Sunday, October 07, 2012


We are in a nice daily groove now.  The Channel One News program is a hit.  We watch it every day.  Ten minutes of current events sets off a stream of questions and discussions for the day.  Saxon Math - I wasn't keen on trying it at first.  All these years I've avoided it, hearing it was too rigid, too plain, too tedious, etc.  Turns out, after trying everything from Life of Fred, to Teaching Textbooks, to every bookstore shelf math book, Saxon is the one he likes the most.  Who knew?  We are going through it slowly, about 1-2 lessons per week.  My goal is to make sure he understands and remembers.  Math is one of those things that build upon itself - especially in the early years.  You have to have a firm, solid foundation of the basics or anything beyond that will be more difficult than it should be.  We spent all summer on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division drills.  He wasn't crazy about it, but he saw the value in it once he could speed through 30 problems in 10 minutes.  Now he's learning a new concept with each chapter and he really gets it.    This week was order of operations and fractional parts.  I like the pace of the lessons and the way it explains the concepts.

This week we went back to A Workbook for Dyslexics.  We've used that 3x this week.   W is reading the words and sounds quickly, writing out dictated sentences properly, and taking an 18-30 word spelling test in each lesson.  We finish a lesson in one sitting which takes about 20 minutes.  W's improvements in reading have been remarkable.  He still just guesses at unfamiliar large words and names, writes some letters backwards, and gets so physically drained in a short period of time, but overall he's still on grade level in spite of his dyslexia.  Even the neurologist said that based on his scores, he shouldn't be able to do what he can do.  That gives me such hope that we can overcome this and having dyslexia won't get in the way of him succeeding at anything he puts his mind to.

Prince Caspian is also going well.  I'm really happy W likes this series of books.  I read it to him and he narrates.  I want him to realize that reading can be really fun and interesting and that the whole world opens up to someone who enjoys reading.  He still won't read for pleasure, but maybe this will give him that spark to want to pick up something on his own.  We are also reading The Complete Book of World History together.  It's for 4th-8th grade and it's laid out well.  We're at the beginning with early man and I think we'll make a visit to the Museum of Natural History to get an up-close, hands-on study of these chapters.  Soon I'll give him the book to read on his own and do chapter summaries.  He is still also reading silently for 20-minutes a day - whatever he wants.  He needs to get more into the habit of reading on his own.  

After we settle into this schedule a little more, I'll add back field trips, nature study, and art to fill out the rest of the week.  And I just ordered 4 more books:  one on understanding poetry, one on paragraph editing, one on science, and one on US history.  I feel so good about how things are going so far.   


MissMOE said...

It's so good to find something that works. I used Saxon with my oldest for several years, and it was just what he needed at that point. Sounds like you are getting into the swing of things.

LaughingLioness said...

DS 12 is using Saxon Agl1/2 this year and after 3 yrs of wilderness wanderings it's a great fit! Love the Channel 1 news idea! Sounds like it was a rich week ; )!

NYCitymomx3 said...

Thanks. It's nice to hear some good stuff about Saxon from others, lol.

Silver Moon said...

I love those moments when curriculum and kid match so perfectly. Those "clicks" make it so much easier on kid and mom.

There's some Saxon sitting in our homeschool closet, too. I avoided it for years. When one showed up in a hand-me-down box, my math loving kid gobbled it up and asked for more. Who knew? ;-)

Looks like a great week!