Thursday, December 09, 2010
Homeschooling Update - December 2010
Okay, the 4.48 year Princess is on the cusp of full-fledged reading. We've been somewhat frustrated that it's taken her so long - or so we think. Both of us seem to believe that she's slightly behind the literacy pace her older brother took. Although that might not be completely true. Whatever, who cares anyway?
Maybe we're just sick of those darn *baby books*!? I have about 60 of them checked out at the moment - strewn all over my house and cars.
Anyways, we've just started our daughter on those audio books; she's eagerly reading along and devouring them. We probably should have started them a little bit sooner. To this day my wife is convinced that our son learned to read - or at least got over the hump - with audio books. Oh, and not just the CDs....they have to come with the written book as well. That's the key! Hopefully your library network has a good selection of them. I don't know, maybe when you are reading to your child, even if you wisely slide your finger under each word as you say it perhaps the kid zones out a little more than when they don't have another human doing it for them (in the case of an audio book)? Or it could be just that the kids are/were ready to turn the corner anyway.
I will say one thing however - the Princess did a ton of Starfall.com. Now, did that help speed her along with phonics and reading or do nothing at all? I have no idea nor any way of proving it one way or the other. I deliberately put her on it with the hopes that it would accelerate her reading comprehension. And as I said above, she's a little behind her brother's literacy pace. Read into that what you will.
Note that our girl is not yet actually reading. There can easily be false positive signals in these matters as everyone who got excited about *no more diapers* after their two year old piddled in the pot, once, can testify to.
While Mrs. C-Nut is partial to the audio books, I myself am partial to, surprise, surprise(!),....blogging.
I'm really trying to get my daughter in the habit of a daily blog post - one which she sort of chooses, we discuss, I write out, and she types up. We say all the letters and words aloud several times throughout the composition. I believe the reading process can be moderately facilitated when combined with writing - what I call *reverse reading*.
As for the Prince himself...
He completed Singapore Math Level 6B (grade 7!) last month and so now we are going back to the Life of Fred algebra series, Kumon Word Problems - Grade 5, and my homemade math worksheets.
Maybe four or five days a week I tell him to log into his Time4Learning.com account and do a section or two (we put him on the 4th grade level to start). He's also almost done the Kumon Reading - Grade 5 workbook.
He and I are working on a writing a book - which excites him to no end!
He's plodding away a little at the piano even though we've been unable to secure for him any type of instructor. Just today I made him start reading a free ebook from PianoEncyclopedia.com. I've been trying to find a 14-15 year old kid who'll teach him for $20 (per 45 minute session) rather than the $60+ an hour most instructors demand in New York.
He's also joined the local chess club so I might look to ramp up teaching him the game - BUT only if he seems to enjoy it. BTW, I've been blown away by the amount of free quality chess instruction there is on the web.