Home School Hi-lights

Today Rachel and I took a two mile walk and discussed our upcoming yard sale, how best to promote it, how to price things easily and have good prices, which tables to get, etc. We specifically walked so we could see the goat, sheep, mule, and horse in a neighboring farm. We also made a pit stop at the gas station a mile away. (The pictures are from our walk this morning–trying out the new gallery with the updated WordPress which is why there are extras at the bottom.)

Several cool things this week.

One, as a former teacher and to satisfy my husband who likes to know, I occasionally give the kids a reading test that I learned to administer while in college. It gives grade level for ability to read individual words as well as reading comprehension. It breaks it up into preprimer, primer, then 1st through 10th grade. I have been giving the kids this test yearly since they were able to read. This year Issac came in as Primer/1st grade for reading aloud and comprehending his own reading (keep in mind he is teaching himself to read when he wants to practice and when he asks me for help) and 5th grade comprehension for being read to (we read aloud nightly from 5th through 10th grade level chapter books so this is not surprising.)

The girls did theirs completely on their own–both girls came in as having an 8th/9th grade independent reading level (10th grade with help) and an 8th grade comprehension (they both got the highest level perfect and had no trouble–I would say their comprehension based on the ease they answered would be 9th or above.) This is exciting for me because both girls are dyslexic and struggled to learn to read. They both still struggle to force themselves to focus when reading bigger words but have no trouble with them when they do. They were very excited at their improvement (they improved exponentially when I stopped “teaching ” them and let them read and write when they felt like it–they read much, much more now than ever before.)

Now back to our normal, more ecclectic/unschooling, adventures.

Issac has developed a new habit during our home church and while I read aloud in the evenings. He sits on my lap and reads aloud phrases and entire sentences that he recognizes. He is so excited at his progress. He has also begun to join in answering questions about the passages Shamus reads during home church. We have been working our way slowly through Matthew 23 and he is excited to know what a pharisee and a hypocrite is.

Yesterday, after a hormone infused meltdown on my part after Esther and Rachel broke the hinge on one of the kitchen cabinets from hanging on it and Rachel threw her own hormone induced fit the girls decided to make an “elegant” lunch. In our house that means fruit salad with a side of regular salad and nuts. While making the meal Esther commented to me, “Mommy, I no longer want to grow up and be a famous singer. I want to stay home instead and use my singing to sing my children to sleep, and I want to make food from scratch so I can save money, and be an artist and paint like you.” Talk about the ultimate compliment.

The kids have also been throwing around a nice full vocabulary, using words in sentences that I didn’t even know they knew let alone could use. It is so natural that I almost do a double take each time they do it. It is not really surprising since a lot the words are words we, my husband and I, use in everyday speech and are also used in the books we read aloud but it is still shocking to hear an 8 year old use delectable, a 10 year old “acquiescence” and a 6 year old use words like “exceptional” and “adequate”.

I must add that while I was writing this post the kids were making their own lunch–“fruit birds” in a nest of lettuce.  Hilarious.