Even though my kids are all in school (Bean in 3rd grade, and Bug and my still nicknameless boy – Robot? – in Montessori pre-K), I still do some schooling with them at home. Admittedly, it can be sporadic because I’m in graduate school and working part-time and a Girl Scout leader, but when we do, all of us enjoy it. I thought I would post an update of what we are doing and are going to be doing soon. In order to keep it from being too long, Bean will have her own forthcoming post.
Because he’s only 3 1/2, I really don’t do much with him other than read picture books. I do school when he asks, and the only “school” we do is Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1 by The Critical Thinking Company (CTC). His interest will hold for as short as 2 pages to as long as 15 minutes. I generally try not to go longer than 10 minutes with him when we do the workbook.
Current: Right now, I only do three things with Bug. The first is Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2 by CTC. We finished up the previous book several weeks ago and are slowly working through this one. I set the timer for 15 minutes, but we’ll occasionally work past that if she wants to. We haven’t picked it up in about two weeks because of other distractions.
The other two things we’re working on are Reading Eggs and Math Seeds, respectively. I used Reading Eggs with Bean and liked the program. It’s phonics-based, the lessons are short, and the program keeps Bug’s attention. We do 1-2 lessons at a time, most nights per week. Some of the minor complaints I had back than are now gone (like a task getting stuck in a loop). I do have one complaint with its current version, and that is the fact that they’ve rerecorded a lot of the dialog. I preferred it with the Australian accent, and it was simple enough to explain the few differences in pronunciation. The jury is out on Math Seeds, I don’t know if I’ll renew it or not. Bug likes it overall, but I think the lessons are too long. In part because they’re just too long, and in part because the screen freezes frequently. Reading Eggs does not have the freezing problem.
Upcoming: The next subject I want to add for Bug is reading. She’s wanted to learn to read for several years, but it wasn’t practical until now. She’s finally at a point verbally that she’s understandable around 90% of the time. Reading is also something she is being casually introduced to at Montessori. I will take a similar approach with her that I did with Bean. We’ll start working through The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, in conjunction with Explode the Code (a program her school also uses, starting in K), BOB Books, and Nora Gaydos readers.