Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let the Schooling Begin...

I have mentioned before that we are planning to homeschool Ada, and our journey officially begins in August when she will be a part of Classical Conversations--a classical homeschool group. 

I am so excited about this!!!  I think that we desperately need a homeschool group if we are going to "do this thing."  I need the accountability, and I think it will be fun for Ada to have an official "first day of school" and classmates and all of that.  You can read more about Classical Conversations here, but basically, we will meet one day a week at a local church, where the classroom tutor will introduce the week's material and review (?) the previous week's material.  I am not sure about the reviewing part.  But, anyway, for this super UNorganized mama, the actual reporting to someone once a week is a huge help.

I was going to go into all the reasons why we are homeschooling, but I decided I just won't.  Bottom line, it's what we feel like God is calling us to do, and as for the education itself, I absolutely, 100% believe in the classical model, so that's the why behind that choice.  If anyone wants to know more I would be glad to share, but that would take so long right now, and really I just want to blog about Ada's BIG accomplishment. 

Today...Ada read a book!!!!

We have been working our way through Phonics Pathways for a while now, but we haven't been able to move past the vowel sounds, which is driving me a bit crazy.  I don't know if it's a developmental thing, and maybe it will come with age, but Ada can't get all the vowel sounds right.  She knows the A sound without question, and she also does O fairly automatically, but the others trip her up a bit.  Well, yesterday, my BOB books (LOVE them) arrived in the mail, and I decided to just go for it with book 1--she only had to know four sounds to read it, and only the A vowel sound, so we tried it yesterday.  She read one word yesterday, and I was so excited, but she burned out pretty quickly. 

Well, we tried it again today, and today, I made her work through the whole book, and SHE DID IT.  If you can't tell, I am pretty fired up about this.  It's just so amazing to watch her sound out the letters and realize it's a word and then read this (SUPER simple) story all by herself. 

I should add, that after reading two pages, she decided she wanted to be done.  When I told her, "no mam, we have to finish the book," this was her reaction

So, it quickly turned into a discipline issue, but we eventually made it through the book. 

I am also slowly introducing some sight words--we are starting with just three--and she is doing fairly well with those.  She can recognize them on the notecard, but she doesn't seem to recognize them in the context of an actual book.  We just started the sight words today, though, so I assume that will come with time. 

So, here we go...we are official homeschoolers.  Yes, I know, mark us down as a weird homeschool family--we can handle the label ;)

Our other school related item of the summer is that I signed Ada up for the reading program at the library.  Now, when I was doing summer reading programs, I think that I got a free pan pizza from Pizza Hut at the end--am I right, mom? other "Book-it" alumni?  So, I pictured it being this big deal at the end of the summer where Ada got to go get her free pizza because we read so many books, etc. etc.  I think all she gets is a certificate.  But, we're doing it anyway, and it has made both of us remember to read books more.  She gets excited to write it down on her list, and, let's be honest, nerdy me also gets excited to write the books down on her list.

And when we're not doing all this "educating," (which takes up like 30 minutes of our day--at the most), Ada and John are busy making silly sounds into the box fan in the kitchen.  Classic summer entertainment.  Ann, don't you remember sitting in our bedroom in the house on Birchwood, making noises into the box fan?  John may not be able to say many understandable words, but he can make silly sounds and crack himself up with the best of them.


Elizabeth said...

No - we didn't do summer reading programs. The free pizza was during the school year through the school reading programs.

I didn't do as good as you and Ann are doing, taking your children to the Library at this age. sorry. You know me, not crazy about leaving the house.

rhodes1 said...

A while ago, I was on a street car and someone had a book-it tshirt on, and it made me so excited! My friends had no idea what I was talking about. But I can definitely understand your excitement right now!

Jessica said...

the fan made me it! Way to go Ada...little Miss Reader! So exciting! We grew up on Birchwood lane...random fact

Yes, we did Book It at school and got teh free pan pizza

they do get to pick out a book at the end of the least they did in teh past with the reading program but not sure if the funding has been cut for that.

and yes, I enjoy writing the books in their logs too..nerdy...yes...but oh so fulfilling! haha!

Mary Ann said...

The Classical Conversations homeschooling group sounds great, as does the classic entertainment of making silly sounds into the fan. Your mom and I did that as children. Imagine that!

Ada is doing great in the reading department. Give her time - she'll be reading like a pro before you know it.

shannon said...

I love personal pan pizzas to this day! So enjoyed seeing the pictures and can't believe how big John is getting. Looking forward to hearing more about home schooling!

Ashley Turnbull said...

This is so interesting! I love hearing about your homeschool adventures! Please keep us updated on Ada learning to read :-) Cannot wait to hear her progress!

Christie said...

Bob books are awesome!! My 7 year old will be in 2nd grade next year and my 5 year old starting kindergarten both are going to be at a private Christian school which teaches CLASSICAL education!! We have been so happy with it. Our oldest has been there since K and the classical teaching style is amazing! Good choice!!!

Jess said...

So proud of Ada and the reading! When did you start the Phonics Pathways...I am just so unsure of what is developmentally appropriate with this age. Any advice would be greatly appreciated since this August we will be where you were last year. We did Book It through the schools too! Oh and the lady at the LG library said no books this year due to funding. Who knows...maybe a free ice cream or something from CFA?