27 September 2011


Had a root canal done on Monday, which has really thrown me for a bit of a loop. This week I've relied heavily on English worksheets, Snap Circuit sets and chesskid.com to teach Emperor. He's doing just fine, but I have just given him work that doesn't require a lot of hand-holding this week. It is a very good thing that if I give him a list of "things to do," he's motivated to finishing the list.

Every morning, Emperor does either the lecture and the first ten problems in his Algebra, or he finishes the lesson from the day before. He sharpens his pencils before going to bed. I stack the books he'll be using, and off he goes after breakfast to work.

He watches videos about chess, practices his tactics and plays online chess games for about two hours each day. He spends about an hour on mathematics. Science varies depending on how much stuff I assign him. He loves science. Latin? Not his favourite, but he can memorize prayers in Latin and recite 'em back. Don't know that he is getting any very deep instruction in the subject yet, but he's in an elementary-level course.

English is one of those funny subjects, though, that can take a very short time or practically forever depending on how fuzzily the work is worded. It's hard to explain, but I'll try. Emperor has trouble with relating why a character might feel a certain way or what might happen next in the story, but not much trouble finding the verb in a sentence or even diagramming sentences.

Emperor has been working through Critical Thinking's Reading Detective A1 workbook. It is very difficult for him, but he has been getting a bit better at getting this done. One thing I like about it is that it numbers or letters various paragraphs and sentences so that when the exercises are being completed, instead of writing a huuuuge essay about why Cindy doesn't want to go to the zoo, Emperor could just write the sentence number that shows why Cindy doesn't want to go to the zoo. He would have to find the specific sentence that would back up what he's saying. Often I've been able to show him a sentence that would be a better fit to a question.

I actually got the Reading Detective workbook from Andrea because she had a contest and I was the fabulous prize winner. I'm surprised what a great fit it's been for Emperor learning-wise this year. I would definitely consider buying other things from the Critical Thinking company after seeing how well it's worked for Emperor. And no... I don't get any kickbacks for recommending it or anything like that. Bummer. :)


  1. Critical thinking really is awesome! I sold them for a while, but I don't care if anyone buys anything or not, so that was a bust!

  2. the reading detective sounds similar to reading comprehension tests we were given in primary school; we'd read the story, then have to answer a range of questions about it to see how much we'd understood.

  3. I used to love reading comprehension exercises back in school
    yes, I can remember that far back :)

    hope your teeth feel better soon

  4. Hope you are feeling better! I have never had a lot of pain with a root canal. I wonder if you should talk to your dentist.

    We are having a DEAR day today -- Drop Everything And Read. I have a very sore throat and my sinuses are full of concrete. Lovely. Not. I knew it was coming! Now that it is here (and hopefully as bad as it is going to get. I want it to go away.) My kids are not independent learners at all. When the teacher is not on the job, neither are they. :o(

  5. Glad that you are feeling better. Must be a nice change of pace to have it just be the two of you this year. Hopefully you'll be back into the swing of things in no time. :)

  6. LOL, I know what you mean about the kickbacks. I'm in sort of a dilemma now. I'm all about Frugal living yet I just had to review a $70 maternity shirt. Now I feel like a hypocrite. "Yes, we should all live frugally. How about this $70 shirt?" I'm putting it off till I can figure it out. However, it was frugal for me because I got it for free. I can't say that in my post though.

    Ohhhh man, a root canal? Yikes. I feel for you. That is NOT fun!


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)