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School started here today and so did afterschooling!

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It was my nephew's first day of public school today. He's in third grade (again, his birthday is late spring and the school took one look at it and strongly suggested enrolling him in third grade). On the plus side, he'll be able to get used to speaking English all day every day with no back up except a pocket Spanish-English dictionary. On the down side, he's doing Singapore 4A and finishing up a third grade public school reading program with me so he might eventually be bored. 

Afterschooling went smoothly. We can do 20 minutes of math, 20 minutes of Climbing to Good English and 20 minutes of buddy reading or writing without him getting too squirrelly and then he picks a leveled reader from the immense stash I bought on ebay to read on his own. They come with comprehension questions on the back that we can use for writing practice. Easy peasy!

I am so glad I remembered Climbing to Good English. It's really hard to find ESL materials to use at home with advanced elementary age learners. I need help with phrasal verbs, irregular past tenses, weird idioms, hard to pronounce flat English vowels. I don't need "Let's learn the colors in English". CtGE is the closest I've come and today's lesson went very well. He formed sentences from word banks that included things like "known for" and using like to compare. He wrote 3 sentences about mules eating the top off a convertible. Just the thing to get a 9 yo's writing juices flowing.

One day down, 179 to go! Whoo hoo!

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Since he is ESL, it may be good that the academics are easy as he transitions the language part. He can learn the rhythms of school and not be at the same time scrambling in academics. If he does get bored, you can look at working with the teacher to differentiate in class. (Learing the same stuff but going more in depth, perhaps or look to see if there is a gifted and talented type program he can apply to be part of that will pull out and do more project based/allow for acceleration in content subjects.


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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I just need to rant about how much I hate Astroboy's math homework. It is the most annoying thing imaginable. He has to mark up every word problem using CUBES: circle the numbers, underline the question, box the math words, evaluate the problem (that means figure out how to solve it, insert eyeroll) and then solve it and check your answer. It takes twice as much time to mark up the problem as it takes to solve it. Way to suck every bit of joy out of math!

The only saving grace is that it only takes Astroboy about 30 minutes to do the whole week's packet. If this is the only math a kid sees at home, they are really going to be hurting when they hit algebra. The difference with Singapore Primary Math is striking.

Edited by chiguirre
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