Teach Your Child to Read Outside and Play – A Lot
It’s been awhile since I shared a bit from our homeschooling adventures. Since my last homeschooling post, we purchased Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and have progressed to Lesson 9. We’ve taken Poet Laureate and Professor Mark Strand’s advice about memorizing 1500 lines of poetry and memorized the first four verses of Psalm 1, with the intent of memorizing a verse a week until we know the whole book by heart (no, I did not do the math on this and I have no idea how long it will take – I think the less I know in this regard the better). We’ve moved, and have done a lot of exploring our new school-site – via bubble blowing. We’ve learned to play Checkers (pretty exciting for an almost four year old), and we’re tackling bead projects.
She got this cool dinosaur coloring book awhile back, but has really taken to it in the last few months. The book teaches your kid how to draw properly named dinosaurs step by step. Whether you’re a die hard dinosaur believer, or a skeptic to their existence, all kids love dinosaurs – they’re just so cool!
Activity books like these teach kids to follow step by step instructions, help with dexterity and handling writing utensils, and keep them busy for thirty minutes to an hour at a time. Win, win for everyone.
Moving and Acoustics
The great thing about moving with a small child is teaching your kid the art of donation from a young age. What we don’t need anymore, we’ve been donating. For a kid who has outgrown those things, it’s time consuming, but giving them the knowledge and opportunity to come to conclusions about their own belongings is an eye-opening experience. I haven’t forced her to get rid of anything, and I’m overjoyed to have so many moments when my kiddo comes to me and says, “Mama, I don’t need this anymore. We can give this to another kid.” And off to Goodwill we go. (At our garage sales she selected things to sell and was quite the little negotiator. She made about $5 off old toys other kids carried off and put that money right in her piggy bank. Now, she keeps telling me she has plenty of money for Chick-fi-la…)
On top of all that, every kid should get a chance to stand in an empty room and shout at the top of their lungs. (Or spin in circles singing All Around the Mulberry Bush while shooting a soft dart gun…)
This book came highly recommended by my sister who has taught 5 kids to read (not including myself when I was 4) and has 2 more that are on their way to starting lessons. The above link is for Amazon.com, but I actually purchased my copy from hpbmarketplace.com.
Teach Your Child to Read goes straight into the phonics and skips the step of learning what a letter is called. My kid could already identify all her letters and knew most of her phonics, but she’s enjoying diving right into the decoding process by seeing an “m” and knowing to say “Mmmmm.” We’re only on Lesson 9 and she can already read words like “mat” and “sat,” “am” and “Me” just by sounding them out. These beginning lessons do not teach sight words but sounding out and decoding a word even if it means you don’t understand the word right away. I like this because it allows a child to read outside their vocabulary and have the tools to learn new words.
We do the rhyming and say it fast/ say it slow exercises while outside playing bubbles:
Here, she’s not just practicing the “sssss” sound (and writing it, look at the chalkboard behind her), she’s also blowing some stellar bubbles while sporting a Seed Savers t-shirt, compliments of S. Smith, author of the series. Kiddo adores Sandy and the shirt she gave her.
Beads and Dexterity
No preschool program is complete without crafts!
While moving I rediscovered some craft supplies from my own childhood. I thought about donating these as well, but kiddo begged to do a bead project and I determined that these were worth saving. The star was her first try, it took about an hour to complete; so if your preschooler doesn’t quite have the patience and attention span, be prepared to split a project like this into two sessions.
Check out Klemm University for more frequent updates. We are an online homeschool group based in Texas and would love for other homeschool moms, teachers, and general citizens to pipe in with ideas for keeping our educational journey more exciting, diverse, and thorough. Come join the conversations!