Sarah is in Kindergarten this year! In some ways she seems past this stage, in that she’s quite articulate and good at many things, but in other ways she’s still pint-sized, as evidenced by the fact that she went to church in a size 3T dress this Sunday and I didn’t notice anything amiss.
In addition to the subjects we cover with the other kids, Sarah’s individual school work includes:
Last year Sarah got through half of Saxon 1, so this year I am pulling back in pace a bit and just having her do one page of the second half of Saxon 1. At this pace, she will still be part way through Saxon 2 by the end of Kindergarten so I don’t see any reason to rush around. Doing one page a day still helps her practice writing her numbers and gives her time to get really good at addition and subtraction facts.
Sarah is still convinced she can’t read, which is perplexing since she’s 139 lessons in to the Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, and is reading even complicated phonemes like -aigh. But because she can’t pick up any old chapter book and read it, like Hannah and Jack can, she thinks she can’t read. Curiously, she also thinks she can’t ride her bicycle, although she actually can and has repeatedly done so in front of numerous witnesses. So at any rate, in addition to her reading lesson, she also reads me a short book like a Bob book reader or one of Eliza’s board books, or something like that, because maybe if she reads an actual book daily, eventually it will sink in that she is in fact reading. In spite of her assertion that she can’t read, Sarah still reports that reading is her favorite subject, so I guess that’s good.
Sarah couldn’t understand why she didn’t have a spelling book like the others, so I went ahead and started her in All About Spelling 1. I was not too surprised that she immediately grasped the concept of building words by sound, but I was surprised that she enjoyed it so much that she begs to be allowed to do more spelling every day. I actually have to cut her off after she does a week’s worth in about 10 minutes. So although we’ve only completed five weeks of school, she’s already well over 2/3 of the way through the book and showing no signs of slowing down. I figure at some point we will get to something that takes more effort and then we’ll slow down to a normal pace, but at this point she’s enjoying it so what the heck.
I said I wouldn’t do it but I’m going through First Language Lessons 1 with Sarah again. I was going to skip it, but she wouldn’t have it and I thought maybe we’d rehash level 1 another time for review before going to level 2. It can’t hurt, right?
I just have Sarah doing copywork for handwriting. Since she copies the same length passage that her older siblings do, and her spelling also includes dictation, I feel like that is sufficient.
How long does this take?
Truly, Sarah is the most diligent worker in the house. She never complains about her work, but just cheerfully does her assignments. It takes her about 10 minutes to do her copywork, and then about 30-40 minutes for Office Time (her one-on-one teaching time). Usually she gets all of her work done with me. Then the subjects we do with the other kids take one-and-a-half to two hours, so total she’s probably doing about two-and-a-half to three hours of school a day, not counting extra reading time and bedtime read-alouds. That seems reasonable for her age. Other than school work she does a lot of dressing up and playing make-believe games with her ponies and castle and dolls, and singing at the top of her lungs.
It’s interesting to think about the differences between Sarah’s Kindergarten year and Hannah’s. In many ways, I’m doing way more with Sarah than I knew I could even attempt with Hannah, but in other ways, I’m way more laid back. You learn things along the way I suppose.
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