Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I recently began using the letter of the week program created by confessionsofahomeschooler.com for my three and a half year old and so far we love it! My daughter enjoys all of the activities and moves through them rather quickly. Plus, as we complete many of the activities and file them in a three ring binder I realize that a portfolio is being created without even trying. In the beginning, I was laminating everything but since my daughter is the last in line in our home and I don't have any friends interested in the program for their very young ones I need not spend so much money and time laminating everything. I do highly recommend this for anyone who has multiple young children that will be using a preschool program. It's very simple and straight forward with complete lesson plans included. For my six year old son, we began using the PACE program last year and moved through the Kindergarten pretty quickly but I wasn't overly thrilled with how things have been going since he started the first twelve weeks of first grade back in February. I was starting to cut things I didn't like out of his daily work and finding myself increasing his work in other areas. He wasn't really enjoying things and neither was I, so I decided to totally change things up for him. I already had (for years) the Which Way USA? program from Highlights magazine so we decided to start doing a state a week as our Social Studies. We also have a very expansive collection of World Explorer binders covering hundreds of animals which has become our new Animal Sciences curriculum. We intend to study a new animal each week where we will build a lapbook on all that we have learned throughout the week. We are going to continue using the Mathematics PACE's, however, we are definitely going to pick up the pace. The program had him working on the first PACE while he wanted to do more and worked so well that he moved himself to the fourth PACE before he would have even finished the first one. For Reading, I am turning to the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading because I like the straightforward direct instruction approach offered. I am also using the Speechercise CD to assist him with his speech delay. Of course, we are getting lots of reading during our library time for both of the little ones. My oldest two are continuing with School of Tomorrow's Accelerated Christian Education and working fairly well at their own paces. It may take my older son a little longer than is the norm to complete his high school program, however, I would much rather that they take the time they need than just be socially promoted and passed through a system with the mere goal of getting done. We aren't sure where the older two are headed yet but our 16 year old son has begun expressing an interest in Computer Sciences and our 14 year old daughter has expressed an interest in Early Childhood Education. I'm excited for what lies ahead and nervous at the same time! What an exciting time in all our lives!!!