Friday, February 6, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up

Whew! This week was a whirlwind of activity. We started out with a birthday last Saturday - Eli's best friend just turned 4!

They had a great time playing together!!
This is also the week that we both tried and ended a subscription to EPGY (now RedBird) K-7 math. Eli completed the EPGY Kindergarten math in just a few days, and for the most part, enjoyed the experience. While we were originally planning on using the subscription for a total of 3 months, that is not going to happen. Unfortunately, the company is in the middle of a huge transition, and I was really disappointed when we "upgraded" his account...only to completely lose all of his progress.  Unfortunately, the company also removed the parents' ability to adjust the level of the program, too. Sticking with the program meant that he might have had to go all the way back through the Kindergarten material...and I know that he would NOT have been happy about it.  So far, we spoken with them a few times, trying to get his account worked out, but I think - especially since we weren't going to use it long term - that it was better to go ahead and cancel his subscription.  Very thankfully, they had a two week money-back guarantee...though I was a little concerned when I was told that it could take as long as 3 weeks to get the money back!  In the interest of complete honesty...and in hindsight...I'm not sure that any super-structured program like that would last long in our house. I definitely am a big believer in the Montessori methods...and I absolutely felt out of my comfort zone with my tiny child on the computer, for 20 minutes a day, working on a tightly sequenced math program.

As far as math goes, we will be going back to the Montessori scope/sequence for 3-6 year old math. We will also continue using math/number puzzles as often as possible...Eli loves dot-to-dot puzzles, and did several of them this week. They are great for number sequencing, and Kumon has some great dot-to-dot/color by number books (with up to 150 dots!) that teach numbers/sequencing in a very fun way.  

In reading, we have also done a LOT of reading aloud this week. We went to our library and Eli and I both picked out several books to enjoy:

We read each of them several times and are getting ready to return them. One that is not pictured is the "Scrambled States of the USA".  We got it as a book with a read-aloud CD. Eli LOVES books on CD, and has listened to this one more than a dozen times. He is also obsessed with a story book app that I got for the iPad, and listens to the same stories again and again.

For reading "work", we've been reviewing short vowels to help Eli improve his reading fluency. Eli read through a short Abeka reader that he got from his morning teacher. Eli's become really, really interested in rhyming words and is now pointing out as many rhymes as he can throughout the day. This afternoon, he chose to work on a spelling app that we have. I peeked over his shoulder while he was working...just in time to see him spell 3 words: hamburger, ostrich, and mittens.  Granted, the app is corrects him when he makes mistakes (and he made a couple)...but when did he learn this?!?!

I ended up having to visit a school supply store midweek to get some supplies for my students. Eli spent time going from item to item, oohing and ahhing over every item that was remotely related to science or geography.  He found several electronics, robots, and experiments that caught his fancy. He really loved a solar system model that we came across (this *might* become a birthday present!). He even managed to find a game based on the "Scrambled States of the USA" and got really excited about it, since he enjoys the book so much. 

This week has also been a weird week of slightly, almost warm weather and FREEZING cold we've also had a combination of outside bike riding and inside 'creative' playing.  See example below:

I'm not sure why he needed his tools and motorcycle to play with his sand tray....but I went with it. Sadly, even though I have several ideas for really cool art projects, we've not gotten to a single one this week.  I mean...we DID color with crayons...but I'm hoping to plan next week a little better.

Finally, for 50 States Friday, we were supposed to be looking at/working on California...and though we did spend a few minutes on it, Eli mostly wanted to find some of his favorites (New York, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina). We did talk about Florida as a peninsula...I'm hoping to teach him more about the peninsula and island landforms next week.

Weekly Wrap-Up

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