I wasn’t sure if we would begin in the summer, or closer to the fall when baby #3 arrives. I have been so excited to get started, and in desperate need of a new routine for Lexie’s learning time, that I decided to start now. I am glad we did!
Had we waited until fall, we would probably be all the way through our current math (which is Singapore early bird) and would begin Saxon. But, since we are starting early, we are just continuing on with Singapore. I am not super impressed with their program, and don’t find it challenging for Lexie at all cognitively; but it does keep us in the routine of doing some math thinking skills so we will continue with it for a bit.
We also began our All About Reading Level 1– to say I LOOOOOVE this program is an understatement. Love love love. Honestly, everything she is doing now she has been able to do for months; almost a year, actually. But it is giving her a great foundation and building her confidence in literacy SO much. Lexie has been sounding out CVC words (like “cat” “cup” “pig” etc) at least since her third birthday, but when I would introduce a reader like Bob Books, she would always say, “I can’t read the words. You do it.” So, while we played around with decoding (and reading by sight words), I didn’t push her. (besides, she has many years before she needs to be a fluent reader!) I just follow her lead on what she is comfortable with at this point.
All About Reading has built her confidence so much, and in just the first week. She has been reading any cvc word I put in front of her, loves the short activities that go along with the program, and looks forward to getting everything out of her workboxes each day! (well, we don’t do learning time every day, but when we do do learning time …)
(In addition to AAR, we are still using our little curriculum from ThisReadingMama. I will talk more about how we incorporate it in my following posts in this series.)
Like many children her age (under 4) her writing and fine motor skills are still developing. Her cognitive development is way beyond her writing abilities, so we are practicing fine motor skills and handwriting (just how to form the letters and numbers, not making them perfect). She does not like to color very much (bummer) and prefers to “write,” in her special books daddy brings home to her. She is still enjoying Logic of English, but we are only using the handwriting portion (because we love AAR).
So here is what our schedule looks like now for days we have learning time (it’s a little detailed ..):
- 7am- wake/brush teeth/milk and snuggles/breakfast/clean kitchen
- (we do our memory work and Bible verse during breakfast)
- 8am- kids clean up any toys they got out. I get our Sonlight read alouds for the day and potty chair for Max, we all go to Lexie’s room and read while Max plays and practices pottying
- 9am- Max to independent play, Lexie’s learning time, then independent play for a few minutes while I clean up, get laundry changed over, and do other chores
- 10am- walk to park, play outside, pool time in backyard, play games, chores, run errands
- 11:15- lunch, clean up, free play, baths if necessary
- 12:00- nap for max. depending on our morning Lexie will either have a little more independent play here, or she will go down for nap
- 1:00- Lexie goes down for nap if she had a low key morning
- 1-2:30/3:00- everyone is napping, including myself if I am super tired (and at this point I usually am)
- 2:30/3:00- up and go to the pool, park, play outside, or run errands
- That’s it until dinner, baths and bed!
So, you can see learning time doesn’t take up our whole day, or even a whole hour usually. We are also doing some lapbooking (which is SO fun) , on days we lapbook or do puzzles or something during learning time it takes a little longer to complete. But we have FUN and play a lot. On days we don’t do learning time, the kids play out back, either with me or together while I do chores.
I live by routine and schedule; my kids need the structure and so do I. I don’t do chaos well, however we alway have fun! We are always dancing, playing music, singing songs, etc. But we just do it in a controlled-chaos kinda way! 😉
I like this routine, because Max can be involved with our read alouds; but during the time Lexie needs to focus and have my undivided attention Mr. Rambunctious is having his down time in his room. I would LOVE for him to sit in on learning time, but at this point he is way too hands on wanting to be in the middle of everything she is doing; it just makes it harder for her (and me). So we play and learn with Max later during the day through songs, puzzles, outside, and just good ole conversation!
When the baby comes along, his/her naps and feeding schedule will go right along with everything we already do. I am not worried about that at all. I am actually looking forward to it! =)
- My second Beginning Sonlight post will be about how I organize all our materials for everything.
- My third Beginning Sonlight post will be more details about our Sonlight curriculum and how exactly we use it as well as along with our other programs. Every Sonlight family uses it differently, but we are really enjoying it this way so far; of course if that changes, I will let you know.
- And, look for my post on our workboxes!