Guess what? Teaching The Squeaker at home is actually oodles of fun!
On a typical day we will spend between 30-45 minutes doing "school." I try to have him do two pages from his math workbook and two pages in his phonics every day, but the last week he has preferred to do more math and less phonics. For now, I think that's probably ok. I can definitely tell that he is absorbing the knowledge.
He can write his own name and his sister's (she is the favorite). Occasionally when he is drawing he will ask how to spell something so he can write it himself. So far he has written the following words using this method: smoke, ghost, egg, foot, train. Not too bad for a 4-year-old.
Sometimes he says little things here and there that make me suspect that he can totally read. ("Mom, why does that bottle say "baby?") But when I ask him to read a word on purpose he'll say "I don't know," and attempt to change the subject. If I push him to sound something out, all strength will suddenly depart from his limbs and he'll insist that he can't read and doesn't ever want to learn. But he's four, so that's ok.
We go to the library every other week and check out lots of books. We got one a few weeks ago about making a "bouncy egg" by placing an egg in vinegar. The shell dissolves, and the membrane thickens, so if you drop it onto a hard surface from a height of an inch or two, it will bounce! Be warned: the egg WILL break, and it will be messy. But it was great fun.
I'm really super-excited by the work he is doing in his math. He's already halfway through the first semester of kindergarten math. If he keeps this pace, he'll finish by January. If he goes through the second kindergarten math book at a similar pace, he will be ready for first grade math by the time he turns five.
The Cookie isn't too far behind. He can count to 11 (although he occasionally leaves out 7), and can correctly identify pictures of several planets in our solar system. He is also familiar with nebulae and galaxies. In the last 7 months he has gone from saying "woof" to speaking nearly complete sentences. "Mommy, can you put milk in my cup?" "Can I sit on your lap?" At bedtime he says, "I so warm and cozy." I love the way he says "actually." It sounds like, "axee."
The Shieldmaiden is precocious by virtue of her size. She weighed 16 lb 11 oz at her 4-month appointment.
(Yes, it's true. I love to brag about my kids. Because they are mine, I
love to assume that they are smarter and more beautiful than other
people's kids. )
I have wanted to homeschool my kids since I was about 11. I thought then that it would be a long slog and not very much fun. I'm glad to learn that I was wrong. I'm even happier to discover how much homeschooling has changed since 1996. Back then it was still a fringe thing that only crazy people did. Indeed, we were some of the only people of our acquaintance who pursued this mode of education. Disparaging remarks were cast in our direction. Unkind judgments were made.The school district looked upon us with suspicion. Almost 20 years later, there are two other families in my ward boundaries who homeschool. The local school district offers free online courses for homeschoolers. It's really great.