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 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 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 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.


Anonymous said...

I love reading these posts because a)it shows me how much a parent can make a difference in the overall growth of their children b)your dedication and skill at parenting is incredible c) and of course it keeps me motivated that I can't sit smug but I can always do more when it comes to nurturing my children. But I really can't help doubt if every parent who puts in your kind of effort can achieve this! They have to also get it right?! BTW - we did the vinegar expt at home - my son loved it.

CaptiousNut said...


Thanks for your kind words. I do spend a ton of time thinking about and planning my kids' education - after all, I accepted full responsibility for it.

You must mean the rubber egg thing. Now I remember.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the rubber egg thing. I still have not ordered that book you mentioned with the science experiments. We have finally set up the desk top for our son. He is slowly learning to use the computer. When he gets proficient, hopefully soon, he can make use of more online resources. Brainpopsjr, tumblebooks, kahnacademy - so many options out there to learn and learn and learn! Grade 7 math! My son has learned his multiplication tables - but he can only do it mentally by adding - starting from times one...even that if I tell people (which I don't) they are sure to say - wow - at five - he does multiplication? But they don't know about kids like your son! Of course they know of genius kids that you hear about in newspapers...but to see it evolve day by day - it is so fascinating!


CaptiousNut said...


Multiplication is important for factoring, a key element of algebra and calculus.

I had my son fill out a multiplication table every day for months. I made him fill it out in all sorts of directions so that he'd learn the patterns more than just memorize the answers. It definitely worked. I'm about to start multiplication with my daughter...hopefully she does just as well.

I wouldn't necessarily order that book unless your child is really into science - to the point where he's going to do it all himself almost. Libraries have tons of these types of books. Not to mention, there are a bazillion experiments you could find from Googling.

Good luck!