Saturday, October 17, 2009

We Are Progressing...

Here are some updates on our learning at home... the beauty of schooling your kids at home is you can decide when you want to teach, what you want them to learn and how you want to execute the lessons to suit your needs, schedule and interest...

At the nursery level, things are kept really simple and easy for us... I remember starting Tim with the learning of colours when he just turned 2. It wasn't an exception for Little Missy either. However, the approach and method adopted has a slight difference.
Little Missy, is more tactile and she needs things that are more concrete where she could touch, feel and see all at the same time. So we started learning about colours with real things, followed by identifying the colours of colouring material such as crayons. Since she's so hung up about working on a workbook like her brother, I got her a colouring book to teach her colours. Though she doesn't get 100% of the colours correct when we ask her, she's getting there... *smile*

Sometime ago (when Little Missy was 20mths old), I sat down with Little Missy to go through Martin Jr's Brown Bear story book and somehow the video was buried under many many other videos I had in my folder... it was by chance I found this video... the idea is to get the child interested in reading through methods that the child enjoy most. For Little Missy, it's through songs... and of course the focused attention I have with her (read: bonding)...
I have no intentions to do anything very structured or academically driven with Little Missy at this point in time... just pacing out according to her learning interest and following her lead. Most times, we are still adopting the learn through play method.

We've embarked on the journey in learning math using the Right Start materials. It was fun and definitely a novelty to Tim. As it is we have to first of all "unlearn" the counting method and get into the habit of using visualization to recognize the quantity.
On this day, we were covering lesson 3 - Quantities 1 to 5 and Matching. The popsicle sticks used were tally sticks where Tim is to tally the number of object against the tally sticks.

We also learn that 5 is a very interesting number... because it has a "middle".

As the lesson progresses, there are more manipulatives to use and the lesson gets more complex but definitely more interesting. As Level A was designed for children 4-5yrs old, we are taking it really slowly. We cover only about 2 lessons per week at this point in time.

We continued with the learning of phonics and reading.
Tim loves the Starfall phonics games. He could easily sit in front of the computer for hours but we had to give him a time limit to that lest he becomes a 'puter addict like mommy ;P Learning phonics through Starfall is one sure way to captivate the kids as the games are very interactive and fun.
We finally put the moveable letters into good use... we recently borrowed a book "I know an Old Lady who swallowed a pie". Here's a glimpse of what we did...

On days, when I just don't feel like preparing any materials, we'll do workbooks that I bought from the Popular Bookstore. That's the easiest for me *wink*

Beyond learning the academics, I am now working on building good habits into the two kids. One of which is for Tim to pack his own bed now that he's old enough to do a neater job.
"The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children." ~ Charlotte Mason


Tandanie said...

Homeschooling is challenging yet safe! But how about the social skills and the team work spirit? How do you incorporate this in your homeschool programme?

mamabliss said...

Hi Tandanie, thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Socializing issues has always been the number question people asked me (and many other homeschoolers) about homeschooling :) it's really not a big issue at all to be honest. We've the neighbours kids that my children play with, and on our own we (I & the other homeschooling moms) organize a lot of outings and playdates together. Above which, the kids have sunday school friends to socialize with and learn about team work etc.

At home, we do encourage the two kids to play games that promote cooperation as well.

I hope that gives you an idea of what we do during our homeschooling :)

Angeline said...

So long as (from your observation) you see your kids grow in all aspects as they should for their age, you can give yourself a pat on your back, no matter how many people supported your idea or have objected....

The Cooking Ninja said...

I'm very interested in knowing where you get the mathematics teaching materials from.

My little girl is 3 and she is just learning her letters. She is starting on counting.

I bought those tear out crafts for her to do too. She loves it very much. :)

Mama Bliss said...

Hi Angeline, thanks very much for your word of encouragement :) homeschooling is actually rather unique to each individual family as our children have different styles of learning also we all have different values that we wish to impart to our kids... so yeah, you are right, as long as the kids achieve the milestones according to the age and are happy and enjoy learning, that's all that matter to me :)

Mama Bliss said...

Hi The Cooking Ninja, the Right Start Math program was bought directly from the US. I purchased up to USD225 in order to enjoy their free shipping within the US and then arranged for VPost to ship it to S'pore. You may check out

Yeah, I love all those tear and paste workbooks hehehe... so easy for me! ;)