Saturday, February 28, 2009

CLE Math Answer

I had a question asked in one of my comments so I thought I would post the answer to it here for any of those that are interested in Christian Light curriculum or just even the math.

Christian Light's math includes a teacher's manual and 10 Light Units. In the early grades Christian Light's math does require teacher instruction though it is not intense. The teacher's manual includes what needs to be done for each lesson. Flashcards, drill and then the lesson for the day. Christian Light's math manual is NOT scripted like Saxon math's manual for grades K-3. It does not tell you what to say but does help guide you in teaching your student. Lessons are short, yet effective. After the lesson the student is able to complete their lesson independently. So far the math is working well though my oldest isn't fond of it. She'd much rather have the bells and whistles and color that many math programs contain. But the math program is effective and I am seeing progress in her math abilities wether she wants to admit it or not. Christian Light's math is spiral and incremental meaning the program reviews material by bring it back so the student doesn't forget the material and its incremental meaning that it teaches new concepts in bite sized pieces one step at a time.

Christian Light's Language Arts is much like its math. We are currently using the level 3 Language Arts and I really like its spiral and incremental approach. This method seems to work well for my oldest who has had very little grammar instruction thanks to the Calvert we used with the cyberschool. Again the LA is spiral and incremental. It reviews previously learned concepts throughout the grade level and teaches it in bite sized pieces so that the student can put the pieces together and understand its whole.

We are also using the Christian Light for Reading as well and this subject seems to be the least liked subject by my oldest. Even though I like the rhyme and reason of the program she just doesn't like it. Besides this, the Reading program is very thorough,. In order to be successful with the program you need to have at the very least the book and the Light Units. The manual is useful , contains alternate Light Unit tests but isn't a must have if your budget is tight. If you do purchase the manual it is useful. The Reader only contains the stories and nothing else. Its the Light Unit that has the bulk of the program inside each workbook. Each level is different but in level 500 the Light Units contain vocabulary, Bible Memory verses that go along with the story that has been read and important and crucial reading skills , reading comprehension and much more.

As for the Christian Light Science and History we aren't using these so I can't comment on them. There are many happy families that use them but I decided not to use them this year.

So there you go folks. My mini review of our experience with using Christian Light Education so far in our homeschool.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What are Plankton?

Okay. Its been a while since I've updated the blog here but had to share a funny.

We started Zoology 2 or Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. This book is part of the Elementary science series from Apologia science. We just began the book this week and so far we've really enjoyed it and learned a lot in the first few pages.

The first chapter began about the wonders of God's creatures then slowly worked its way into types of fish , plankton, types of plankton and filter feeders. As I am reading this I can see my daughters envision Spongebob. How do you know they were?

As I read this to them they sat there intently and after I finished I began to ask them questions about what I read. I asked them things like what a nektonic animal was ( for those of you who don't know , they are swimming creatures) and what benthic animals were ( animals that creep, jump, crawl or hop in the sea) and asked them for examples. Then I jumped into the question about what were plankton? My 5yr old who had been listening all the while without me knowing it raises her hand. So I thought I would let her chime in with her answers since her big sisters were answering them all. She proudly with a smile told me " He has one eye, two arms, two legs and drinks coffee!!" She was referring to Plankton from Spongebob. Hannah gave us such a much needed laugh that we pretty much ended our science session with that. I look forward to reading more and seeing what my girls come up with next!LOL.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Second Day with Christian Light

Well since we have so much going on this week preparing for our trip our Christian Light materials had came in the mail. I'll admit at first glance everything looks great. I really like how thorough the curriculum is. The reading to me is great and the stories are really interesting. The Language arts is everything I am looking for in a program and the math is excellent too. Think of Saxon math on steriods. CLE math is much less formulatic,and more like a combination of a mastery and spiral math program rolled into one.

Now on the other hand if you asked my daughter she doesn't like the reading , its just not a flashy reading program for her. She doesn't like that math. Because it makes her think. Well at least that would be what she would of told you a few days ago. The math is getting a little bit better for her and the reading , well she still doesn't like it. I did ask her to bear with me for a little while with it all. That we are just starting out on our own so its going to take a while to find what works and what doesn't. Just right now I need for her do be doing more work independently and this curriculum will help her do that.
Right now I'm just having her focus on her reading, math and LA. We can work on science and history later on when we get home next month. The crazy part is I wish I could of pulled out my other two from the cyberschool. I most definitely feel less stressed having one of them out at the moment. It would be even better for me if I had the other two out so I wouldn't have to worry about getting things done at the moment when I will need to focus on Maggie. But like all things we will get through it all. We always have and always will.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Value of a Dollar and Science Fun

I do have to admit that the one way I can motivate my daughters is with a dollar. The girls have been diligently saving their money they get from the tooth fairy and from doing chores here at home. Marilyn managed to save $32, Katie had around $20 and Hannah about $15. So today we trekked off to my favorite store Target, and the girls found some Littlest Pet Shops and Hannah found a baseball glove and Dora baseball that she likes. I also managed to pick up some little boy clothes for our neighbor who had her little boy last Wednesday. It was fun buying little boy clothes. The girls had fun picking out the outfits too. They are like little mother hens.
We are gearing up for our trip to Cincinnati. We are planning a few things to do on the way. Such as going to the Creating Museum , the zoo and aquarium , the Children's Museum and what not. I'm glad to know that the weather will be decent while we are there for the next three weeks.

On the school front Marilyn is enjoying her new homeschool freedom. I can definitely say that I feel less stressed that's for sure. So far we have started a little bit into our Apologia Swimming Creatures science book. I have bought the lapbook CD that goes along with this book. I'm not sure when I'll start it. Maybe next month when we get back from our trip. I've also started printing out the stuff for our Time Travelers History Course. Again something that is probably not going to get started until March. We've also been working with our Writing Tales and Marilyn is really enjoying that much better and its nice to see a smile on her face and her willingness to do more. She loves her Geography book. Basically I bought a workbook called Maps Charts and Graphs and she is enjoying it. Math right now we are just working on her mulitplication. Just doing drill sheets and waiting until we get her Christian Light for reading , math and grammar. This is the last of the stuff we've been waiting for from everything I've ordered so far in the mail. I'm surprised its taking so long to get to us since CLE is located in Virginia. I know media mail can take up to 2 weeks but still. All I'm hoping is that it comes before we leaves. I honestly won't be happy if it doesn't.

Also we've been working on some fun science projects. Marilyn grew some crystals. It is just too cool. We used Epsom salts and we really got a great result and the crystals grew fast too. We also worked on trying to make a rain cloud in a bottle but it didn't work and we had fun playing a weather science file folder game that we found on a file folder website. Hope you enjoy the pictures.