How and why we do "school"...

Regardless of how it may come across in our Weekly Wrap-Ups, "school" time is very, very informal at our home. Either he asks to do a particular "subject", or I ask if he'd like to. It is never required.

A few examples:

We NEVER do the meetings. I feel that part of the lessons is WAY too formal for our student. I pre-read the lesson, grab the proper manipulative(s) and/or items that I feel will intrigue him the best and do it MY way. I always make it a game and he LOVES it! I have never done a lesson with the Teacher's Manual anywhere near me (I can not follow that script... lol, I'm no actor).

Why? A good friend (and homeschooling mom to several children 14 and under) recommended that I try it (and subsequently sent it to us) after we talked about some of the things he was doing. It is really a pretty natural extension of many of his Tot-School activities.

Our Pre-Reading is currently done either with word cards (not used like flash cards.. I use these homemade cards to isolate whatever it is I would like for him to sound out/read), magnetic letters or the magna doodle. He likes the arrows and dots that are used in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, so I use those with our lessons some of the time. I am currently using the word lists from Blend Phonics, but we will most likely be moving to the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading or Phonics Pathways when I can afford one or the other. The Get Ready/Set/Go for the Code books are just fun reinforcement. He loves to talk through the sheets (he only writes in them when he feels like it).

Why? He asked me to teach him to read last year. I thought he was too young. He started trying to read words and even sounded out some words properly (and some not so well). I finally thought I'd better get involved before he developed bad habits that we'd both get frustrated trying to break in a few years.

Fine motor activities, a few tracing workbooks (his favorite things to do), play-doh, etc... anything that strengthens his forearms, wrists, hands & fingers.

Why? Aside from the readiness factor, "writing" with a pencil is something he loves to do.

If any/all of these happen in a given day, they take no more than 10-15 minutes (and they rarely, if ever, happen during the same part of the day). I am in no rush for him to finish anything and move on. He's got plenty of time and he loves what he's doing.

If he's happy, I'm happy.

(This blog is an extension of our Tot-School blog and is set up in a way that I can see what we've done, how we did it, what worked, what didn't and what needs to be modified. I feel that I can review my posts with a bit of objectivity as we progress and I hope that my findings will enable me to make sound choices in the future.)

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