Someone tipped me off to the Scott Foresman Online Grammar and Writing Handbook (a FREE curriculum) this week. We started using it yesterday and I really like it! My 8 year old wrote a report yesterday on her own after our first lesson (pages 7-11)… and typed it up in MS Word! She spent half a day on the project, never loosing interest or steam. I really love the writing instruction in the beginning of the third grade curriculum (the one with the otter on the cover). The worksheets are quality PDF files and you can print them by section from a neatly organized table of contents.
Yesterday we also took the 2006 Texas TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge & Skills) online for FREE. My son took the writing and math portion yesterday, and my daughter took only the math. Today, they are both taking the reading portion. Here where we live in Arkansas, we will have to test with the state in March. Since we don’t “teach-to-the-test” or even go by the same scope or sequence as the curriculum at public schools, I like to get an idea of what we need to work on before standardized test time by doing these practice tests. Last year we didn’t do this; but my son (then in 3rd) did great anyway.
Taking the TAKS helped us to get brushed up on our Math terms: perpendicular, parallel, acute, congruent, product, sum, difference, quotient. I’m thinking of doing some flash cards for them and helping them memorize the terms. I also discovered that Morgan has a tendency to swap her numbers (she missed one problem using 58 rather than 85 – something her mom does quite often in my checkbook!).
I like the way that the Texas site has added clickable online multiple choice items and an automatic scorer. I go ahead and give them a percentage grade (such as 93% or 85%) for my records, but it is nice to be able to see where they stand on a chart provided by the Texas school district. What a great free resource!
ARKANSAS TESTING 2007
If you happen to be in Arkansas and need to get registered to take the IOWA Basic Skills in just a few weeks, check out the Arkansas Homeschool Testing Website. You need to pick out a test site and get your kids registered to test within the next 10 days or so! They also have an online parent handbook in PDF form that will give you helpful information about what has changed this year.
SPRITTIBEE HOMESCHOOL UPDATE
We were busy all day yesterday with testing, writing, and reading. Mommy had a lot of time to get caught up on grading. I’m looking forward to even more time for catching up today while the kids take their reading tests online.
We’re moving on to a new KONOS unit next week – TRUST: Ships and Floating. We’re a bit behind our schedule, but looking forward to catching up. Maybe if I get all my grading and recording caught up, I can start on that 2005-6 spreadsheet and finally get my Homeschool Series updated for you guys in cyberland?! That would be nice.
Have a super Thursday!
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