Saturday, August 06, 2005

"Dear Dorothy, How Are Things in Oz?"

It's "Back to School" time for us. Right now we define this as when my husband goes back to teaching classes and gets out of our hair. Not that learning stopped over the summer, but with him home and something coming up every few days learning got a whole lot more experiential.

Right now Mom tries to put on an exercise dvd before breakfast, although that's been "hit or miss" and most often miss as I get over my illness. Then we have breakfast, brush teeth, wash dishes, feed the dogs and do "lessons" until lunch. The girls learn all the time, but between breakfast and lunch is the time Mom sets aside to help them learn. After lunch it's naptime/playtime/freetime until tea time at 4:00. Between lunch and supper they usually feel creative, and if Mom got to rest any in the afternoon she usually helps them make whatever they feel like making. But if they were too rowdy in the afternoon and Mom didn't get a chance to rest, forget it. Then it's supper, more reading and play, and bedtime.

Sunshine is 4 years old. Right now I work with her on a phonics book (McGuffie Reader, Bob Books!, or The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading), then we do a page (or more if she prefers) from the Jumpstart Jumbo workbook series. Then she and her sister listen to a story. It takes about 30 - 60 minutes, depending on how much attention she's paying.

Brighteyes is 6 years old and has much more energy. She does her math and her Jumpstart workbook while I'm working with Sunshine, which can get hectic at times. Then she and her sister both listen to the story. At that point she's halfway through her lessons, and we go on and do some more work. It usually takes about 2 1/2 hours, unless she calls a halt earlier. Yesterday she had to write a letter to practice her handwriting, and decided to write a letter to Dorothy in the Land of Oz.

This summer we started memorizing poems. I hadn't realized just how much fun they would find it, although I should have remembered how much fun they had reciting nursery rhymes. They love reciting poems from memory, and it impresses the heck out of the adults. They are learning their fourth poems now. They learn one every two weeks, half of the time they're the same poem but half of the time they are different. Until now they have all been 8 or 9 line poems, but Brighteyes memorized the 12 line "Now We Are Six" with no trouble at all. Sunshine stumbles a bit more though, so I'll be sticking with shorter poems with her for a while. She would scream her head off if I tried to not give her a poem to memorize. If Sister gets to do it, she wants to do it too.

Right now they both know "The Caterpillar" and "Work". Brighteyes has also learned "Birthday Child" and "Now We Are Six." Sunshine has also learned "This Is My Rock" and is working on "Let's Be Merry."

No comments: