Category Archives: Read-Alouds

Back in the Groove

After taking a two-week break (one for prepping for a vacation and the other taking the vacation), I think I just might be a proponent of year-round homeschooling. I have been astounded that it’s taken us a full month to get back to a normal routine with our schoolwork. Last week was the first week where I planned and executed the plan and we got everything done that I wanted us to do.

We’ve added a few more components to our curriculum since we started a mere four months ago.

Since being called as a Primary chorister at church, I’ve realized that sometimes it’s easier to remember things if you can sing them. So we’ve been tackling the Articles of Faith in song form vs. rote memorization. I think it’s made a world of difference in how Henry and Sam are able to grasp new vocabulary. It’s easier to sing “privilege,” “dictates” or “conscience.” Sometimes when they’re playing with their Legos or drawing, I’ll walk through the room and casually hum the first line of the song and then pause while I exit the room. Without fail, they will start singing the Article of Faith to themselves as they play. (Heh, heh! How’s that for incorporating memorization?)

We’ve started the Getty and Dubay program for handwriting. The thing that I liked about this program was how they group letters into family groups, so that letters that have similar strokes are learned together. This week, we’re working on lower-case h, m, n and r. It makes so much more sense to me to learn it this way instead of alphabetically.

This handwriting program has also illustrated just how much perfectionism resides within Henry (curse of the oldest child). Today, he scribbled all over his page in frustration and left the table in a huff because he couldn’t make the lines in his m’s straight enough. I certainly sympathize. I cried during more than one piano lesson in my younger days because I didn’t play my piece perfectly.

Finally, I’ve started reading books aloud to the kids. We made short work of “James and the Giant Peach,” enjoyed “Squanto, Friend to the Pilgrims,” are almost through “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle” and have simultaneously started “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” I’ve been surprised by how quickly we make it through each of these books. But I confess to loving it when the clamors for “more!” begin as I end each chapter. Oh, all right, twist my arm!

Still loving this journey!