Little Red Riding Hood (9) ~ My girl had a really good first quarter. She thrived in our new homeschooling structure. She completed an entire Explode the Code book and is looking forward to my ordering another. She only made it through a small handful of chapter books this quarter, but they were all 4.1 to 4.6 grade level, according to bookwizard. She is still a very slow reader so I will be making reading one of her main goals next quarter. I will also be working hard with her on spelling. She did excellent with math with a 98% accuracy in Teaching Textbooks level 4. Her typing is coming along and she is narrating very nicely what we are learning. Her attitude this year is improving. However, it is still best that she doesn't know right away when she is getting things wrong. Her perfectionist side rears its head and she will do no more until she has had a good cry about whatever is going wrong. She is loving gymnastics and her tween classes at the dance company. She loves her new ballet instructor and thinks the bar work is GREAT! She will have at least three different dances in the "Nutcracker" this year. Everyone comments on her delightful flexibility, but she really still needs to concentrate on balance and strength. Gymnastics is helping with balance. She is learning to do a split and cartwheel on the balance beam (she has been doing splits and cartwheels on the ground since she was 5).
Tom Sawyer (11) ~ I am proud of the accomplishments Tom Sawyer has made this first quarter. He has read 12 chapter books (more if I included books that he re-read). They were all 5.5 to 6.9 grade level. He remained steady in math and language arts. He has always been bright, but I am happy to see him becoming a more solid student. He is doing a better job getting the "not so exciting" work done. He is working hard to keep his hands in the right place while typing and his speed is increasing. He is still struggling with creative writing and has lots of trouble thinking up what to say. He is sitting still and being much less disruptive this year. The removal of Goldilocks from the two younger children's lessons has impacted Tom Sawyer the most. He is a much better student and is no longer the class clown of our little homeschool. It is amazing to me how much the negative sibling dynamics between Goldilocks and Tom Sawyer were impacting his studies. His complaining about school has almost ceased and he gets right to work on the day's lessons. He has good insight with our literature and history lessons and answers the questions much better than last year. He is also enjoying gymnastics and boy theater. He is a bit disappointed that there are only two boys in his theater class. He even has hinted that he might want to go back to ballet if the class does not increase.
Goldilocks ~ What a change there has been by schooling this one in her room! She is doing a much higher quality of work than I have ever seen out of her. Mind you, she is still working/struggling in third grade curriculum when she is supposed to be in seventh grade. However, I am delighted to see her putting some effort into her studies. She is writing, reading and doing math every day. I am happy to see some progress in spelling, typing and book reports. The weekly book reports are filled with typos, but her thought process is very slowly improving. She is using the word "and" more appropriately in sentences (instead of a dozen in one sentence). She is reading at least one chapter book a week. They are mostly Magic Tree House books, which are 2.6 to 3.0 grade level. She really wants to read the Royal Diary series and is struggling through one of those books right now. They are 5.9 grade level. I am really happy to see her desire to learn increasing. I have always thought that if she could drop her lousy attitude, learning would be easier for her. She is still having tons of attention issues. Her tutoring is going well in math. Goldilocks has made the biggest improvement in vocabulary, likely as a result of the many audio books she listened to this quarter. She has completed the entire Narnia series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Freaky Friday, The Wind in the Willows, and Ballet Shoes.
Our American Girl Doll Club ~ The most exciting thing this week was the second meeting of our American Girl Doll Club. The kids finished learning about Rebecca. They learned how to crochet chains. Now, they need to learn a new stitch or we are going to have yarn chains as long as our house! I never thought they would take to it the way they have. We also made bagels from scratch. This is a very hard project without a Kitchen Aid mixer, which I don't have. (I guess we had an authentic experience since they wouldn't have had such things in turn of the century America -- especially not in the poorer neighborhoods.) They came out pretty well and everyone enjoyed them. I think it was a bit too much flour and yeast for Tom Sawyer. He was off for a while even with the use of supplement, GlutenEase.
Favorite Book this Quarter ~ Our favorite book was listening to War Horse. What a superb book about the first World War! It kept us on the edge of her seats until the very end (which was mostly happy or at least a relief). We have not seen the movie so I do not know if it is good. I don't think we will either. There are many deaths of horses and men in this story. I do not think the kids are up to the graphics that movies add. It is best just for them to imagine it the way they have. Anyway, this story was probably our favorite for the first quarter.