Week three done already! It feels like we’ve been at this for much longer than that! Paul is into it, he asks to do his “homework” just as sister had to do her’s during the school year. I love that I feel that I am focused on him, on character development, much more than I was before. That is exactly how I felt when I was homeschooling Elizabeth and much of what I loved about it: that it made me mindful about them because I had to be. You know, it’s not unlike why I became a Zumba instructor: because I knew that I would practice if I did but not if I was just trying to do it here and there on my own. Unfortunately I had to give up being an instructor when I began working full-time, there just isn’t enough of me to do everything.
Anywho, over these 3 weeks I have identified some areas that I need to work on with Paul. He’s only been 4 for a few months so I am not concerned, but they are definitely things that are important, as far as schooling goes.
First off, he is strong in his numbers. Working on counting from 16 on up in consecutive order and recognizing numbers over 4 is the challenge we begin with.
Secondly, he doesn’t really know his letters by sight or sound. We all have to start somewhere though! But he is a little resistant. The Moving Beyond the Page curriculum features Beginning Letter Sounds worksheets with each unit and beginning letter sounds are something new to him too. It will be pleasing to watch him learn this year. I have spoken with my babysitter, essentially the person who co-parents with me besides my mom who watches them in the evenings when I work late, and she is willing to slip letter recognition and sounds in when she can.
Interestingly, we happened upon a board game at a yard sale yesterday about the 50 United States, called The Great States Junior. It is for ages 4-7 and the kids are loving it. For a while now they have been really into card games and board games and we’ve been playing them a lot. In this game, players roll the die which tells which colored card to pick up and read. The board gives all of the answers as they have to look for the state with the shape shown on the card, about a fact that matches a picture on a state on the board, or a state that begins with a certain letter. I think it was fate perhaps that we stopped and got a game that involved identifying letters and letter sounds. He was so cute hunched over with his face right next to the board pointing his little finger at the letters on the words. I love too that Elizabeth is getting exposure to the names and locations of the states in a fun and amusing way. She will be way ahead for 2nd grade!
A non-area of improvement was our nature trail this week. We saw three painted turtles up close within two days – and I didn’t get a picture of a single one! That’s one thing I’ve wished to do for a few years now but yet again I didn’t have my camera. On Friday we stopped to help a turtle cross a road after leaving from the sitter’s. If a turtle has started to cross the road, they will determinedly keep trying until they make it or get hit so it is always safer for the turtle to pick them up by either side of the shell and place them gently on the other side of the road in the direction they were headed. Yesterday, we took the kids’ bikes down to a local trail and they rode and I walked and ran. We saw 2 turtles crossing the trail as it runs through a marsh and it is currently egg-laying season. Unfortunately, the camera was the item we left behind to keep the backpack light because Elizabeth was helping to carry it while I was running. I sooooooo want to get a picture of a live turtle though. Someday!
I’m not sure if I will be able to resume the ‘Nature Walks’ category that I posted to monthly when I was homeschooling Elizabeth. I would like to, and I am much heartened that I am able to post at all this weekend, but that may be the thing that has to be cut. I am not sure actually how often I will get the reflections posted. I am trying to keep the pressure off though, and if I post, I post and if I don’t, I will combine weeks. As a single working mom, I just have to accept that my best is all I have to offer and not beat myself up about the rest.
I hope you all had a great week. Tell me about some of the wonderful nature-type stuff you have seen at this inception of summer.