Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wrapping up Reading

This is the first week of May and our last official week of school for the year!  EM and JR have been wrapping up their Language Arts programs, so I wanted to write down some thoughts about the year. 

EM used Abeka's 2nd Grade Language Arts program very successfully.  My biggest goal for her for second grade was that she would learn to read fluently.  I believe Abeka has helped her to accomplish this!  She went from struggling to sound out words at the beginning of the year to reading smoothly with good comprehension at the end.  She has even learned to enjoy reading and has read several non-picture books on her own.  I couldn't really ask for more! 

Some cons about the Abeka program:  The spelling lists didn't explain spelling rules, so it was a memorization-only type program.   Once EM mastered the special phonics sounds, the special sounds drills became busy work. 

JR completed All About Reading Level 1 this year.  It was a great continuation of where we left off last year using AAR Pre-Reading.  He can sound out single syllable, short vowel words and knows about 20 sight words.  He was recently introduced to long vowels.   AAR made the process of beginning to read an easy process and even fun on occasion!  He especially enjoyed the games. 

JR also used Explode the Code Online to reinforce phonics concepts.  It has been nice because it's something he can work on independently.  He enjoys using the computer, so that is a plus as well.

I plan on continuing to read with JR through the summer and having him continue using ETC so he doesn't loose ground. 

I'm very proud of my 2nd Grade and Kindergarten graduates! 

Our 2013 Garden

As soon as we returned home from Florida, the whole family was excited to start planting flowers and vegetables.  Josh still had two days left of vacation from work so he got started right away building planter boxes.  We now have two beautiful 6'x4' boxes that are a foot and a half off the ground - hopefully to deter rabbits!

This year we planted three different kinds of tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, broccoli. carrots, sugar snap peas, watermelon and cantaloupe.  We also think we may have a pumpkin plant growing!  EM planted some seeds from last years pumpkin in hopes that they would grow.  The sugar snap peas and carrots were started as seeds and are already popping out.

Whenever Josh asks if there is anything I would like for Mother's Day, I usually go right for flowers!  Our front flower garden has really taken off this year with all of the perennials we've planted in the last two years. The only plant that hasn't survived was the hyacinth.

This year we added window boxes to our front windows and they look so beautiful!  I chose to fill them with pink and white geraniums and ivy.

My sweet family also gave me a beautiful hanging geranium pot, which has been claimed as a nest for mourning doves.  We don't mind though, it will be so much fun to see!  Hopefully they will allow us to water it once in a while.

EM and LD helped me make plant markers for our vegetables, didn't they turn out cute?!


Looking forward to lots of delicious things in the months to come!