Thursday, September 10, 2009

Homeschooling take 1

I love this book!  I have waited a long while to 'review' it, because it took me awhile to implement using it.  I bought this book back in March of 2009.  I found the link to it from a friend of a friend of mine (I think!  That's how long it's been) and promptly ordered it on with my free giftcards I earned from swagbucks (along with some other things to take advantage of free shipping with purchases over $25!).   I knew by last March that Cara would be staying home with me this year trying out 'homeschool' and since she's been able to say her letters since before her 2nd birthday, I knew I had to try this book.  I also knew I was going to wait for the 'fall' and 'school' to start!  I loved when I got it and promptly read all the information for parents.  5 months ago.  So, back in mid-August, when I started watching Aynslee full-time, and was trying to get back in the non-summer groove, I thought I'd jump right in.  I wanted to do a little school time each morning while Micah was taking his morning nap.  This proved to be hard with two 3 year olds, on very different learning curves.  So, I decided our reading lessons would be one-on-one wih Cara.

We started off very slow.  Maybe 1-2 lessons a week, MAYBE!  She was doing good, but they were very slow and hard to get through since she has about a 5 minute attention span.  There are different parts to each lesson.  I'd sometimes stop mid-lesson in between parts to break for the day.  I also found out that a snack or reward for the end of the lesson has worked well the past couple of weeks.  Either a snack Mommy and Cara gets to share, or a sticker or stamp for her hand!  She loves it and it helps to refocus her if she gets off course.  I have done it both when Aynslee and Micah are both asleep, OR when Aynslee is asleep and Micah is playing in his exersaucer or crawling around.  I'm pleased to say she's done well with both.

Anyways, onto the bragging :).  We completed lesson 11 today (and lesson 10 yesterday).  She actually asks for her 'lesson' now after I lay Aynslee down, and she goes to our book shelf on our built ins to get the book for me.  She enjoys cuddling with me (and me, her).  As you can imagine, it's been a little slow going (we are only sounding out 6 letters after 11 lessons), so it's hard to see the fruits of my 'labor,' until yesterday!  She opened the book and was looking through the pages while I finished up nursing Micah, and she saw a word in bold and started sounding it out!  Not a word we've done before (and with a letter we've yet to go over, Y) and she did it!!  I was so proud, and she can tell how proud I am of her.  She loves getting word of affirmation and high fives!!  haha.  Three weeks ago, I would have said, I don't know if Cara and I learn well together, still not sure if homeschooling is for us.  But, after the past few days, I am excited!  Still not feeling led one way of the other through prayer if homeschooling is right or not for us long term, but I am now enjoying it day-to-day this year. 

Being 1/10th of the way through this book, with a 38 month old reading 3 letter words, I am SOLD!  She now tries to sound out words in our bible stories at night and when I'm reading to the kids in the morning.  I know it's not a race, and she has other things we are not even working on yet, but reading is important to me and I'm glad we're learning together.  One thing I am not using in the book is the handwriting portion (the last part of each lesson).  We're still working on handwriting, starting slow doing straight lines, diagonal lines, circles, etc.  I'd really love to hear from you if you homeschool or have experience with early childhood development, or just experience with your kids!! 

This also links to Friday Favorites at Daily Dwelling!!

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Monica said...

I actually used that with some of my students when I taught special ed. and saw results! I'm using a similar one, The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading with my four year olds in homeschool and really love it, too!

Thanks for linking up with Friday Favorites this week!

Jen Barnes said...

James taught himself how to read and is up to some 7 and 8 letter words... no lessons. I'm actually wanting to do the Ambleside Online and Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling (meaning you wait for ANY "lessons" until age 7!!) because I simply don't see the point in rushing things but my James, he is soaking things up left and right.

Go Cara!

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