It has also been awhile since I have filled you in on what we have been doing in school. Things have actually been going pretty well now that we have gotten into the new rhythm of having Baby B in the house.
Here's what we are working on:
Jo is improving her reading skills daily! She can sound out words and pick out a number of sight words. She has an uncanny ability to memorize, so she is doing great on her AWANA verses and we have taken the challenge together to memorize Psalm 62. So far, I have verse 1 down, and she fills me in on the following verses! Pretty much the only thing that we are pretty consistent in doing every day is her copy work, which is to copy her AWANA memorization for the week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then she can copy an old verse on Thursday and Friday or she can work on Psalm 62. Her handwriting is very nice, and writing out the words she can't spell or read herself but then memorizes helps her to remember longer words and really builds on her vocabulary.
In math, she is working on money and counting by 5's, 2's and 10's while reviewing addition. She will also tell you she can tell time, but that's just on digital clocks, so I'm not sure that counts!
For geography, we read an article about a missionary and found where she lives, where she goes and who she helps. We also did a brief lesson on Afghanistan, but I didn't get nearly into it as much as I had wanted, and I think that we will revisit it, hopefully soon. She can identify where we live, where Afghanistan is, where El Salvador is, where Rwanda is and, of course, where France is. Elizabeth is doing a report on Egypt, so Jo is interested in that, so I think that's where we'll go next.
Science at this point consists of trips to Huntley Meadows and watching what the beavers and geese are up to over there. The beavers have now added a pair of jeans to their den. Who knows where they got them from, but they are there incorporated into the outer wall of the den!
Social studies consists of talking to the mailman every day as he comes by. Gabriel and Jo love him! He addresses them by name and always has a piece of mail to give each of them to bring into the house. Oh, that and watching the trash and recycling trucks come by on Tuesday morning.
We decided to keep Jo in the gymnastics class for a while longer to see how things go, and she seems to be settling in a bit better now. She really likes it, and it is nice because we also get a chance to go to open gym once a week and Gabriel can go, too, and play on the equipment. I figure that's fair. I don't want to get him into gymnastics because I really want Jo to be able to have her own thing, but open gym is different since it is not a class, and Jo gets to show Gabriel how to use all the equipment, so it works out.
Elizabeth is, as I mentioned before, working on a project about Egypt. She must present Egypt in 8 minutes in a fun and interesting way. This is part of her literature class that she takes at the library once a month. She has been procrastinating on getting this done, but since I told her that I would not take her to Kung Fu classes on Thursdays if her school work is not caught up, she has suddenly turned into quite the scholar.
She is taking on quite a few baby sitting jobs during the day, but I told her that jobs or no jobs, she must have her work up to date or no Kung Fu Thursdays!
She is really doing well in her Kung Fu. She took the belt test on Saturday and passed! Now she is a gold belt. This is the first test that she has taken and didn't really know what to expect, but it turned out that it had much more pomp and circumstance than what she thought! She had to show that she knew the drills and forms, and then she had to fend off repeated circle attacks. Once she did that and did well, she was asked to kneel in front of her teacher and an oath kind of thing was recited. I didn't know it was going to be like that, so I wasn't there, but I would like to see the next one!
The next book for her reading group is The Iliad, but we are looking into finding another reading group. I am not sure that this group that she is in right now is meeting what we are looking for. It is part of the African American Homeschool Support Group, which Elizabeth still participates in on Thursdays, but I'm just not sure if the book discussions are what she needs right now. I told her that if she found another suitable group, then she would not have to read The Iliad. We'll see what she comes up with. If she comes up with nothing, then I guess she really does want to read The Iliad.
Her spelling is still horrible, which I wouldn't usually say online here for all to see, but she admits it, and it was my claim to fame, too, so we're in this boat together. But she is still slogging through her tests and actually getting some of them right sometimes. Well, it's not that bad. Usually.
Right now, she is upstairs working on her biology and Algebra 2. Biology will be done by the end of the year, but since we started Algebra 2 late, (in February) I don't think that she is going to get through it by the end, whenever that is anyway.
Gabriel is funny because after we read a book before nap or bedtime, he wants to sleep with the book standing up on his bed so he can see the title. I heard him sounding out the words of the title of the book we read yesterday, and then his little finger poked out from under the blankets to point out the letters of the words. We don't do any formal schooling with him at all, but it seems that he is already working things out on his own!
Jesse, however, at the ripe old age of 13 months, still shows very little interest in walking. I would say that it is nice because then he stays put more, but really he is a very fast crawler and climbs and and cruises everywhere, so it's not really too much different other than when he is upright there is more chance of tumbling over and off things.
And that's pretty much what's been going on in our schoolhouse!