Monday, March 31, 2008

Shel Silverstein and updates

Okay I broke my promise about writing more often. But I will definitely try to at least once a month, if not more. I've been meaning to write for a while, but I just get so exhausted with so much going on.

Alhamdolilah everything is going well with Connections Academy. My 6 year old is almost finished with all her courses for the first grade, just one more month left and we should be done them all. We did finish first grade math in December and have been doing second grade Math since January, so that's basically the only course we'll have left after the month of April, but we have to stop in the middle of it once the year ends at the end of May and then pick up where we left off after the summer in August. This year the courses we covered were:
Language Arts
Social Studies
Education Technology (computer course)
Physical Education
Spanish (Elective)

We are still working on Language Arts, Math, Computer Course, Spanish.

The only difficulty we've had this year so far is with Language Arts there was quite a bit of writing which took me a while to encourage my 6 year old to do. For example, if she had to write a story or letter of some kind, it would span over about a week. The first day we would read an example of a story or letter to get an idea of what is required. The second day we would brainstorm ideas and write an outline on the chosen topic. The forth day we would write the first draft of the story or letter. The fifth day we would write the final draft (unless they wanted us two write two drafts which they did at the starting of the year, then we would do another draft and then the day after the final draft.) All of this had to be in her own handwriting, so as you can see at the starting of the year this would take a lot of encouragement and assistance. But I spoke to her teacher about this and we decided not to push too hard and to let her take extra time if she needed. Now she actually enjoys doing all the drafts and outlines because she can write however she likes and then in the final draft it takes her over an hour cause she loves to make every single letter absolutely perfect. It's been great for improving her handwriting and assisted in keeping her focused.

Spanish was also a bit challenging because this year she had to learn and memorize quite a bit and then actually record her voice into an audio file of her reading certain stories or songs that they taught her in Spanish. But she LOVED getting feedback from her Spanish teacher telling her how well she read the story or how excellent her accent was when she spoke Spanish. So that really helped encourage her to do better and better in her recordings, which she does about once or twice a month.

Speaking of recordings, this year for her Poetry Book Response Activity she had to choose a poem that she liked, write it out in her best handwriting and then present it to a live audience or record it into an audio file for the teacher to listen to. Well last year she had presented hers to a live audience (some family and friends) but this year we recorded her and emailed it to the teacher. I thought she sounded so cute I made a little movie out of it and put it up on youtube since I hadn't put something up there for a while either. Here it is, enjoy! :)

I will write more soon about my 4 year old and how she is progressing and also a recent field trip we went on with Connections Academy!