February 3, 2017

Language Arts & Internet Issues


Underwater Network Cables
I am writing bits and pieces of this blog between intermittent internet service because about a week ago the internet cable that runs under the Mozambique Channel broke. There are three main internet providers in Madagascar, ours and one other who use this broken cable, and then another provider who use a smaller cable. So now our internet provider and the other are having to purchase bandwidth from the other smaller cable, thus slowing down our internet significantly. I hope it gets up and running soon, so we can resume our normal activities we so heavily depend on internet for, online courses, piano lessons, phonics games, SkypeYouTube, even television shows. :) Yes, let's get down to the really important stuff, hahaha.

If you ever want to know how much of your life depends on internet, just cut yourself off for a day or a week. It's frightening!


Grade 1 Language Arts Sonlight Package
How do we do Language Arts?

Because I have been so happy with Sonlight over the past 6 six years of homeschooling we are continuing with it. I did try out Brave Writer for the first time this year for a change, and for my personality,  I found it way too free. I didn't feel like the kids were producing any good amount of quality work, and I was having to coordinate way too many things myself rather than follow a pre-laid out schedule with everything included. I definitely discovered that I truly appreciate the Sonlight way, in that the schedule is already there, and I don't have to create the program. So after Christmas I put each of the kids back into Sonlight Language Arts and we just dove right into the middle of the year's program. I was pleased to discover they were all right on track, a couple of them even ahead of schedule as far as their skills are concerned. 

So obviously taking a detour on Brave Writer for half a year didn't hurt them in the least. I really like the idea of Brave Writer, in that it's a literature based writing program, with heavy emphasis on copywork or dictation to teach grammar, but once again, for me I felt like it was too unstructured. I'm glad I have the Writer's Jungle however, and I will refer back to it as a reference for ideas about teaching certain writing concepts.

Within the realm of Language Arts our family is also using the following:
Penmanship:  Handwriting With a Purpose
Phonics: Explode the Code & MCP Phonics
Vocabulary: Wordly Wise


The avocado tree in our yard is going crazy with fruit this year! Last year was the first time it produced any, and this year we've probably seen triple in the amount of avocado on there. Our rainy season has been very late in coming though so some of the avocado are drying up and falling off the tree already. They have to stay on there and grow until at least March, even April perhaps.

I hope the rain comes and saves them!

There's nothing like an avocado and tomato sandwich on toasted bread. Yum.

On My Side Table

 Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

I can't remember where I found this title or who recommended it to me. But I really enjoyed this quick read. The entire book is free verse poetry, so I was little intimidated by it--something totally different for me.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon.

Last year I read many Mitford books, and it seemed time again for another. These books are generally easy reads with believable plot-lines.

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