Sunday, February 20, 2011


Math at our house requires a few things:
an action figure for company,
a snack for brain power,
and a really rad hairstyle for general coolness!

I love it!

What odd things go on during your homeschooling?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Quick Peek Into Our Day

I am listening to Cullen read Because of Winn-Dixie aloud to me this week. He's loving the story and enjoying the chance to say the word "ain't" without correction. This is a terrific story and new to me. Don't miss this one, if you haven't read it.
Because of Winn-Dixie
This morning he mastered long division, with and without remainders. It is clear by his smile that he feels a great sense of accomplishment today! (Me, too!)

While I am heating up some soup for our lunch, my little guy is having a quick Pokemon break. He is currently fascinated with these - and no wonder, really. They are adorably cute AND they are constantly pairing up to do battle. What little boy wouldn't find them appealing?

After lunch, we have a bit more work to do - a little language arts, piano practice, and some reading on American history from Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) which we both really like, recommended through Tapestry of Grace:

Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books)

Late next week, we head to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown in Virginia for our biggest field trip ever. Yes, I'll be sharing plenty of photos when we get back. I may be more excited about this trip than Cullen, but I'm pretty sure he will end up having a blast and learning a few things along the way.   

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Writing Challenges

Writing - not handwriting, but composing thoughts and getting them down on paper in a coherent manner - is currently my primary focus for Cullen this semester.

He will tell you adamantly that he doesn't like to write. That's not entirely accurate, however. He loves to write, as long as I don't ask him to make an effort at correct punctuation and sentence structure. In his opinion, the words "edit" and "revise" are the most dreaded in all of the English language.

And don't even bring up the topic of spelling! If a reader can manage to work out what the word is most likely supposed to be - well, that's good enough. Never mind years of 100's on spelling tests. It's not important enough to even make the attempt to remember correct spelling!

Other than those pesky mechanics, he will work for hours on his own little books and comics and lists, etc. He presents his ideas very well. Just take it slowly if you wish to read them!

Amazingly, his own distinctive voice is quite clear in his writing. It usually reflects his sense of humor, his habit of intentionally interrupting himself with asides, and creative use of punctuation (as he understands it at this point) to include rhythm and get it... right?

We've just finished reading through Grammar Island, taking our time and discussing along the way. I am so glad to have found this series! It takes a completely unconventional and refreshing approach to grammar with beautiful, playful language and artwork. Word nerd that I am, I just adore this book! Even better, though, is hearing my eight -year-old beg to do more grammar!

While it was originally created for gifted learners, its light-hearted conversational/narrative style is perfectly suited to the one-on-one setting of at-home learning. We made our way through at an easy pace, having fun with every lesson. Next, we'll continue with the companion, Sentence Island, which has a greater focus on writing and building sentences, and also review concepts with Practice Island at the same time. The entire MCT Language Arts Curriculum can be found here at Royal Fireworks Press.

I feel confident we are on the right track with grammar and mechanics. Now if I can just convince him that spelling really IS important... He thinks so independently, and just because something is a priority to me, he feels in no way obligated to adopt my way of thinking

Actually, he's been asking to start his own blog, but I've just been putting it off. Maybe if someone other than Mom will be reading, he might raise his standard on his own. Oh, I hope so!