It occurs to me that, other than a brief update on Miranda’s progress with reading, I have not devoted a post to our homeschooling progress since the first day of our school year, so I thought I’d offer a bit of an update!
The condensed version: The girls are both learning a lot, and they love our school time, and I love it, too.
Usually our school day starts with a Bible story and some discussion, and then we move on to reading. In the last couple months, we’ve made it through more than 1/3 of our Sonlight curriculum for the year. There have been only a couple stories that neither of the girls are particularly interested in reading more than once. Overall, they are really enjoying the reading. Some of our current favorite stories are Madeline, Curious George, Jack and the Beanstalk, Pete’s a Pizza, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We return to those again and again. I often let the girls alternate choosing stories with an occasional choice from me to make sure we’re introducing the new ones and making our way through our checklist.
One of the most rewarding aspects of homeschooling has been seeing them learn and retain knowledge and incorporate it into their lives. We learned about digestion, and both girls will now spontaneously talk about what happens to their food after they eat it. One day they were sitting together in the dining room, and Miranda turned to CaiQun and jokingly asked, “Mei mei, are you an intestine?” to which CaiQun responded, “No, I eat my food in my mouth. Then it goes down to my butt.” I was amused and impressed 🙂 They really are absorbing these things.
And they love it 🙂 They – especially Miranda – regularly ask to do school and often want to continue beyond the time constraints of our day.
Another sweet development has been the continued growth in their love of reading.
I’m also continuing to work with Miranda on fine motor skills – cutting, gluing, and writing. We’ve made our way through her Leapfrog workbook and have started the first of her Rod and Staff workbooks. Doing the workbooks has definitely reinforced for me that I don’t want workbooks to be our kids’ primary method of learning, but they are helpful for the skills she needs to develop at this age – drawing shapes, using scissors, and writing letters and numbers. She’s doing well – she can write most letters fairly recognizably now. And by and large, she really enjoys seeing herself make tangible progress as she goes through the pages, though she gets frustrated when she doesn’t understand the point of the directions. We’re using that as an opportunity to work on cultivating respect and obedience…but I’m also modifying the directions at times, because sometimes they really are silly 🙂
When I step back and look at it objectively, both girls are making great progress. Both of them are able to sit through increasingly longer books, and they’re able to talk about what we’ve read. Miranda is growing in her ability to read and write. And CaiQun’s vocabulary continues to grow by leaps and bounds. I read the other day on Babycenter that my three-year-old should now be using longer sentences (3-4 words) and have 300-1000 words, and I rejoiced, because my little Madeleine CaiQun, three years old but exposed to English for less than 9 months, is developmentally on track with her peers! This is huge. I’m so excited to see both of them developing.
And yet I wonder if I should be doing more. I work with Miranda on reading only sporadically. And though she’s picking it up fairly well, I don’t have any dedicated time set aside to help CaiQun learn letter and number recognition. There are days when we don’t get to Miranda’s workbooks at all. What if this isn’t enough??
And I remind myself that they’re three. They need time to play.
And academics aren’t everything.
And I hope we’re doing alright 🙂