Monday, April 19, 2010

Update: Jakob's (and Caleb's) Home Schooling

We are starting a new routine during our school time these days. For the last several months we have been working on the packets that I put together for the times that I would be down sick in the early pregnancy. THANK HEAVENS for the foresight and preparing of those packets!! They Saved Jakob's whole school year!

During those months Jakob mastered the alphabet (writing, recognition, and the sounds of the upper and lower case letters.) He also worked on writing and recognizing the numbers up to twenty. Of course he can count higher. But I felt it important that he be able to write them down as well as count. So it worked out well.

We've moved on to a few new things. The first may seem very basic and routine. But in our family it is something we take very seriously. We hung an American flag in our living room and the first thing we do to open "School Time" is to say The Pledge of Allegiance. Jakob, Caleb, and myself all stand together and repeat those very stirring and all important words. Often times after saying the pledge we will discuss different topics that go along with America and our heritage. The latest topic stemmed from the question Jakob asked, "what do the red and white stripes mean on the flag?" Good Question! Here is the answer.

Starting next year we will begin something I am VERY excited about!! It is called "America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty" It is a series of lessons covering the History of the United States from the very beginning. Throughout the lessons there are four themes that resonate through the lessons: Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility. We are very Excited! Check it out HERE.

We have also started working more with math then just counting and recognizing numbers. We have found an AWESOME website for this and the best part is that Jakob enjoys it!! It's called IXL Math. It is a website that goes along with the State guidelines for math. They provide lessons for your child following these guidelines. Jakob's favorite part is their awards system. Every time he works on his math he is working toward a certain goal and receives fun little awards to continue to encourage him. So far it's been Great!!

And Finally, it's time to begin the process of helping Jakob learn how to read. On a scholastic level we use StarFall.com (including MoreStarFall.com) and a series of flash card games to help Jakob with the sight words and phonics. We have also included a spiritual approach to this subject. During school time Jakob and I read from the children's version of The Book of Mormon. He points to the words and I read, unless he recognizes a word. It gives him a chance to "practice" reading. But of course my favorite part is the chance we get to talk about the gospel! In the evenings Jakob gets to read the last verse of our scripture studies. While reading he earns a sticker for every word that he clearly recognizes on his own and reads without help. Last night he earned his top number of stickers, five. I am realizing that this will be a long process, but worth the effort.

In the end of "School Time," I believe both Jakob AND Caleb have come away learning something new. A very Good Feeling!!

3 comments:

Sandra said...

Sounds like Mama is doing a great job! I think it's fun to watch them learning to read. Andrew's teacher sent us home with the Sam I am books and I made him read them all summer. Amazing what 20 minutes a day will do eh? I think it's great that you are saying the pledge with them and learning about it.

ML said...

StarFall is such a fun site.

Faith 'n Family said...

Thanks for sharing the sites you use for your school - we'll have to check out the math site!

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