Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homeschooling Update

-- Because I clearly haven't posted enough updates this month.

We are in such a good place with our homeschooling efforts.  My confidence level has shot through the roof this week with all of Kyra's progress suddenly dawning on me.

Kyra's reading skills are excellent!  And I guess I always knew they would be.  She's been a book worm since she could first pick up a book.  Always had her nose between the pages, studying the pictures, telling me what she thinks is going on.

At the beginning of the summer, I tried using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons-- which came recommended to me by several different homeschooling moms, but Kyra was bored to pieces with it.  A great coupon/discount deal and a little research later, last fall we're started using two different programs, Hooked on Phonics along with Explode the Code.

Kyra has excelled so much faster then I ever expected.  She is a mere 2, maybe 3, weeks from being finished with the kindergarten curriculum, which I fully intended to last us through the spring season.  She can read all her short vowels sounds in simple words with one section left on adding a -ck sound into the mix. (sick, back, duck, neck) 

I peeked at the first grade curriculum already and it seems that it starts out teaching them all the combination sounds (is that what you would call them?) like sh-, ch- and th-. She should do absolutely great with the next step.  She's just a whiz when it comes to this stuff!  And best of all, she's in love with the whole reading to others, thing!  Lydia won't sit still for her, yet, but the dogs don't seem to mind being read to.  Neither do Jeremy or myself!

When it comes to Kyra's math, another homeschool friend of mine sent me an A Beka speed and drill book.  That got me looking into the actual workbook, which is what I decided to go with.  The reviews were good.  A lot of them said the curriculum was a bit on the slower side, kinda dumbed down from what I understood.  Perfect for me as a beginning tool, I thought, since I'm not sure how either Kyra or I would do as we started out.

Kyra uses Arithmetic 1, which is supposed to be a 1st grade curriculum, but after talking to my friend earlier this week, it seems that Kyra is right on target with the same work her best friend, Rachel, is doing in her kindergarten class out in Nebraska. 

She's mastered adding and subtracting numbers 1-9, she can count to 100 and beyond by both ones, tens and we're currently working on fives.  She's learning coins by sight and worth and learning to count them, too (3 dimes, 1 nickel and 4 pennies equals 39 cents).

While I remember learning my numbers in kindergarten, the rest of it I remember learning in 1st grade.  No wonder I was confused when some of the reviews for the curriculum said they were dumbing it down! If it were 20+ years ago it was right on target but, apparently, with the school system's method of pushing kids earlier and earlier it's now spot on for 5 year olds to be learning this stuff today.

We usually do "school" 3-4 mornings a week, an hour or two a day.  Though we did take almost all of November and half of December off due to passing around illnesses and holiday whatnots.  Oh, and last week when The Grandparents! were in.  While we had time for school, there is no way I could get Kyra to focus as she was JUST! SO! EXCITED! that there were new people to entertain.

I'm so happy that Kyra wants to learn!  Most days, when I tell her it's time for nap/quiet time (Lydia lays down to nap, Kyra quietly lays down to "rest her body"-- and usually falls asleep)  she asks if she can do school work rather then go to bed, even if we've already done some that morning.  Sometimes I let her, sometimes she's had a busy or rough morning and needs her quiet time.  But the fact that she WANTS to do school work instead of taking a break blows my mind. 

If someone had told me a few years ago that I would be a homeschooling mom and actually succeed, I would have laughed in their face.  Who knew?  It boggles my mind.  But we are just so very happy with the turns life has given us and the way life has treated us.  I would have never guessed my little family would be this blessed.


  1. Alicia,
    I also have a kindergartener and am amazed at her progress with reading. Like you if someone told me I would be a homeschooling Mom of a 5 and 3 year old, I would have laughed. Things have really changed in my family, and definitely for the better.

  2. I'm glad things have seemed to work out so well with the both of us! Funny how life is...!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! You mentioned your girls had a doll of St. Therese, where did you buy it? Next year, for first grade, I am planning to include saint of the day into my lesson plans.

  4. I jumped over to your blog to answer you. Having a saint of the day sounds like a great way to introduce LOTS of wonderful saints. Great idea!