Monday, February 2, 2015

Middle School Monday - Midterm

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Middle School Monday

Welcome to Middle School Monday! We've just passed the midway point (officially, anyway) of our school year, and I've done a first semester report card, so I thought it might be appropriate to take stock of how things are going so far.

Report cards are an odd thing for homeschoolers sometimes. I mean, if my kid doesn't understand something, we will just keep working on it or figure out another way to learn it until they master it. So generally speaking, the grades are going to be pretty good on the report card. And the grades shouldn't ever come as a surprise, since I'm the one assigning them. Still, for some reason, my kids have always kind of liked getting report cards, and having grades submitted every quarter (or every semester, for high school students) is how our umbrella group chooses to keep track that members are following the state law for home education.
Hewitt Homeschooling Review
Language Arts - Kennady enjoys reading, and her reading and comprehension skills are above grade level. She is doing very well with Lightning Literature and Composition, understanding the grammar and literature analysis portions of the study, and doing a great job with most of the composition assignments. Her spelling is generally very good, but she often doesn't bother organizing her writing into good paragraphs. Her errors in punctuation and grammar are usually because she is working quickly and gets ahead of herself, leaving things out. More editing practice will help.

Overall, Kennady and I are both very happy with Lightning Lit & Comp. We fell behind schedule a little bit during December, but should be on track to finishing the book by the end of the school year, so not much adjustment is needed.

Math - This is the subject Kennady struggles with the most, so she is moving much more slowly than I would like through the Life of Fred books this year. But on the plus side, she sticks with it until she understands. I did want her to finish both Pre-Algebra books by the end of the school year, and I think that will be a real stretch. She will need to make sure she works on it every day, and then I think it's still quite doable.

Life of Fred remains our math curriculum of choice, but in order to finish Pre-Algebra "on time" she will need to step up the pace!
Middle School Monday: Geography Homeschool Coffee Break @
Geography - Cultural Geography has been quite a bit of fun so far, but we took a longer break than we should have over the holidays. I wondered whether I'd set a too ambitious pace at the beginning of the year, but it turned out to be just about right, so I'm confident that as we get back into this routine, Kennady will catch up again, and stay on track through the rest of the year. For the most part, she is enjoying this study, and making the most of it.

Science- This is another course that has suffered from a much-too-long holiday hiatus. But we move through the lessons much more quickly than I anticipated when I made up the assignment schedule at the beginning of the school year, so I'm not worried at all about finishing by the end of the year. The most challenging part of this is remembering to keep track of daily weather observations, because there are several projects like that, and we keep forgetting and needing to start over!

Our homeschool group is doing a Science Fair this spring, and we've never been able to attend before. I'm wondering if I should plan on it this year, and use the preparation of a display as extra motivation.
Virtual Curriculum Fair - Art and Music @
Art - some of Kennady's art projects have been from the cultural geography course, and many have been things she chose to do on her own, or lessons pulled from one of the ARTistic Pursuits books in our collection. This is a subject I never have to nag her to do - more often I have to tell her to remember that she has other subjects that need her attention too.
Virtual Curriculum Fair - Art and Music @
Music - I rely on piano lessons, guitar lessons, and children's chorus to supply music instruction and practice, and she gets a lot! Again, I never have to remind her to practice!

Phys.Ed. - we have just started gym classes for spring semester, so this is another "easy credit" class. However, it looks like we will have to pass on softball for this season, because the practices and games will be on a night that she isn't available. That's not a final decision yet, but I can't see spending the money for registration and committing to a team if she can only make about half the games.

It was tempting to despair when I realized we were at the halfway point of the school year, because it felt like we were WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY behind and would really have to scramble to catch up. Once I broke it down by subject, the situation really isn't that bleak at all. We shouldn't have trouble getting things back up to speed in Language Arts, Geography, or Science; so it's really only Math that will prove a challenge. One thing that will really help is to get Kennady back in the habit of using her My Student Logbook to keep track of her daily work.

Have you reached a midway point in your school year? Do you need to make any adjustments? Leave a comment and let me know!

Each week I invite bloggers to share their posts about middle school here on Middle School Monday. The link is open through Friday, and I will do my best to visit, comment, and share your posts. Please grab the Middle School Monday button to add to your post or to your sidebar when you leave your link below, and please visit the other links and comment or share. I look forward to seeing what you and your middle schoolers are doing!
Middle School Monday at Homeschool Coffee Break

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Diane said...

Good blog -- it's great to assess mid-term!

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