Today and yesterday went a good deal better than last week. We added our math curricula; writing in the forms of copywork, dictation, and Diamond Notes (for Austin); and history (Monday) and Science (today), which is just reading and discussing.
I had to get more structured than I had planned. I started us out last week with no structure/schedule and it was a disaster. I don't know if it's very RDI or not, so I'll have to work on that. But basically I laid out our morning "Before School" routine, which consists of getting up and dressed, breakfast, and chores. Then I also printed off a School Day routine, which shows sort of a 'What comes next and what do I do while that's happening?" sort of thing. So we start our morning with our Bible Study, then I move onto Reece's lesson. On the sheet, it shows what Austin and Riley can be doing while I'm working with Reece: math drill, reading assignment, book basket reading, copywork. The only thing that has a time is recess, because that's a mid-point of our morning. Everything else is more of a 'next subject/activity' sort of thing. Like I said, I'm not sure how RDI friendly it is, but it surely makes our morning flow alot better.
The big kids' reading is not working out like I had hoped it would. I'm still trying to give it time, but it seems like we're not doing enough. Riley tells me all the major and minor details of what she has read, and of course, she is far ahead of where I assigned. But it doesn't take very long so I'm not sure if I'm doing enough. I mean, she reads, we talk for a few minutes. Is that how it workds?
Austin's is a bit different. I gave him a notebook to write down words he doesn't understand, and then he writes a 1-2 sentence summary of his daily reading. But he just doesn't get much out of what he is reading at all. And I don't know how to help him with that. I try to talk to him about it, not asking direct questions, but he's just not interested. One time yesterday he replied with, "Well, how am I supposed to know what they're thinking? It's just a story!" Also, he is not getting the subtle language, and I don't know how to help him with that either. His summary yesterday was, "The compass broke, and Columbus was very mad about it." Sounds OK, unless you've read the story and realize that they were all wondering if the compass could have stopped working because they hadn't seen land, and they thought maybe Columbus was mad as in crazy. I tried explaining this to Austin, and I got the 'no idea what you are talking about' look. I even tied it to a use of mad as crazy that I knew he has heard before. Nothing. And if I try to elicit more out of him with questions, then I'm totally getting away from RDI/Declarative language.
The same is basically true with history. I read a section of our history spine yesterday and everyone just sort of stared at me. I tried commenting on some things that I found interesting, but got no response. I finally asked the review questions at the end of the section to try to see if anyone had listened, and they could answer them. It's just frustrating.
Reece's reading is also quite frustrating. She has to keep sounding out 'is' even though it's on every single darn page in every single darn sentence. She acts like she's never seen it before, every time!
Math is going fine... Riley is doing well with the textbook, writing her answers on paper. She just dawdles because other things are more interesting. One of these days she'll figure out that if she moves more quickly, it will be done faster. Austin started on the division with remainders in Math U See, and that's been a fairly simple thing for him. So far, so good! Reece is still working in her Calvert K workbook, and I'm keeping her to 2-4 pages instead of letting her do a ton of pages at a time.
Copywork/Dictation going well... glad I purchased Spelling Wisdom to use for that! I don't have to hunt for good things to copy! :) Austin liked his first lesson of Diamond Notes. Hopefully learning to write a paragraph by basing it on a baseball diamond will make it hit home (no pun intended) for him!
We're getting everything done, with a minor amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth, so I guess that means it's successful! If I could figure out reading, I'd feel so much better!