Friday, May 30, 2014

End of the Year Wrap Up

This marks the end of our fourth year of homeschooling!  We are done with 5th, 2nd, and Kindergarten and every year posts new challenges for us and by the end of the year I am amazed at my children's accomplishments.

Kindergarten always makes me nervous because everything is new.  I am always nervous about teaching the kids how to read, but I have never invested into a phonics program.  I just teach them in a way that is natural for me and for them.

With my youngest, we did not teach her the names of the letters at all when she was little, but called the letters by their phonetic sound instead.  This made teaching her how to read so much easier.  For instance, she would see the word BAT and sound out the letters B-A-T, there you go she just read that word.  Teaching her to read was easy-peasy and now she can sound out bigger words on her own just fine.

2nd grade was super easy this year.  I think the only thing my son really struggled with was rounding numbers.  I have no idea why that concept was so hard for him, but we spent time and time again going over it until it finally clicked and I wanted to celebrate with a ticker-tape parade when it did!  He is in 2nd grade, but finished 3rd grade math.

I also have never purchased a math curriculum.  I feel comfortable teaching them on my own and the math programs I have looked into have seemed like more review and not as challenging as I would like them to be.  I may change my tune once we have to get into Algebra!  We just use Khan Academy as a way to keep tack of what they are learning in math.

My 2nd grader has also accomplished being able to sound out words.  This may be an easy concept for most kids, but he has dyslexia, so this is a HUGE milestone for us.  His ability to break apart a word in to syllables has improved thanks to his wonderful tutor and his daily lessons, exercises, and therapy.  He is now confident in reading, something that he wasn't at the beginning of the year.  As a mother and his teacher it makes my heart warm to know that he has not lost a love for reading just because he has to deal with dyslexia.  He has to work twice as hard to achieve what most people would call "normal" results.

5th grade this year was interesting since we just fully implemented the Charlotte Mason method there was a learning curve, not just for me but for the kids too.  The younger ones dealt with the change more easily, but my 5th grader had to re-learn some things from doing things more traditional though our previous years.

Narration was tough for him at first, not so much with the younger kids.  We ended up breaking his readings apart into very small sections and having him narrate one sentence at a time.  He has improved over the year though, but it has not become second nature to him yet.

We are going to have a short break for Summer and start up again with school soon, but I cannot wait as I learn more about Charlotte Mason I want to incorporate her style more into our homeschool.


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