This past Wednesday officially began our second year of home school! I do not refer to it as Helana’s first grade because that would not be technically accurate. In most subjects, she will be learning on a first grade level; but others, such as reading and writing, she is working at a slower pace.
We are using Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons as our reading curriculum. Last year I began to notice that H was merely “memorizing” her words and then promptly forgetting them, so we changed our technique. We have completed eight lessons so far and I think we have found just what we need. The lessons only take around ten minutes each, which is ideal for her attention span. I love that it tells me exactly what to say and do and the end of each lesson includes practice writing the “sounds” covered for that day. We have been working on short a, long e, m, s and t.
Today I wrote out the above letters on the dry erase board and we made words using those letters. We formed the words “am”, “at”, “mat”, “sat”, “as” and “me”. Then we practiced sounding them out. It is so cool to see her face light up when she realizes the word.
Oddly enough, her handwriting has improved greatly since beginning the reading program. We aren’t doing anything different there, but she can now make a nearly perfect s and e whereas before the s was a 3 and the e was upside down. Perhaps taking a few weeks off helped. I don't know, I’m just thankful. We can now finally get to learning how to spell her last name. She has been practicing writing 2 as well this week. She still wants to make it a S or a 3, but is getting better at catching and correcting herself.
We have also practiced cutting out small pictures with the scissors. Her OT has been working on this as well I think. I see a big improvement.
We will begin science on the 16th, where we will once again be studying the days of creation. This year, however, will include fun science experiments that correspond with each day. This study can also be used as a history lesson as well.
I feel very strongly about our Creation study. I believe it to be the foundation of all knowledge. One simply cannot believe in God without first believing He is the Creator, the Alpha. Genesis sets the stage for, not only the entire Bible, but the history of the world. I have linked in the side bar one of my favorite sites: Answers in Genesis. It is there that I ordered our science curriculum, which consists of 3 books on science experiments. These books take it a step further by including pertinent Scripture and explanations. LOVE IT!
September will bring with it a study on Kentucky, our home state. In October we will study Native Americans which will segue into November’s study on Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. I have found interesting books on Amazon pertaining to these, including a book on Native American crafts. More about that later.
Some time after Christmas we will study dinosaurs, something else I am very excited about. H has shown an interest in them so I thought, “Why not?”. It will be an introductory study because I predict we will have a more thorough look at them in the years to come. Especially since we will be learning how they “fit” in the Bible.
Obviously I teach everything from a Biblical perspective. After all, how can I declare something as Truth if I do not incorporate it into every day life? However, I also think one MUST know why they believe what they believe and should be able to intelligently support and defend those beliefs. We cannot do that if we don’t also have a knowledge of the opposing views. Therefore, when H (and E eventually) get old enough, we will also study secular philosophies and worldviews and why they are simply lies from the bowels of the prince of lies and how to lovingly “rebut” them in debate. I don’t know if H will ever reach that level academically, but I suspect E will, and H does absorb much more than she lets on. She just might not ever be in a situation to use it. But, that makes no difference. I know God has called me to this and I will simply obey and let Him work out His plan.
Thanks to all who read this blog and lend their support. I love comments, so feel free to leave some!