Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dual Schooling

Calvin has been a rock star in my book this year, as he’s taken on local school.  He is doing really well, especially given the fact that he is relearning the language.  Thankfully all the math concepts are not new, so he’s just focusing on learning vocabulary and language. 

He’s such a social kid, is a big reason why he loves it so much.  His class is huge, 35 kids.  But he has a teacher who can handle that number well.

I had a parent meeting at his school this week and his teacher passed out his dictation books.  They really stress penmanship here and they learn cursive right from the start.  I was so proud to see solid 4’s in his book.  5 is the best you can do, so it would be like a B.  For a mom of a child who has never written a lick of this before and is still learning words and often has no idea that things are names and should be capitalized I was pretty proud.  Especially since I noticed quite a few others had the same marks, so he’s hanging in there with his peers.

So far his favorite class is National Language class, he’s not only learning the trade language, he has class 3 days a week studying a 3rd language.  All kids must take this class and they are split into groups, those who know the language as their native tongue and those who are of a different ethnicity.  It’s funny that this would be his favorite class, but he’s excelling and has a hefty collection of stickers from his teacher to prove it.

So every day he goes to school at 8:15- 12:00, Thursday he stays an hour later since they have art class, and he has been spending 3 hours in the afternoon with a tutor to catch him up on his language skills and help him with his homework.  It’s working.  We’re about to drop that down to 2 hours so she can work with Micah too.  So I’ve felt very bad adding in extra homeschool on top of his studies.

Until November.  Then we started adding in some extra work, and so far no complaints.

Each day he has a folder and I insert something into it.

So far we’re keeping it light and on breaks we’ll do some extra projects.  He’s finishing up his GoPhonics program, so some days he has worksheets, other days it’s a story he must read, and some days it’s a game.  He only has a few lessons left.  After this we’re going to use explode the code online this year.  He’s very eager to get to play games for school.  Honestly I think it’s what’s motivating him to want to do more school.

He has a journal that I give him some writing prompts.  Since handwriting is something he struggles with in some days I give him a page out of draw write now, where he must draw something, then do some copy work, usually 2 sentences about that animal.

We're slowly working our way through First Language lessons for the well trained mind.  I figured since he's learning poems in local school he might as well add a few in English.  Hopefully this program gives him some framework for grammar, something I felt Go Phonics didn't emphasize enough.  Well I should say I didn't emphasize it.

We do All about Spelling at breakfast when we’re not rushed to get out the door.  I am hoping it helps his spelling skills improve this year, we started on level one and we'll work our way through level 2 as well.

And whenever he feels up to it in the evening we’ve been doing Singapore Math.  He loves it and the concepts are still reviewing what he learned last year.  I didn’t plan on doing much with math but he’s only adding by 2 and 3 in school and he needs to be practicing double digit addition/subtraction, problem solving, etc.  We started at Singapore Math 1B, and it’s mostly review but once we get to 2A he’ll have to start picking up new concepts like multiplication.

So that sums up our schooling for 1st grade.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

You're right - what a rock star! Good job, too, Mom. We often think of you guys, especially as we put the boys to bed!