We started using our full curriculum today. The kids had continued with math and reading through summer, but today was back to the array : math, handwriting practice, science, writing, and reading.
They did well for the first day. They had all but reading done by the time we had to leave at noon.
Nate said, "It's good to be back to school."
(See my astonished face behind him?)
We're studying the body (part 2). This unit is on circulation. Nate gets squeamish about body discussion, moaning and writhing when he took his own pulse (not to mention how he squirmed watching the animated heart pump blood). He kept his sense of humor as I pointed out that his hyperventilating over the heart was making his heart work harder.
Madelyn is reading her first Judy Blume book: Otherwise Known As Shelia the Great. I don't know where she lands in the school-sanctioned reading levels. I said, "If there are too many hard words--if it's frustrating--we can go back to Judy Moody books."
She did two chapters today and said, "It's fine."
They're doing writing together--one less subject to split. Madelyn writes a lot on her own, so I gauge her skills to be almost even with Nate's. I found Writing Magic at the library and appreciated its supportive tone and the many options for writing practice. I bought a copy for home. We'll toggle between grammar (structure--yawn) and free form creating (yay!). Also, I subscribed to the Free Dictionary Word of the Day. The home page occupied us a full ten minutes as we played hangman and guessed at spelling and hit the British pronunciation button repeatedly to hear "concurrence." It sounds so elegant in British.
We also resumed the token system.. They must do their schoolwork (sans major griping) to earn a poker chip. They trade those in for consumable entertainment, like computer time and the Wii.
No one has to pay to create anything, though. Writing and drawing (even on the computer) are free.
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