Category Archives: Homeschool

Learning at home with a second-grader and a kindergartner.


Tactile tactics and other activities for the reluctant speller

We started using All About Spelling with Pete last year in an attempt to address his difficulties with spelling, but apparently it hasn’t done the trick. It was the only area he struggled with on this year’s annual testing. I was surprised, because he seems to have learned the rules presented in AAS pretty well. He just isn’t applying that particular information outside of our designated Spelling Time.

The lady who administers the test said, “Pete is like a river. If he runs into an obstacle, he just goes right around it without a care.” And she’s right. He hasn’t had to do much writing yet, so he hasn’t had much incentive or opportunity to apply the rules.

At her suggestion, we’re trading in All About Spelling in favor of a slower, more hands-on approach to see if maybe that will help. I’m not sure what to do yet on the incentive front, but part of our exercises will be writing-based so Pete has the opportunity to use the words he’s studying more often.

To that end, I’ve been scouring the internet for fun and engaging ways to study spelling, and I’m saving every great resource I find on Pinterest. Here’s the board!

Follow Nichole E’s board spelling activities on Pinterest.

This week in homeschooling: Schooling while sickly

Pete has been sick for most of this week, so our schedule has been really wacky. So instead of telling you what we did from day to day — a lot of napping with a little schoolwork thrown in here and there — let’s talk in more general terms.


Naturally, we started our most recent memorization effort by watching the 1946 Disney version of “Casey at the Bat”. “Casey” is a very long poem, and we’re taking it a stanza at a time. They’re working on the sixth stanza this week.


We started reading “Fortunately the Milk” by Neil Gaiman, which promises to be a ridiculous, hilarious read-aloud.


We’re about halfway through the first level of Michael Clay Thompson’s grammar program. It’s quite different from other grammar programs that we’ve used, but the information seems to be sticking.


Poppy leveled up on her math curriculum a few weeks ago. A lot of what she’s doing right now is review, so math has been pretty stress-free for her lately. Pete is chugging along on his curriculum. It’s been a lot of patterns lately, and they’re starting to introduce the concept of fractions.


This week’s “Story of the World” chapter was about the lead-up to the American revolution, which is also what the kids have been talking about in their US history class. So it was pretty much just review.


Poppy has a piano recital coming up, so she’s been focusing on the two pieces she’ll be playing for that. One is from her piano book, and the other is “Let It Go.” She also decided she wanted to teach herself to play “Clocks,” so we’re been hearing that a lot lately.

Free reading

Poppy reads so much for fun that I took it off of her daily to-do list. Pete isn’t as enthusiastic about reading just yet, though, so he still has the daily reminder on his task list. He’s been reading a lot of “Garfield” comics and “Into the Air: The Story of the Wright Brothers First Flight.”

Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!

Sorry, Elsa, the cold is starting to bother me after all

Poppy was supposed to start soccer two weeks ago, but we’ve been living in an avant garde Icecapades performance and so she has yet to have practice. The kids haven’t had history or drama for two weeks, either. The public schools have been either closed or on a delay for something like 9 or the last 10 school days. I’m pretty sure we’re all done with winter now, so go ahead and bring on the sunshine Weather Man.

Despite all the ice and snow, my little homeschoolers haven’t gotten a single snow day. We have been operating on a two-hour delay, though, because I haven’t been setting my alarm. Here’s a bit of what we’ve done over the last couple of weeks.

  • We rebooted our Geography study. I’m using “Cantering the Country” and “Trail Guide to US Geography,” and we’re taking it quite slowly.
  • Poppy was having some trouble figuring out the mechanics of multiplying two-digit numbers. She found this video pretty helpful:
  • Poppy finished “Harriet the Spy” and the accompanying literature study, and today we’re watching the movie.
  • Pete is reading a comic-book-style book about the Wright Brothers.
  • Poppy tested for and received her blue belt in tae kwon do.
  • And there was a good deal more, too, but I somehow managed to erase all of the notes I’d made and the computer won’t let me have them back.

    How’ve you been lately?

    Wanna read more about homeschooling? Check out the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly linky thing!