7/31/2012

Falling into the School Year

We've started easing into the school year around here. I'm finding that's one thing about homeschooling that I think is going to work super well for us. The laid back approach that we have the freedom to use. (Well, that and the fact that, technically, we're a year ahead so if we end up not finishing Kindergarten this year, it's no biggie.)

My first focus has been to use up some of the millions of workbooks I've acquired over the past 4 years. I don't know what my problem is (well, ok, I do...I love school supplies. And books. And when you can combine books and school supplies? Nirvana!) but we have too many. I've actually pulled several untouched ones out and set them aside for the younger boy. Because really, just how many workbooks that cover the same Pre-K/early  K stuff does one need to finish before moving on to something more challenging?

The elder boy loves doing worksheets. It makes me smile just a bit, because he hates to color. I thought doing worksheets would be frustrating to both of us, but he looks forward to it. My main object right now with these is beginning handwriting and proper pencil grip. I bought some grips to help him with it on a pencil, but he really doesn't like using pencil - it's not a dark enough line for him (he'll sit and go over and over it until it's as dark as he wants) so for now? We're using markers. Nice fat markers. No pencil grip required. He holds them the right way by default. And hey, bonus, he gets to use a color of his choice. (#1 requested marker? Pink. My boy loves pink. I'm going to need to replace that one soon.)

The only downside to the marker is that it often bleeds through the paper, making doing the opposite side a bit more challenging. (Not all -- and honestly, I can see paper type being a determining factor in workbook purchases in the future.)

We've also been doing some letter flashcards to reinforce lower case identification and also letter sounds (as he says the letter, he tells me something that starts with the letter and what sound(s) the letter makes.) It's a fun five minutes of our day. He's reading smaller words, and I'm hoping that the letter sound reinforcement will make him more confident when sounding out larger words.

He's also been counting things. He can count to 100 with very little assistance from me (sometimes he forgets that 80 comes after 79 and wants to say 70-10. That's the only one that seems to trip him up.) We jump when we count around here - sitting still for much of anything doesn't happen these days and I also love that we can do school while still moving around. I actually think he remembers what we learn better when he's learned it moving. The boy is kinetic. We've been laying the groundwork for simple addition, too. I expect we'll start with that before much longer.

But what I love the most? He'll ask to do some school. I love that he wants to learn. I hope he'll always be that way.

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