Thursday, November 29, 2007


I'm not a home-schooler who likes formal tests, especially not in Kindergarten! But this week, Baby Blue Eyes has been finalizing some review of basic math facts, early phonics sounds of short letter a, and what we call "good student skills" (basically sitting at the table or island, doing what Teacher Mommy asks when she asks, and trying our very best). Surprisingly, the "good student skills" have been the hardest for BBE to get down pat. The transition from occasionally playing with workbooks and playing school to honest-to-goodness real daily (almost!) lessons and learning things that don't come easily the first time he tried has proven to be more challenging than I would have guessed for him. I am realistic enough to know that some of this was my consistency (or distinct lack thereof!) with the amount of time and regularity with which we schooled. And that some of it was volunteer work I do and the incredibly busy pace that each week seemed to push upon us all - making it just too easy to push lessons off for "just today. . ." too many weeks in a row. "After all, it's just Kindergarten, right?!") Ugh.

But I also recognized early in October that some of this difficulty in taking lessons seriously was his maturity. He's a young 6. In our loud, crazy, busy house, he has had 6 years of enjoying playtime, arts, music, and craft time pretty much all day long. Expecting him to hop into his chair with his pencil, eraser and pocket protectors at the ready was and is completely unrealistic. It's almost as if I forgot that "good student skills" are learned. Like math facts must be learned by regular practice. Like the individual sounds of the letters must be said and sung and repeated over and over and over . . . So I backed way off, purchased some fun and colorful workbooks that were below his academic level and we practiced holding our pencils. We practiced the "top to bottom" and "left to right" motions of writing. We did letters and numbers on our MagnaDoodle. We practiced saying "Okay, Mommy" when Teacher Mommy requests another page of practice. We read silly books and we played computer phonics and math games.

Then I re-introduced our Hooked on Phonics & Math tapes, flashcards, and workbooks. While I was down for the count a week or so ago with the flu, BBE had his first spelling test: he scored a perfect 100% on his "-at" words. It was on his MagnaDoodle, so I didn't get a picture of it. In the same week, he read his first story and quickly progressed to his second. How priceless is the giggle of pride and the shining eyes of joy at his new achievement! And today, my boy scored another 100% - this time on his first Level 1 math test (+0 and +1's). He's beyond ready for the next level of both his phonics and his math - and now I'm ready too! We have some new workbooks to supplement the fun and we are ready to go, first thing Monday morning! In the meantime, enjoy with me the picture of his "star, please!" and the 100% at the top of the page . . . .


ComfyDenim said...

The Laundry Pile Erupts in Cheers and Applause!!!
Three Cheers for BBE!!!
We know how hard those 100%'s are to get!!

(The Laundry Pile always cheers like that... The Professor's fault, really.)

Melissa said...

And, you have the satisfaction of knowing that YOU taught him!

Yay BBE! And, Yay Mommy!

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