29 January 2007

What we're up to these days

Current read alouds are Little Town at the Crossroads(yes, we continue our journey through all generations of Little House) and Wind in the Willows.

Kid2 continues to listen to The Easy French, and is now in the second semester of the program. We haven't been doing much written work in it, since her ability to read and write in English took precedence. So this is mostly a listen-and-speak program for us.

Kid1 decided to learn Spanish, and has been using Rosetta Stone homeschool edition to accomplish this. I have little to do with this except to pass by and comment, "When they're saying 'se esta cepillando' she's doing it to her own head, and when they say 'esta cepillando' with no 'se' she's doing it to the little girl's head." We like that the homeschool edition figures out what to do when, and even has her use the parts she wouldn't normally choose for herself.

For spelling Kid1 is using Spelling Power, and is now at level G. The longer we use it the more underwhelmed I am by it, but I am learning to keep my mouth closed about it. I think she wants to slog through the whole thing just so she can have a sense of completion.

Math is, of course, RightStart, Geometry for Kid1, Level B for Kid2. Somtimes we go off on other tangents, of course, reading other books about math or otherwise taking a break from the curriculum. Kid1 is at lesson 92 in Geometry, and Kid2 is at about lesson 42 in Level B.

Kid2 is whipping through Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, and is up to lesson 162. For the most part she can already read everything in the book, although she is occasionally caught up short by a word like "plague".

We follow up on OPGTR with First Language Lessons. We're into introducing the parts of speech (around lesson 50), which I think is stiflingly dull, so we spice things up with ideas from Montessori. I've been meaning to write a post about that ... maybe this week I'll get to it.

We read through Introduction to Classical Studies at lunchtime, and discuss the questions. Kid1 is breathtakingly good at synthesizing the information for the Honors Questions, particularly the Bible topics. On the other hand, no one can ever remember the names of ANY of the Famous Men of Rome, let alone what areas they're currently conquering.

Kid1 is working through Classical Writing Aesop, and has made it up to week 12. But, you know, I feel like it's not quite right for a writing program, so we use quite a bit of Bravewriter alongside (bonus: many Bravewriter ideas can be used for a 7 year old, so Kid2 can play along). She also practices on Mavis Beacon typing, the better to type up those CW Aesop essays.

Supposedly they're listening to Jim Weiss read The Story of the World and organizing activites on their own, but that doesn't really happen.

As for Latin, Kid1 has completed MInimus, and is back to slogging through Latina Christiana II, which she despises. Kid2 has started Prima Latina, which she's thrilled with. The Latin portion of our day desperately needs a revamp. It stinks. It's hard to say, "Oh, we use a Latin-centered curriculum," with a straight face when I know we can't stand the Latin program we're using.

They want to start a block on biology. I'm putting that together now. In the meantime, today's science lesson is making cream into butter.

As for extra lessons out of the house, there's dance twice a week, piano, choir, and swimming. We take walks, and spend time singing most days.

3 comments:

Joanna Mease from CAP said...

Gail,
Hello! We like to search the world wide web for the latest Latin buzz, and today we came across your blog, and read your frustrations. Have you seen Latin for Children? Would you be interested in receiving one of our Primers, as a free gift, just to give it a shot and see if we can spice up kid1's Latin lessons? We think we can...

If you'd like to take us up on it, send me an email at jmease@classicalsubjects.com

Thanks for sharing your work and your teaching. We wish you the best.

Joanna Mease
Classical Academic Press

GailV said...

Amazing coincidence -- I just bought Primer A of Latin for Children! But, wow, if I hadn't, what a cool offer!

I now have this mental image of a Latin-rescue-squad patrolling the Internet, looking for homeschoolers in trouble with their Latin programs, ready to step in and help. It's sort of like the Classical Ed version of Ghost Busters.

(And I now have the Ghost Busters song running through my head ... toying with how to change the lyrics to something about boring Latin curriculum ....)

Weaver said...

Would the title change be "Latin-blah-busters?" :) Can't wait to hear that catchy tune on the radio