Friday, July 11, 2008

have you ever done this?

This post might rank up there with a discussion on your favorite fruit, but I am curious...
I just stapled Bridget's diaper. Being too lazy and too cheap (14 cents each, thnks Joe) to get a new diaper, I just stapled my daughter's diaper together because I ripped the tape thing off accidentally. Being of the biker chick mentality, she didn't mind. She likes things a little on the rough side...
Okay, here is my two cents about homeschooling a pre-k to K child. As my husband, ever conscious of money says, "It's worth what you pay for it".

1. The most important thing is reading good books to him.

a. He will catch your enthusiasm for reading. The goal at this age is to impart a love of books. After all that's how we learn our whole life. We want them to love reading. If it's important to Mom, it's important to child. Make it fun, interesting, cuddle, laugh, discuss (if he wants to). Definitely get books that peak his interest.

b.He will learn how to read out loud, inflection, dialogue, animation in his voice etc. (not like a monotone robot)

c. Helps to learn how to sit still, even when the senses are not just soaking in the TV

d.Exposure to the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. This is what education is all about. Loving and recognizing the Good, True and the Beautiful. Ultimately which is God, but manifesting Himself in many created things here. So, mainly choose books with beautiful illustrations, good morals, charming stories, etc. (For example: not so much of the Captain Underpants series)

2. Learn the sounds of the letters

a. you don't need a curriculum, necessarily. Just an alphabet. Start with the uppercase. Short vowels. Show him the symbol and say. This letter says ... Do a few a week. See how he retains. Some remember, some really don't. The most important thing is not to rush or make it unpleasant.

b. Some of my favorite helps have been.. Alphabet puzzles. They sell them all over (teacher store, AC Moore) those wooden puzzles with just caps or lowercase letters. Fridge letter magnets. One game they like is Mom hides some of the letters around the house. Child finds them, has to run to you and tell you the sound.

d. I'm not a big fan of introducing letters with pictures. My kids cheat and guess. Plus some get confused: the letter "A" means "Apple". Cut out the middle step and just tell them what the symbol really represents - a sound!

e. As soon as they are ready, I get them to blend because it's rewarding and encouraging for them. No need to wait until they know all the letters. In a way they will understand, tell them: "cat" is a word, words are made of sounds, the letters represent sounds. Let's put the sounds together etc.

3. Religious education

a. mainly consists of discussion with the help and structure of books and pictures. Here the most important thing is Mom's enthusiasm and love of Christ and His Church. My Mom says "religion is caught not taught" . Answering questions, explaining pictures, explaining things at Mass, at church, about the rosary is way more effective than a structured lesson plan system at this age.
(Fr. Lovasik picture books, Goldens Children's Bible)

b. teaching the basic prayers, while explaining the meaning in their words as much as they will understand. Sign of the Cross, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Our Father, Grace Before meals

4. Math

to be continued

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I turn 30!!

This Thursday, I leave my twenties. Wow. Strangely, I sometimes still identify with that just out of college age group. Although with baby number 5, and more serious homeschooling that is definitely coming to an end. Joe better plan something cool! I threw him a surprise 30th . We shall see...Actually birthdays are not such a big deal to me. Hopefully each passing year finds me richer in virtue and more devout. Spiritual progress is painfully slow in this life! Who is it that said if you are not moving forward, you are moving back? There's a happy thought! When most of the time I am barely treading water... okay ... enough negativity. I must restore order to the natives! See above the typical scene in our household. Once I thought I wouldn't let my kids play with guns! HA! Look at poor Claire on the floor soaking it all in..

Friday, July 4, 2008

Wow they look so wonderful and civilized ....

You promised to be my biggest fan, so here we go! Actually I might as well address everything to you, as you will be the one and only person reading this! Makes me wonder why I don't just keep emailing you? Well perhaps it's just to be able to say that I have a blog. I need to poke around and figure this out...