Thursday, November 15, 2007

MS 2007-2008

So, what are the kids doing individually this year? We'll start with MS, because, well, it's an oldest child thing.

Last year (2006), when we were in the States, I brought back this year's (2007) school books. We already had our 2006-2007 books, because a group of volunteers had brought them for us. I just knew that if I came back with school books over a year ahead of time that we'd end up evacuating, and I'd have to haul them right back to the States (think I've had similar things happen too often? :-/ ).

This, fortunately, did not happen. We only had one small repercussion from buying so far in advance: SL re-vamped their Language Arts program. So, I had to re-buy 3 levels of LA, 1 & 3 for JW & MS for this year and 2 for JW for next year. (We came back this summer with our 2008-2009 books, hoping that our "no evacuation" "luck" will hold up.)

So, MS is doing the new SL LA 3 for language arts this year. We got off to a late start, because FedEx made a shipping mistake and had to send our SL order here to us in the Middle East (shout out to SL customer service; they were great in helping us get this figured out).

That left us playing catch-up. We were almost caught up when I had the bright idea for the kids' school blog, which I've been using as MS's creative writing assignments for the past couple of weeks. I guess we'll catch up again at some point.

I pulled the Grammar Songs assignments from the old LA 3, because I wanted him to work through those, even though I'm assuming they're included in the new Grammar Ace program. With all of the "Songs" sets that we're using (Addition, Multiplication, Geography, History, etc.), I'm hoping to have the kids review them at least once after the first run-through to shore up the information.

MS is also doing the Core 3 Adv. Readers. We do our readers a bit differently, though. We don't read them as scheduled. I put their level of readers on their shelf along with all of the extra period-related history readers that I've bought for them and let them have at it. I keep a checklist of the readers, and I put one in their independent assignment folder (guess I should explain that; I'll do that soon). Occasionally, I sit down and ask them which books they've read. We don't do comprehension questions, but I usually hear enough about the books in casual conversation to know that their comprehending what they're reading (I don't let a kid loose on readers without being confident of their ability to read for comprehension anyway).

He reads these books during our daily "rest time," for at least 45 minutes and at night after the other kids are in bed if I feel like rest time has been too disjointed recently or if we've missed rest time for a day or more due to other activities. [Side note: after his 45 minutes and at bedtime, MS usually does "free reading," which is reading one or more of the myriad of other books we have in our house for the kids.]

For those interested, here is MS's checklist for his readers. We've added some period-related readers since then from a shipment of books we received (RIP M-bag service), mainly several books from the Mandie series, and a few of the Core 3 read-alouds, but this is most of what he's reading.

For Bible, our tradition has become to buy kids their own NIrV (the NIV with vocabulary changed so as to be at a 3rd grade reading level) Bible once they reach independent reading. [MS received a "Super Heroes" Bible in which major Bible characters are highlighted as heroes or villains along with their powers/downfallings.] I then have them read the daily Bible readings from the SL core themselves. I make a spreadsheet (of course) with the year's readings divided into six different columns. I put a small column to the left of each list. Cut apart, these become a bookmark for their Bibles where they can keep up with their reading by making checkmarks in the small column. Here is MS's Bible reading sheet for this year. I blacked out all put what appears on SL's website on the sample IG pages.

[I'm going to add a post at some point for what we do for art and music appreciation, because I just realized that I didn't include that in what we're doing for all of the kids.]

I just realized that this post is going to get really long, and I should have just gone ahead and put it up when I stopped working on it the other day, so I'll put it up now and probably get the other half up tomorrow.

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