Friday, August 26, 2011

Homeschooling Report - Month 1

I realize it's been forever and a day since I last posted anything. Well, there's been so much stuff going on lately that August was pretty much a blur.

We just finished our first month of homeschooling and, based on the experience, I already adjusted the plans for the second month. It's definitely a learning experience for both M and myself. Some worries I had prior to starting out never materialized. For example, I was afraid M would hate worksheets, but he doesn't. Some things that I thought he would be interested in, such as our geography lessons, he has no interest in.

Here's what we normally do:

Math Games - starting our days with math is working out really well. We usually play a simple, usually hand-drawn, game. For example, a game where we take turns rolling the dice and placing glass marbles on the sun rays.

Math Worksheets - last month M did 2-3 worksheets every other day. This month I will try daily worksheets and will concentrate more on logic and fine motor skills ones (i.e. mazes)

Math Lessons - we are using Al Abacus from The Right Start Math. It's a bit of a slow going right now. We usually go through the entire lesson one day and then review key parts the next day.

ABCs - right after math we usually do our reading lesson. The first part consists of reviewing a letter of a Russian alphabet. I'm using this really fun primer, "Учимся читать", and I like it so far. M seems to be ok with it although he's definitely not excited. He's doing a fabulous job figuring out first letters in words, but last letters are still very challenging. However, he blends sounds much better now.

ABC Games - these are simple games for reading and writing that I put together for him. For example, we played a "letter chain" game where I named (and wrote down) an object in the family room, M circled its last letter and then had to find another object in the room that started with the same letter.

Reading - boy, we've been reading A LOT lately. This is M's most favorite "lesson" by far. I was thinking we'd be reading fairy tales or short stories, but M chooses books for his story time and so far he chose to read "Девочка с Земли" [Girl from the Planet Earth], "Приключения Незнайки" [Adventures of Neznaika] and "Карлсон, который живет на крыше" [Karlsson-on-the-Roof]. These books are rated for elementary school-aged children, but M loves them.

Art, Science, Geography - I haven't been very successful at any of these. So next month we're trying something different. Instead of having these as separate activities, we will incorporate them into math and reading lessons.

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