Friday, May 11, 2018

Homeschool Second Grade

Lucas is wrapping up his second grade year of homeschooling.  He is 8 and a half years old and has never been to public school.  The past 14 months have been full of new adventures for him & lots of new skills as well!

About a year ago (March 2017) Lucas learned how to ride his bicycle.  He was apprehensive at first, but I firmly encourage him and he eventually took off like a pro!  Within a day or two of learning to ride his 2 wheeler he began to make new friends in the neighborhood.  He also broke his finger that first week of knowing how to ride his bike.  (He took a hard fall while turning on gravel.)  Making neighborhood friends has been amazing.  Our house is the "cool" house and all the kids tend to gravitate here.  We had to set down some rules and that weeded out the kids who were here just for our trampoline. (We had 12 year olds coming to play with our 5 & 7 year olds...)   Now, we are down to a core group of 4 extra kids who like to hang here.  They are all closer in age to Lucas than Vinnie, but they include him just as well.  Lucas has learned some amazing things from having friends from the neighborhood.  He's learned that he can't always be the boss, sharing, problem solving, and we're still working on not bullying in defense of his kid brother.

Around that same time, Lucas also started expressing interest in learning to read.  We worked through about 70 of the "100 Easy Lessons" and he began to read cautiously.  He has since become much more confident and can read quite a bit.  He still struggles with sounding out some words on his own, but if you tell him to find a word in a page, he is able to do it.  We aren't pushing it and it is amazing to watch his confidence grow as he realizes that he is capable!

In the Spring the boys were taking a Mystery Science based co-op class and for the past 2 semesters they have been taking Math Games.  Lucas really enjoys the math games class and getting to play lots of fun games that teach math skills. They have also taken arts & crafts with Grandma & a movement/dance/p.e. class.  Lucas is actually getting into the dance class now too. 

Lucas is an amazing big brother and has been extremely helpful with taking care of baby Sulley.  He enjoys playing with him and taking care of him (most of the time).  Its quite tender to watch the two of them together, as Sulley truly looks up to his brother. 

We haven't done any "school" school work.  Lucas has asked about different topics and we've taught him what he wants to know.  He's very adept at math.  He is starting to get multiplication quite well and is able to do most math in his head. 

One area that Lucas has always excelled is in his Awana memorizations!  He is finishing up the third year of Sparks and will receive the Sparky Award (plaque) for completing all three handbooks. 

He will also get a Sparky review pin for completing the "Return Flight" handbook for the level 1 book.  He has worked *VERY* hard to complete all the activities and memorize the verses for his accomplishments.  We are so proud of him! 

This year the boys also participated in the Sparks A Rama and Awana Grand Prix.  Lucas chose to create a car that could compete to win for speed.  Vinnie wanted to design a car that would win the design competition. 

We learned a lot about the painting techniques this year and both boys accomplished their goals and came home with a trophy.  Lucas had the fastest car out of all the children, and only one of the 4 adult cars beat him!  Everybody loved Vinnie's car that made noise and had a Yoda on top!

Awards night for Sparks is just a couple weeks away and then we will have a break with Lucas until Truth & Training begins in September.  Vinnie will work on learning his review lessons over the summer break. 

Lucas has already completed his end of the year testing for 2nd grade.  He took the California Achievement Test (CAT) and did amazingly well!  We had to do some quick grammar lessons before he took it because I wasn't sure he'd had any grammar training at all (he did though, from coop) so I didn't want him going into it completely blind.  He rocked the math section and only missed ONE question!  Overall he scored in the third grade range for everything, so I'm satisfied that he's ready to move on! 

We are looking forward to a summer of more reading improvement, plenty of beach days, and preparing for fall co-op classes.  Lucas will be "moving up" to the new "Upper Elementary" class, which will be for our third through fifth graders.  They will do more in depth art projects, have a history class that requires reading/writing/and projects, and will do more of the advanced math games. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sulley is Walking!

Because Sulley was a preemie, he has had some delays in his physical skills.  He hasn't been terribly behind, but he has been in Occupational/Physical Therapy through Early Intervention since he was about 9 months old.  We've made a lot of progress with monthly, and then 2x a month visits from his awesome therapist. 

Sulley started sitting unassisted in August 2017, so he was about 7 months old.  It was right around his birthday that he learned to crawl.  He took his first steps on April 19, but wouldn't repeat the act until May 6.  Each time he only took a few steps.  On May 7, during therapy he just took off! He walked across the living room numerous times & even made full turns and continued walking! 

He officially "gets it" that he can walk & is very excited when he does it!  He is still crawling most of the time, but he will be running around behind his brothers in no time!

We are so proud of our big boy!