The cat flap has worked a treat; I don’t know why we didn’t put one in sooner. It took about a week for MeMe to get it, but it was worth the hard work. What really helped him was removing the magnetic strip from the flap. If you’ve got a Staywell cat flap, the magnetic strip along the flap can be carefully worked off and easily put back on; it’s not held on by glue. We left it off for a few days while he got used to going in and out. When I knew he’d be the most motivated to get in (first thing in the morning), I replaced the magnet. It took him a few more days to feel comfortable pushing the flap open, but he’s done it. The funny thing is, if one of us is in the kitchen, he expects help. He’ll stand there at the flap and keep looking over his shoulder at us, hoping someone will open it for him. If no one is around (or he thinks no one is around), he goes through without hesitation. What a lazy cat. 🙂
History, the one subject I didn’t think Stiggy was ready for, has been such a great addition. I was worried, since the grammar stage is the ‘fact-finding’ stage, that history lessons would be filled with dates and facts to memorise and would be horribly boring. It’s not. It’s amazing. Stiggy loves Story of the World, and has settled into narration quite well. We go through the review questions from the activity book without pressure. If he doesn’t know the answer, I tell him and ask him to repeat it back to me. He loves his map work and really enjoys pulling his notebook down and putting the pages in. We paid a little visit to our local museum’s Ancient Egypt display and I bought Stiggy some ancient Egypt stickers and a little scroll of papyrus. He likes using the stickers to decorate his narration pages.
These books are full of great facts and are so much fun and well-organised; these are definite favourites for our Egyptian study.
Stiggy also enjoyed playing the Mummy Maker online game.
I recently took the plunge and purchased the Start Write software. I did make a mistake, though. I thought it had the New American Cursive font, but it doesn’t. That one is an extra $10. I can upgrade mine for an extra $20, but I don’t really plan to use it, at least not for Stiggy. He’ll be learning italic handwriting, which Start Write has (regular and cursive).
This software is great. It’s not perfect, but it’s quite versatile, once you get used to it. I was a bit annoyed at first because I wanted to change from solid lines to dotted, but when you click the button, it changes all of the letters, not just the ones you type next. The way around this is to open a new text box; it’s almost like opening a new sheet. You can customise each textbox separately. You can also set it so that the first letter of each word or line is solid.
I’m planning to use it to create handwriting supplement sheets, and have already made a copywork sheet. Being able to create copywork sheets using the italic font will help reinforce stiggy’s handwriting lessons. I’m sure it will come in handy in many, many ways.
S, the doctor family friend I mentioned in my last post, also homeschools her two children. She’s talked me out of Spelling Workout. She used two levels of it and said it was ok, but her kids didn’t really retain it. I’ve heard that from a few people. And actually, I’ve decided to hold off on spelling altogether. We do so much with language arts already that I don’t feel it’s necessary right now; Stiggy’s learning lots of spelling as we go.
The weather has just been awful; it’s been raining every day. The slugs and snails are ruining my plants.
Stiggy’s got a penpal; he’s so excited. He’ll be writing to a young man across the pond. His mum has a great blog.
Stiggy’s latest funny inventive spelling: