Caleb finished the kindergarten level of Hooked on Phonics on Wednesday! The last few pages taught us a few more helper words like "need, "where," "play," "game," and "me," and also introduced simple compound words like "sunset" and "backpack."
After completing these pages and reading his last two little books, we realized we were done! Caleb was so proud of himself.
He keeps going back and re-reading the books; he especially likes to read to his little brother.
Caleb seemed a little nervous to move on to the first grade level, so we took Thursday off from reading and did other subjects instead. Today I insisted we start it, and reminded Caleb that since he's ahead of the game, we can go as slow as we want. The first grade kit has two levels, the orange level and the red level. They each have their own set of flash cards and workbooks. This set also has books to read, and even though we haven't reached that part yet they already look more interesting than the kindergarten books. We have all the audio CDs for the first grade set so we used the first orange one today. The flash cards that go with this set are word beinnings, like ch-, th-, sh-, sw-, and so on. The track on the CD has you go over all the sounds (around ten in all) over and over again, saying that your child needs to master these sounds before moving on to the workbook. Looking at the workbook, however, I saw that the subsequent pages go over each sound individually anyway....plus Caleb was getting tired of going through the cards over and over. So we decided to go on to the first page (which had ch- and th- words on it) and do that. Luckily Caleb caught on to the ch- sound pretty quickly, he just needs to cover that part of the word up at first and concentrate on the ending of the word so he can read the whole thing (like chin and chum). He remembered th- from the helper words "the" and "that" so his main obstacle there is to pronounce it properly...he still has a habit of putting his top teeth on his lower lip when he says th- so it sounds more like an f sound. Anyway, we went slow and we're going to review a lot so Caleb doesn't get discouraged.
We also finished Henry and the Clubhouse this week. Caleb really liked it and he wants to read the books about Ramona Quimby now since she had a pretty important role in this Henry book. We don't have any of the Beverly Cleary books about Beezus and Ramona so we'll probably get those from the library soon! For his book report, Caleb wanted to draw the scene where Henry rides in an old bathtub on his neighbor's trailer as they drive it to the dump. I helped him draw the body of the truck, but everything else is Caleb's!
In math, we learned about nickels and continued to practice counting by 5's. We also learned more about place value and counted groups of tens to figure out what number goes in the tens place. Today, the lesson had Caleb do simple addition problems (like 2 + 1) without a number line. He knew the answer to some of the problems from memory, and for the others he figured out the answer by counting on his fingers.
For Bible time, we learned about Jacob coming home and reconciling with Esau, and then the story of Joseph. We used the Bible videos on YouTube again, plus it turns out he read about Joseph in his storybook Bible with his Dad. On Friday we each created a coat inspired by Joseph's special one. I colored mine, and Caleb opted to use stamps, markers, and glue. And googly-eyes, because why not?
For science, Caleb wanted to learn more about worms. If he had wanted to go dig some real ones up, this past week would have been perfect because we've had a lot of rain! However, right now Caleb is the kind of boy who would rather read about worms than touch them. We were able to reserve a couple of books from the library, and I printed off a couple of fun worksheets to do. For one, he cut out a simple ruler to measure earthworms with, and the other had him draw a worm and make up a story about it. Caleb made sure I knew that the measuring worksheet was wrong because its earthworms had eyes, and he made a point to draw his own worm with no eyes. I was impressed that he remembered that detail from the books!
Finally, we attempted a fun wiggly worms science experiment. You're supposed to cut gummy worms lengthwise to make them a little lighter, soak them in a mixture of baking soda and water for fifteen minutes, then drop a few into a glass of vinegar. The bubbles from the reaction are supposed to make the worms wiggle around. I could only find sour gummy worms (the kind with the sugary coating on the outside), but we tried them anyway.
Nothing much happened at first. We only put two or three worm pieces in there to start with (the instructions said any more might make everything sink down to the bottom), but they didn't move around despite all the bubbles. Caleb said he wanted to try other stuff, and I told him he could, since after all isn't that what scientists do? He ended up dumping more baking soda in, and that made a few worms float up to the surface and wiggle just a little. So not quite the wiggling we were hoping for, but Caleb was still satisfied that he got it to work a little bit. Really, the kid is satisfied with anything involving baking soda and vinegar!
Our Worm Books:
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Yucky Worms by Vivian French
I Can Listen to Stories printable (Kinder Craze)
List of Bible Videos (YouTube)
Jacob's Coat Activity (A Year of FHE)
Earthworm Measuring Sheet (Education.com)
Worm Writing Prompt (Teachers Pay Teachers...part of a free "Worm Day" pack)
Dancing Worms Science Experiment (Playdough to Plato)