Emily uses Spectrum Spelling and this is the first year I let her write in the book instead of writing the words and answers on lined notebook paper. I had planned on passing the books down to Katie, but they are very reasonably priced through Rainbow Resource, so when Emily asked if she could just write in the book this year, I thought, why not? Well, this week, Katie asked for her own spelling book. Being more prepared than usual, I happened to have a brand new 1st grade Spectrum book on our shelf. Actually, I have two; one for sight words and the other for spelling. She completed three or four pages in one and probably 10 pages in the other! And did her very first word search! I thought it was cute how she circled the letters of one word in the shape of a boomerang! It was then that I realized that she needed some instruction on how to properly do a word search.
I'm love, love, loving our curriculum this year! A couple friends completed this course last year (MFW: Creation to the Greeks) and said it was just "ok." Their comments raised an eyebrow with me but since I really enjoy the Old Testament, I wasn't overly concerned. So far, it's been a treat to read and learn more about Creation, sin, the flood, and even myths. In fact, we find the myths quite humerous. And Emily often becomes defensive and says "that's just wrong!" How cute is that? God must have a smile on His face when He hears those words from her!
Much to our delight, we found a great place to read our Bible lessons: in my bedroom. It has great natural light and a big comfy bed to plop on while we take turns reading. We used to do everything in our "school" room, but that gets boring. After reading a few posts by some others who move around the house for various subjects, I decided to give it a go this year. It's great. And since Bible is our very first subject, and my bedroom is located on the back side of the house, we don't hear all the public school kids at the bus stop waiting for their ride. Why did I never think of that before?
At lunch, we've been reading and enjoying The Tanglewoods' Secret, which is a read-aloud included in the deluxe curriculum package of CTG. I was skeptical about the read-alouds because we just couldn't get into them last year with Exploring Countries & Cultures. They never even stood a fighting chance, and we quickly gave up reading them. I found them hard to read aloud and the kids weren't the least bit interested. Well, they may have shown a slight interest, but certainly not enough to continue with them. This year is a breath of fresh air in that area and I'm relieved because Emily is showing more interest in reading for pleasure.
For pleasure reading, I've put aside what I think she should read, and just let her pick books of her own interest. She mostly chooses non-fiction, factual books but learned that the Amelia Badelia books are great fun. Yes, they are easy readers, but who cares! My child is reading for crying out loud, and she's enjoying it! You have to know that she has never been interested in pleasurable reading, let alone Amelia Badelia books. We just happened to have one on the shelf which she read and loved and wants to know if we have more! So, to the library we will go!
Every year, I learn more about my kids, myself, and homeschooling. Not every child fits the same mold. In fact, I dare to say that no two are exactly the same. For this reason, each one needs to be taught uniquely. What works for one is not likely to work exactly the same for another. Just last year, you might have caught me wondering why my child (then, 9 years old) could not happily and easily read 4th grade level chapter books. This year, I'm just happy that she reads at all! Just like anything else, it's a process. When you're 20, 40, or 60, no one knows cares when you were potty-trained! We just know that it happened sometime during childhood. Reading, for us, is like potty-training. Eventually, it will click. It may never become completely enjoyable, but at least the skill is developing.