Ahhh, you all must love my titles. I am sure you are all wondering why I never became some famous author or something :-) Yeah, that was supposed to be funny! OK, so we have a start date, which is VERY soon. June 30th, which is only a little over a week away. I am so very thankful to the Lord for that. That was a definite prayer of mine, that Jeremiah would not have a gap between jobs. His current job was to go until the third week of July. We went out to celebrate last night. We all ate too much of course. Then the girls asked if they could do something that we told them they could get done almost a year ago......get their ear's pierced! For one reason or another we kept pushing it off, but last night we said, sure why not, hopefully they are still open. We headed to the mall, and may I say we were reminded of why we hardly ever set foot in there!! We went to one place, but they said it was too close to closing time, but a customer in the store told us of a place down the hall. At first only Isabella and Moira wanted to get theirs done. After seeing how well her sisters fared Flannery decided to go for it. For a minute there I really thought Flannery was only going to have one pierced ear! She finally sat still for a second for the lady to do her other ear. It proved to be much more painful than she imagined. I wasn't surprised by her reaction, although I was very surprised at how well Moira did. You'd have to know Moira to know why. All of them held my hand and I was expecting Moira to leave marks on me, but she never even gave my hand a squeeze! She winced, said, "ow" (with out capital letters OR exclamation marks) and was over it. Blew me away. They all look very cute. They all tried to convince Saoirse to go through with it, but I KNEW that would have been a no go!!! They all picked out the same design of a flower, but different colors. Once we get a camera I'll make sure to take some pictures. They were very proud of themselves :-)
We got the girls test scores in. I was very pleased with them. Moira did as I expected, but Isabella actually did better than I thought. It was very neat to compare Isabella's rough spots last year to this years scores. I am very happy to say that the extra work we did this year really paid off. With Moira we slowly eased her into some of the same books (a different grade level though) as she needed more time to adjust to some things. Moira does very well in school, but she doesn't have the confidence in what she is doing, which can make things very difficult. But I would say about half way through the school year we saw a change in her, and the last month and a half, she really has improved in that area. For example I have been very surprised by the fact that she wanted to do all her math lessons on her own. This is VERY surprising since her last years math (grade three) she would not do ANYTHING unless I was there reading it to her, or watching her do it. She got done with her third grade math early, so we started the 4th grade, which although it is the same publisher has a different format. And there she was just a weekend past finishing her 3rd grade math with me sitting beside her telling me, "Oh, I can do this on my own, I don't need help." WHAT?!? Who are you, and what did you do with my child? Ha, ha!
So for the actual test scores. There are many different numbers I could list, but the easiest would probably to give you the grade level that they scored them at. So the number will be written as a decimal. The whole number represents the grade and the tenths spot represents how many months along in that grade. So 5.4 is fifth grade, fourth month. At the time of the testing Isabella was 5.9 and Moira was 3.9
Reading Comprehension 8.3
Usage and Expression 10.8
Concepts and Estimation (math) 7.1
Problem solving and Data Interp. 8.3
Math computation 5.3
Her combined average for those core tests: 7.8
Reading Comprehension 6.7
Usage and Expression 6.8
Concepts and Estimation (math) 4.9
Problem solving and Data Interp. 3.6
Math computation 3.6
Her combined average for those core tests: 4.5
Both did very well in reading comprehension and usage and expression. Isabella's weak points were what Moira's weak points are presently. As you can see Isabella did very well this year in all tests. This year I did not do a review of things like punctuation or capitalization, and for Isabella that was not a problem, but it proved that Moira was not retaining that info, so that is something we will work on next year. Both did well in their math concepts. Moira freaked out on the problem solving and math computation parts of the test due to the timing issue. So it was no surprise that those are lower scores. The math computation is how quickly they can do math facts. Both of my girls are not good in that area, as we have just started working on those the month before. However compared to last year they did do better. Moira is an avid reader, devouring books (Isa for that matter as well), and it is surprising to me she has such a hard time with spelling. We have a wonderful program that she had the hardest, hardest time with, so we changed to another approach a few months ago, and that has helped her, but you can see she is low in that area. Just confirmation that we need to keep her going on this new path. That is what I like about the testing, it helps to confirm my thoughts on how they are doing. Sometimes being here with them, and seeing their struggles you can loose sight as to where they are really at. Last years scores helped us to know what curriculum we needed to change and what was working. I am actually a bit nervous as we are thinking of getting a different curriculum for math this coming year. Saxon has been working just fine for us, but the format for the earlier years is very time consuming. I haven't seen another program that has what I like in Saxon though for the earlier years. So to see if it makes a difference in how much time I put toward their math we are going with a program called Teaching Textbooks. The lessons are on DVD. We did the demos with the girls and they really liked it. They are new, which is why I am hesitant. The lowest grade they have is 5th grade, so Moira will have to finish out with the Saxon 4th grade. So Isabella will start with the new program and we will see how she does. It is hard to compare the content between the programs, so we are hoping that there will be no gaps.
And a note about the grade levels. They might, at least in Isabella's case, seem impressive, however I'm not sure if they should be taken that way. Here is why I think that. Right now my children are doing grade level work. Although Moira did get done with her 3rd grade math early and she has started the 4th grade book. But for the most part all their materials are for their grade level. So we can take their testing grade levels in one of two ways (or maybe a little of both). It could be that my girls did really retain and learn all that I taught them this year and were able to apply what they learned to the different questions. Or, since the test we use is used across the nation in various school settings, public being the largest just by their sheer numbers, that due to the nature of public education, without a doubt proven to not be very effective that the average 7th grader is only doing 5th grade work. Isabella is testing at a 7th grade level, but again we have only been doing 5th grade work. I am not sure which is the case. It would be nice to think that my kids are just smart :-) Who knows maybe they are! (Of course I being their momma, think they are regardless of what any test would say, that's the way mommies think)
Ok, this post is almost novel length. On our agenda today is kitchen cleanup, hang out more laundry (this will be a daily thing for a while), finish my bedroom preps, schooling, OT, and maybe just maybe get some food into the freezer (something I planned on doing yesterday but didn't happen)
Have a great day!
Oh, PS....in case anyone has any questions as to the herbs I take for pregnancy: I use the Polly Jean Antenatal Formula that I purchase from http://www.birthjunkie.com/ . It is to be taken the last 5 weeks of pregnancy, although I usually don't start till week 37. I also take less than half the dosage when I first start and build up from there. The intent of the herbs is to stabilize your hormones and to prepare your uterus. And they do a WONDERFUL job doing both!!!! I can not say enough about these herbs. I would NOT be without them!! If anyone has any other questions about them or other things we take, please feel free to email me. I just had a few people ask about those in particular so I thought I would share here in a post as well.