Monday, August 30, 2010

Lesson plans / schedule

I've tried to be more organized this year, and since Kendall is doing more work independantly I've started using this scheduling method to list her assignments for the day/week:

Please excuse the wrinkled up page, this page has already survived a whole school day in a room with a 6th grader, her 18 month old sister, and a dog...

The subjects we're currently using are:
Reading Comprehension
(There is also a Misc. section)

You can see that I don't have the whole week of assignments filled in for every subject, because I may need to adjust depending on how she does on quizzes, etc (may have to spend more time on certain chapters, that sort of thing). So, for subjects that might need to be adjusted I sometimes fill them in as I go...I find that easier than trying to erase and start over.

This is really nice because she can get started on something herself while I'm changing a diaper or something, and I have an easy reference (for what pages I'm supposed to be looking at!) when I go back to check her work.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Toddler school / Your baby can read

Have you seen those commercials for the "Your Baby Can Read" program? I was highly skeptical when I heard of it, and I still am, but I watched the whole info-mercial one day and it was pretty convincing. My main objection was that the kids are just memorizing the picture and/or word on the card, but then parents were shown introducing new words to the children, they could "read" the new words also, based on the phonics they had memorized from the previous words.

My husband also saw the commercial and suggested that we buy the program. I scoffed (like I always do when he wants to buy something from an info-mercial), and proceeded to tell him how - if I even wanted to do the program- I wouldn't buy it anyhow because it is fairly spendy and would be much cheaper just to make it myself. Its just cards, pictures, and a video (showing words and pictures of things). The program is based on the concept that kids learn best through a multi-media/multi-sensory approach.

Now, I don't think its necessary for a child to learn to "read" as a baby. But I do like the idea of multi-media/multi-sensory learning. It occurred to me that I could do something similar at home, without even buying anything new at all. I already had word cards (with removable pictures). I've already been teaching her sign-language with a Baby Signing Time dvd (not shown) and sign-language flash-cards. So, I figured I could be just as successful teaching her through a multi-media approach using my word cards (written word and picture), video (including her participation with the sign-language), and flash-cards (which show the word and the picture on one side and how to do the sign on the other side).

The thing is, 18 month old WakeLee loves playing "school" and I don't have any expectation of her learning to "read" at this stage, but extra learning doesn't hurt, and I really think the multi-media approach is really helping her learn the signs better. I can show her the picture and ask her to show me the sign. I can show her the sign and ask her to tell me what it means. I can show her the word (with picture) and ask her to tell me the name or sign (and I demonstrate sounding out the word).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Brag Alert

Its time for my annual bragging - if you don't like bragging, please avert your eyes!

We got Kendall's 5th grade standardized test scores today...she did really well. Something that is really nice is that they give a grade level equivalent in each category so you can tell what grade level they are actually working at at the time of the test:

Vocabulary- post-high school level
Reading Comprehension - halfway through 6th grade level
Spelling- halfway through 11th grade level
Language Mechanics- halfway through 12th grade level
Language Expression- post-high school level
Mathematics Computation- 9th grade level
Math Concepts- post-high school level
Study Skills- halfway through 6th grade level
Science- post-high school level
Social Studies- post-high school level

So, John and I were talking about how to improve her skill her "weaker" subjects and I realized that its a pretty bizarre to have when the scores for her "weak subjects" are still above grade level... I'm really lucky to have a student that picks things up easily - it really makes things easier for me!