Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fun for the whole family

 We're a little behind, but we're finding our groove again.

Most of my homeschooling mommy friends celebrated their hundredth day of school recently. (Some with considerable fanfare.) I don't even want to think about how many days behind we are as far as the official "school year" goes. I just know we're no where near having 100 days behind us. Lucky for us, it's only Pre-K, and my kids couldn't care less. Also, any number bigger than 60 is "almost a multitude, Mommy!" according to Abby, so I figure we've done about a multitude of days at this point.

Abby's still determined to learn to cut, read and tell time, and to do all these things at an adult level. I keep telling her it's okay if her lines aren't exactly straight, if she can't sound out all the words ever penned by Beatrix Potter, and if she can only find the "o'clocks" on her little talking clock right now. It's a little like talking to a brick wall. We're still working through her frustration issues, her perfectionist tendencies, and her total intolerance for anything that resembles failure. It's a long, hard road, but we're trudging it together.

We're working through our Teach Your Child to Read book together, and she seems to love the special mommy-daughter time each day that we've dedicated to helping her reach her reading goals. I'm more than impressed with the design and organization of this curriculum. I had my doubts, but it's working great for us, and I can see Abby is well on her way to being able to read by her fifth birthday the way she wants to.

I purchased some more Kumon workbooks to help us with our telling time and simple math. I had no intentions of doing math this year, but Abby seems to have a freakishly strong grasp of addition and subtraction, so we're trying it out. I think she likes the precision and the absolutes that come from dealing with numbers. She's like her dad in more ways than one.

Caleb still insists on doing school with us, which is awesome, but I'm afraid I'm not going to have any curriculum left when I try to start preschool with him next year. But he adores his big sister, and loves to do anything she's doing, so I print off two of every worksheet and let him help out with all our craft and science projects. And when he gets bored, he colors his CBS workbook and waits for us to move on to something more interesting than learning to draw the numbers on a clock.

Jacob, sans a morning nap, has been thrown head first into our school time, which was not an easy transition. He's more interested in chewing on books than listening to me read, he likes to eat crayons rather than color with us, and mostly he liked to do laps around the kitchen table while I tried to work calmly with Abby with a screaming baby in the background. Forget quiet books, activity centers and all those other great ideas moms have. Jacob just wants attention. Period. If he's not in on the action, no amount of pom poms to push through a hole in a jar is going to keep him happy and quiet. So I enlisted Abby and Caleb to help me help him see how much fun school time can be, and now we alternate Pre-K lessons and teaching Jacob what crayons are for as part of our regular learning activities.

There's never a dull a moment here at the School of Mommy.

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