Friday, July 27, 2018

Xander Update 7.5 Years

I've been doing a lot of updates on Archer lately, and realized I haven't updated about Xander in quite a while.
Xander is seven and a half and just finished second grade (you can read about his transition to kindergarten/first grade here).  He liked school, for the most part, but definitely wasn't challenged enough, even with a special MTSS group he was in.  His teachers were wonderful, but also human and having to deal with a room full of kids.  Honestly, I should have done more to supplement at home, but between having a new class, being pregnant and moving, I dropped the ball.
This summer, we've stepped up our game again.  Here are some of the supplemental things we're doing.

He did a lot of STMath, for which he has a subscription through school.  He also continued to do his Christian Light Education workbooks.  For the summer we bought him a subscription to Elephant Learning.  It claims to advance students 1 year of math.  I'm not sure how accurate the claim is, but Xander really seems to enjoy it.  We have not yet decided if we will continue it during the school year when he has access to STMath again.
Xander LOVES to read.  He will easily spend hours a day doing it (below are pictures of how I typically find him on a summer day).  He always takes a book or two with us when we run errands.  Recently, he has been devouring the Rick Riordan books.  Because he tends to speed read, I purchased some reading comprehension worksheets he does occasionally, just to make sure he's comprehending what he reads.

When he has the patience for it, we also do read-alouds.  Currently, we're working out way through Harry Potter.  We haven't made it that far, because he'd usually rather just read himself.
The media specialist at his school (who is also his MTSS teacher) said that while she has him work with Chromebooks, she is not allowed to teach the kids keyboarding because it is something they do in middle school.  I thought that is a bit ridiculous, since I want him to learn good habits from the beginning.  We got him a one year subscription to Keyboarding Without Tears.
Xander has started piano lessons.  He used to watch a lot of Hoffman Academy videos and we had Teaching Little Fingers to Play books, so his teacher was able to bump him to the second level right away.

I've recently introduced Xander to grid style logic puzzles.  He loves them and is getting better all the time! (We've been using Logic Safari Book 2).  He also has a lot of logic games like Rush Hour and the Laser Maze that he plays.

Games and Movies:
We still try to play a lot of games as a family.  Moving and a new baby have made it hard, but we're getting back into it.  (You can see just a few of the games we play in my Games for Brains series of posts).  My dad plays chess or cards with Xander most weekends.  Xander and my husband have also become a little obsessed with the Perplexus balls.  I'm afraid they're going to want to beat them all!  Xander still watches a lot of his educational DVDs and shows on Netflix.  I'm a big fan of the Disney Imagineering ones and he loves Mathtacular (even though I find them very dull).

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