Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Last Couple of Weeks In Review

Since Christmas break, we really haven't been able to get into a groove. We've had tons of frustrating moments, and we've just haven't gotten a lot done. To add to the fire, I'm trying to learn a couple computer languages, leaving less time for lesson planning. Since we're not in our house, we don't have dedicated space like before. We use our bedroom. Thankfully, I decided to change venues, making a break to the living room. Instead of just starting a lesson, I went back to how we did in kindergarten with something similar to a circle time. It was funny because she wanted to sing all our old circle time songs. The change of setting really prepared her for learning. When it's warmer, I may take her to the park a few times a week to do lessons there.

Here are some of the things we've done in the last couple of weeks. Don't judge! We run homeschool in the afternoons and on weekends, basically whenever we can. I'm looking forward to Valentine's Day. There will be no school on that day. That'll give us time to catch up on lessons, and I can actually do a deep condition on that hair of hers.


This week we worked on making change. We used post-its to put prices on random items. Using real coins, we counted up from the amount charged using pennies until we got to a multiple of 5¢ or 10¢. Then we would used the appropriate coin(s) to get the original amount given by payee.

In addition, reviewed mentally adding double digits and +8 and +9 rules (+8,+9 video coming soon). I really want to concentrate on mental math, but like anything it takes lots of review and practice, practice, practice.


We're supposed to be ending our unit (which began at the beginning of the school year) in personal narratives (See Our Forray Into The Personal Narrative). She's been wanting to write fiction since the beginning. I'm getting ready to move on, but now she wants to write a book about her recent experiences. This week we began chapter one which is about two manuscript pages. For the first time, they don't include any drawings, and I like it better that way. My "bad mommy" thoughts are that I hope she has forgotten or that we can divert her attention and write a book of fiction. We need to move on from this never ending personal narrative unit. Maybe we'll do both. Who knows!



We haven't done a lot on reading, and honestly, I don't think she's improved that much. Her teacher says it's because she's already so advanced, but for me, I do believe that she should be a year ahead of where she placed at the beginning of the year (5th grade 3rd month). She's just now begun to start reading books at school at the grade level she tested in at the beginning of the year. The only thing that I think would keep her from reading higher would be vocabulary. Her vocabulary is already kind of cool for a 1st grader. I often giggle when she uses words like putrid or abhor. They're not big words, per se. They're just words you don't hear that often from someone her age. She's getting some of the words from her gifted class, but the great thing about it, is that she's actually using these words. I learned the words just for tests, but she's figuring out a way to use them in daily life.

My reading plan of attack is two fold. First we'll concentrate on vocabulary. I'll present more words, reward her for using them, remind her to use them, and use them myself. We already have a notebook to write down new words, but just haven't used it that much. We'll try to do a word daily and then add these words to her spelling lists. When the word is first introduced, it'll be her job to figure out the pronunciation. Then she'll have to write sentences using the word.

Secondly, we'll institute a timed reading session everyday- thirty minutes on weekdays and two thirty minute sessions on weekends if time permits. Our library day is Thursday. I'll pick out books at our local library. She'll pick out a book daily at her school library. Some of the books we're reading are above.


Same beat as here, Non-Drumma Momma.


Bridges and handstands.

Black History

For music and black history, we've been learning "Lift Every Voice." She loves the tune. In addition we've been reading about African civilizations and important figures in African American history. Next week, I plan on using lessons from Jawanza Kunjufu's Lessons in History: A Celebration of Blackness.


Finding Subject/ Verb, Linking Verb vs. Action Verbs, Adjectives. You can find the first part of our lesson, here.


  1. I think it is cool that you are able to incorporate schooling later in the day and on weekends. Last year, our girls went to ps and I taught first grade. It was so hard for me to get in the groove of doing our homeschool work. We did things but very inconsistent. Thanks for showing me the two can coexist.

  2. Hey, Latonya. Thanks for commenting. I am not at all consistent when it comes to our homeschooling. I've been in the school system before, and during those times, I did the least with my daughter. Next year, I am hopeful that either my husband or myself will be able to work from home and homeschool her exclusively. I've done it before, but I really didn't do a good job with the social aspect of the schooling, but hopefully I can find a community of support our next time around. I would love to learn more about your homeshool experiences, being a (former?) ps educator. Be blessed.