Saturday, March 31, 2012

The 3 "R"s: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I'm back....after a full month.....I'm back.

On our vacation we didn't do any formal history or science (the things that are fun to blog about) and just did the basic three "R"s....Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.  Here is my assessment:

(let's go from most successful to... needs help, shall we?)
AWESOME!!! Maxwell is doing wonderfully amazing with math. Doing RightStart lessons with Saxon worksheets was definitely the right choice for him for this year.  I feel he is ahead of where he "should" be and is grasping the concepts and thinking like a mathematician. After some study and pondering, I have decided to skip the Saxon grade two workbook part-one, and go directly to workbook part-two for next year. Yippee!

Good.  We are plugging right along.  I've decided to continue with the Common Sense program, and Maxwell just passed another assessment with flying colours.  (I admitted to Dustin how I wanted Maxwell to pass this assessment as much for ME as for him...oh the vainess and frailty of me....) But we are still reading out of Dick and Jane everyday too.  Maxwell has lost his initial enthusiasm for this, but it still gives him confidence.

I LOVE it when Maxwell starts reading in everyday life.  The other day he said "Mom, you can't park here, it says 'no parking'"  I said "good reading" and he said "I didn't read it, I recognized the words." I need to explain to him better about what reading really is.

Ummmmmm....awful.  I thought that writing would just come naturally by copying and life.  I was wrong.  Maxwell has yet to consistently make letters that are neat and tidy.  He writes numbers just fine, because I TAUGHT him how with RightStart.  When I realized how wrong I was about getting writing skills by osmosis, and that I needed to specifically teach him to write, I nearly had tears, so I decided to use the curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears :)

 I had heard about this curriculum at the beginning of the year, but failed to see the value until now.

Here's why:

-simple consistant vocabulary (big line, little line, big curve, little curve)

-multisensory  learning (wooden blocks, special chalkboards, music, and puppets)

-fun stories to remember how to form letters

-the very easy-to-follow workbooks

-methods to prevent letter reversal and sloppiness.

I am pretty confident that this method will do the trick for Maxwell.  However, I've decided to start from the beginning....kindergarten level.  We will do a crash course and hopefully be done by summer.  During the summer hopefully we will get through a lot of Grade One, and then by the end of Grade Two (I'm still not used to the Canadian "grade one" instead of the U.S. "First Grade") hopefully he'll be caught up and we will do cursive for grade three.

Yes I messed up with writing, but Maxwell is a pretty forgiving guinea pig.

And of course, even though we didn't do history or science officially while we were gone, we were still having fun and learning:

Quality time with Grandma-

Leprechaun traps-
Crafts with cousins-

and cultural experiences...


1 comment:

  1. I think you all ready know this, but I absolutely love HWT. It's not all tear-free, but the results are fantastic and once they have learned to form all of the letters -- correctly -- there is zero frustration when we do copywork or whatever. I only taught my kids from the kindergarten workbook. As they got older, I just changed the type of paper (from kindergarten-lined paper to second grade-lined paper...That newspaper-print paper you can buy in bulk from school supply stores). Once they know how to form all of their letters, they naturally can write in smaller print, so I don't see a reason to buy into the rest of the program (the other grade levels). Just my opinion... :) :) :) Knowing how to write makes every other learning activity so much more enjoyable. You'll see a huge difference, I think, once your boys are confident in writing their letters. Of course, it doesn't mean they'll like to *write*, but at least they'll know how! :) :) :)