Well, we had a decent week last week. Made progress in reading and math and handwriting, in particular. A very basic week, but I think that I’m starting to get the hang of it.
A and S are plugging away. We didn’t get to phonics this week, but we did quite a bit of handwriting. Handwriting is ok. I still think we need to get A’s hand checked out, as he has a lot of trouble holding his hand properly (hard to explain in words, but he won’t rest it on the table along the pinky side of his hand). Could be nothing, but perhaps part of his problem with handwriting is that he needs to have further surgery on his hand, the way they suspected he might. Or maybe he’s just got “young boy handwriting” syndrome particularly bad, lol! S does ok with handwriting - but the boy presses SO hard with the pencil it’s rather frightening! Incidently, J’s handwriting is doing ok - I can tell he’s gained more fine motor control - right now one issue he’s having is that it just takes a particularly long time for him to write neatly. It’s agonizing to watch, really. I’m hoping that this new italic handwriting will help him gain some speed in another month or two, in addition to the neatness improvements I’ve seen. N likes to color and write, spends a lot of his freetime just drawing pictures, more so than his brothers ever did, so I’m hoping handwriting comes easier for him.
Worked at math quite a bit, but they are still struggling with subtraction, especially A. I think I just need to take a different approach from what the Math U See books are doing. Just focus on hard memorization of the addition facts they already know, and then go over the concept of subtraction. Hopefully, if they know their addition facts, it won’t be a big stretch to go to memorization of subtraction. I think I’m going to do the on-line drill, but also mix it up a bit with written worksheets. I think I’ll spend one day going over 2-3 “new” lessons on the DVD, then just take several days of drill work. Maybe that will go better than how things have so far. J is, as usual, doing well in math. He is reaching the point where he has to pay a bit more attention with multi-step problems, and he does tend to get careless. But, when he’s focused and paying attention, he is doing great. I think I will go at regular speed one more week, a short week, and then accelerate him for a few weeks again. He just seems to do better focusing when he’s going fast.
Reading is going well. I got S into “Nate the Great” - a bit higher level than the Arnold Lobel books he’s been reading, and you can tell. Rather than reading 95% of the book and getting almost 100% of the meaning, he’s reading about 85% of it and getting about 95% of the meaning. I think it’ll be good to stretch him a bit, then take him back down and see how he does. A is doing great. He is struggling a bit with words that are harder to sound out (Like “down”) but other than that, he is reading the paragraphs in 100 EZ lessons SO well, very easily, quickly - fluently! I’m so excited. I have noticed him reading more in regular life, too. It’s very exciting! J1 is getting back into reading after taking a few weeks off - he’s reading the “Foundation” trilogy by Asimov. I am hoping that Rick and I can read it and we can discuss the books. I would like him to get into more “critical reading” this fall, and I figure this series would be a good place to start. The biggest problem right now is finding books that he’s interested in that are appropriate! He’s no longer interested in any sort of kid book whatsoever.
All in all a decent week. We’ll continue along the same lines this upcoming week, a short week, but after that I hope to add in more stuff - science and history for J, science and more “Langauge Arts” type stuff, too. I also need to adjust my scheduling a bit - get started earlier, have less play time *before* school and more afterward.