Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunshine Fires Up

Sunshine has really made progress this week. Recently she's been clingy and easily distracted, and I wondered if she might have been about to make a developmental leap. She was. She's gone from reading only a few words to reading Dr. Seuss books all be herself. She's gone for as long as two days at a time without wetting herself. She's writing recognizable capital letters, although don't ask her to attempt numbers. I asked her if she's ready to join Brighteyes for history and science narrations, and she said yes. I'll only ask her for one fact instead of three though. I'm trying to see that step as an important development for her, and not simply more paperwork for me.

Sunshine is reading two - five lessons a day in the McGuffey Primer. Last month she was struggling with one. She'll finish the book next week. I'll ask her if she wants to go on to either The McGuffey 1st Level Reader or The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. She's doing fine in her Jumpstart workbook as long as the problem doesn't involve writing out numbers or drawing pictures.

Brighteyes will finish The OPGTR in the next two weeks. She's struggling with the last 10 lessons. Of course, the last 10 lessons involve challenge words like "psychiatrist" and "extraterrestrial" which I pointed out to her cause problems for most adults. She told me the other day that she was really glad we had worked our way through that book. She can read much better now because of what it taught her.

After she finishes that book we'll go on to the McGuffey Second Reader. We'll do
McGuffey every day until the Latin materials come in, then we'll do Latin four days a week and McGuffey on Friday. I've already moved that section to right behind Math first thing in the morning in anticipation of Math and Latin being our two hardest subjects.

Speaking of Math, she'll finish Singapore 1A in about a week as well. We're going to have quite a changeover of books soon. I'm trying to scan workbook 1B so I don't have to buy a separate one for Sunshine in a few years. It'll be interesting to see what Brighteyes thinks of putting her Math work in her big notebook along with most of the rest of her work.

We're leaving Prehistory and starting Ancient Civilizations. The amount of activities available has gone through the roof. Now instead of scrambling to find anything I'm scrambling among many choices to find the right one. Greater variety - yea! More prep time - sigh.

As I've left the preschool curriculum and entered the first grade curriculum I've found more material that's "reproducible", i.e. black and white so it's easy to slap on a copier. In theory this is a wonderful way to save money if you have more than one child. In practice it involves an awful lot of time and storage issues. Right now I'm scanning four workbooks into the computer, with a fifth one coming in the mail. This is laborious.

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