Tuesday, June 29, 2010

continued from last post (tips and more)

Just got done working with Ava Beth on some things and it made me think to share a few other things.  Can I first tell you how Homeschooling the second child seems to be easier? WOW! She is so excited to finally be a Kindergartner that she tells everyone when they ask what school she will go to, "I will be in Kindergarten and I am Homeschooled and I love it."  She really is very excited and wants to learn NOW.  Jeremy told me last night that I should start Kindergarten NOW because she is ready.  Little did he know that she chose to start a long time ago so we've been using what I have here.  I want my kids to be ahead (no reason why they shouldn't be with one on one time you receive through Homeschool) but I don't want to ever rush their grades because I want them in this house as long as possible. :) Many Homeschoolers graduate early and that's okay but no reason to rush Kindergarten.  Often it's done for the parent's pride anyway.  We got plenty of time and I want to enjoy my babies being little!

If you have an eager learner at home right now like I do then you can start teaching them to read. This book I talk about ALL THE TIME and swear by it.  Josiah is reading a grade ahead at least (not because of ME folks!) and it's because of this book.  So of course Ava Beth is using the same method and it's working great.  Currently she is not able to sit down and read a book but recognizes small words by sounding them out.  And this is fine by me because day one of Kindergarten has yet to happen.  Now if I could just get her "Summer joy of learning" to spread to her older brother, I would do a dance out in the middle of the culdesac.  Needless to say, the boy is enjoying his Summer break.  I gave him a Math drill sheet after lunch and he sat and stared at it for 30 minutes and doodle on the side of the page drawing Ben 10 action figures.  So much for a drill!  But whenever I set the timer and explain if he is not finished when timer goes off he will not swim today, the drill gets done FAST!

The other thing I am using with Ava Beth right now is this book I have pictured below.  I purchased this book several years ago and never used it. Ava Beth has found plenty of activities she can do and they come with a ton of stickers in the back.  She loves putting stickers on her page when she has finished.  I am a sticker addict! Stickers are great incentives for kindergartners.  Stickers truly make Ava Beth feel like she has done something special so stickers it is!! Sticker incentive does not last long.  They become seven and prefer other incentives like wii time, outside time and nintendo ds time.  See! They grow up too fast!

Wendy and I were just discussing this about Kindergarten.  You could teach your child Kindergarten and never have to buy a piece of Curriculum from one cotton pickin' company. Everything you need is at WalMart, Target or Amazon.  EVEN the dollar section or Dollar Tree! Perish the thought? It is true! So if you have a tight budget, don't fret.  We can all help you find the stuff you need because many of us are doing the same!

Last but not least, Handwriting, as simple as it seems has become quite complicated for me when choosing a method.  That's just it! There are so many methods.  If you don't believe me, check out all of the different styles here.  Teaching your child manuscript or cursive involves lots of choices and for some reason, this one choice in particular drives me nuts when it comes to Homeschooling.  I am clueless.  So I decided to use A Beka for Ava Beth (I did the same with Josiah). We have been using the big chief style tablet from the beginning.  I always have used the three lines for my kids when they are learning to write their names.  I love A Beka because it gives you a house diagram.  Some letters are in the attic of the house, such as upper case letters.  Just look at the letter "A".  The top is in the attic.  If it's a lower case "p" then part of the "p" is in the basement.  A Beka also pushes cursive in Kindergarten but me? Not so much. :) I do manuscript first.

One thing I have learned is that if I do not feel comfortable with teaching a certain way, no matter how many of my friends are doing it this or that way, I have to do what I connect with.  If I don't connect, I won't do well teaching.  As a first timer, you may look at all of these wesbites and feel clueless.  That is okay because we all did in the beginning and sometimes still do.  Ahem! AMANDA! There are many curriculums out there that have scared me off based on the fact that their website is not user friendly or has not been updated in some time.  I have to be able to see what I am buying and if I can't, forget it!  So do what YOU are comfortable with!

Okay, I think I am done talking Homeschool shop for the day.  Crazy!  I never thought I would EVER feel comfortable discussing Homeschool on my blog.  I felt too dumb.  I am still pretty dumb (kidding! kind of!) but now I have a passion for this stuff!

Let me know if you need ANY help!

P.S.  Check out ebay for some of your homeschool stuff! I just got Josiah's Math with the teacher's guides for $49 counting shipping and on the website it would have been close to $80 with shipping.

P.S. again! TEACHER'S GUIDES- This is my first year buying Teacher's guides.  I have purchased them for Josiah's stuff but not Kindergarten.  I don't think you need it for Kindergarten but some would tell me I am crazy.  Kim would tell me I need them.  Wendy would say you don't.  We are all different and have to pay attention to what we need to help us feel successful so do what is best for you.

Okay, I am done!  I think! At least for now!


Jules said...

Thank you so much for sharing all of this...you have helped me tremendously today! I have been hearing lots about the "100 easy lessons" book and now I am going to buy it for sure!

Stacey said...

Agreed when it comes to the Target/Dollar store/etc. I get a lot of our enrichment drill books, etc at Borders or Barnes & Noble. :)

Paula said...

You have been a HUGE help to me!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! !