Aug 23

The FlyLady and BOB books

This has been a pretty exciting week for me so far. Naomi started 2nd grade last Thursday, and Rachel and I have started our preschool lessons. I am also starting a new household management regime along with my good friend, Fernanda Powers. We’re following The FlyLady’s Beginning Baby Steps. Check it out if you, too, are excited about housekeeping (or not).

Rachel will be going to Kindergarten next fall. Since we have decided to put our kids in public school, this is my last year with her at home (subject to re-evaluation, of course). My goal for this year is primarily to introduce reading skills. Naomi did not know how to read when she went to kindergarten (at a different school than the one we are at now), and had no trouble picking it up quickly. She reads well above her grade level. But the school here places a strong emphasis on kindergarteners learning to read (sometimes I think too strong), and I am afraid of Rachel going to school, having trouble learning to read, and becoming frustrated instead of enjoying her first year. So my philosophy may seem a bit backward, but the basic plan is that I will teach Rachel to read now, and so when she gets to kindergarten, the work’s nearly over. She can focus on other parts of going to school–learning how to act in a classroom, keeping up with her schoolwork, being part of a class, etc.

Since I never taught Naomi to read, this is a new adventure for me. Last year Rachel and I followed the Abeka Homeschool curriculum for three-year-olds and introduced all the letters and letter sounds. We worked for about thirty minutes a day, three days per week, for just the spring semester. This year, we aren’t using a real curriculum. I have purchased the first set of BOB books, and also found two “Getting Ready for Kindergarten” workbooks on clearance. Our lesson time so far has been 20-30 minutes of doing worksheets (tracing and writing letters and numbers, mazes, dot-to-dots, and matching) and then 15 minutes of reading the BOB books. I am so happy with the BOB books. Rachel loves them. The first book only uses 4 letters, so she could read it by herself in just days. She is now on book 3, and is learning how to sound out words and use picture clues to read to me. How awesome it is to hear your child read and know that you have been a part of making that happen!

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