"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Monday, March 25, 2013

3rd Grade Update

If you've been reading along, you know that we started the year off with Luke doing his school work in the dining room in a special "3rd Grade Work Zone." It worked pretty well for him. Then in January, we were blessed with a larger dining room table that crowded him out of his quiet thinking space. For January and most of February we relocated him to the school room with his brothers.

Anyway, he has become a good student (so thankful!) but he is so curious, competitive, and easily distracted! I'm almost positive these thoughts were running through his head every day in the school room. "What is Ethan doing? How many workboxes has he completed? Am I going to finish my schoolwork first? What is Aaron doing? Oh that looks fun! Maybe I'll squeeze Aaron's soft little ear. Hmmm... Ethan is reading his book upside down with a chair on him. Maybe I'll sit on him?" You get the idea.  I'm not sure why it took so long for me to realize that it was NOT working to having all three in the same space. And then once I realized it, why did it take me as long as it did to act on it??? duh!

After brainstorming with an experienced homeschool friend, I finally made some decisions and acted on them. Why not move his desk to his bedroom? He has the space and then he can sit at his desk while he does his morning independent work. Instead of using his workboxes, I've divided up his work into "independent work" and "work with mom." He has a bin for each.

Every morning after breakfast, Bible time, and science, I send him upstairs to his room with his bin of independent work. He stays up there working quietly in his room until he is finished (unless he has questions). This is working marvelously! Praise the Lord! In his bin of independent work, I have made a spreadsheet with all his work for the week. As he completes his work, he marks it off with a highlighter. (He enjoys scribbling with the highlighter a bit too much. He has already used up two in 3 weeks!) When he is finished with his independent work, he comes down and we work together at the kitchen desk.

We've been really pleased with his curriculum this year. I love the math (Christian Light Education - 3rd grade). We've gotten into a good rhythm with grammar (Rod & Staff) spelling (Spelling Power), phonics (Explode the Code), reading, and writing. 

For our history/geography component, we've been using My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures. The boys love this. Especially our monthly co-op meeting with other families also using this curriculum. (That's a topic for another blog post.) We've also been using the science that comes along with Exploring Countries and Cultures. A highlight has been making our vocabulary cards every Friday. Luke loves this and we are learning a lot!

We are in the final stretch of 3rd grade! Hooray! Our goal is to finish up by the second week of May before end of the year testing and our annual family beach trip. I'm really proud of my 3rd grader and how hard he has worked. I'm thankful for his inner motivation and determination.  Oh... we've had our challenges. He doesn't love writing and we have to work hard on handwriting and spelling, but we've come a long way this year. 

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