We have been on-fire this week! It's good to really be back into the groove of homeschooling! (Apparently, it takes our family about six to eight weeks to do that...good to know when we start up next year, right?)
Junebug had a great week of Kindergarten! We learned to play dominoes, which she loved.
I also think that her phonics works is starting to "click"--she's actually sounding stuff out on her own now! It's been months of me saying, "Alright, think about that again--what sound does [insert letter here] say? Good, now if [letter] says [whatever], then make that sound when I point to the letter. Ready, alright, make the sound..."
[insert sound of crickets chirping here]
This drove me nuts when I was teaching my oldest to read. All the pieces were there: phonics curriculum, time, a teacher, a student. But the recognition, mental maturity, whatever that magical spark is...that didn't show up for two years after we started. I was sure I was doing it wrong, everyone else seemed to glory in agreeing that I was doing it wrong and should reconsider this crazy homeschooling idea, and Bluebird was all "This is stupid."
But, partly due to believing in what I was doing, and a little bit to do with proving everyone else wrong, I kept going through the paces with her every morning, and then it clicked one day and I haven't been able to hold her back since. Knowing that it does eventually "click" saved me a lot of grief in teaching Penguin to read, and it's been a great blessing in regards to my personal stores of patience while I've worked with Junebug, who has preferred to translate all the letters into her own personal language. The reward of this particular teaching task is one of my favorite highs. It's an amazing thing to know that you've taught another human being to read, and that feeling never gets old. Yay, teaching!
So, yes, Junebug has moved ahead in the reading arena, but as for her penmanship...
...I've made the executive decision to spend more one-on-one time with her while she does her work. ("C" is a gallon jug of milk, in case you can't figure it out.)
We started out the school year with her balking about silent reading time, but I took my lessons I learned with Bluebird and have remained calm in the face of her resistance, informing Penguin that she will read her books because it's just what she has to do. If she wants to sit on the couch all day long and stare at the wall, that's her choice; but it wastes her day and she's just going to keep on doing the same thing over and over until the job gets done. We had a really, really rough two weeks where she sulked on the couch and whimpered through reading, and then she gave up and now she just asks how much she needs to read and goes to her task. Even on her "difficult" days, she's done with her school work before lunch, and then she spends the rest of the day making arts and crafts projects, and snuggling with the cat.
Bluebird also beat the clock on her math facts drill for the first time ever since starting Saxon 54! She's taken to bragging about her mathematical prowess to her sisters; and, even though I don't encourage bragging, it's so nice to hear her talking about her math skills in a positive light again. I don't think I've heard her say good things about math since before the second grade--stupid Second Grade Stubbornness and all the havoc it wreaked upon our home! But I believed in what we were doing, and we kept pushing along, and it's turned out alright. (I'm writing this all down so that I can remind myself that these sorts of things do turn out all right! You know there's going to be something that's going to pop up in the future that will have me doubting all this again.)
Oh, speaking of Math:
This week's "Math Meeting Sanity Knit." It makes me chuckle every time someone mentions to me how great an idea they think it is to have some handwork to take the edge off of the Math Meetings! Seeing how you seem to like seeing it so much, I'll try to include a picture whenever I remember. (We should make this into a thing! The "Math Meeting Sanity Crafters!")
A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson; finished up Treasure Island; and is currently tackling The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I think she's a fan of Sherlock, as she keeps yelling that she's "not done with the chapter" she's working on when her reading time ends.
The Boys' War, and is currently working on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Bull Run.
Bluebird also wrote her first full-length writing assignment: an essay about her best friend. I'm requiring all "final" work to be done in cursive this year, which meant that it took two days to write it out. Oh, my handwriting-phobic daughter, it's for your own good. I knew she couldn't handle it last year, but she's in the fourth grade now and it just has to be done. I noticed this morning that she has started writing her name in cursive on her worksheets, so it's starting to stick.
It's a bittersweet thing, this growing up that children do...until I sit back and reminisce about all the conversations I have had over the past nine years in regards to why underwear is superior to diapers, why learning to tie shoelaces is not optional, why learning to write the alphabet is not optional, why belching at the table is not appropriate, why crying won't get you out of putting your dishes in the sink, etc. It's great to be moving on, but the moving on comes at a price that makes my heart ache at times. I love my babies, and I'm excited to be moving forward and out of the baby stage...but I miss my babies, too. Being a mother is so ridiculously irrational at times.
Awesome Moments from this Week:
- Monkeyboy rattled off the 1+___ addition table. Apparently, he is listening during memorization time.
- Junebug's newfound ease in sounding out words.
- Penguin's Treasure Island comprehension answers.
- Watching Bluebird tinker with her compass, and hearing her talk about how great she is at math again.
- Listening to the girls argue over which American President came first, and then singing the American Presidents song together to see who's right.