We’ve done two days so far of Rightstart math, and I’m definitely liking it so far. I think we’ve started it at just about the right level, because it’s fairly easy for Emily at the moment, so that she feels fairly confident and we get through the lesson quickly, but not so basic that she feels frustrated. I think that in the next few days, it will start feeling a little harder, so we’ll see. I might do lessons that are a bit harder twice, or a lesson one day and some review/games the next day to practice before moving on.

So far each day we practice recognizing a number without counting. Yesterday was numbers 1-3, today was 1-4. She seems fairly solid on this. She was also very comfortable with the other parts of the lessons involving sorting, continuing a pattern, etc. The two things that she might need work on are using her fingers to indicate a number, and ordinal numbers. She understands how to use her fingers to indicate a number, but she doesn’t seem to understand how to use her thumb to hold fingers down, and that’s going to handicap her as we go along. However, she conceptually understands all of that fine, so I don’t think it’s really much of a problem. She can always use tally sticks instead. The ordinal numbers thing isn’t uncommon to take a while, especially as “second” and “third” don’t sound a whole lot like “two” and “three.” She may find “fourth” and “fifth” easier.

I’m looking forward to playing with the abacus, which we don’t use for a few lessons. I’ve never understood them before, but looking through some lessons in Rightstart, it’s like… Oh! So that’s what it’s for. Yeah.

I’ve been majorly slacking off with the other stuff that I wanted to do with Sonlight. I have All About Reading pre-level 1, A Reason For Handwriting K, and Language Arts K. With All About Reading, I haven’t been pushing the letters much, working more on the games to develop phonemic awareness. But today was G, and I wanted to make sure we did some activities that involved looking at G, because the rounded shapes are the ones that Emily struggles to write correctly. So we did some coloring activities with G, I showed her the G in a pan of cornmeal, and practiced writing the capital G on a whiteboard with the A Reason For Handwriting treehouse on it. Tomorrow I’ll probably have her try to make a G with foamboard letters, make it herself in the cornmeal, and then try a sheet of handwriting Gs. Plus math.

I think that trying to do Bible (which involves reading Bible stories, practicing our Bible verse, and talking about a Biblical character trait), the reading of the core books, reading, science, math, language arts, and handwriting is way too much for a day. There are people on the forums I read who talk about how they’re finished a higher level of school in 1.5 hours and they wonder if that’s long enough, and I don’t get it. We usually do school for 1.5 hours, sometimes 2.5 if we do some in the morning and some in the afternoon, and we don’t get everything done. So I’m contemplating either alternating days (Bible, core, and science one day, handwriting, language arts, and math the other day, or something like that), or splitting some subjects into two days. Maybe doing language arts one day, and handwriting and math the other day (plus Bible/core/science every day). Not sure. I’m inclined to do math and science every day, because those are the ones that I want to get ahead/keep up on, and I wouldn’t mind core and language arts taking longer, but… it seems like every time I make a plan for how I’m going to do things, I never end up sticking to it. So, we’ll see.

It occurred to me today that… I actually love vacuuming. Okay, I’ve always been fond of it, because it’s fairly easy, not messy, and you get to watch a dirty floor turn clean and beautiful. But I love it all the more so because I got a new vacuum.

Our old vacuum bit the dust back when we were moving out of our house in New England for a TDY in the Midwest. I hadn’t used it much there because the floors were all hardwood, except for the dining room. Yes, the dining room. So I went to vacuum as we were moving out, and only the hose (the part that you put the attachments on) would give any suction whatsoever. However, I’d lost all the attachments at some point in the last 10 years. Using the hose to vacuum a room? Not fun. But I didn’t do anything about it at the time, as we were provided a vacuum during our TDY and then had hardwood floors everywhere when we went back to New England, and it wasn’t until we got here and I went to vacuum the rug we have in the girls’ bedroom that I was reminded that it didn’t work. So we looked at Consumer Reports, and Amazon, and… it turns out that what CR thinks are the best vacuums are not what regular people think are the best vacuums, and vice versa. I think part of it is that CR tests new vacuums in one limited test, so they don’t deal with vacuums aging, or breaking, etc. But I also care about some of the things they were testing for, and I didn’t agree with their methodology for testing things like maneuverability. So I ended up trusting Amazon reviewers and got the Dyson DC-25 Animal. And I love it. It is so easy to use. It has a ball that it rotates on, so you can maneuver it extremely well and it takes a lot less effort to push and turn it. It has fantastic suction. It has a hose with a pipe and a handle attached, so that you can easily and effortlessly clean under and around things and things over your head. Or clean out messy booster seats. 🙂 You have to empty the canister every time, but I actually love that, because you don’t have to buy bags or change bags. So fun, so easy. Yes, I’m a dork. But I love vacuuming now. In fact, I’m tempted to go clean the playroom right now just so that I have an excuse to vacuum it. But I think I’ll play Wii Lego Harry Potter instead (review on that to follow!).

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