Friday, November 7, 2008

School Days

This school year has without a doubt given us the L.O.N.G.E.S.T. school days of our homeschooling careers. Tapestry of Grace Year 2 offers a TON of information to squeeze in to each week, and all of it is so good that I can't get myself to cut much out.

Brittany is in 10th grade, so her days should be rather intense, and they most certainly are. Meet her latest and most frequent companions...

She has had many hefty literature assignments so far, including an assortment of medieval lyric poems, Chanson de Roland, Beowulf, Dante's Divine Comedy, and Canterbury Tales. I've been trying to keep up with her assignments myself, so that our literature discussion times will be more engaging. This is one of the main reasons why I have NO time to keep up with blogging. My free time (if there is such a thing) has also been spent with our family friend "Norton" :0). Our discussions are one of the highlights of my week, as I love to hear Brittany's insight into literature, worldview, etc. She blows me away every week. What a special young lady she is.

Brant's load has increased substantially this year as well, and I've seen a HUGE growth in his ability to work independently and manage his time wisely. It's so amazing to watch as each child matures and continues to meet the ever-growing challenges set before them. He, too, is reading many of the classical pieces Brittany is reading, but at the Dialectic level. I've found a GREAT new spelling program for him: All About Spelling. I am so excited about this program! It is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to spelling, using kinesthetic, auditory, and visual modes of learning. If spelling is not your child's strong point, I definitely recommend giving this program a try. It is much more user friendly than the other at-home Orton-Gillingham programs I've seen.

I am having so much fun teaching the "little kids"!! Brock is sooooo very eager to learn, and he is SOOOOOOO very BRIGHT! I describe him as a very "with-it" kid. He catches on to things extremely fast and is intensely observant. He knows all his letter sounds and is reading and writing 3 letter, short vowel words! For math, we are using Math-U-See Primer, and we are progressing through this book right on schedule. It is so cute to hear him go down "Decimal Street", knocking at each "house", saying "How many are home?" Everyday, he looks ahead in his books and asks, "Tomorrow?" I feel like I could be challenging him more, but with the language still being somewhat of a barrier, it is difficult (and likely unwise) to progress any faster than we are. His vocabulary continues to build and build. I am daily amazed that this little boy's paperwork labelled him as "profoundly deaf". Yes, he does have conductive hearing loss, but truthfully, we usually don't even realize it anymore, as he hears and understands most of what we say.

Brielle is our little tag-along learner. She, too, loves to do school. At first, I thought there was going to be a problem, because she would answer all of the questions I would ask Brock - before Brock had a chance to answer :o). I would be sounding out words with him, and she'd yell out the sounds, and then the word, before we were finished. She has most definitely benefited (in so many ways) from having Brock join our family.

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