Friday, June 24, 2016

Prepping For Term 3

We’re gearing up around here for the beginning of our third term! That’s rather exciting as we look back over the first half of our year & consider all that we’ve accomplished. It’s also exciting because we can now see how much work we put into things.

Part of getting ready means printing out new portions of books & putting away the finished sections. The kids are on the final stretch of their lovely writing books which is bitter sweet in some ways, & very very exciting in others. They are both likely to finish writing in the coming term which will open up the opportunity for some other fun activities like creative writing from Story Starters.

In previous years we’ve made changes in Term 3 to accommodate needs, but this year we’re staying the course we paved in the beginning & carrying on. Morgan will continue to work on Bookshark History Level 7, he’s ahead of schedule & I’m quite curious to see how far he makes it in there this term. I wont’ be at all surprised if the spines are finished well in advanced of the various literature he’s using.

Jayden will be doing a literature study with the amazing Redwall. He’ll be using the Progeny Press Lit guide which I picked up from Currclick as a download. I have to confess that once I received it my mind was alight with many ideas which could take an entire term to wrap up, but we’ll just see where the actual lit guide takes him for now. We may purchase the fun Mossflower Country album from iTunes & the Redwall Cookbook as well, but time will tell.

If he finishes that study before the end of term I have more he can do depending on time. I also have a few mini studies he can do from HSITW or we may just cover some various American history for now. Our family has taken a huge hit with the latest US disaster, & while we ache for our fellow countrymen we equally ache for those who choose to seek us out to voice their unsavoury opinions. It’s remind me just how important is to be sure our children understand the basis for the founding of each country they are a citizen of. It’s far wiser to make their own minds up based on fact based truths then fact based opinions, & let’s face it there are a lot of opinions floating around on politics on every country in the world! 

We begin a new level of spelling, which is an incredibly huge deal in our home. If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know my kid struggle with VPD & spelling is not something that comes easily or naturally to them. There was much rejoicing & excitement over finishing the previous book last term & much delight over the world of new words they hoped to learn to spell quickly & correctly.

We’re also beginning a new grammar programme this term. I’ve really ignored the IEW bandwagon for a long long time. It’s not that I had anything against IEW, but rather I was content where we were & what we were doing worked for us. However, with the boys filters now being adjusted, or is that hormones levelling out here a bit & the filters working so wonderfully for them, I’m noticing some issues in grammar that I want to deal with.

I decided, after researching & speaking with some really awesome friends, to go with IEW’s Fix-It Grammar. It covers a few things from like vocabulary, gramma, & punctation. My kids have had basic grammar down for a while, & while I’m not that fussed about more in-depth grammar & absolutely disagree that you need it to be an amazing writer, there are still some areas that I believe they need to stay fresh with & others to brush up on. The punctation practice excites me too.

My boys know I’m a hard-knock kinda Mamma who doesn’t tolerate text-talk or any other form of slang spellings unless it’s an absolute rush or emergency. I’ve been known to reply back to my kids with, “When you can spell that correctly I’ll happily answer your question.” Thus, my children have been known to send me text messages that say, “Mum, this is my very best spelling, may we please..” Ha!

So while we’ve tackled the weaknesses in spelling I’ve noticed a huge issue with punctuation. My eldest has been dutifully working away on the first volume of Writing With Skill & doing an amazing job. But every single rough draft he asks me to look over has little to no punctuation. I was reminded, recently, of a comment my husband once received in school on his own writing paper & opted to try it out on my son. I took a huge breath of air, exhaled & took another. He honestly thought I was having an asthma attack, but rather then answer him I just began reading in one long rushed manner. Upon reaching the end I gasped quickly for air & told him I’d have enjoyed his piece far more had I been allowed to take breathes more often. Thus my desire for daily punctuation help.

Everything else stays the same, which is nice in it’s own way. It can be hard, sometimes, to adjust to the changes of a new curriculum or path, especially halfway through the year. We will have some big changes next year, at least for one child, but we’ll cross the bridge when we come to it! In the mean time we’re looking forward to another term of learning.

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