Saturday, September 07, 2013

Our 1st 4 Weeks with My Father's World K

Good evening!

I'm working on prioritizing some "momma" time and this blog is going to be one of those things (1. bible study, 2. exercise, 3. blogging, 4. reading, 5. knitting). 

I am severely delinquent in keeping up with our school stuff.  We started school the first Monday of Aug.  I don't remember the date (you are going to have to bear with me on this). 

I guess I should back up.  We started MFW K last year, January I think.  We worked through a few units, the creation unit and then I think units 1-5.  It was going ok, but I was having to push Bear a little and I didn't really want to do that so we just backed off.  It's ok to back off something if your child isn't ready!

Now, technically Bear is in kindergarten this year.  His late birthday would have only had him in preschool last year.  Even if he should have been in kindergarten last year I still wouldn't have pushed.  We might have worked on developing skills and review but I would not have pushed.  Pushing kids to do things they aren't ready for can really hamper learning later.  Trust me on this one.  There are a lot of FUN things that can be learned while skills develop and children grow in maturity. 

Back to planning:  I started where we left off and then scheduled 4 units, then a review week, 4 units, then a review week.  That way, if Bear was still struggling we could back off and go at a slower pace.  Scheduling this way also allows me to take time off without guilt.

Amazingly, Bear is just zipping through his work now.  We are finishing 4 days of work in 3 so moving at a quick pace through our worksheets.  I don't want to push to hard so I throw in review sheets when needed to keep him busy (and it reinforces the "I can do it" attitude).  I get the review sheets from little workbooks you can buy at Dollar Tree, Dollar General or Walmart.  I recommend Dollar Tree.  You can pick up the neatest things there!

We are 5 weeks in and finished with the first 4 units I had scheduled.  We are also working on Alphaphonics.  I wasn't sure if we would start it yet because I didn't want to push, but he was ready and is doing great.  He loves that he can read now!  CVC words right now but we are getting ready to do consonant blends :)

A lot of people ask about phonics programs.  I use alphaphonics.  It is cheap.  One reusable book.  I've had our copy for 11 years now.  It is falling apart, but useable.  If more review is needed I use Victory Drill Book. It is also reusable.  I don't use it as intended and am not using it with Bear at this point.  That can be another post.  I also love the phonics attributes of All About Spelling and would probably love their reading program.  I'm using what I've got :)  I used All About Spelling with the older boys and was amazed how much it helped their reading skills.  We will start that in 1st grade.  Back to Alphaphonics......on day 1 we read lesson 1.  We did it for a few days till I felt he was comfortable (I honestly think he had it memorized).  The next day after that we did lesson 1 and lesson 2.  The next day we did lesson 1, 2 and 3.  The next day we did lesson 2, 3 and 4.  We kept doing those 3 until I felt that he was comfortable with lesson 2, then we dropped it and added in the 1st half of lesson 5.  At this point we are doing lesson 4 and all of lesson 5.  I think on Monday we will add in lesson 6 and see how he does (consonant blending).  We continue on this way, at the students pace, until the book is done.  Sometimes we spend a lot of time on 3 lessons, or I drop one but don't pick a new one up.  You will know what is best.  Don't push.

We read a lot.  I tried ordering the reading suggestions from the library online, but either my computer doesn't like their system or their system doesn't like me....I couldn't get it to work.  Now I take my list to the library every week and they order for me.  It is hand written.  2 lines for each book (title/author) with a line in between each book.  About 20-25 books a week.  The librarian looked at me like I had grown 3 heads but doesn't even batt an eye now, cause we are bringing them back as fast as she can get them ordered (I also check out 1-2 books for myself per week and allow each kid 5 books and 1 movie apiece, each week).  What the librarian doesn't understand is that we read each of those 40 some books each week and sometimes more than once.....and we also have an extensive library here at home.  We read ALOT.

We are going to spend several days this fall at our local state park.  I think it will help all of us to smooth the transition to school, especially to see the leaves change color.  It is beautiful there!  We took a picnic lunch Friday and enjoyed some time at the lake and playground.  Good memories!

Abby is working on colors (she's about got them), shapes (almost got them also), number recognition and letter recognition.  We also do the songs, rhymes and Bible stuff together.  She picks up a lot of things from read alouds and her speech is improving....slower than I would like but it is improving. 

I'm really pleased with how this year is going :)  I'm in a good place with homeschool.  I've done it long enough now not to be pushy and really is a short period that we get to be with these goes fast.  Enjoy it!

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