Over the next little while, I want to review what we’ve used and what we are using for curriculum. The good, the bad, and the ugly! Maybe even what we plan to use next year. Yep, We are in week 11 of 36 weeks, and I’m already thinking about next year. That’s homeschooling!
I’ll start this off with one of the three “R’s” – reading! Last year we began using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and we made it to lesson 21 before we actually threw it in the trash.
At first it was doing what it said it would, teaching Peanut how to sound out letters phonetically, but it was a struggle. The pages were cluttered with teacher’s instructions, scripts of what to say, and it was all very distracting.
Peanut absolutely hated this book, and to be honest, I did too. We dreaded our learning to read time. The pictures were creepy, the stories were all about people and things being mad, sad, and bad. Very depressing. Instead of struggling through any more pages, I tossed the book into the garbage. Reading is supposed to be fun, and this was definitely up there with visiting the dentist. Ugh!
What do I personally recommend to teach reading?
At the start of our Kindergarten year in August, we began using The Reading Lesson and what a difference! The pages are clean, the letters are crisp. Even the pictures are colorful and cute!. We actually enjoy this book. We made it to lesson 3, but we are going back to the end of lesson 1 to reinforce what Peanut has learned, and to give him greater confidence.
I mean seriously, how cute are these pictures? Just adorable! Even stories about being mad, sad, or bad are very well illustrated and Peanut can figure out easily why the cat was bad (muddy footprints) or why dad was mad (Tom colored on the wall). Not only is this helping my son read, it also works well with Bob Books too, so we can alternate between learning something new and reinforcing what Peanut has mastered already!
And did I mention the pictures are so darned cute? It makes you feel cheery just opening the book, and that is a huge plus when it comes to homeschooling! I want cute, I want fun, I want to hear Peanut laugh at those silly stories!
It recommends that a child under 5 should do about 1 page a day, a 5-6 year old should do 2 pages a day, and over six years old should do 3 or more pages a day. Peanut is 5 1/2, and we do between 1 and 2 pages a day, but we tend to do 4 new pages then 4 pages we’ve already done. Yes, it’s two steps forward and one step back, but this seems to work best for Peanut.
I’ve also been using Progressive Phonics in conjunction with The Reading Lesson, but I’ll review that in my next post, but right now my coffee mug is screaming for a refill, and Peanut just woke up and is begging for some Youtube time to watch Super Why. Mommy duty has begun… hahaha!