Drama Queen in Training

I wouldn't have believed it unless I'd heard it with my own ears. This morning I sent Princess M back to her room to clean up the legos she had tossed all over. She fussed about it but walked into her room. After a half minute or so she let out a big sigh and said, "Mom, you're ruining my life." I have no idea where she picked that up from. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing, and then had to compose myself to explain why she really cannot talk to me that way. She really is a drama queen in training.


TOG Year 1 Week 4

Princess S - 5th Grade - UG

Latin For Children Primer A: Lesson 3 is finished and 4 is started.
Globalmania Geography: Beginning Europe.
Language Arts
Fix-It! Tom Sawyer: Finished through week six.
Grammar Town: She has one week left before starting Paragraph Town.
Practice Town: Finished through sentence 15.
McCall-Crabbs Book B: Done through lesson 12.
Caesar's English One: She began lesson 3.
Science - God's Marvelous Works: She is taking her first unit test on Monday.
MUS Delta: She is almost ready for lesson 14 test.
TOG Yr1 Wk 4: This week covered the first ten chapters of Genesis.   Last year, our church spent the entire year studying this section of the Bible.  And we studied it in depth.  So I decided that we would just take this week a bit lightly so that they didn't get bored with the overkill.  She began doing important people on Quizlet this week.  Reading: Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (UAW) - excerpts, What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers, The True Story of Noah's Ark, On Noah's Ark, Bible - Genesis 1-10.

Princess E - 7th Grade - D
Latin For Children Primer B: Lesson 5 and begin Lesson 6
Globalmania Geography: Same as above
Language Arts
Fix-It! Frog Prince: Finished through week six.
The Magic Lens: Working on verbs section.
Practice Town: Same as above
Essay Voyage: She wrote a paragraph on an animal (she choose a chinchilla) and finished the first unit.
McCall-Crabbs Book B: Same as above
The Word Within the Word 1 (WWW1): She is working on the third word list.
MUS Epsilon: Lesson 13 - She is having a bit of a time with reducing fractions.  I've printed out some extra worksheets so that she can have some more practice before taking the test.  I think the big problem is that she is leaving math for the end of the day and is in such a hurry to get done she just isn't thinking straight.
TOG Yr1 Wk 4: She had her second online class this week - and seemed to really enjoy it.  Timeline cards were done.  AQ/TQs.  Reading: Early Times: The Story of Ancient Egypt - excerpts, Tales of Ancient Egypt, Bible - same as above.

Princess L Through Week 6

Getting in a weekly update is just plain difficult this year!  I don't know how it's really going to happen.  So I'll just update on everyone when I can.  This post will be about Princess L.  We have been doing some major reviewing.  One problem with switching phonics curriculums as much as I have is that you have to do so much reviewing because each one teaches some things so differently.  If you don't start at the beginning, you don't always understand some of the lingo, acronyms or ways of marking words that are used.  They aren't all the same!  There are definitely some aspects of IEW PAL that I like.  At the moment, we are only doing the reading portion.  (She knows all her letters - though some are still backwards - so the first writing book was just too slow for her.  The story sequence is important, but we're going to hold off on that part until later.  The second writing book is mostly copywork, and I decided to get A Reason for Handwriting for her instead.  She really needs the starting dots right now as she has a hard time getting her letters a uniform size without that reference.)  We are pretty much doing two reading lessons a day.  I think she really could do one more, but I generally begin to run out of steam when we get to that point of our day.  Today we finished up lessons 28-29.

As part of IEW PAL, she has started All About Spelling Book 1.  I really like this program.  We aren't using it exactly as written, but she is flying through it.  We are already at step 13. Seeing as how both of her older sisters are great spellers, I'm not surprised.  However, one of Princess L's favorite past times right now is writing stories.  When she writes stories, all her phonics and spelling skills seem to disappear!  I'm anticipating that she will move into Book 2 sometime around her birthday in March.  Or perhaps we'll have to hold her off until after the MACHE conference to see if I can find it used somewhere.

She is also continuing to do about two pages of Explode the Code Book 3 each day.  She does this on her own, for the most part, except for the pages where you read the sentences and match it to the picture.  I do those with her.  And it is this exercise that has me convinced that she needs vision therapy.  She is going to be evaluated for it the beginning of October.

In Math, she has finally passed level two of Calculadder and has moved on to level three.  This level corresponds with MUS Alpha lesson 8 which is the +2/2+ facts.  When she gets close to passing this level, I will bring the Alpha book back out, as this is where we left off. 

Finally, TOG.  I say this with a big sigh because although I love TOG - I'm finding it difficult to work into her day.  It's not her fault.  Really, it the fault of her big sisters, who need to be brought back into focus every few minutes.  When I began TOG with the big two, both of them were much better readers than Princess L is right now.  So, I only read aloud one or two of the books each week, and they did the rest on their own.  By the time I finish school with Princess M, have had meetings with the big two, then have finished all  of the above work with Princess L (all the while bringing everyone else back to their tasks, attempting - and usually failing - to do some house chores, and keeping Princess M occupied throughout the day) I'm generally not awake enough, sane enough, or patient enough to sit down to read the TOG books.  Since we are in year one, much of the history is written in the Bible.  To me, that is really the meat of this year.  So every day we have been listening to this. This has been a wonderful addition to our Bible time! The girls usually draw pictures of what is going on each day as we listen. Sometimes we only listen in the morning. Other times we also listen at lunch. It depends how much reading is assigned in that week. This next week we will be listening to 29 chapters, so we'll listen three times most days.


TOG Year 1 Weeks 2-3

Short and sweet, because I'm pressed for time, here's our accomplishments over the past two weeks.

Princess L - 1st Grade - LG
IEW-PAL: Writing - I've set the writing part aside for the moment and purchased A Reason for Handwriting First Grade.  We're using the first part of the book to review letter formation and then will move to the one week lesson format.  To be honest, I just needed to add in some seatwork to begin her day with.  I'm usually trying to transition Princess M into a room time after finishing her preschool.  So to begin Princess L with some simple copywork that will keep her in her seat became a necessity.
Reading - We're working through two lessons a day and are up to lesson 20.  These are really review for her, but she needs the review.  I am pretty much convinced she is going to need vision therapy.  Having gone through it before with Princess S, I see all the signs when Princess L is reading.  I added in the All About Spelling portion and she is already at step 10.  I am modifying it slightly in that we do the ten words on the board.  If she gets any of them wrong, then I have her write those words on paper as well.  Then I give her the Reinforcement words to spell on paper.  So far she is doing great.
Math: She finally passed level 2 of Calculadder.  So we will do MUS Alpha lesson 7 (+2, 2+) and move to Calculadder level 3.  I added these to her flashcard stack at the end of last year, so while she has seen them, it takes her quite a while to get the answers correct.  But I have seen some improvement over the last five weeks.
TOG Yr 1 Wk 2-3:  Aside from the cookie dough maps, this has really fallen by the wayside.  It takes so much time to do school that I just don't have the energy to do these with her.  When we began TOG four years ago, Princess S was in 2nd grade.  We were doing the same level as Princess L, but Princess S was reading so much better.  She would read all the books on her own - even the ones I had told her we were going to do as read alouds.  Princess L is just not able to read any of these on her own.  I'm trying not to fret over it and will just do what I can.  She is listening to the Story of the World on CD with us over lunch, as well as listening to all the Bible readings with us in our morning Bible time.  I guess that's the important part anyway.

Princess S - 5th Grade - UG

Latin For Children Primer A (LFC-A):  Lesson 3 - She fretted again about noun declensions, claiming to not understand them.  But when she was willing to settle down and listen, she discovered it was quite easy.  Go figure!
Globalmania Geography:  This is our last week with the countries in Asia.
Language Arts
Fix-It Tom Sawyer: Finished through week five.  This last week we added in identifying quality adjectives.  She is finally beginning to understand the difference between to and too. 
Grammar Town:  She is on the home stretch with this book.  She had a fun exercise to complete this week where she had to come up with sentences using the three types of phrases she studied - prepositional phrases, gerund phrases and appositive phrases.  She did amazingly well.
Practice Town:  Both princesses are rocking at the four part sentence analysis!  Too bad they don't seem to be incorporating what they know into their own writing.
McCall-Crabbs Book B:  Done through lesson 10.
Caesar's English One:  She finished lesson 2.
Science - God's Marvelous Works:  She is studying for her first unit test. 
MUS Delta:  Today she aced the lesson 13 test. 
TOG Yr1 Wks 2-3:  These weeks she was learning about the various gods of Egyptian mythology as well as the beliefs about the afterlife.  These are incoporated with a study of the ten plagues that God inflicted a proud Egypt with.  It was interesting to see how they line up. 
Reading: Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (UAW) - excerpts, What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers, Bible - Exodus 19-40, Maia of Thebes, Pepi and the Secret Names

Princess E - 7th Grade - D
Latin For Children Primer B (LFC-B):  Lesson 4 and begin lesson 5.
Globalmania Geography:  Same as above
Language Arts
Fix-It The Frog Prince: Finished through week five.  She is beginning this week to identify one or two of the sentence openers.
The Magic Lens: Finish up section on adjectives.
Practice Town:  Same as above
McCall-Crabbs Book B:  Same as above
The Word Within the Word 1 (WWW1):  She worked on list two and tested on it.  She did a lot better on the analogy section this time.
MUS Epsilon:  Lesson 12 and begin lesson 13.
TOG Yr1 Wks 2-3:  This was to be the first week of her online class, but she ended up missing it.  I must have been reading the time difference wrong since the beginning and she ended up logging in to a Rhetoric Literature class.  She got out after ten minutes.  So she had to listen to a recording of the class.
Reading: Early Times: The Story of Ancient Egypt - excerpts, Science in Ancient Egypt - excerpts, Understanding Jewish Holidays and Customs - excerpts,  The Golden Goblet, Tales of Ancient Egypt, Bible - Exodus 19-40.

Princess M Preschool Check In 2

These first five weeks of school have been very hard.  We have had one great-grandmother pass away.  The other great-grandmother broke her leg and had major surgery.  Nanny came to visit for a week and a half.  Princess L was sick for a whole week.  Other various issues have plagued us as well.  So about a week and a half ago, I was feeling extremely discouraged about preschool.  I think it was just another in the litany of spiritual attacks that I have had to weather.  I have been lamenting that she just doesn't seem to be cooperating or getting the idea in many areas.  So I've been contemplating either dropping preschool completely or going with something a bit less structured.  One thing I had been doing is incorporating the letter stories from IEW's PAL curriculum that I'm using with Princess L.  The day after my major frustration hit, Princess M was paging through a workbook and pointed to the letter e.  She said, "Hey it's the toothy letter!"  She then pointed out an i and said, "And that's the sad letter!"  She could even tell me the sounds.  I was amazed.  So, I'm thinking that I just need to loosen up and not expect too much.  She will catch on in her own time.

So, we finished up the letter i this week.  I had figured to be all done with the vowels by now, but since I'm loosening up, I will not be pushing to finish on any schedule.  Here are a few pictures of some things we did.


We made an I iguana.


We made an inchworm.


We made an iguana bag puppet that says - of course - \i\.

We will be starting the letter O next week. 


Ancient Egypt Cookie Dough Map

Today, we had some good friends come over to join us in one of our favorite TOG activities - making cookie dough maps!  It was a lot more fun having friends join us.  The bigger girls took lots of time making sure that their elevations were just right - only to have them melt away in the oven.  But I think they completely understand that Upper Egypt is called that because it is higher in elevation, not because it is on the top of the map.  The little girls just had fun putting things on their frosting glaze.  Here's the photo of the whole group - acting silly of course!


Here's a slideshow of our afternoon.