Boy, is mama still adjusting to being out of the house three times a week! This was our actual first week of our new full schedule. We were gone on Monday morning (which stretched into Monday afternoon by the time we met daddy for lunch) and Wednesday morning (which stretched into Wednesday afternoon by the time we went to the library and the park), and I was gone to work all day today. What that means is that we didn’t learn anything new at learning time; instead, we focused on putting sounds together to make cvc words. Lulu is still not quite getting it on her own just yet, but she can quickly identify the words if I sound them out for her. Surprisingly, Louise even figures our the word first sometimes! I suspect that when Lulu begins kindergarten next year, Louise will also be a kindergartener!
Life has gotten tremendously hectic this past week, hence the late posting of our week-in-review. In fact, we only did any formal learning time twice this week. On Monday, we learned the /v/ sound and did our usual activities. Then, on Tuesday, I had to work all day at a local semiannual children’s consignment sale, so the girls got to spend all day with my parents. On Wednesday I attended a leadership training session for Community Bible Study, so it wasn’t until Thursday that we could actually pick up with our learning time again. On Thursday we reviewed all the sounds we’ve learned thus far and even started putting some sounds together to form words. With a good bit of help, Lulu is able to sound out a few cvc words! That is extremely gratifying to me as her teacher and mother. The smile on her little face is priceless! Then, for a special treat, we read A Baby Sister for Frances and made our own secret hideaway under a quilt suspended across four kitchen chairs. On Friday my part-time job resumed for the semester, so we once again missed learning time. Of course, there was the usual copious amount of reading aloud all week, and even the beginning of a brand new chapter book, Mary Poppins. I missed our learning times, though.
This week has shown me that once we reach the age of formal schooling (say, next year), that our outside commitments are going to have to be drastically curtailed. This is somewhat difficult for me because my biggest outside commitment, CBS, is one that I feel is so very worthwhile. I will certainly have to pray about whether or not this should remain a part of our life somehow, even after we begin school in earnest.
- Lulu is only four, so she is not even technically old enough for school. In my mind, this means that whare we’re doing is just extra, above-and-beyond stuff. Who needs a plan for that, right?
- I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of homeschooling so if I kind of sneak in the back door and do it, maybe it will become “what we do” instead of “what we’re going to do.” Do you follow?
I guess you could say that we’re simply working on pre-reading skills. Here are the sounds we learned this week:
Tuesday–c (hard c)
Friday–a (short a)
I know that there is some sort of phonemic notation that I’m supposed to be using (and I’ve even had a couple of linguistics courses, ‘though you’d never know it now), but I haven’t looked them up.
We followed essentially the same lesson plan that we followed last week. I tried to make a big deal out of /a/ (is that the notation?), as per The Ready-to-Read, Read-to-Count Handbook that I’m using as my guide. For example, instead of making a a sandpaper letter, I made it a felt letter so that it would both look and feel different. Instead of cutting out pictures of a words from our old magazines, we made an a necklace (another suggestion from the book).
when Lulu was extremely excited about Friday’s learning time because I had really built it up to her that we would be learning something different (the short a sound)
when Lulu, after learning /h/, wanted to write “the cat in the hat.” Of course, we did that.
Try as I might to get her to do something more age-appropriate, Louise insists on doing what big sister does. Here is her whiteboard work:
We began our first official day of unofficial school on Monday, August 4, 2008. I refer to this year as “unofficial school” because I have insisted to Steady Eddie that I do not want to purchase any particular curriculum yet because, after all, Lulu is only four and Louise is only two. I figure we can spend our learning times reading books (which we have always done) and doing rather short, informal lessons on reading skills. Here’s how our week went:
Monday–Read The Big Green Pocketbook per Before Five in a Row
After posting a few months back that I will primarily use this blog for reviewing the books I read, now I feel that it is time to branch off in yet another direction. I will still continue to review the books I read, but I fear that my reviews will be even fewer-and-further-between, which, for the reader I used to be, is quite scandalous. However, I am now a mother of two little girls, a part-time teacher, and, after donning my latest hat, a homeschooling mother, and I fear there are still only twenty-four hours in a day.
I have approached homeschooling with more than a little trepidation. After all, both my husband (known on this blog as Steady Eddie) and I were model students and teachers in the public school system. Why on earth would we choose to homeschool? Hmmm. The answers to that question are many and varied, but I think the main answer is a selfish one. I cannot stomach the idea of sending Lulu off to kindergarten next year. It seems too irrevocable. More than one person has said to me, “Once they go off to school, they’re gone.” I don’t want our life together to be that way. As much as I long for a moment of quiet most days, I love having my girls with me every day. I love reading to them and spending time with them, and I’m just not ready to hand that privilege over to a teacher. Is that selfish?
And so we embark on this journey. While I suppose I should say that we’ve been homeschooling all along (after all, we spend at least a small portion of each weekday in scripture memorization and a larger portion in reading aloud), we have gathered a little corner of our morning into something we call “learning time” every day. I am going to attempt to keep a record of what we do each week here. Come along with us if you wish!