Our year is plugging along fairly well. Steve is diligently working on his work, without too much help from me. He had been holing up in his bedroom during the day to get his assignments completed. I missed having him around. He adds so much to our discussions and his wacky sense of humor helps to keep everyone pleasant. In September, he had asked if he could do his work in his room, because it is so much quieter than the lower level of our home. His point is valid. Allie is still a little noisy and occasionally has whiny fits, which disturbs everyone. Happily, he came down from his room this week. I think he was getting lonely.
Joe has been working pretty hard on his school work. We had some problems with completing math last year, so he has had to do two math classes this year. Poor kid. He's been inspiring in history. Paige, Allie, and Madelyn are following his lead to finish readings and papers, so they can do the fun projects that we are doing this year. He's is also showing an aptitude for writing. His assignments have been well thought out, clearly written, and imaginative. (He sure didn't get that from me!)
Madelyn is focusing on math and writing this year. Writing has been difficult for her due to struggles with spelling and grammar. I think her language arts skills "clicked" for her over the summer, because she is making great strides this year. She is also taking another writing class with some friends. The class has provided her with motivation and she finds writing fun now.
Paige and Allie are both working hard on reading and math. We do other subjects, but I really like to focus on reading in the early years. Once they are able to read, everything else is so much easier. Paige has reached the stage in reading where she LIKES to read. Reading is the first thing she wants to do each morning. Allie has finished all the simple "Bob Books" types of readers that we have and is now starting to get easy readers from the library. She is picking up the phonics rules and sight words much easier than I expected. Writing is still a struggle for her, but I don't focus on a lot of writing at her age.
Today begins our latest geography project. The children will be learning all the countries and capitals, in addition to our normal country and state units. We will spend about three weeks on each continent, learning a little bit about the culture, geography, people, etc. At the end of the three weeks, we will do a geography competition. The winner of the competition will get a gift certificate for Taco Bell, the children's restaurant of choice. Obviously, the African competition winner will get a larger certificate than the South America competition winner. In the event of a tie, I will spend more money than I had planned. Bribery isn't my incentive of choice, but memorization is boring and I want this to be fun.