I have decided to resume our study of artists. We started a project on Ted Harrison mostly because he’s originally from England but his art is all about the Yukon in Canada; a nice joining of cultures, like our family.
Lady P loves art so she always enjoys learning about artists and mimicking their work. We watched a YouTube video that took her through the process. I paused it so she could catch up and then resumed.
We have also started a new routine of writing a daily scripture every morning with the date. I copy the scripture in yellow for cheeky girl to copy and Lady P writes it herself. We help her find the scripture in the Bible then she copies it out. She feels grown up because she’s finding it in the Bible. Also, we help her to read it and discuss it. She draws a picture to help her understanding of the text. This incorporates a lot of different skills and topics. Art, bible study, reading, writing and maths (finding scriptures requires her to understand number order).
Unfortunately, both girls have a severe case of chicken pox so our homeschooling may include many films this week depending on how they feel! We’ve just acquired a massive supply of Barbie films which I find tedious but they love!
Had a really good morning schooling today! Lady P got down to business in anticipation of her friend coming round for a play date.
She completed her reading lesson; practiced her counting by 5s and 10s; counted backwards from 10 confidently and started to count backwards from 20; sorted coins with their number amounts; wrote some more of her story; compared coniferous leaves to deciduous leaves and made notes. Cheeky girl practiced counting objects and writing the number down and she practiced the letter c and d and made pictures of things starting with those letters.
Afterwards, friends came to play all afternoon! It was a good day!
We have had a brilliant start to the year! Lady P is working well! Im trying not to make anything too tedious for her! She has calmed down now that she has a regular routine! The summer of no routine didn’t make her overly happy!
This week has been warm so we spent lots of time outside!
We also did lots of work! She is progressing through her Reading programme. We are doing daily calendar time; maths using all sorts of manipulatives including our Spielgaben! We do daily bible activities and some sensory stuff for the littleuns!
Yesterday cheeky girl got her immunisations and was allowed McDonalds for being brave! She was excited to have mummy time! Then she had swimming lessons. How has your first week been so far?
Yesterday was our first day of school (or no school). We had a good day and Lady P was exhausted by the end (I suspect I got over-zealous).
I’m still incredibly happy she is home with us. I suspect she may struggle with attention and although I don’t want to say she has ADHD (because I’m not a doctor), I do feel she is leaning to that side. I’m teaching her and helping her as if she has ADHD and it seems to work. It’s hard to say it out loud because everyone says it’s just her age, but I think as a parent, you know when things are not quite right. We have started cutting out E numbers and sugar from her diet and it’s made a world of difference. But she still struggles!
Anyway, the first day was busy as I was working as well. We did calendar work, reading, art, writing, spelling and maths. We went outside and rode bikes, played at the park and had swimming lessons.
The last few days have been extremely busy! On Sunday nights, I create a plan for the week. I have found that this has worked the best for our routine. Then, I try to cover most of it throughout the week. Some things happen on different days than the plan but it doesn’t matter.
On Monday we went to the park again and Lady P went on the BMX track with her bike. Nobody was there so it was great. I ended up running around with her so I guess it was a work out for me! Bonus!
As usual, she did her maths and English work, we read, did crafts and played in the garden. She also goes to swimming lessons.
On Tuesday, we had a ridiculously long and busy day! The kids went to the beach with daddy while I was at work. They created beach art and attempted to write ‘at words in the sand. Lady P couldn’t understand that she had to hold the stick different from a pencil so she kept getting frustrated.
Later she had gymnastics and did work in between all our comings and goings.
Today we were looking after our little friend again. Lady P did an amazing water colour of a Georgia O’Keeffe close-up of a flower.
She is loving all things art related! She also did her reading lesson and maths lesson and we continued reading the BFG. Phew! I’m exhausted!
I have been searching for beginner readers that are REAL beginner readers. What do I mean? Well, the Oxford Reading Tree books that are used by most schools are good but I find that Lady P is still not getting it because they make things too complicated and colourful.
‘But I thought colour was good!’ You may say! And you are right,for most kids! But Lady P is very easily distracted…by everything!!! Including pictures that have loads going on!
I once read somewhere, by another homeschooling mum, that she had to switch reading programmes for each of her children because they all had a different way of learning. Lady P is a very active child and struggles to focus for any amount of time. I finally found a programme that works for her. Besides doing the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons programme (which she enjoys), we are reading the BOB books every night before bed.
I bought Set 1, which go through the alphabet in a step by step fashion, starting with 3 consonants and a vowel and adding letters in each book. Set 1 starts with simple CVC words and only 5 sight words. The pictures are mostly in black and white with 1 colour added, making them simple and non-distracting. Lady P was so excited when she read her first story all by herself! What a confidence builder!
I recommend these books for children who are struggling to put the pieces together. For instance, lady P knew her letter sounds, knew what words started with but couldn’t quite put it together to read whole words. Once she gains some fluency, I’ll let her try the Oxford Reading Tree books again.
I may even purchase the pre reading books for Cheeky Girl to start on.
We have been trying to spend the last remaining nice days outside before the British Winter/Rain begins. It’s been surprisingly mild and dry so that’s pretty exciting.
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I suppose the biggest challenge for homeschooling parents is teaching our children to read. Some children seem to learn how to do it on their own, others are reluctant. While other parents talk about reading readiness, I come somewhere in between. I’d be lying if I said I have no problems waiting for Lady P to read ‘when she is ready’. I think most of us can admit to wanting them to read as soon as possible. So trying not to push them before they are ready, is quite difficult. So I guess that is why I am enjoying her new reading lessons as they force ME to wait. She goes at a pace she is comfortable with and I’m not over doing it with the expectations.
I am also trying to let my children play without interruption. Especially when they play together and are deep in imaginary land (as I like to call it). I hate to be interrupted when I’m doing things I love so I TRY to let them play without interfering when I can (plus it gives me a break).
So I guess I am learning as I go along what makes my children happy and what makes them want to learn! That’s one of the goals for our family: to create self-learners!
Lady P is in nursery today so I spent some time with Baby S doing whatever she wanted! First, we played with play doh making Minnie Mouse bows (she wanted a mummy bow, a daddy bow and a baby bow).
Afterwards, we did her alphabet puzzle and did all the letter sounds together. Then we did sandpaper letters. I got her to trace them (barely) and say the sound of s, a and t. She knows s already because of her name. Then I asked her to point to each letter which she did. But then she didn’t want to do anymore.
After this, she chose her new rainbow toy that someone bought her. We practiced making a rainbow and I asked her to pass me the colours. So far, she knows orange. Then she made a tunnel using the pieces from the rainbow.
While I did laundry, Baby S watched The Letter Factory and managed to sit through the whole thing! Now she’s having a nap! So that was my very simple toddler school! All accomplished holding a newborn!