2010-11 Year in Review: History/Math/English

Last month I shared about our year of History, in Changing my mind about our history selection, so say much more about that, other than this: the change been good.

This year we continued with our use of Rod & Staff for Math (for Ella and Isaac). What I learned last year is this important lesson: my children do not need to do every single problem on every single page of their math workbooks. (But because I was a little late in learning that, we began this year with Ella still only about halfway through her 2nd grade Math workbook. And I'm perfectly fine with that. She's into the 3rd grade book now, but next year we'll be doing the same thing, unless I do a major push to complete one book and be "caught up".)

*The kids love it when Mark or I wrote notes to them in their math books, and we received lots of cute notes from them in return.
*I learned this year that the glee over a scratch-and-sniff sticker has not faded since I was a child. (These are already on my t0-buy list for next year. :))
*We tried to be creative in the choosing of the problems they were to complete on a page. Sometimes it was just the basic "do every other problem" or "choose ___ problems to do", but more often than not we'd either draw a shape (a balloon, a heart, a bee, a flower, a butterfly, etc) and have them do only the math problems within the shape. Or we'd put a math problem on the top of the page and the answer to that problem equaled how many they needed to complete on the page. (Add up all the ages of all the kids and do that many, add your age and your birth date and complete that many problems, etc).

Same lesson learned here with the English book from Rod & Staff, and this year, Ella's 3rd grade year, we spent finishing her 2nd grade book. (We're a little laid back about stuff like this.)

The latter part of this year I spent more hands-on time doing English with Ella: sitting with her to get her started, reading some things aloud and doing some of the work orally with her-- rather than just assigning her pages and allowing her to work independently. This made a huge difference not only in her understanding, but in our relationship. I really came to value this time with her. And, truly- that's the GOAL with all of her work, but it hadn't really been happening consistently simply because it was not really possible with the little girls. This year it became possible, and I was grateful for the opportunity to be more available to Ella during this time.


  1. We did Rod and Staff 3rd grade English. It is so intensive that I split it over two years and did half of it orally. I would assign a worksheet page if there was one for that lesson. This lessened copying or the need for oral work because there was too much writing.

    I love the creaitivity in your communication with the kids in math.
    You always inspire me to be more fun!

  2. Thanks, Dana... that's really helpful information about the 3rd grade English. :)

    Blessings to you and yours!


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