Beginning Homeschooling

So I did my first “concurrent” lessons today.

One thing I’ve wondered as I think/plan for this new job (homeschooling) is how I will prepare different things for different needs.

While the girls were napping today I read some more of a homeschooling book and took a couple ideas from there to make some “Language Arts” games.

Natasha has fabulous sight-reading skills, so I used some 3×5 cards to write some sentence components. I woke her up “early” from her nap to practice making sentences.

One word to a card, things like “My name is Natasha.” And a couple punctuation and Capital-opening cards.

Each name in the family was on a card, along with Thorin, and a half-dozen cousins. And the words “cat” and “cousin.”

We probably spent 20 minutes building sentences with exchangeable parts like, “Abby is my cousin.” and “Elisha is a boy.” We did lots of sillies too, and included the card “not” in its proper place.

When Melody got up I had a “game” waiting for her too.

I’ve noticed recently she doesn’t have all her letters memorized, and (again following a suggestion from the book) I made little “matching cards.”

I cut some 3x5s in half and made five each of B,b,M, and m.

The idea is to help her recognize letters that are not at all alike, and gradually introduce letters that are more similar when she’s ready for finer distinctions.

She adored the matching and sorting and pairing (big with the babies). Took it with her to show Grandma, even. Natasha brought hers too, but she had forgotten to put the “not” in the game-bag, so the sentences weren’t as fun as they had been earlier.

This evening I printed off some nicely illustrated sight-word lists to go over with Natasha.

We did the first four pages before bedtime story, and she was surprisingly eager, considering they’re just *random* words, but I guess when you’re doing well at something that’s its own motivation to continue.

She got more than half right on the first go.

Currently I’m vaguely concerned about her reading orientation, and don’t know if this is something to look at “early intervention” on, or just let it “work itself out.”

I wonder if she could be dyslexic or else just not trained enough to focus first on the first letter. The wh-words she “sight-read” as th-words (where became there, when was then), and no came out as on.

Natasha also “read” us a (very long) story right after dinner. She went without a pause and I finally gave up on trying to transcribe, because I couldn’t keep up enough for it to be coherent. I just have this opening. (She was reading from a book where the pictures of animals and birds are made of numbers):

Once upon a time in a land no one had ever seen a farmer named Bill Dutson went out to his garden….”That must be a bird who can find easily where numbers belong.” [farmer speaking after seeing a bird made of numbers]

Ah! That wasn’t the proper way!

Boy, he had never seen such things, but he knew a duck should never see such a thing.

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