Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Homeschool @ Home

I've been feeling under the weather lately and also other personal reasons, I've decided to take a hiatus from the 3-days a week homeschooling at Jenny's place.

So what do we do in our home learning journey then? I've resolved to focus on just the three R's (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic), Tim's afterall still in the nursery level and I really do not want to drive him hard through the academic way. I still prefer the learn through play method. I wish to help my kids learn the natural way (ie. progressively at the child's own pace). As such, I hope my kids will embrace learning and truly enjoy their childhood playing and learning :)

Having said that, I'll still supplement the kids' learning through read-aloud and activities through lapbooks. Lapbook-ing has worked very well for us in Tim's learning thus far so I shall continue with that.

Beyond that we'll enrich our learning experience through field trips and also messy fun art. I guess I just might have all grounds covered for the nursery level.

Hubby and I have discussed at length and have decided that the kids will definitely enter school when they are due for K1 since we are not likely to homeschool them throughout the primary school years.

About our reading journey
Since end last year, I've noticed that Tim has a great love for alphabets... and ever since we started watching the "Leap Frog Letter Factory", his passion in alphabets just escalated. That time I thought he was ready to learn blending of letters and to truly learn how to read (see I was anxious, just another KS parent)... he wasn't quite ready I took a long break in teaching him how to read...

Lately (past few months), we've been using incidental opportunities to teach Tim how to read - we read the road signs, and words at the car park... and he's shown great interest in reading... so I thought this is the right time to start...

I bought myself a reading program that was passionately recommended by Angie. It's the "Reading Made Easy" program. After going through several other reading programs (readers and such) I've decided that this is by far the BEST reading program. It's progressive and best of all the teacher's guide comes with a SCRIPT!!! *LOL* Can't get another program that's better, really!
It's well paced and it takes approximately 10mins to go through each lesson with your child. You need only to run the lesson three times a week. It begins with the short vowel and it definitely doesn't come with a complicated method of teaching phonics. Best of all, there's very minimal prep work to be done.
To supplement the learning experience, I used these rhyming cards to help Tim recognize the short vowel sound of A. These cards are available at my shop.
I've made these cards quite a while ago but kept it in cold storage for I realized Tim wasn't quite ready for this when I presented this to him previously.

But I am hearten that he's able to read all the words of the "AT" family now. So he's reading indeed! :) Slow and steady, that's the way to go! This learning aid is also available in my shop.
To cover the learning of the consonants, we use the program - Explode The Code. I like this series of workbooks very much as it emphasizes the sound of each consonant with different activities. It comes with a teacher's guide all that needs to be prepared is spelt out in there. There is also tracing of the alphabets for the kids to practice writing.
Finally, I used songs to reinforce what we've learned. I find it to be useful for the kids to remember... it's fun and definitely engaging...we sang the "Ram-Sam-Sam" song that's only 32seconds long... *LOL* but we played it over and over for many times and Tim was smiling and giggling away as we sing along...

Will share more about learning math and what other things we do at home later... till then stay tuned! *smile*


Leng Leng said...

Hi Pauline,

I agree with you that Reading Made Easy is the BEST reading program. I started using it with Sarah beginning of this year, and she caught on to it so quickly and she is reading quite well now, I must say. We are up to lesson 80 now. Explode The Code is great too. We just finished with book 1.

Happy homeschooling!

jean said...

Hi Pauline, thanks for sharing with us your homeschooling journey and decision made. With reading, writing and arithmetic skills, Tim is well equip when he attends K1.. u are very resourceful and full of ideas.. a talent God gives... make full good use of your talents :-)

God bless.

etceteramommy said...

This is truly informative. Coincidently I'm looking around suitable books to start my boy on reading programmes. Thanks so much!

mamabliss said...

Hi Leng Leng & Jean, thanks very much dearies for your comment and encouragement... I hope that what I do is right and good for the children... still kinda grappling in the dark but I know for sure the 3Rs is the route that I want to take. Trusting in the Lord that what I do is right for them :)

Reading Made Easy and Explode the Code are indeed great resources... I really have Angie to thank she's my source of inspiration! *smile*

mamabliss said...

Hi Yvonne, what a coincidence... am happy that what I've shared is useful to you :)

Hann Hann said...

not hann but hann's mummy said...

pauline, ya shop don;t have the letter cards leh. the ones w/o the pictures.