Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another Homeschool Review

We've made it through another fun week of homeschool. Here's what we did:

Monday's math worksheets were about addition, specifically the various ways you can make a certain number by adding smaller numbers together. Bean does well with addition, so this went great.

Tuesday we introduced our unit for September: the Western States. We filled in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico on our map. We read a book on the Santa Fe trail, a book on Rocky Mountain National Park, and a book on the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Wednesday I made Bean a piano practicing chart. Instead of a set time at the keyboard each day, he is supposed to play each of his assigned songs a certain number of times. I'm starting with three times a day because that's all he has the attention span for. I made him a little chart when he colors in a little shape that corresponds to a particular song (since he's not really reading yet). It's worked really well so far. He forgot to practice one day, so he did extra the next. All his shapes are colored in so far and he's improving. One of these days we'll actually get past the speedboat song.

Thursday I decided to get Bean to read a simple beginning reading book. It was by Margaret Hillert, who writes about the easiest beginning readers I can find in the library. Very few nouns. Stuff like "Oh look! Oh look! Look at that! We can have fun with that! We will get that. We will have fun." They have good illustrations, so you see rather than read what "that" is. Well, Bean balked. I don't know what his deal was but I pointed to the word "not" on the first page, which he knows, and he just went to pieces. I went into Mom Lecture mode, he countered with Bean Tantrum mode, so I went into Mom Explosion mode and things looked really bad. I don't know exactly what happened, but something I said eventually caused him to flip a switch in his brain and decide to read. I think it was when I told him that he needed to be like a detective to figure out the words because he went and got his magnifying glass and then he was willing to read. He read through the entire book with little delay and few problems. I've got to figure out how to keep that switch flipped.

Friday we made a cape for his teddy bear. It turned out really cute.

We are still having the problem that we start out on schedule on Mondays and gradually slide further and further off schedule as the week moves on. By Friday, school happens whenever. I know this is all up to me and I need to do better, but at least we're still accomplishing everything on my lesson plans. And the kids are still learning, and so am I.

1 comment:

kjh said...

Have you ever read "The Read Aloud Handbook" By Jim Trelease? I'm curious what you think of it. I thought he did an excellent job of presenting the wide spectrum of solid research that has been done on reading, and I definitely felt inspired to read to my kids more after reading it. Perhaps more significantly, I felt like it made me a better teacher when helping our kids learn to read.