Friday, January 27, 2006

A is for Apple, B is for Blessing

Benjamin is learning to read. Teaching my children to read has been one of my biggest joys in homeschooling. Years ago, when John Mark was ready for Kindergarten, I found a book called "How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". I was overwhelmed by the choice of curricula available, and I thought surely we could do 100 easy lessons. To my great amazement, it worked- John Mark was reading! This homeschool thing was going to work!

Since then, all the older kids have learned from "100 Easy Lessons". They each remember when they did the lesson on "Sam is sad", and willingly listen to the younger ones struggle through. So now it's Benjamin's turn. We waited a little long with him; I guess that's what happens when you're the fourth in line. But there are benefits to waiting- he is ready! We whiz through lesson after lesson until I can tell he is losing steam. He brought the book to me today: "Mom, can we do my reading book- please?" I promised we would.

Nathanael is just learning his letters. We play ABC Bingo (such excitement over having the correct letter on his card!) and we build letters using Wikki Stix. We count M&M's and play "High Ho Cheerio" and "Candy Land". We sing silly songs: "Where do you start your letters? At the top!" and cut and paste and color.

There are mornings when I fervently wish I could send them all out the door to the school bus... but I would be missing so much! I love this time of "Hop on Pop" and First Steps readers; first grade word lists and counting puzzles; fat pencils and giant Kindergarten writing tablets. It's still fun as they get older: making messy volcanoes; growing green beans in Styrofoam cups; learning the continents and oceans; skip-counting through the multiplication tables; writing poems for Dad and essays on space aliens; building models of Indian villages and Egyptian pyramids; exploring planetariums and battlefields. But there's nothing like the excitement and sweet innocence of the first years of "A-B-C" and "1-2-3". I am blessed to share it with them.

1 comment:

Karen said...

We used 100 Easy Lessons here, as well. My oldest (a girl) started it at 4 1/2. The next one (a boy) didn't start until he was 6 or 7... he just wasn't ready. My other girl started around 5 or so. My youngest is 5 and just isn't interested yet. I swear, most of his learning thus far has come from playing video games. He can read numbers to 3 place values, and do some simple math, but I haven't started "school" with him yet. He just isn't interested. And I'm going crazy trying to just handle 3 (8th grade, 3rd/4th grade, and 1st/2nd). Most days are a fight with my oldest; she sees no sense in learning anything new. My 10yo hates the physical act of writing. My 7yo actually still likes school. (When my oldest was her age, she would often get up in the middle of the night and start on the next day's work... when I tell her that, she says she was a sick child.) We are considering private school for her next year.