Monday, November 26, 2007

homeschooling my second child

Rachel's been doing well with the homeschooling. I've finally started to win an uphill battle where her handwriting is concerned. Because she's the younger of two children, Rachel started writing before she attended preschool, although perhaps it would be more accurate to say she was "drawing letters" than to say she actually was writing.
The result, though, is that while she did eventually learn to make the letters look right, she’s been making them in a way other than the correct way; i.e., she would make a T by starting at the bottom of the letter instead of at the top. Not a huge deal, I suppose, but it’s supposed to have dividends in other areas later on.

Well, after much work, I’ve finally got her doing her letters the correct way at least half the time. She still keeps slipping back into sola uppercasa as one of the three pillars of her faith when she’s writing on her own, but I'm confident that this too will come in time.

Her reading has been great, too. After resisting me on other occasions when I've prompted her to challenge herself, on Tuesday she picked up a Level 2 Step into Reading book and did a passable job with it. She still got stuck on a few words, including some she already knows, but now that she’s read it all the way through, she'll keep going. Her biggest problem isn't sight words, it's remembering what sounds dipthongs make, and how to handle that dang silent E. (It's elementary for silent E, but she's still in pre-elementary.)

Aside from reading and writing, the main thing we've been working on is literacy. We’re working our way through our beloved copy of The Brothers Grimm, as well as reading D'Aulaire's "Book of Greek Myths" and a children’s story Bible. We also just read a couple books about Pocahontas, one of which noted about the famous scene with John Smith, "Most historians think Smith made this up. We really don’t know. Oh, and we don't know if she actually thought of herself as a Christian and loved John Rolfe, or if she just thought converting and then marrying him would help her people." That book cracked me up with its honesty. Once Thanksgiving's over, I guess I'll have to see about finding some other books about Roanoke and Virginia Dare, or about the Puritans' arrival at Plymouth Rock.
In addition to all this at home, Rachel also takes gymnastics lessons, wants to attend the art academy where Evangeline goes, and knows more folk and Broadway tunes than many people far older than her. So I think we're getting the humanities covered.
Math is a little difficult for her, when it comes to adding numbers together that add up to more than 10. This, too, I think will come after I've explained it another time or two and worked her through a few exercises. She's doing well.

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