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This year I've been homeschooling my 4 yr old boy (5 this summer). We had a very productive first month of homeschooling. We did about 30 minutes every other day using Bob books, Saxon K and some cutting, coloring or mazes. In that time he sounded-out and read the first two sets of Bob books (he had played with starfall and knew most letter sounds). Once that first month had passed he started refusing to do any school. We stopped because he is 4 and I want him to enjoy school. Around the end of September when he was bored I'd ask if he wanted to do school. Sometimes it sounded like an exciting proposition so we kept on going with Saxon K (which he calls the fun homeschool) and occasionally he would read one bob book for a special treat. Eventually we started with OPGTTR. DS was doing well. He was reading (sounding out?) the passages in the book, but his eyes would glaze over. He was doing it for the special homeschool treats. Once again, the time came when he did not want to read it because he thought it was boring. And to be fair, it is kind of boring. Then my husband got transferred for his job. Between the craziness of keeping a house ready for showings and preparing for a cross-country move by myself and two kids, we did not do any formal school between January and March. He did play in the computer a lot with starfall (which is now boring) and abcmouse (which also became boring) and pbskids. This excessive computer use was because I had 20 showings in 6 weeks. While unpacking after the move, I found a still wrapped set of new Dick and Jane books my MIL got the kids for Christmas. I was very adamant that I would only do phonics with DS based on OPGTR. But since it's been a while since we had done anything I thought, well why not? Let's see if he can read them. So I took book 1 out. All the "Oh, oh, oh." sounded hilarious in my head so I read it out loud in the funniest way possible with faces and voices and all. Then we discussed the pictures. Lo and behold, my child wanted to read it himself. With giggles. I know many of those words are sight words, but in the last two days he has chosen to read the first three books (granted, they seem fairly simple) but he went from sounding out Bob books to almost fluent reading. Since he is more amenable to reading Dick and Jane if I read them first (in my hilarious mommy voice) I am not sure if this is really reading or if he is just repeating. I didn't know he could recognize "yellow" and "blue" we never reviewed those words. Like I said before, he did a lot of computer time during the crazy move so maybe he picked them up then? Should I just go with it? If so, we would move on to what? I feel a little lost since I've never done this before and the logical method (to me anyway) is to follow a curriculum in order rather than jumping around. We had done several OPGTTR lessons and he can sound out words like h-e-l-p and blend, but we never moved on to multiple syllable words. I am confused and I do not want to mess him up. It is likely DS will soon find Dick and Jane boring too, but for now he does like them and the pictures. Opinions and suggestions would be appreciated. I do not post often because my kids are little and I am very new. However, I've read several threads before posting this. I will therefore add this note which I think is unrelated, but perhaps will prevent replies such as "just read to your kids and don't worry about it" ?: We do lots of reading using books the kids pick out from the library and if it's nice we will go to playgrounds several times a week. DS is a mini paleontologist (joking, he just loves dinosaurs) and recently we've moved on to obsess about planets. And yes, both DS and DD (3) play with Lego, blocks, boxes, dolls (action figures), cars and such. Plus we do lots of science (planting, weed pulling, looking at stars, talking about germs) and experiments. DS is not yet writing. I offer crayons, colored pencils and paints and he does a little "abstract" art which is fine. As of age 4, he cannot write his name and I'm ok with it for now because he can spell it lol. He does color in the calendar square for Saxon math. I am bilingual, so occasionally we do Spanish time. And all the other normal things ...
I've been reevaluating what I want to work on with my son for the upcoming year, which I'm considering like a K4. One of the things I want to do is read books to him (of course) and I want to use that experience to develop his reading comprehension and critical thinking, which I feel like I haven't done enough of. So I looked at the FIAR sample, and it is definitely not what I want - I'm not interested in tangential subjects, crafty things, etc. - although I will make use of the read five times thing, because I think that's brilliant. I also looked at the Peak with Books sample pages. This does have exactly what I want - the "A Closer Look" section of questions, but I really don't feel like that is enough to warrant purchasing the whole book. My question, then, is whether anyone knows of any other resources that have critical thinking/reading comprehension questions that relate to preschool and kindergarten age books. If anyone is interested, the google sample of Peak with Books is at I feel like I should be able to come up with these questions on my own, but in practice it doesn't seem like I am very good at it. Thanks, Debi
I've noticed as I'm reading the posts how many of us are worried that our dc are behind in some subject or another (me included!). It made me wonder why our expectations are so crazy. I notice this even amongst non-hsing preschool mamas - it's like culturally we have this paranoid obsession over not letting our kids get "behind" even in preschool or K. Where did this come from??? Our church meets in a school, and I was looking this last Sunday at some of the accomplishments posted on the wall for the different grade levels. The Kindergarten team was celebrating because 61% of the kids could recognize MOST of their uppercase and lowercase letters at this point in the year. I suppose that should make me feel better. :-)