Friday, February 4, 2011

Beauty AND brains

Shall I warn you know that I am about to be an obnoxious mother bragging on her kid for doing what every other child in the world eventually does as well? ;)

Maddie is doing FANTASTIC in her phonic lessons. She is... (are you ready???) .... READING!!!!!

Is there anything more exciting to learn!!!?!!!

I suppose you could say we're homeschooling... when people see me with my tall-for-her-age four year old out and about during school hours (which we actually do less and less of these days), they wonder why she isn't in school. I didn't really think anything of it, since she just turned 4 in October, but I guess (around here anyway) most kiddos her age are in K4. So when asked, I started saying that I was teaching her pre-school at home.

"Oh." with raised eyebrows.

"Well, I do have an elementary teaching degree". I say... even though I don't really know why I feel compelled to "legitimize" teaching her at home. But it does make the eye brows of the inquirer go down. I think I might stop saying that though... because leaving a trail of eye brow raised strangers in my wake is kind of entertaining.

I think homeschooling is great. When moms (and Dads too) solely take on the huge responsibility of educating their children and do a great job at it, I pretty much think they are super heroes. Really. SUPER HEROES.

It sort of scares me though, to be perfectly honest. For a while, I almost couldn't wrap my mind around homeschooling, especially once you have children of different ages/grades. Probably because there are a lot of different methods and routines and approaches to it. I think I was imagining myself trying to utilize every single good idea I ever heard of into one all-encompassing mega thorough homeschooling experience. And it was exhausting just to contemplate.

So maybe you're wondering why I even think about homeschooling... isn't my handsome hubby the principal of a small Christian academy? (That's what you were thinking isn't it?) First of all, I know it's hard but I would thank you not to dwell on my husband's handsomeness. Unless you're (as like half of my readers are) related to him, it's a bit inappropriate. ☺

Secondly, yes. Let me explain our little school: it's like homeschooling, at the church. We have about 10 students who primarily work independently. They use Alpha-Omega curriculum (mostly) and the staff (other than my husband and his father) are parent volunteers.

Little ones obviously need constant one on one teaching so Kindergarten is done at home. And with the absence of my mother in law at the school, first grade will probably need to be done at home as well.

So I'm a sorta kinda homeschool-er. ☺

And this isn't officially kindergarten anyway. She just seemed ready to learn to read so... we started.

Both Maddie and Eden LOVE "school time". We read one verse from Proverbs, and we pray. I really enjoy hearing children pray, especially my own. Then we review the letters and their sounds, the vowels, maybe sing the alphabet song (or a totally unrelated song if the girls ask) and then we introduce another letter. We practice it's sound, practice writing it, talk about words that begin with it, trying reading a few words, color a few pictures and then we end with the most anticipated animal picture. Maddie holds the photo and tells me what she observes about the animal just by it's picture. Then I read to her a small paragraph about the animal. She just loves this part.

She is actually reading words on her own. Already. They are 2 or 3 letter words but she's reading them. On her own. Already.

(See... that was the obnoxious part I warned you about...).

I attempted uploading a video of her reading... hopefully it works. ☺ She sailed through the first half of the sentence and then got a little tripped over the last word. Not too shabby, though!



Gwenda said...

Dear Maddie...Good Reading!!!
From Micah, age 4
(who can't read, and is impressed you can!!)

Hi Kayte...I love reading your blog.
:) Gwenda

stacy said...

Oh, how exciting! She's off to a great start. Our boys watched the Letter Factory video (Leap Frog) many, many, many, many times. It's corny but it was the perfect foundation. Then when they were ready, I used Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. I worked so well, it's my offical preschool reading program. (Not that you asked)
You may decide after 1st grade, that you wont want to send her to school. Though, you are blessed to have somewhere wonderful to send her.

Kayte said...

Hi Micah! Thanks!

Stacy, I like the Letter Factory too! Maddie was singing the sounds to the whole alphabet when she was 2! I thought, videos will teach her all she needs to know! lol That's actually the only video I've known to be so effective though! I gave Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons a try about 6 mo. ago and Maddie really did not enjoy it. She was probably too young. It was such drudgery for both of us so I put it away. Maybe we'll try it later, or I'll save it for a different child. I've heard many Moms sing it's praises but it just didn't click for Maddie. And yes I'm so thankful for our school situation... even when she goes, her dad and grandpa will there. I feel like it's the best of all situations.

denise said...

All things concidered....the girls a genius.No brag, just fact.

Kayte said...

It should be noted that this last comment is from "Nana"... =)