Some people are all organized about their school stuff. Here, it's only just dawned on me that it's almost September and I haven't even thought about the coming academic year. So much for spring dreams of a planner and a system and a schedule.
In a sense, though, I'm not sure what good plotting out our school year would do at this point. E. is only 5, and at this point we tend to base our educational ventures around whatever interests her that week at the library. The library is our best friend, and I'm sure that we're the library's best friend, judging by the amount of fines we just paid.
We've been using the Italic handwriting system. It's not imperative to me that the girls adhere strictly to the Italic system, but I like the letter forms and I feel that it's an attractive and easy font to learn with. J., who is almost four, likes to sit and trace letters while E. works on her handwriting. E. isn't necessarily interested in copywork, but she enjoys dictation, such as writing out a shopping list.
It's harder to work with J. because E. wants to come over and show off her superior knowledge by telling her all the answers. They're close enough in age that they like to work together, but it's hard to practice letters or reading with J. when E. keeps piping up from behind my shoulder. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a problem if J. wasn't content to let E. answer for her. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons doesn't seem to be doing it for J. She seems to prefer reading in context, such as the Bob books or Hop on Pop.
Both girls are having fun with flash cards (alphabet and math), but the difficulty there is in keeping the baby out of the fray. She has fun with flash cards too -- she loves to fling them across the room. It's frustrating enough to try and keep her out of the big girls' hair (and crayons and flash cards) that we've found it hard to get much of anything done lately. Fortunately she enjoys sitting and listening to read-alouds, so that's what we've been focusing on.
As for read-alouds, we're working our way through The Secret Garden. This has so seized E.'s imagination that we've dug up a secluded corner of the yard and created our own "secret garden". Being only about 3 sq. ft., it doesn't compete with the great walled gardens of England, but she's proud of it.
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