Monday, November 20, 2006

Homeschooling Update: Star

I seem to have been on a roll with book posts and haven't said much about our homeschooling for a while. Time for an update, starting with Star ...

My lengthy, detailed planning has now gone the way of all my detailed plans, into a general structure and vague sense of direction. I think I now have a better handle on how to approach educating Star. I mentioned before that Star has developed the habit of inattention ... more accurately, it has always been a problem, but after our erratic pregnancy and new baby year it has become more apparent, and the time has come to work on it. My plan is to start by getting her to focus better on just a few things - short tasks that require concentration. I'm starting with three:

  • History narration ... I have abandoned Story of the World Vol.2 and the medieval period as it wasn't catching her interest. She is listening in to some of Angel's twentieth century history read alouds, and I have picked out another book purely to practice her reading comprehension and narration skills. A Nursery History of England by Elizabeth O'Neill is an old book which tells the story of English history in very short snippets, each with an illustration and with many colour plates. (When first published it must have been a rather delicious book, though my copy is tarnished and has had some illustrations cut out.) The brief stories, each just one or two paragraphs long, will give her the chance to practice reading and narrating, without being long enough to become a bugbear. She grumbled the first time - slight understatement ... it was more of a screech and wail session - but today she whizzed through it with an accurate narration.
  • Latin ... Latin Prep lends itself to short lessons, and I split longer exercises into two. Keeping them short helps to keep her focused. In my opinion Latin is great brain exercise. It teaches grammar and thinking skills, all in one neat package. Star, so far at least, seems to have just the right sort of brain for Latin and works on it quite happily.
  • Maths ... daily maths in some shape or form. Usually Singapore My Pals Are Here, but sometimes computer games or other maths activities. Again, sticking to short lessons.
As her narration and reading comprehension skills improve I can increase the reading and narrating assignments. No rush though ... if this school year is spent mainly on developing her skills in these three areas, I will be happy. Add in read alouds and independent reading time, and she will be learning a good deal.

1 comment:

Karen E. said...

"My lengthy, detailed planning has now gone the way of all my detailed plans, into a general structure and vague sense of direction."
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I love this! I know the feeling well. :-)

Love reading about how your year is going. And, thanks to you, we've just started "Escape from Warsaw" and we're loving it!