We really stink in this area. I am going very slowly through the curriculum. We keep stopping to write letters, look things up in the dictionary, or ... I even count following a recipe as an English skill LOL! At this rate, we will be done with our second-grade English curriculum when the boys are in fourth grade. However, they WILL know how to use a dictionary, a thesaurus, and the phone book as well as write a complete sentence with a capital letter and the appropriate punctuation. I know that this is our weak spot, and we do work on it. I think it's helpful when we read our science and social studies texts aloud, as well as our reading materials. Since baby S's arrival, we have stopped working on Spelling. We will resume this in a month or so.
Elf has begun some third grade readers and Emperor has one more first grade reader when he is finished with Aesop's Fables. He took some time away from the readers to share Flat Stanley with us, and we are enjoying that immensely. Hopefully Flat Stanley will teach us some geography as well as he goes on his travels.
I have been using Everyday Mathematics worksheets and texts but teaching the math process in the traditional way rather than having the children come up with their own mathematical theories or introducing how to do the math in some strange new way. I suppose the main idea is to get the correct answer. Since I was taught in the traditional way and know how to get the problems done that way, that's how the boys are being taught. I have also purchased Horizons Mathematics for Grade 3 and the boys have *just* begun the review lessons. Emperor has not done the second grade work in Horizons, so we will need to completely stop at some point and do a unit on Roman numerals so that he will be up to speed.
We've just finished our unit on dinosaurs, although we may revisit it and do a few worksheets or activities. We will begin third grade science after a break of several weeks, during which we will finish second grade Social Studies.
We are beginning a unit on "What People Wore" in Colonial America. We are learning about the materials and colours of the clothes they wore. We are learning about not judging a person by the clothes they wear, but also the fact that you can tell certain things about a person by what they are wearing (construction worker, doctor, the climate in which one lives, etc.). These two ideas seem to contradict one another, but I think all of us need a healthy balance between those two ideas to function.
Elf and Emperor are currently in charge of folding all washcloths, cleaning their room at night, and making their beds in the morning. They also help me cook on Tuesdays.
We've finished two third grade units. The reading and the concepts are harder. We have memorized Psalm 37:1-8.
My feelings on Homeschool:
I vaccilate between thinking we have accomplished much and that we have accomplished nothing. Perhaps because I am so intimately involved in the education of Elf and Emperor that I see the gaps clearly. It feels as though we take two steps forward and one back when we are learning new concepts. We have finished over 910 hours of our required 1,000 yearly hours to satisfy the state of Missouri's homeschool requirements by July 1. Obviously, it will be very easy to finish all 1,000 hours by then barring extreme sickness or calamity.