Friday, April 27, 2012

The Search for an English Curriculum

I have been searching for a good english curriculum that fits Audrey's learning style.  First, we tried First Language Lessons, but we found it to be SOOO boring.  I was bored and hated doing the lessons and my girls were nearly bored to tears!  So first language lessons went out the window and I started searching again.  I found a wonderful resource called "English Lessons for the LDS child."  It was free and very well written!!!  I love all the poems and scriptures that are memorized in the curriculum.  So what's the problem with it?  It requires a LOT of copywork.  Even when I scale the copy work down, there is a LOT of copywork, and little miss Audrey HATES writing.  She already has to write for spelling, and science, and write in her journal weekly, so adding THAT MUCH more writing on was causing a battle of wills.  So, on to the search again!!!  I am highly considering the Rod and Staff enlglish for 3rd grade.  I would do that workbook and continue the memorization following the ideas from English Lessons for the LDS child.  (Audrey LIKES to memorize).  The rod and staff seems to be more of a fill in the blank kind of workbook, which Audrey would be MUCH more willing to do. 
Does anyone have any experiene with Rod and Staff?  What do you think?  Do you like it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Math Plan

Both of my girls have finished up what I deem the NECESSARY math assignments for the year.  Marissa (kindergarten) has finished Singapore Math 1A.  There is no reason to push her into Math 1B yet.  She's already going to be WAY ahead come fall anyway.  Audrey (2nd grade) has finished Singapore Math level 2A.  I COULD get her started on level 2B, but when I looked at it, it is QUITE advanced for 2nd grade.  I guess that's why the website says that an AVERAGE 2nd grader will do 1B and 2A in second grade.  So we are taking a hiatus from our workbooks and focusing on addition and subtraction fact families from now through the end of the summer. 

The plan:  Both girls will be practicing the fact families 0-9 for both addition and subtraction.  They each get 5 minutes of practice time, followed by test time (Audrey gets 3 minutes, Marissa gets 5) to try and pass off their current fact family.  Each test has 50 problems and they have to miss less than 7 problems in order to pass off that family.  We are starting with addition from 0s and working up to 9s.  Then we'll tackle subtraction from 0s up to 9s.

The motivation:  I have fond memories of third grade math.  I remember working on the multiplication tables from 0-12.  Each table we passed off earned us part of a banana split.  The more tables you passed off, the bigger and more elaborate your banana split.  We have decided to recreate that this summer.  My girls are trying to earn a pizza and banana split party.  We have set the date for the party on August 20th.  Whatever the girls have earned at that point is what they will recieve at the party. 

The Breakdown:  The Banana splits are being earned with the addition facts.  0= spoon 1= bowl 2= banana 3= scoop 1 of ice cream 4= scoop 2 of ice cream 5= scoop 3 of ice cream 6= syrup (choloate, caramel, and/or strawberry) 7= whipped cream 8= sprinkles 9= cherries.
The pizza is earned through subtraction facts.  0= flour (for crust) 1= water for crust 2= yeast for crust 3= salt for crust 4= sauce 5= cheese 6= topping 1 7= topping 2 8= topping 3 9= topping 4.

Hopefully we'll have a big old party with tasty pizza and banana splits in about 4 months!!!  Both girls are already on the +2 fact family!