This is what the boys are doing:
Apples and Pears Spelling- this is a special curriculum from the UK which works well for student with dyslexia, which I suspect he has. I'm really surprised that when tested, he placed at the beginning of book one. This is due to the fact that he cannot write lowercase letters. He has never been able to, physically form them correctly. He also has once a week vision therapy and about 30 minutes of 'homework' each day to reinforce what he does at VT. His vision therapist believes his problems writing and spelling are due to the fact this his eyes over-converge, so he has never formed a good visual memory of the letters.
He is such a good sport and doesn't complain about all the extra work. Despite those challenges, he LOVES reading. I have seen some really positive changes already, in just one month of VT. I'm hoping that with the completion of the VT, we'll also see some improvement in regards to his dyslexia. If not, we'll re-evaluate and go from there.
Lively Latin- Initially I was all set to use Latin For Children, but after a lot of research I heard how it was lacking in translation activities. I was fortunate enough to borrow LFC from a friend, and after looking through I decided those claims were well founded. We discovered Lively Latin, and it is wonderful! I think the boys will make huge gains in Latin this year.
Greek- He chose Greek on his own, I'm not sure why but I suspect it has something to do with the cryptic look of the Greek alphabet. He is finishing Greek Code Crackers, and then will move on to 'Hey Andrew, Teach Me Some Greek'. Seriously, I think he will easily be able to master Greek as his mind works in puzzles and symbols.
Math Mammoth- I am still LOVING this curriculum. It is very similar to Singapore Math, except much more student friendly. I LOVE how it teaches multiple approaches to problem solving, and teaches mental math skills. He astounds me at how well he can figure out problems in his head. He laughs when I have to pull out the calculator to check the problems he was able to solve in his head. He is still having a difficult time mastering the multiplication tables. I'm not sure if this is due to his dyslexia, or his 'whole to parts' learning style as he is so visual-spatial. We'll keep hammering away with the flash cards.
Balance Benders Math- Have I mentioned this child loves puzzles and problem solving? I showed him a sample page from the 'Critical Thinking Co.' catalog and he flipped! He begged me to order the book for him, and when it came in the mail he jumped for joy. He did the first four pages in his head and told me the answers, which were of course right. I've been having him use a page protector over the pages and writing on them with a vis-a-vis marker, or else he'd have the book finished in a week. This way, he can go through it multiple times. Here is one of the pages he did this week:
Genetics- This is the course that I developed for the boys, since I couldn't find an elementary/middle school unit on genetics. This week we learned the parts of an animal cell, and function of each organelle.
After they had a good understanding of the parts of a cell, we made an edible cell out of cake and candy. YUM!
(link) from the UK.
Guitar- He is working on a guitar solo, and still trying to get into the 'three second club' for the pentatonic scale. (He is down to about 5 seconds) His teacher is amazing, and really understands J-Straco. He knows when to push him and when to lay off. He is very pleased with this quick progress and has recorded him to show his other students.
Farm Boy- 4th Grade
Building Spelling Skills- from Christian Liberty Press. This works really well for him, as he is the type who likes to read the directions and go off on his own, without mom's help. It gives the spelling rules, and has many opportunities to practice them. There is also a lot of copywork, so I don't have to give him separate copywork anymore.
A Reason for Handwriting-Cursive- this works well for FarmBoy, as he is one who wants to be shown how to do something once and then have at it. He does not require a lot of hand holding or over-teaching.
Each day he works on a few words in cursive, then puts them all together on the last day of the week in a bible verse. He loves to write bible verses, and insists on copying them on a separate paper so he can hang them up around the house. He ditched his lined paper and snuck a plain white piece of paper when I wasn't looking, little stinker.
Farm Boy is also using Math Mammoth and Lively Latin, and working through our Genetics Unit.
He is such an easy kid to homeschool, I sometimes wonder if I'm challenging him enough. He is so methodical and intrinsically motivated, he works through anything I put in front of him without questioning or complaining. He is very strong in all areas, except those requiring creativity. He has NO artistic flair, whatsoever. I was very surprised at how well he took to the piano. His piano teacher is amazed at how well he can coordinate his two hands, keeping the beat with the left hand and playing the melody with the right. I may add back in Writing With Ease for him next semester, as he could use some work on narration, and composing and holding sentences in his head. I think the problem here stems from a maturity issue, though, and these skills will come soon.
Princess, Age 3
I am very hesitant to start her on anything yet, as I believe all learning should be through natural discovery until they are 4. However, she wants to do everything her brothers do, so I have ordered her two workbooks of her own. She will be working in 'Handwriting Without Tears', and 'Get Ready for the Code'. This will be at her choosing, and never forced by me. As she approaches age 4, we will start to pull out the Miquon Math, and Phonics Pathways.
That is plan as I know it, and I wouldn't be a proper homeschool teacher if I didn't add in the phrase, "all curriculum subject to change".