I know it sounds weird, and I never thought I’d say it, but I am thankful that my son has a reactive airway. Due to this, he comes down with every single anything that goes around; at the moment it is a very nasty head cold, coupled with a little bit of striderous, croupy breathing. Fun! Not really, but what it does do is allows him to stay home with me, taking his breathing treatments and doing a little school work. He did really great today too!
I am really studying Charlotte Mason’s theories and trying to put them into practice. She was a big advocate of short lessons. D1 is deeply in NEED of short lessons! (hehe) Today after we dropped off J at testing and D2 at kindergarten (sigh) we bought a timer at WallyWorld and came home. We spent no more than 20 minutes (and less than that mostly) on a Math U See Beta lesson (20 min.); phonogram card review (7 min.); a spelling diagnostic test (15 min., because I want to see where he’s at); reading a few chapters from the first Christian Liberty Nature Reader (15 min. with discussion & some narration). All in all we had a *very* productive day and it didn’t seem like we really spent all that much time doing school! In between, he did some of his self-monitoring (Alert) program movement/sensory stuff… to keep his engine “Just Right”.
Regarding the spelling diagnostic: I have always loved and used Wanda Sanseri’s materials. I still own–and use– The original first edition of Teaching Reading at Home (revised and retitled Spell to Write and Read) and The WISE Guide for Spelling (also the first edition.) I gave him diagnostic test #1. I have always scored these slightly differently than she recommends, but I’ll explain why:
D1’s first missed word was the 10th word. Looking at his first missed word, however, shows me that he just reversed two letters (srping), not because he thought it was spelled that way, but because his verbal language delay sometimes show up in his writing. Orally he spelled it correctly (spring), so I gave it to him. The next misspelled word was #11. This one was an improperly used phonogram (he used /or/ rather than /ar/), so this one counts as incorrect. This places him at Mastery Level 2.4 & spelling list I. He spelled the next 4 words correctly, missed 2, then spelled the last 3 correctly.
Usually I will stop giving the test when a child misses three words in a row, because continuing until they miss 3 in a row shows me their top end of spelling ability. I gave him the first 20 words on the list. Since he never misspelled three words in a row, I just stopped there. (After 20 they get progressively much more difficult.) Out of 20 words he spelled 16 correctly, including the last three words. So at the top end he got a score of 3.3, which is Spelling List L, not that I would place him there, but it shows me his range anyway.
I am pleased with his Mastery score because it shows me that just with lots and lots of reading he is still improving in his spelling ability. They certainly aren’t doing much in the way of phonics and spelling at the school. He left off on List H when I put him in school. That he placed in List I shows at least some improvement, although I am sure he would be past List I had I just kept him home in the first place. Ugh. I can’t wait for summer, so we can get back on the ball again.