Nothing lasts forever, but currently our homeschool regimen is working out well. This is what we are up to these days. It is a routine, although loose and flexible in many spots, which makes it work well for us…
Mondays through Fridays:
Each morning starts out pretty much the same. We eat breakfast together and I fill out the “Question of the Day” in both of these books…
Emily really seems to look forward to it. And I think it will be a great record of thoughts in the years to come.
After I’ve written them down I turn to this stack of workbooks, and try to select an eclectic mix for her to work from. There tend to be about 4-6 pages total.
Math and language arts are the focus right now. My reasoning on this is that I have not focused on the basics and it is starting to catch up to us. If we have the basics, then the rest will more easily follow.
For math I pick from the Kumon books for teaching money or telling time, and then I have another math workbook that focuses on teaching addition and subtraction and is now venturing into word problems. These are slowly introducing new ideas – and Emily is easily keeping up with them, which is important right now because anything she deems too hard causes her to completely shut down and refuse to do the work. However, if it is easy, or introduced in a positive manner (yes, that’s me doing the introducing and yes, sometimes it can be hard to be cheery or patient when faced with a recalcitrant child but I do manage it)
Language Arts has several different workbooks to choose from, everything from crossword puzzles, consonant review, unscrambling letters or words, to writing practice. I’ve seen a marked improvement in her writing skills and her identification of lowercase letters. Now the only letters she gets confused are ‘b’ and ‘d’. That’s it. My goal is to get her comfortable with reading – something she is quite uncomfortable with at present. I’ve convinced myself that once she really, truly GETS it, the rest of her studies will fall into place far easier.
Lastly I incorporate mazes and the like to keep her interest, provide a break from the writing practice, etc, while she practices her motor skills.
Emily is of the age now where she can clearly see logical consequences in action. Don’t finish the schoolwork? Can’t play with friends or watch tv!
Weekends are a break from workbook pages. A time for us to do activities as a family, have play dates (this past Saturday we had a playdate with two other kids and went to Anita B. Gorman where they made birdhouses and other nature-themed crafts), free play with the neighbors, that kind of thing.
Although as evidenced from my When Kids Drive the Learning post, the learning never really stops!
Overall, I’m seeing more Dolch Sight Word recognition. Better printing skills of upper and lowercase letters, and slightly less mixing of the two (uppercase and lowercase randomly mixed together). I’m seeing number recognition improving on numbers under 100. A year ago she barely recognized the number 10, much less anything in the teens. Now Emily can look at ’48’ (for example) and read it as such. There are occasionally slip-backs, but overall she is improving.
I continue to worry about her reading. And Emily continues to resist reading. I hope that will change soon. I dream of a day when I will find her curled up in the large chair and a half in the library, contentedly reading a chapter book, or even one of the classics.