I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the schedule for this week. Its so nice and simple. We took full advantage of the light schedule and we spent as much time outdoors as possible.
We played with magnets and we filled out state sheets and we did not do a darn thing extra!
I thought I would take this week to discuss the Language Arts aspect of our MFW Adventures journey. Our second born is 7 years old and reading everything he can get his hands on. Poetry, chapter books, nature encyclopedias. MFW 1st phonics worked for him. It was all he needed. He wanted to keep his eldest brother company and ended up zipping through all his Explode the Code books in no time. This week he finished up book 4 and started book 5. He has continued with Spelling by Sound and Structure. He is two weeks from finishing! First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease (both by Susan Weiss Bauer) have helped his writing and language skills take off. Really, its been a breeze with him.
Then there is my eldest. Who really, really struggled through MFW 1st phonics. It did not click. Not at all. And I had no idea why. Every time I dragged out that bible reader, he would get tears in his eyes. This broke my heart and I worried that he would have weird associations with the Bible. I added in Explode the Code and it helped a bit, but by the time we were ready to start Adventures, I knew he was behind. We are fairly certain that he has dyslexia. He really had to pause and assess before he read anything. I don’t know what his fluency level will be when its all said and done. Last summer was difficult. Even if he managed to get the words out correctly, it was all done at a painfully slow pace. We ended up adding “All About Reading” to the mix…
And I am so glad we did! This last week he finished Level 2 and he was ecstatic. It was wonderful to watch him press forward and work hard to achieve his goal. He would stay at the table working hard, long after everyone else had left. He didn’t give up. He is even eager to crack open Level 3 and get started! He has also done Spelling by Sound and Structure along with First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease. Every now and then we take the time to do a specific encouraging passage of copy work over a longer period of time. Usually a quote from one of his heroes: George Washington, Ben Franklin or Ulysses S Grant. We keep these special pieces of work in a specific notebook to mark his progress. We have ended up shifting his reading time to first thing in the morning and first thing in the afternoon. His mind is the most fresh at these time slots and there is much less frustration to content with.
While he was learning with All About Reading, I was learning, once again, to calm down and allow him to learn at his own pace. Why must I have to relearn this concept every year with a different child? He is right where he needs to be. He is learning and he still loves to learn. I want to preserve that love and nurture it, not kill it for the sake of standardizing his learning. We have decided to continue with All About Reading and next year’s Language Arts final choices will be made after I’ve had some hands on time at our local homeschool convention. Anyone else just love flipping through curriculum? Yum.
My goal this summer to to continue growing a love for reading in the hearts of my children. For anyone not already plugged in, please check out the wonderful Sarah Mackenzie (Teaching From Rest) on her blog. Read Aloud Revival has been a great encouragement to us. I love listening to RAR podcasts while folding laundry–it gets me through it and inspires me all at once! Check it out!