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amymarie3

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About amymarie3

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    Hive Mind Larvae

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    Afterschooling twin kindergarten boys.
  1. amymarie3

    Finding Time to Read

    My boys (twins) are also in second grade. They only get about 10 minutes of scheduled free-read time in the classroom during the day. They do sometimes grab their books when they finish their work and read it during extra time in class. But they only do that when they have a book that they are super interested in. I also make sure they always have a book in their backpack that is at their reading level that they are interested in. They read on the bus on the way home (when they aren't napping). At home we have a no screens before school policy in place and I often catching them reading then. I keep a basket of books in the car for them to read when we are driving. They read in the bathroom. At bed time we always either have 15-30 minutes of read aloud time or they read to themselves. And, in the car we listen to audiobooks or podcasts (sparkle stories & WOW in the World) It is a challenge but finding 5-10 minutes in short spots during the day will add up quick to significant amounts of time reading. Focus on finding books that interest her and then feed that need for the series. I can't even guess how many Geranimo & Thea Stilton books we have gone through in the last year!
  2. LovesToLearn: We started with Apples in kindergarten and worked our way up to Dogs. At this point we have slowed down with so much else going on and I am trying to decide how to move forward with LoF. The boys love it when we do it but it is more time consuming and I want to do it with them. For now we are reading a chapter or two every couple weeks. We read it super slowly because they would chew through the whole thing at once if I would let them and I want to make sure they understand the concepts as we get to them. If I were starting now I would still start with Apples and just move quickly until it started getting harder for them. The story is pretty cute, and it's good to reinforce the basics.
  3. So I just re-read my post from July and thought through where we are now that more than a month of 2nd grade is behind us. I decided an update might be useful for someone. Afterschooling: 1 day a week Gymnastics at a non-competitive gym. (Yes, and this year they are in a class of just boys with a teacher who seems to be pretty good. They are advancing nicely, and having fun doing it!) Daily Reading: a book AT reading level instead of what the teachers think their reading levels are. (This is a challenge. The boys are advanced readers and the school is completely ignoring the fact. They regularly read books for 3-4 graders at home and the school only allows them to read picture books and Magic Tree House. Conferences are next week and I'm going to have to bring this up with the teachers. Our approach is to make sure that at home they read more advanced books. They also have about a half hour on the bus so the bus ride has become their read to self time at a higher level. So far it seems to be working, it's just hard to figure out what books they should be reading.) Daily Handwriting: Our school didn't care about handwriting at all last year. In fact they ignored it enough that we are seeing a possible dyslexia issue with one child that the teachers didn't pick up on. They do one page a day of Spelling U See. Great program that they really enjoy. The one page takes about 10 minutes. (We are continuing this through the school year and it is a great program. They are still boys who don't see a need to have good handwriting but it is still good practice.) Spelling: I have one boy who is a natural speller, it's awesome to watch his little brain churn. The other boy has a tougher time. I'm not sure what spelling will look like this year but I am planning to use the method put from Andrew Pudewa on spelling and the brain. Waiting on the teachers for this one. (This year spelling is taught at the teachers discretion, there is no formal spelling program for 2nd graders. Unfortunately the son who is the natural speller has the spelling lessons and the other one doesn't. At home they have to BOTH practice the spelling lists from the on boys teachers. It's going well but I'm not sure it is worth the time.) Daily Math practice: they are working through Math Mammoth doing one page each day if the school didn't send anything home. Math games on the iPad including TODO Math, Monster Math, and Code Spark Academy. We do a chapter of Life of Fred together each week just for fun, am going to look into beast academy just for fun. The school does okay with math but they ignore the advanced levels my boys are at so there is a ton of boredom. (Math in school is a nightmare. They are both doing 3rd grade math with no problems and little instruction. One teacher challenges my son and the other day he came home over the moon because she taught him multiplication tables! The other son gets no extra work from his teacher. All math instruction at this point is at home. They still are working through Math mammoth and are doing great with it. We have added the math game Prodigy as well. They both love the layout and style of the game.) (The next section is where things changed a ton. I have started working our way through the Build Your Library 2nd grade curriculum with the boys. It focuses on Medieval history and uses Story of the World as the history spine. I needed something laid out for me and this one is great. We do all the History activities, all the Science readings & activities when we have time, and we will be reading all the literature selections as audiobooks in the car. So far I am loving it. The boys don't seem to care much but when we are reading it they enjoy it and they have already started making some connections. I am hoping to work all the way through it even if it goes longer than this year. 1 week of the curriculum is taking us about 1.5 - 2 weeks which I think is a good pace for afterschooling. ) History: Our school teaches NO history that isn't part of social studies until 6th grade. At home I am going to do American history using This Country Of Ours as well as a ton of other resources that I just can't seem to stop picking up! Literature/Fables/Poetry: I have a book basket where I rotate through a series of books as read alouds. I also am starting to add in some of the shorter classic childrens books to their "Bus Box". We keep a box of books for them to pick from so that they always have a book when they are riding the bus.
  4. amymarie3

    middle school math

    I have little guys still, but my approach is the same as Sneezyone. At the beginning of the summer I had my boys start doing just 2 pages of math (Math Mammoth) a day in the book for the following year. Then once school starts they just continue but instead of 2 pages we do 1-2 pages depending on time. I never have them doing more than 10-15 minutes of math a day during school. You could also look at some of the math based games and other apps like Kahn academy.
  5. We do public school 2nd grade for our twin boys. Afterschooling: 1 day a week Gymnastics at a non-competitive gym. This is our only out of the house afterschool activity. My DH is adamant that we restrict afterschool to 1 hour a week we will look at adding a second one when they hit third grade. Daily Reading: a book AT reading level instead of what the teachers think their reading levels are. Best I can tell they are at about 4th grade level for reading as well as comprehension but the teachers just ignore it and teach them at the high end of their grade level. It means a ton of extra work for mom to keep them from backsliding like they did last year, end of year they were almost at the same place they had been at the start of the year. I keep the reading loose from their point of view though. Primarily they read on the bus and at bedtime, I'm trying to keep it untimed and gentle. I have them read aloud to me on a regular basis to work on those skills since the school doesn't. Daily Handwriting: Our school didn't care about handwriting at all last year. In fact they ignored it enough that we are seeing a possible dyslexia issue with one child that the teachers didn't pick up on. They do one page a day of Spelling U See. Great program that they really enjoy. The one page takes about 10 minutes. Spelling: I have one boy who is a natural speller, it's awesome to watch his little brain churn. The other boy has a tougher time. I'm not sure what spelling will look like this year but I am planning to use the method put from Andrew Pudewa on spelling and the brain. Waiting on the teachers for this one. Daily Math practice: they are working through Math Mammoth doing one page each day if the school didn't send anything home. Math games on the iPad including TODO Math, Monster Math, and Code Spark Academy. We do a chapter of Life of Fred together each week just for fun, am going to look into beast academy just for fun. The school does okay with math but they ignore the advanced levels my boys are at so there is a ton of boredom. History: Our school teaches NO history that isn't part of social studies until 6th grade. At home I am going to do American history using This Country Of Ours as well as a ton of other resources that I just can't seem to stop picking up! Literature/Fables/Poetry: I have a book basket where I rotate through a series of books as read alouds. I also am starting to add in some of the shorter classic childrens books to their "Bus Box". We keep a box of books for them to pick from so that they always have a book when they are riding the bus. Music: I have a playlist of classical music that I play when we are on the ride to school and they want to read books in the car. I have another playlist filled with music that I want them to hear and memorize. We listen on the way to school and other times we are in the car.
  6. We practice reading, handwriting, and math at home even though the kids go to public school and are doing well. I never make them work more than 10 minutes a day/subject. I even set a timer to make sure they don't get more than that. Focus on doing extra time or bigger projects on days that the kids aren't in school. Those are the days that you can push just a little bit further. Start tomorrow too, don't wait until school starts. Getting into the habit before the routine of school starts.
  7. amymarie3

    Afterschooling Writing

    My boys (twins) are in the exact same age group with writing issues. I decided that instead of teaching them to write content I wanted them to do copy work this summer using good quality text that uses the ideas of dictation. I found the program Spelling U See that they will use this summer. I really like their approach to teaching spelling and at the same time they will be working on their penmanship which is really where they need the work. The plan is that they will do one lesson a week day all summer long, with it taking between 10 - 15 minutes. It looks to be fairly hands off so Grandma can monitor and make sure it gets done. I feel like teaching the fundamentals of handwriting and spelling will get them further with writing in school at this age than a program like bravewriter will. I do like bravewriter for summer when they are older but not at this age.
  8. amymarie3

    Summer Math Plans?

    Our school (end of first grade) asks that we do 10 minutes of math a day with the kids at home so we started this routine last fall and we are going to just continue with it for the summer. They use enVision math at school and I found that working slightly ahead on Math Mammoth gets them introduced to the concepts before they get them in school which seems to help. Our year round routine: 4x per week 10 minutes or 2 pages of Math Mammoth 1x per week (or two) a chapter of Life of Fred done together with worksheets printed up from the Facebook group. Occasionally at bedtime or breakfast: Bedtime Math, Mathemagic, and mental math problems from Ray's Arithmetic. They play Todo Math and Monster Math on the iPad for fun extra practice.
  9. I know BraveWriter has some online summer writing classes. They may be worth looking into. http://www.bravewriter.com/program/online-classes/class-schedule
  10. amymarie3

    Kid losing his love of math

    Our school does not offer any options for 1-3 graders who place outside of what is offered in the classroom. They are expected to continue at the highest level offered within the classroom, regardless of ability.
  11. amymarie3

    Kid losing his love of math

    His biggest problem is that the work he is being asked to do at school is significantly below his ability. He loves challenges like adding 2 and 3 digit numbers. At school he is still doing 7+7 and such. I think he got so bored that he just doesn't care anymore. He failed a school placement test because he just kept clicking random buttons to get it over with.
  12. Hey everyone, I have a dilemma. I have a son in public school first grade who started out this school year LOVING Math. For him it was a fun mental challenge that he loved. Now school has squashed his love of math. He has quit trying and is showing a backward slide in his skills. I don't much care for his teacher but she is all I have to work with. She wants a conference to talk about it. Does anyone here have any suggestions as to things I could suggest as options to help him re-find his love of learning and make school more enjoyable for him? We work on math at home and his skills at home seem to be improving at a steady rate but in school she is ready to put him in remedial math even though he is testing as advanced. I'm getting super frustrated with her lack of really looking at my kid. Because he doesn't fit directly into any of her little boxes she ignores him. Any talking points that I can bring up during our conference?
  13. Spend time focusing on the alphabet and number sense. Play games where you add beads together and do patterns. My kids learned a lot from watching shows like Word World and Leap Frog videos. Keep it all fun. Try to instill a love of learning instead detesting rote practice. One thing that I learned is to not try to push the academics that the school will be teaching. While my boys love math I backed down on doing math at home and instead focus on things like science and history which our school is really bad about. My boys ended up quite a bit further ahead in reading and math than where their classmates are at and are now bored in first grade and "hate" school. I stopped all enrichment in those subjects at home and instead focus on other stuff. I wouldn't worry about him being behind. You are obviously a parent involved in your sons education, or you wouldn't be here, so he will already have a leg up :)
  14. For practicing math for your younger daughter the game Shut the Box is a good option. It's a fun dice game where they have add small numbers to play the game. Since you are looking for add on information you may consider Life of Fred. My 1st grade boys do a chapter a week and the worksheets that I found in the LoF Facebook group and it's a fun way for them to get a bit of extra practice without it necessarily feeling like extra work. For multiplication here is a great resource for learning them in a different way https://www.tjed.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/LetsLearnTimesTables.pdf I also started watching Mental Math by Great Courses and it is a fantastic program that shows many shortcuts for doing math quickly and correctly. I try to mix up the math that I have mine do to keep them from getting bored MM 2-3 days a week, playing math based games or computer programs 1-2 days a week, and one day of LoF.
  15. amymarie3

    Afterschooling is Working!

    That's fantastic!! Keep it up :)
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