Saturday, June 02, 2012

Homeschool Diaries: Random Thoughts

Homeschool continues to move along.

Our main focus this summer is reading. Hannah is doing a terrific job. I am really a big fan of The Writing Road to Reading (ask me that again when I start with Grant).

Along with growing in her reading and recognizing the phonograms, Hannah is also developing good penmanship. She's learning how to space accurately, begin at the proper place on wide ruled paper and stop at the appropriate place. She is self correcting so much more these days. That makes me happy.

What I love about The Writing Road to Reading is its simplicity. It's cheap but it gets the job done. All it requires is a pencil and paper along with the book (that I got used for maybe $7).

I'm realizing with three little ones, I need simple. I need curriculum that is cheap but will get the job done without having to buy a million other things to go along with it. I don't have a lot of time to make cute things and hang a lot of things on the wall. It just isn't going to happen. And I'm finally okay with that. Is Hannah reading, yes. Is she writing, yes. And beginning in the fall  we'll start her on Saxon math.

Seeing the benefit of copy work, I am also going to start her on copying sentences. To most, this seems ridiculous, I know. But as I've read about copy work I've become a strong believer. It works on penmanship, tracking skills as they move their eyes from the board to the paper, spelling, sentence structure, spacing, punctuation and grammar. AND, why not have her copy Scripture? So, add in Scripture memory as well. I'm really excited about it. We've begun a bit as we work one on one during her reading time and she really enjoys it. She loves to see that she wrote a sentence.

As we're coming up on a year of homeschooling I think the biggest lesson I've learned is to calm down. Educating at home looks a lot differently than educating in a school. It takes A LOT less time to tackle learning. It's actually great. I can accomplish with Hannah in an hour and a half what it took me several hours to accomplish in my classroom of 23 when I taught.

And, she's reading. Hooray! It's exciting to see her progress over the year. I'm looking forward to seeing her grow more over the summer as we continue with The Writing Road to Reading. Then, we'll delve into the wonderful world of math come August. Thankfully, Saxon is scripted. I need scripted when it comes to math!

I'll leave you with a few pictures of our homeschool time.

Grant's main goal this summer is to get the pencil grip down. I was proud of him here. He gets easily discouraged on ANYTHING so the fact he did his whole coloring sheet holding it this way was a huge success. He was also pumped to have his own workbook. Later in the day he came upstairs to me and said, "Thank you Mommy." And I said, "for what?" He said, "for my workbook." He was proud all around.
And, by the way, he is wearing a Speedo swimsuit fully equipped with a flotation device in the stomach. If I let him leave the house in this, he would. Too bad he isn't wearing the over protective hat as well. Then you'd really be laughing.

Math over the past several months has been focused on the one hundred chart and skip counting. Thanks to Pinterest, I found these awesome one hundred chart activities. For the top activity I just cut up a hundred chart and glued magnet pieces to the back of them. Now they can build their own one hundred chart.

And, what says fun like finger painting? I have to include Kate in some of our activities. This was right down her alley.