Having disposed of the older set, figuratively speaking, in Part 2, we return to the younger four: Brown Bear Daughter (10), Karate Kid (8), Betsy Bee (6), and Z-Baby (almost 4). In our last installment, I sent Brown Bear Daughter and Karate Kid to the table to do their math lesson. They didn’t actually start because they were discussing how to build a space ship out of furniture and blankets–or some such project–so I had to not-so-gently remind that it was math time not space ship time. I’m working on the gentleness, which is a certified Fruit of the Spirit, but usually I find that a firm tone of voice, slightly louder than usual, gets more results.
I sit down with Betsy Bee to read her reader, Part 2 of Jake and Mike Take a Bike Hike. Those who have been through this set of readers six times already, as have I, will recognize this story immediately as part of that sparkling series of books associated with the curriculum Sing, Spell, Read, and Write. I do not fall asleep while Bethy Bee is sounding out words such as b-i-k-e and c-a-k-e and r-a-k-e. We are, as you can guess, studying the “silent e,” and all kidding aside, I find that teaching a child to read, seeing the words on the page come alive, is one of the most rewarding parts of homeschooling for me–if I can just stay awake long enough to see it happen.
Bethy Bee and I continue with school by doing her Miquon math, her Sing, Spell, Read and Write workbook, and her Explode the Code workbook. She likes workbooks. Then, she asks for a break. She’s actually about finished for the day, but she doesn’t know it since she hasn’t learned to distinguish schoolwork from other work or from play. We’re also reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, mostly for Betsy Bee in the evenings, although the other “youngers” listen, too. Some coloring, lots of play, and her classes at co-op on Friday mornings and that’s about the extent of Besty Bee’s schooling at this stage.
Brown Bear Daughter and Karate Kid are still working on their math lesson. Z-Baby wants to do school; she also wants to watch television. I resist the TV idea and sit down to work on her alphabet book with her. We’re working on the letter “B” this week. We draw or paste a big B in the middle of of page 2 of a spiral notebook, and then one of us draws or glues pictures of things that start with “B” on the page. No, I don’t have a genius; she doesn’t really know what starts with “B”. I just tell her. We read a Picture Book Preschool book, and she loses interest in school and goes to play/make a mess with Betsy Bee. Something with water and Barbies.
Brown Bear Daughter and Karate Kid are still working on their math lesson. To speed them up, I threaten no afternon activities unless they finish all their school work for the day. Brown Bear Daughter gets serious about the math lesson, and Karate Kid follows her lead. Hooray! we’re done with Saxon math. We celebrate with a short break. I check my email and make a phone call. The math finishers start some project that they won’t want to put down in order to finish up the rest of their school work.
To be continued.