Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gloria is READING!

(Danya spelled Kevin's name with phonics tiles)
Gloria is officially reading! She is sounding out small words and can read beginning phonics books! Below is a post I wrote for a homeschooling message board that mentions Gloria's latest accomplishment:

I've only got a year's perspective so far on homeschooling, but here's my advice to a new homeschooler, for what it's worth:

1. When starting out, don't overdo. The first few weeks of homeschooling we covered most of what I had planned for the whole year, and I subjected my children to much too much book work.

2. Use real books as much as possible. My kids get bored almost immediately listening to textbooks read out loud, but can listen and really pay attention much longer to real books. And they can understand books read out loud that are above their reading level.

3. In a kid's eyes, games and projects using math and writing trump a workbook page every time. Just because you bought the workbook, doesn't mean they have to do every page in it..or any if you realize that it's not having a positive effect.

4. It's not worth the tears or stress. If they don't want to do "just 3 more" of whatever, let it go and come back to it later. It's a good sign they need a break when it ceases to be fun.

You can probably tell from my advice that our homeschool started out a lot more boring and rigid at the beginning of the year. We are now enjoying the whole experience a lot more, and still learning at a good pace. We spent months having my 4 year old DD trace letters in a workbook. She did it, and now has very nice handwriting. But she wasn't learning the letters. We gave her a Dr. Seuss ABC book and promised to stop and read it any time she wanted us to, and she knew all her letters in about a week and a half. We wanted her to learn letter sounds and worked in a book for weeks with no result. We bought her the Leap Frog Letter Factory video a few days ago along with the Talking Words Factory video and she picked up her first beginner phonics book yesterday and read it! So my last thing I wish I knew when I started is:

5. If it feels like work, it won't work. If it's fun, they'll learn.

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