         Overboard recovery method
____Demonstrate windward docking
____Fly and trim a spinnaker
____Reefing review and reef Lido underway
____Demonstrate an eye splice
____Tie a rolling hitch knot
____Sail a square course
____Rig a Pixel for spinnaker
____Row the LTS dinghy properly



____Set and sail a spinnaker boat as crew
____Explain how a sailboat works – Physics of Sailing
____Help rig a keelboat
____Crew in 2 Tuesday night races or two cruising 
         boat experiences
____Explain Corinthian Spirit
 ____Swim 50 yards
____Steer a compass course
____Sail a Lido or Pixel alone 
____Demonstrate a Back-splice
____Sail repair demonstration and equipment
____”S” jibe in heavy air
____PFD student fit judgment – twice
____Skipper a spinnaker boat in a race
____Demonstrate and Explain roll tacking
____Demonstrate correct Man Overboard procedure
____Explain and demonstrate Jibing and Heave To
         Man Overboard methods 


____Plan three Seaman Third lessons
____Explain your plans to an instructor
____Teach your best lesson to a Seaman Third group
         after presenting to at least three instructors
         either at 9:30 or 4:00
____Tired swimmer carry - 50 yards
____Demonstrate and explain crew safety
____Alone on a windy day, drop sails and re-hoist
____Spinnaker reaching and jibing in light and
heavy air
____Read and discuss How Sails Work p. 24-27 
         (26 -29 new), Overboard Recovery p. 66-67,
          Weather, Tides and Currents p. 88-92

in old  Start Sailing Right

____Explain hypothermia and prevention
         p. 13 old Start Sailing Right
____Demonstrate a Braided Splice
____Roll tack and roll jibe well
____Crew in two Tue. night races or two large boat
recreational sailing experiences
____Plan a three day cruise / float plan
____Judge tacking and jibing angles
____Demonstrate a timed Man overboard recovery
____Sail backward
____Starting/stopping & speed control,
____Getting out of irons quickly –
         select port or starboard before beginning
____Tacking, jibing, steering with weight and sails
____Proper sail trim upwind
____Judging laylines without excessive overstanding
         or pinching
____Awareness outside the boat
____Ability to predict wind effects for landing
        appropriate approach angle for conditions,
        decelerate with control to a full luff
        glide to gentle stop with no artificial braking,
        main backing or grabbing on to dock
____Basic Navigation Rules…opposite tacks,
         same tack, overtaking, sail vs. power,
         sail vs. muscle power
____Know basic cloud formations and what they

Thursday, July 18, 2013

To Kindle or not to Kindle... that is the question.

     This will be our 3rd school year with a Kindle. It's been a great run so far, filled up with bunches of free classics listed on Amazon, and a few paid, though mostly free as we've always operated on a tight budget. Another plus? It's super convenient when we read through books like lightening and can't always make it to the library or the book store to borrow or buy another book right away. (Perhaps a great goal for the coming school year is to learn to savor books a little more.)

     The cons? Well, for one, it's electronic, therefore I'm always hesitant to bring it along where ever we go lest we should break it.
     Two. It's electronic. As with most electronic devices in our house they become sort of... forgotten. (although Lord help me the day I'm separated from my iPod!)
    Three. It's electronic. (yes, you've heard it before) When reading a bedtime story it doesn't have those certain bedtime story sounds... You know, the licking of your finger before turning a paper page. The slight 'smack' sound your mouth might make while keeping momentum with the book when a page is turned. Reading from a kindle tends to be a little robotic.
     So what is this debate about? It seems I have my cards stacked against using the Kindle this year. Well, yes and no.
     The fact is that many of the books I had planned to purchase over the course of the last year I didn't. And conveniently enough they are all right in this little handy electronic device. Our kindle is heavily loaded with books, over 60 to be sorta exact, and many of them are anthologies. I can't even imagine how heavy the actual load would be to physically carry them all at once. So now the chore comes of figuring out what books we should keep and what to toss, the has-beens, the yet to be discovered, the old favorites... It's kind of like cleaning out my closet.

How do you clean out and organize your eDevices?


Thursday, July 11, 2013

2013/2014 List of Subjects to be covered

We are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to allow the girls to participate in an instructional and fun day camp each summer. Beginning late-July through mid-August Mara is gone from 9am-3pm with an hour each day doing Arts & Crafts, Tennis, Swimming and 2.5 hrs of sailing plus a few more hours of sailing on Saturdays too! Elinor will be in tennis once per week with 4 days per week at the beach. Sounds like fun.

I am trying something a little different this year with regard to our schedule. (I'm always trying new things.) In the past we have typically started school after labor day. And that works well, although by the end of the school year we just want to play! So to combat that, I've started a tapered school year. Not sure if anyone else has done this, but it seems logical enough to me. It may complicate my "attendance sheet," but, hey, what's life without a few complications, right?

How do I 'taper' our school year you ask? Well, we have already started one of Mara's classes July 1. We will continue to add courses to her schedule as time and readiness permits until we are at a jam packed schedule in the fall. What this mean is that while we may be going full steam this winter, it also means that these classes will begin to taper off as early as February, leaving more time for play in the Spring! Gonna beat burn out. yeah.

Imma genious.

So, what are we discovering this year?

  • Bible
  • Memory
    • Elinor
      • Bible, Poetry, Nursery Rhymes, or songs
      • 1 short piece per week
      • 5-10 minutes per day
    • Mara
      • Bible and Poetry for passages
      • 1-2 short pieces each week
      • 1 short play, speech, or longer poem each month 
      • 5-10 minutes per day
  • Mathematics
    • Elinor
      • Number recognition 0-20, Number sense
      • 10-20 minutes per day
    • Mara
      • Math-U-See: Gamma
      • 1 hour per day
  • Stretching and Exercise
    • Alternating days of stretching, coordination, physical strength, as well as what it means to have a healthy body
    • 30 minutes per day
  • English Grammar
    • Spelling
      • Mara
        • 15-30 minutes 3 days per week
    • Writing
      • Mara
        • 15-30 minutes 3 days per week
        • Using Grammar workbook and a free writing assignment each week
    • Reading 
      • Elinor
        • Sight words, coloring pages, wooden letters
        • 15-30 minutes per day
        • Bedtime stories
      • Mara
        • Cricket Magazine
        • Bedtime stories
        • Booklist material, free reading list
        • 30-60 minutes per day outside of regular school time
  • Science
    • Elinor
      • Alphabet Cookbook
      • Nature observation and craft time
    • Mara
      • 1 hour 2 days per
      • Unit Studies and Lab/Classroom observation
  • World History
    • Semester 1 Project Timeline Ancient History- Early Modern
    • Semester 2 Modern World History
  • Language
    • Latin
      • Winnie Ille Pooh Semper Ludet 
      • 60 minutes 2 days per week
    • French
      • French Reader
      • French Audio
      • 60 minutes 3 days per week

Tapered Schedule Color Key: 
Light Green =  July 1 Start Date
Yellow = July 11 Start Date
Peach = Opportunities to begin are available soon
Teal= July 22 Start Date
Plum = Late August Start Date
Merlot = September Start Date


Academic Booklist for 2013/2014 School year

It's that time of year again where I begin blogging on a semi-regular basis through January, if I'm lucky. But usually I fall out of sync with our schedule around the holidays and when the holidays are through all I really want to do is sit under a blanket together, snuggle and read! And then it's Spring. And it's glorious. And we play outside and have no time for computers. or blogs. And then Summer comes and I become super excited for the coming year and begin blogging. again. And here we are.


Here is a list of this year's Big Kiddo book choices: (grade 3.5)

Winnie Ille Pu Semper Ludet (The House at Pooh Corner) 
     This book will be the backbone of our Latin study this year. With 2-3 years of formal Latin under our belt I think this will be a nice respite for language study. Using this book 2 days per week, we will stretch this book out over the course of the year.

Easy French Reader 
    Another immersion reading book for language study. We will use this book 2 days per week in language study coupled with another program with audio cds.

French for Children with Three Audio CDs, Third Edition 
     For use 3 days per week. Admittedly a bit disappointed in how thin the workbook is. I'm wondering how long this will last. May have to purchase another program to supplement. We will see how French goes during the first portion of the year. 

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR 
      The text to our World History for the second portion of our year. We will spend the first semester covering the major events of the world's history using a timeline, plenty of crayons, markers and maybe some paint too. I hoping hoping to raise the excitement level of this subject a bit.

The Story of the World Activity Book Four: The Modern Age: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR   
     The accompanying workbook to above text, to be used semester 2.

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Modern Age: Tests and Answer Key (Vol. 4) (Story of the World) 
     A testing guide and answer key to the above text.

Cricket Magazine
    10 issues will be mailed to our home over the course of the school year. We will use this for a portion of school reading time and interaction of content will be expected.

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind: Level 4 Student Workbook (First Language Lessons) 
     A more comprehensive guide and workbook for Grammar studies. In the past we have used Matin Latin to guide our Grammar studies along with English for a Thoughtful Child. I am hoping for a good transition.

First Language Lessons Level 4 Instructor Guide
    This is the instructor guide to the workbook above. I have not had a chance to preview it. I hope it is worth the cost. 

    No change in curriculum here, have been using it for 3 years. I had thought to change this curriculum this year, possibly switching to Rod & Staff or even to use a Spelling Bee guide to choose words, but Mara really enjoys the activities in these books, crossword puzzles, word scrambles, rhyming games and fill in the blanks. I think she craves more workbooks that she can just write in.

Math-U-See Gamma  
     This is a big switch up for us. I've been using Houghton Mifflin and like it. We've tried Abeka and I didn't like it-too much prep time. But this is a different approach than the spiral approach we are used to. This year will be a multiplication focused year. I'm looking forward to the hands-on approach that this curriculum offers.

Ranger Rick Magazine
    We will be using this magazine subscription to supplement Science time. 

Janice VanCleave's Guide to the Best Science Fair Projects
    We will be using this guide to supplement Science.

Beautiful Swimmers
     A book about the water species of the Chesapeake Bay. Hearsay is: it's good Science based literature.

What Your Fourth Grader Need to Know
    I am using this text as a simple guide to help me in my lesson planning.

Well-Trained Mind
    Have I mentioned that I love this book?? I know I have. I check it out from the library each and every summer. Twice. I use this book to refresh my brain on what our school year should look like. And, naturally, as they grow each year I need to read the next chapter of the book. I should really just buy this book!
I will likely be adding to this list as we go, but this is our starting point.

Also, I haven't completely settled on Science this year. Honestly I have been feeling an increasing amount of unrest in this area. I feel the main reason for this is there are so many differing philosophy's on when to actually begin teaching Science as well as what that means in the science field. Technically Mara is in the 3rd grade. When I register her paperwork with the state I will be placing her in the 3rd grade although most of her level work is 4th grade material so I've got some time to figure this out. We would be completely fine to do another year or few of Nature Study and be alright.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Preschooling the precocious...

I thought Mara, my oldest, was my precocious child. At least that's what everyone always told me. My second, Elinor, is proving to have a whole set of her very own talents. And let me tell you, it is amazing to watch her skills blossom. My plan was never to really take preschool all that seriously outside of daily story time and ABC's. Mara went to a private preschool, mainly out of necessity and the only reason we started home school kindergarten at age 5 was because I felt I would be called negligent if I hadn't. (Worrying what others think is an obvious struggle of mine.)

Most of me believes that kids don't really need formal schooling until around 7 years of age. There is, after all, so much to be learned in imaginative play and most children these days aren't allowed nearly enough time for simple childhood to take place. But (it's a big but) part of me becomes afraid and overwhelmed that if I don't do anything, you know, leave them to play and make believe the day away, that not only will my house be a complete and utter disaster without the schedule that home schooling (usually) provides, but they will be considerably lacking in many areas compared to their peers. And there it is, "compared to their peers." Stop. And that's when I realize my logic is completely flawed. Why should I compare my children to the likes of their peers? I shouldn't. phew.

My Elinor has an internal clock and keeps me on my toes, which is very good for me because at times I have felt worthless as a home schooling parent. Everyday she must get her "schoolwork" in. Her education is a very serious thing. As we are winding down for the school year, she has taken the time to show me that she has been paying attention to every single lesson--even Big Sistuh's. She knows most the letters of the alphabet, upper and lower, as well as their sounds. She can even write most of those letters by dictation. With that being said, Elle Belle will be starting the new school year 2013/14 as a 4 year old. And it may be a bit early for sight words but I think she is ready. To some I may not be a qualified teacher, but I know my children best. I know when they are ready to tackle new projects and when we need more time to digest. I know when we simply need to take time to learn life lessons because those are important too.

When Mara was learning to read she loved sight word games that we would play each evening. We started with around 5 words, adding only a few more to the mix once mastery was achieved. If ever the game became tiresome we put it away for the night. We usually maxed out at about 5-10 minutes. I have made a new set of sight flash cards for Elinor as our old hand written set is long gone. Perhaps I'll hold on to these a little longer this time around. This is our starting point: the, to, and, a, I, you, it, in, said, for, up, look, is, go, we, little, down, can, see, not, one, my, me, big, come, blue, red, where, jump, away, here, help, make, yellow, two, play, run, find, three, funny. For our complete list: Sight words  a blog entry from 2010. 

I'm excited to see what our next school year brings. Happy planning!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 26 - 30

America's Abraham Lincoln
Where do you think you're going, Christopher Columbus?
The Story of the Norman Conquest 1066
Garden Gates 2 Exercises
A Treasury of French Tales 2 tales
Poetry of William Blake
The Bible "O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven, and the pains of Hell; but most of all because I love Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen."
Picture Study Matisse
Nature Study:
Handicrafts: Christmas Gifting,
Daily Copywork, Math and Foreign Language and Phonics (if needed)

November 19 - 23

America's Abraham Lincoln p3-7
Where do you think you're going, Christopher Columbus? thru pg 16
The Story of the Norman Conquest 1066 Introduction only, look at pictures of the tapestry
Garden Gates 2 Exercises
A Treasury of French Tales 2 tales
Poetry of William Blake
The Bible
Picture Study Claude Monet
Nature Study: Mammal Study: river otters, beavers, Indiana bats, red foxes, coyotes, beavers, muskrats or minks
Handicrafts: Christmas Gifting, sand bowls, Embroidery
Daily Copywork, Math and Foreign Language and Spelling

Friday, August 17, 2012

Week of 8/13/12-8/17/12

We had a very gradual start this week. I started the week off thinking I may not start until after Labor Day since our third grade Math workbook had not yet arrived, but was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday when it came after all. We have been slowly ramping up to a regular academic day one subject at a time.

So far we have looked through our books. Elinor has her very own Science book this year and that makes her very excited! This is the first year that I have separate subject notebooks for Mara to keep her work organized in. Last year she went through 2 notebooks, but over the summer she has been doing a lot of independent and creative writing, so I think a notebook for each is a step in the right direction.

We have started Spelling. This year we've moved to 15 spelling words a week. Same curriculum that we've always used so no big change there.

Writing with Ease for Writing and Grammar looks to be a great program. It take a little more directing from me to get through each lesson plan, but that's ok. I think it will still work well for us.

Abeka Math 3 is taking a little getting used to. It's is requiring a bit more prep work on my side than we I've been used to in the past, but I'd like to give it a fair chance before thinking about making a switch in the middle of a school year...

Now that we've got our computer station set up again, I will have to see about posting some pictures!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Curriculum 2012-13

2012 - 2013 School Year - 3rd Grade

           Reading, Grammar, Spelling: (30, 30, 10)
           Writing - cursive writing: (20)
           Mathematics: (50)
           Foreign Language -  Spanish (30)
           1/2 days @ Chandler for PE, Music, Art?
           History- Monday/Wednesday - corresponding necessary information to a time line or map (50)
           Physical Strength - Dancing begin Fall 2012 (60)
           Nature Study/Life Science- Chemisty Fall 2012 Tuesday/Thursday (50)
           Matin Latin - Level 2 (30)
We will be doing an artist focus in the fall and a composer over the winter and famous person in history focus in the spring:
  • Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci
  • Mozart
  • Harriet Tubman or William Llyod Garrison

Booklist for Mara next year:
**Items in bold are to be borrowed from our public library in the spring term.

Seabird, Holling C. Holling
Marie Curie's Search for Radium
Marco Polo
(Handbook of Nature Study) online
Bauer's, Story of the World: Late Ren-Early Modern & Usborne Book of World History
This Country of Ours online edition
Nature with Children
Garden Gates
World Myths and Folk Tales
Detective Science
Abeka Math 3
Mathemagic by Childcraft
Writing with Ease 2, Susan W. Bauer
The Story of Mathematics by Anne Rooney

Look at poetry from these poets:
            Edgar Allen Poe: “The Raven”
            Alfred Lord Tennyson: “The Lady of Shalott” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade”
            Christina Rosetti: “Goblin Market,” “A Birthday,” “Sister Maude”, “No, Thank You, John”

            William Wordsworth: Collected Poems
               Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”


Don Quixote, retold by Michael Harrison. - portions of the text
“A Voyage to Lilliput” and “A Voyage to Brobdingnag” from Gulliver’s Travels,
Jonathan Swift.
Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan, or Pilgrim’s Progress : A Retelling by Gary D. Schmidt

Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, Washington Irving.

Robert Browning: “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”

Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

“The Way to Wealth,” Benjamin Franklin.  In Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings

Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon : Fifty-Nine Norwegian Folk Tales, by Peter Christen Asbjrnsen

Narrative of the  Life of Frederick Douglass, an American  Slave: Written by Himself, Frederick Douglass

Children of the New Forest
The Jungle Book
At the Back of the North Wind
The Bears of Blue River
The Saturdays
Gone Away Lake
King of the Wind
Mother Carey's Chickens
The Enchanted Castle
Little Lord Fauntleroy
Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
The Bestiary: A book of Beasts
Dido and Pa
The Three Royal Monkeys
Oliver Twist
The House of Sixty Fathers
The Book of British Fairy Tales
Voyage Round the Horn
Are all the Giants Dead?
The Diamond in the Window
The Queens Brooch
The Trumpeter of Krakow
The Children of Green Knowe
The Stranger at Green Knowe
The Thirteen Clocks
The Last Guru

1600-1850 US History

1800-1850 US History
1800The U.S. capital is moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC (June 15). U.S. Congress meets in Washington, DC, for the first time (Nov. 17). Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved African American blacksmith, organizes a slave revolt intending to march on Richmond, Virginia. The conspiracy is uncovered, and Prosser and a number of the rebels are hanged. Virginia's slave laws are consequently tightened.

1801Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated as the third president in Washington, DC (March 4).
1803Marbury v. Madison: Landmark Supreme Court decision greatly expands the power of the Court by establishing its right to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional (Feb. 24). Louisiana Purchase: United States agrees to pay France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory, which extends west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and comprises about 830,000 sq mi (treaty signed May 2). As a result, the U.S. nearly doubles in size.

1804Lewis and Clark set out from St. Louis, Mo on an expedition to explore the West and find a route to the Pacific Ocean
1805Jefferson's second inauguration. Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean
1809James Madison is inaugurated as the fourth president
1812War of 1812: US declares war on Britain over British interference with American maritime shipping and westward expansion. British capture Washington DC and set fire to the White House and Capitol. Francis Scott Key writes Star-Spangled Banner as he watches British attack on Fort McHenry at Baltimore. Treaty of Ghent is signed, officially ending the war.
1819Spain agrees to cede Florida to the United States. Landmark Supreme court decision upholds the right of Congress to establish a national bank, a power implied but not specifically enumerated by the Constitution.

1820Missouri Compromise: In an effort to maintain the balance between free and slave states, Maine is admitted as a free state so that Missouri can be admitted as a slave state; except for Missouri, slavery is prohibited in the Louisiana Purchase lands north of latitude 36,30
1822Denmark Vesey, an enslaved African American carpenter who had purchased his freedom, plans a slave revolt with the intent to lay siege on Charlseton, SC. The plot is discovered and Vesey and 34 coconspirators are hanged.
1828Construction is begun on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. the first public railroad in the US
1830President Jackson signs the Indian removal Act, which authorizes the forced removal of Native Americans living in the eastern part of the country to the lands west of the Mississippi River. By the late 1830s the Jackson administration has relocated nearly 50,000 Native Americans.
1831Nat Turner, an enslaved African American preacher, leads the most significant uprising in American hisotry. He and his band of about 80 followers launch a bloody, day long rebellion in Southampton County VA. The militia quells the rebellions and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, VA institutes much stricter slave laws.

William Llyod Garrison begins publishing the Liberator, a weekly paper that advocates the complete abolition of slavery. He becomes one of the most famous figures in the abolitionist movement.
1836Texas declares its independence from Mexico. Texan defenders of the Alamo are all killed during siege by the Mexican Army.
1838More than 15,000 Cherokee Indians are forced to march from Georgia to Indian Terretory in present-day Oklahoma. Approximately 4,000 die from starvation and disease along the "Trail of Tears."

1846Oregon Treaty fixes US/Canadian border at 49th parallel. US acquires Oregon terretory
1846-1848Mexican War: US declares war on Mexico in effort to gain California and other territory in Southwest. War concludes with the signing of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico recognizes the Rio Grande as the new boundary with Texas and for $15 million, agress to cede territory compromising present day California, most of New Mexico and Arizona and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
1848Gold is discovered at Sutter's Mill in California; gold rush reaches its height the following year. Women's rights convention is held at Seneca Fall, NY

Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated members of the Underground Railroad.

World History 1600-1850

pre1600–1850 - History to cover in conjuction with US History
1444-1510Italian Painter, Botticelli.

Birth of Venus
1452-1519Italian Artist/Inventor/Sculptor/Architect, Leonardo da Vinci.
1454Gutenburg invented his printing press.

1466-1536Dutch scholar Erasmus.
1469-1527Italian writer Machiavelli
1473-1543Polish Astronimer, Copernicus
1475-1564Italian Artist, Michaelangelo
1564-1642Italian Astronomer, Galileo

Belgian Doctor Vesalius
English Doctor Harvey
1600Invention of the telescope and microscope
1642-1727English Scientist Newton
1492First Voyage of Christopher Columbus
1564-1616Life of William Shakespeare
1577-1580Francis Drake sails around the world
1584Walter Raleigh set up colony in Virginia
1603Ends Tudors/The Elizabethans

1623-1639All Europeans, except a few Dutch left Japan

Inventions in Science and Industry
Merchants and Trading
1756-1791 Life of Mozart

Sports and Pastimes : tennis, cock fighting, fox hunting, cricket club, gambling, fencing, shooting, boxing

1700-1800 The Agricultural Revolution
1750-1850 The Industrial Revolution

Literature Booklist for the 2012-13 School year

(Items in bold are books we own)

Don Quixote, retold by Michael Harrison.
“A Voyage to Lilliput” and “A Voyage to Brobdingnag” from Gulliver’s Travels,
Jonathan Swift.
Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan, or Pilgrim’s Progress : A Retelling by Gary D. Schmidt
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
William Wordsworth’s Collected Poems
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, Washington Irving.
Robert Browning: “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”
Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
“The Way to Wealth,” Benjamin Franklin.  In Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings
Christina Rossetti: “Goblin Market,” “A Birthday,” “Sister Maude”, “No, Thank You, John”
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
“The Lady of Shalott” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Alfred Lord Tennyson; in any Tennyson collection.
“The Raven,” Edgar Allen Poe
East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon : Fifty-Nine Norwegian Folk Tales, by Peter Christen Asbjrnsen
Narrative of the  Life of Frederick Douglass, an American  Slave: Written by Himself, Frederick Douglass

Historical novels and biographies to find at the library

America’s Paul Revere, Esther Forbes
Amos Fortune, Free Man, Elizabeth Yates
Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink
Calico Captive, Elizabeth George Speare
The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dalgliesh
Hitty: Her First Hundred Years, Rachel Field
Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes
My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth George Speare
Toliver’s Secret, by Esther Wood Brady
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
Reformation Biographies from Greenleaf Press
The Beggar’s Bible by  Louis Vernon (story of John Wyclffe)
The Man Who Laid the Egg, by Louis Vernon (story of Erasmus)
Queen of the Reformation, Charles Ludwig (story of Katie Luther)

2012-13 English Language Concepts for Mastery

3rd Grade

2012/13 - Use highlight colors below as skill show mastery.
     Dark Green = fairly good understanding of concept
     Yellow = an area of improvement
     Light Green = concept well-covered, but needs continual practice

Vocabulary and Concept Development:

  • Determine the meanings of words using knowledge of synonyms (words with the same meaning), antonyms (words with opposite meanings), homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings), and homographs (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings). 
  • At Grade 3, students continue to write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Students write both informal and formal letters. Student writing demonstrates a command of Standard English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined in Standard 4 - Writing Processes and Features. Writing demonstrates an awareness of the audience (intended reader) and purpose for writing.

Write descriptive pieces about people, places, things, or experiences that:

• develop a unified main idea.
• use details to support the main idea.

Example: Write a description for how to make a model boat. Include clear enough directions so that a classmate can make the model. Write a description of a favorite place using clear details so that the reader can picture the place and understand why it is a favorite place. 

Write personal, persuasive, and formal letters, thank-you notes, and invitations that:

• show awareness of the knowledge and interests of the audience.
• establish a purpose and context.

• include the date, proper salutation, body, closing, and signature.

Example: Write a letter to a pen pal in another country describing your family, school, and town and asking the pen pal questions about himself or herself. Write an invitation asking an adult to come to speak in the classroom. Write a persuasive letter to your family asking for your favorite foods on your birthday. 
05/13/13 Update. Since our move to Virginia, letter writing has easily taken center stage in our lives from week to week. Mara (and Elinor) have a wealth of penpals that they have been regularly corresponding.

Use varied word choices to make writing interesting.

Example: Write stories using varied words, such as cried, yelled, or whispered instead of said

Write responses to literature that:

• demonstrate an understanding of what is read.
• support statements with evidence from the text.

Example: Write a description of a favorite character in a book. Include examples from the book to show why this character is such a favorite. 10/25/12 Update. Daily narration pages coupled with specific question and answer time has proven that she has a great level of reading comprehension. She has read a number of quality chapter books independently this year and completed 1 in depth book report on "The Black Pearl" Book report included a comprehensive list of main characters of the book, as well as a nicely executed summary of the book. She recorded the setting of the book accurately and I could tell she took a lot of pride in the overall project. 
05/13/13 Update. Mara has been independently writing character sketches in prose and poetry of many of the characters she has read about in her chapter books. Most notable this term has been her amusing poems about Roald Dahl's character's in Charlie and the Glass Elevator.  

 Research Application:

Write or deliver a research report that has been developed using a systematic research process (defines the topic, gathers information, determines credibility, reports findings) and that:
• uses a variety of sources (books, technology, pictures, charts, tables of contents, diagrams) and documents sources (titles and authors). 10/25/12 Update. Mara has had several opportunities for research. We mainly take advantage of this in Science and History. This year she has completed on short research assignment on 16th century inventions and also a much larger scale research assignment on water's surface tension. This assignment was also presently orally in front of her co-op class of approximately 20 student peers.
organizes information by categorizing it into more than one category (such as living and nonliving, hot and cold) or includes information gained through observation.

Example: After making observations and completing research at the library, write a report that describes things found in nature and things that are found outside of nature.

Review of Vowels and Consonants.

Adjectives: Match nouns to a description

Structural Features of Informational and Technical Materials:

  • Use titles, tables of contents, chapter headings, a glossary, or an index to locate information in text.

 Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Nonfiction and Informational Text:

  • Ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information from the text.
Example: When reading informational materials about science topics or social science subjects, compare what is read to background knowledge about the subject.


  • Write legibly in cursive, leaving space between letters in a word, words in a sentence, and words and the edges of the paper. 10/25/12 Update. This is an area where I have been seeing improvement, although we could use more improvement. We are currently focusing on this more by having more opportunities to write in cursive. Her script writing has really come a long way and her speed has really been picking up. I can especially tell during dicatation assignments. 05/13/13 Update. Cursive writing has continued to improve throughout the year. Writes with ease. Mara still holds her pencil with some awkwardness, but is becoming more relaxed, her writing certainly doesn't show it.

Sentence Structure:

Write correctly complete sentences of statement, command, question, or exclamation, with final punctuation.
• Declarative: This tastes very good.
• Imperative: Please take your seats.
• Interrogative: Are we there yet?
• Exclamatory: It's a home run!


  • Uses subjects and verbs that are in agreement. Ex: We are vs. we is 
  • Identify and use past (he danced), present (he dances), and future (he will dance) verb tenses properly in writing. 
  • Identify and correctly use pronouns (it, him, her), adjectives (brown eyes, two younger sisters), compound nouns (summertime, snowflakes), and articles (a, an, the) in writing.
  • Use commas in dates (August 15, 2001), locations (Fort Wayne, Indiana), and addresses (431 Coral Way, Miami, FL), and for items in a series (football, basketball, soccer, and tennis).


  • Capitalize correctly geographical names, holidays, historical periods, and special events (We always celebrate the Fourth of July by gathering at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana.)


  • Spell correctly one-syllable words that have blends (walk, play, blend), contractions (isn't, can't), compounds, common spelling patterns (qu-; changing win to winning; changing the ending of a word from -y to -ies to make a plural, such as cherry/cherries), and common homophones (words that sound the same but have different spellings, such as hair/hare). 10/25/12 Update. Mara's spelling is very good. One area that we have recently covered because I noticed it as being an ongoing issue was past tense. When to simply add an "ed" vs. "d" vs. double the consonant then an "ed". We had a lesson on that today, overall I have been extremely impressed with her spelling, although with as fluent a reader as she is, I suppose I shouldn't be. 05/13/13 Spelling is very good. She still struggles with past tense verbs that end in a consonant. Ongoing improvement.

Arrange words in alphabetical order.

  • Example: Given a list of words, such as apple, grapefruit, cherry, banana, pineapple, and peach, put them into correct alphabetical order: apple, banana, cherry, grapefruit, peach, and pineapple. 10/25/12 Update. Alphabetical order still is proving to have it's challenges, although she has weekly opportunities with her spelling list. We are still working on this, as this was a new concept as of this year. I feel with Mara, she simply needs to slow down and look at the full word. She reads them all so quick that she just writes the first word she sees without comparing it to the rest of the list words to make sure nothing comes before it.

Listening and Speaking skills:

  • Read and recite prose and poetry aloud with fluency, rhythm, and timing, using appropriate changes in the tone of voice to emphasize important passages within the text. 10/25/12 Mara is a great oral reader.
  • Clarify and enhance oral presentations through the use of appropriate props, including objects, pictures, and charts.10/25/12 Update. How Many drops of Water fits on a Penny oral presentation with experiment and poster. Excellent job. Things to work on are to speak just a little louder and lift that chin up a little higher so that your voice can carry better to the audience instead of stopping at your paper.

Speaking Applications: 

Make brief narrative presentations that:
• provide a context for an event that is the subject of the presentation.
• provide insight into why the selected event should be of interest to the audience.
• include well-chosen details to develop characters, setting, and plot that has a beginning, middle, and end. 
05/13/13 Update. Mara has been writing, creating her own plays. The have been rehearsed with extras and wonderfully complex and unique story lines. It  is a joy to watch her perform these short plays. seems like a good link to retrieve helpful worksheets.