Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Teaching Reading Makes Me NERVOUS!!

I've been thinking alot about teaching #2 how to read. It freaks me out a little! Reading is so foundational to everything else. It's one subject/skill that has to be done right. Number 1 went to public school until 2nd grade so she was already a good reader when we started HS. I've never had to teach reading.

I've been looking at all kinds of phonics/reading programs. How in the world does one know which one to pick? There are several different theories of which approach works best. Of course every approach declares that it is the best way to go. ~sigh~

I think I've decided to go with BJU Phonics program. I was able to look through it in person not too long ago and I liked what I saw. It's the K5 program. Number 2 will be 5 years old in November and I wonder if starting in August would be too soon.

Decisions, Decisions. I can do this. I can do this........

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shiller Math update

We've been using SM since January. So what do I think of it now that I have more experience with it?

For #1 (now 9 years old):
I haven't used it with her for a while. I think I had a hard time placing her within the program from the beginning. She got bored with it quickly because it mostly seemed like review. She hates math anyway and I got discouraged. That's when we switched to Time 4 Learning.
A few days ago I looked into the third book (the last of the first set) to see about doing a few pages with her. Again, I just wasn't sure where to place her. So I'll probably just sell the 3rd book to someone who is interested.
We still use the manipulatives.

For #2 (4 years old):
We started Horizons Math for her since I felt she needed something more workbook-y. I was surprised at how well she took to Horizons. I do give the credit to SM for a good beginning foundation. Horizons moves pretty fast and she's not faced any troubles yet.
We're almost to the end of the first book. I plan to continue with it as long as it seems to work. I'll be alternating back and forth between SM and Horizons.

Overall, I think it's great for little ones starting out with Math. It's gentle and fun. I'll use it with #3 when she's ready for Math. I wish #1 had started out with it. That's the only reason I don't think it has worked for her.

So nice to have friends.....

....that HS too. I know I could do it without them, but I certainly wouldn't want to! They offer ideas and encouragment. Not having to go at anything alone, especially HS, is truly a blessing.

For instance. I heard about a representative for a certain curriculum publisher coming to a nearby town. I planned to go with or without anyone I knew. But a fellow HS mom met me there. It was nice to be able to look through the books together. Our kids got to play (quietly) while we did so.

I do wish my HS friends lived locally but I'll take what I can get. At least the times we do get together is even more precious. The friendships that have developed between other HS moms and also between all our kids is another one of those rare and beautiful treasures.