Halfway

Actually we’ve finished Week 20 already, but it took me awhile to sit down and write things up.

The big change since the beginning of the year is that we have started our own law firm. That means my other work has gone from busy to insane. Fortunately DOB’s brother, who is living with us, is able to supervise school when I have to be at the office and usually four days a week I am able to get school done in the morning before needing to buckle down to work-work. Still, days are long. Hopefully it will slow down once we have things running a bit more smoothly.

So we’ve needed to streamline a few things. The big one was math–working through MEP Y5 just involved too much referring back to the lesson plans to make sense of the worksheets. We jumped ahead to MEP Y7, which seems to cover pretty similar ground but is designed for more independent work. So far that’s going pretty well, as they can work on it mostly independently while I work with the twins or am gone to work.

George Washington’s World has been especially good. They read one section each day; they don’t love them all equally, but generally their narrations are pretty good. Deux has developed a real interest in politics; when we read Abigail Adams Duchess will give a narration with all the Adams family news while Deux will rant about the stupid thing Parliament just did. We also started Plutarch and it’s challenging but going OK. For Shakespeare we are reading Twelfth Night and Deux naturally volunteered to be Sir Tobey Belch while Duchess again insists on being *all* the girls.

They don’t love Madam How and Lady Why as much as I would like, but I think they’re starting to get something from it. One rainy day they came in after checking out their fort and noticing the way the mud flows and water drips had made formations similar to those described in the the chapter about volcanoes; then they drew it up and wrote notes in their nature notebook.

The twins are still doing great with narrating and enjoying all the books (especially Just So Stories), but reading and math are still coming slowly, and I find I have to mix it up a lot. I also need to split them for reading instruction. I wound up printing off phonogram cards and letting them make up a game with them each time. Then we do a very short bit of reading, plus possibly some word building. Right now Dot is working on an Inch and Rolly book and Dash on Frog and Toad.

For math we tried doing MEP worksheets for a while, but they were way too abstract and writing-heavy. So we are just rotating through various activities: Cuisenaire rods, board games, blocks or legos, or just making up questions. I’m focusing on getting them solid on addition and subtraction to 20, with a little bit of multiplying and dividing in small numbers. In both math and reading progress seems slow but we have definitely moved ahead since the beginning of the year.

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