Yes, another homeschooling blog...

P'once a little time there was a girl. This girl grew up to be a Mamma to three little girls all very much like herself. And this little Mamma knew she just had to have a place of her own to keep all things home school right at her fingertips.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Preschooling the precocious...

I thought Mara, my oldest, was my precocious child. At least that's what everyone always told me. My second, Elinor, is proving to have a whole set of her very own talents. And let me tell you, it is amazing to watch her skills blossom. My plan was never to really take preschool all that seriously outside of daily story time and ABC's. Mara went to a private preschool, mainly out of necessity and the only reason we started home school kindergarten at age 5 was because I felt I would be called negligent if I hadn't. (Worrying what others think is an obvious struggle of mine.)

Most of me believes that kids don't really need formal schooling until around 7 years of age. There is, after all, so much to be learned in imaginative play and most children these days aren't allowed nearly enough time for simple childhood to take place. But (it's a big but) part of me becomes afraid and overwhelmed that if I don't do anything, you know, leave them to play and make believe the day away, that not only will my house be a complete and utter disaster without the schedule that home schooling (usually) provides, but they will be considerably lacking in many areas compared to their peers. And there it is, "compared to their peers." Stop. And that's when I realize my logic is completely flawed. Why should I compare my children to the likes of their peers? I shouldn't. phew.

My Elinor has an internal clock and keeps me on my toes, which is very good for me because at times I have felt worthless as a home schooling parent. Everyday she must get her "schoolwork" in. Her education is a very serious thing. As we are winding down for the school year, she has taken the time to show me that she has been paying attention to every single lesson--even Big Sistuh's. She knows most the letters of the alphabet, upper and lower, as well as their sounds. She can even write most of those letters by dictation. With that being said, Elle Belle will be starting the new school year 2013/14 as a 4 year old. And it may be a bit early for sight words but I think she is ready. To some I may not be a qualified teacher, but I know my children best. I know when they are ready to tackle new projects and when we need more time to digest. I know when we simply need to take time to learn life lessons because those are important too.

When Mara was learning to read she loved sight word games that we would play each evening. We started with around 5 words, adding only a few more to the mix once mastery was achieved. If ever the game became tiresome we put it away for the night. We usually maxed out at about 5-10 minutes. I have made a new set of sight flash cards for Elinor as our old hand written set is long gone. Perhaps I'll hold on to these a little longer this time around. This is our starting point: the, to, and, a, I, you, it, in, said, for, up, look, is, go, we, little, down, can, see, not, one, my, me, big, come, blue, red, where, jump, away, here, help, make, yellow, two, play, run, find, three, funny. For our complete list: Sight words  a blog entry from 2010. 

I'm excited to see what our next school year brings. Happy planning!

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