Monday, August 26

First Day of the School Year!

I am so lucky to be surrounded by smart, dedicated, organized, scheduled friends. If I wasn't, my kids, whom I insist that I will homeschool, would probably wander into college without ever officially having started a grade. A product of the uber organized, structured Seton Homeschool, I am finding myself secretly resisting having a homeschool schedule. Somehow we've arrived at this point in time with two healthy, fairly happy, mostly well-behaved children, but I highly doubt that it was due to my exceptional organizational skills. I suspect that there is a part of me that is unwilling to "settle down" and by resisting a rigid routine, I postpone the process of growing up. However, in the interests of "education," we tentatively made a little stab at education last year. Greta was 3 and Joseph was 2. I was 27, in case you were wondering. As grad school would have you believe, language and symbol are everything, so we didn't call it "school." It has all been a game up until now. I am the mommy cheerleader who is honestly flabbergasted by anything remotely letter-like that my 3 year old creates and we progressed slowly because we had to do a happy dance every time we counted successfully to 10. The upshot is that my kids persist in finding school "fun" and I dread the day when it will become something more serious.

As I wrote on Greta's folder today, she is 4 years old, today is 8.26.13, and I'm assuming she is somewhere between preschool and kindergarten. Right?? In the interests of tracking "milestones" (a clever mom whose child is starting preschool at a school-school told me about milestones and I've decided to adopt them), I thought I'd note what we already know and what we hope to accomplish this year.

G knows all the uppercase letter names and the first letter sounds.
She can sound out the first letter of any word and can name words that start with a given letter.
G can confidently write I, T, L, H, F, E.
She is learning X, A, M, N, W.

For math, she can count to 20 and she can identify 1 through 10. She is grasping the concept of adding and subtraction.

For religion, she can tell you who God is, Who made her, about guardian angels, about basic distinctions between good and evil, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, Glory Be, grace before meals, and the Angel of God prayer. 

This year, I hope that she will learn to identify lowercase letter names;
learn all the vowel sounds and the consonants that have more than one sound;
Be able to write all the uppercase letters.
Be about to count to 100 and know all the numbers between 1 and 20.
Do more adding and subtracting.

We're not following any particular curriculum or using any particular book. I like the abacus and using small objects to teach counting, adding and subtracting. I really love flash cards for number and letter recognition. For religion, we're using "My Jesus and I" and the Baltimore First Communion book. We also try to say the Rosary frequently and say graces before meals.

If you can think of anything else that would be a good idea to learn this year, or any other teaching strategies that worked for you, please share!