Monday, August 08, 2011

Homeschool Diaries

 Making letters with shaving cream!

 She actually did make a letter at some point with the Geoboards!

The Good: though slowly, we are moving along. Hannah continues to have success in reading her Bob Books. We have completed through letter N. She is beginning spelling. She hears words and then calls out all the letters she hears in those words. It's fun to see her get excited! Her cutting skills have come a LONG WAY and she successfully can cut on her own. Hannah has also mastered several sight words. Grant, surprisingly, has also mastered a few.

I've been reading The Well Trained Mind thanks to Laura Beth who kindly shared her copy with me. I've been thoroughly encouraged. I will be teaching Hannah via the Classical Education model. Having been a public school teacher, this is the opposite of what I ever learned in my teaching life. However, as I read this book I am greatly encouraged that this is a great model to follow. Here are a few quotes that encouraged me the most:

"If you create a language-rich home, limit tv and videos, and then teach systematic phonics, you will produce readers."

"In about thirty minutes per day, plus informal teaching as you go about your family life, you can easily teach you child beginning reading, writing, and math concepts, all without workbooks or teacher manuals."

Jessie Wise

These quotes are directly related to Pre-K and Kindergartners. I liked them because it's simple. It's doable. And it's proven to be successful. With three kids, one still an infant, I need simple. So, the BEST thing over the past couple of months I've gained personally, is a better understanding of Classical Education and a growing heart for it. AND, somewhat of a burden lifted off my back as I have realized it doesn't have to be complicated. This is very different from teaching a classroom of 24 kids who all come from different backgrounds.

AND, starting the 23rd, we will officially start homeschooling. Thursday is Open House. I'm a bit nervous but also excited to see Hannah in this new environment. We are starting a new chapter.

The Bad: Maybe the fact we've only made it to letter N and it's August. But, in reality, Hannah knows all her letters and sounds so I'm not going to beat myself up. She's reading some too. We'll continue to move forward as we continue on our homeschool journey. And perhaps knowing how to work with Grant. He's a firey little guy at times. I'm trying to teach him the right way to hold his pencil/crayon. He's not having it. So usually I back off and wait for another opportunity to show him. He's easily frustrated so I mainly maintain a hands off approach at this age. I'm hoping he will grow out of that.

The Funny: The other day I was drilling Hannah on her sight words and Grant said, "I want to do it." Humoring him, I obliged and showed him the first card. Right away he said, "of." He was exactly right. I should him another. He read it right away. I just laughed. I didn't give the little guy enough credit. He knows maybe 2-3 of the 10 words and that's from just sitting there while I drill Hannah.


Jenny said...

Jess, I'm interested in the Geoboard! Where did you find it? Andrew is very behind in fine-motor, and I think this would be great for that. And Grant's issues with holding the pencil and with being easily frustrated exactly describes Andrew, too. I wonder if it is a 'boy' thing?

Courtney said...

yay for the classical model!!! :) :) I totally agree about the Pre-K and Kindergarten stage...the model that is from the classroom has to do with containment and entertainment as much as education. Simple but focused is key. Love ya, you're such a great mom!!!

Grandmama said...

You are doing such a great job Jess, don't worry about Grant's pencil grip yet. He is only 3 years old and sometimes my four year old students don't get it until middle of the year. Boys tend to develope much different than girls with that. I am so proud of my Grandchildren. Tell them to kiss their brains!

Jessica said...

thanks so much friends for your encouragment! Jenny, a veteran homeschool mom gave me her's and I think my mother in law who teaches preschool also gave me one...I would think perhaps The Schoolbox would have them? My kids love them!

Mary said...

I think it is a "boy thing"...both my boys developed their fine motor coordination much later than my girls...if I remember right, I think Susan Wise Bauer suggests separating the reading and writing instruction because of that, so that boys don't get frustrated. I am sure you know that already though since you are reading the book right now!