Quickly, because there is much cleaning to be done, I wanted to post a an update on Writing Road to Reading and homeschooling in general.
Today we finished learning to write the individual letters of the alphabet in lowercase. Ada had written most of them before, but she now knows how to write each one properly, neatly, and on wide-ruled paper. Look at her progress from day one to now...
And today's work
So, obviously, at this point I am really liking this system. At first it was frustrating as Ada was learning new skills and grasping the concept of base line and where to start her letters and all of those things. But now, she knows what to do with a piece of notebook paper, and she understands that letters start on the left side of the page, and she understands proper size and placement. And this is in a matter of just a few weeks. At this point, we are going to spend several weeks reviewing these letters, and she will practice writing different letters on the same line to reinforce the idea of letter placement in words. After I think she has mastered the individual letters, we will move on to other phonograms such as "sh," "th," "ow," etc. There are 70 total phonograms to learn, and most likely that is all we will do with reading this year. My big picture goal, since she will not be 5 until August, was for her to know the names and sounds of all of the letters and for her to be able to write them. Since we have accomplished that, I am going to move on to the other phonograms (in a few weeks), but it will be low pressure, since she officially starts kindergarten in the fall, and this is technically "pre-k."
As for homeschool in general, I think we are finally, finally, in a good routine. We are actually doing school in the afternoons right after John goes down for his nap, or even in the late afternoons while he plays with his trains or cars. All that official school time consists of is reviewing and writing the day's letters, and my only math goal for this year is for Ada to be able to count to 100. She is good once she gets to 20, but she struggles with the teens. I casually go over addition and subtraction, as in "if we have 2 red blocks and we add 3 green blocks, how many total blocks do we have?" but, again, our only goal is to count to 100. For months now I have been trying to get into a good routine with CC, because at 4, it has been too hard for Ada to spend much more than 30 minutes at a time on concentrated school. So, we now go over her memory work through out the day--in the car, during bath time, as I cook dinner, and I try to make it a game so she doesn't realize we are doing school. We go over her bible verse at dinner, so it becomes more of a family thing than school time, and it is working. Now that we are over halfway through the school year, I have figured out an efficient way for us to get everything done without stressing out. Thank you, Lord. And that is why we started this year, when she is four, instead of next year when school "officially" starts. I will have a much better game plan as we begin the school year next year.
And our favorite place to do school? The front porch, especially on these beautiful days we had all last month...
As for the youngest member of the family, he is busily playing with his birthday gift. It is a HIT. He sits and does it over and over, and his favorite part? Lining up the cars before they go down the ramp one at a time, in proper order ;)