So I need to make a blog post but I’m sitting here distractedly watching my sweet almost 4 year old cut up pieces of morning art project on my brand new couch, gritting my teeth hoping she doesn’t miss and cut a hole in it! She took it upon herself to make a beautiful chalk drawing on a sheet of yellow construction paper. Her new obsession is cutting paper into tiny little squares.
She amazes me. She is smart as can be. She even amazed her therapists yesterday as she worked through her tasks with ease and brilliance of memory. *Yep she gets that from me!* LOL
She’s finally finished her artwork and now she is carefully carrying it and her tiny squares back over to our dining table where she was supposed to be working in the first place. Her chalk rolls across the table and she runs to the other side to retrieve it. “I got it Mommy,” she excitedly tells me.
This kind of stuff is exactly why I choose to homeschool. If my children attended public school, I would completely miss out on these precious moments and they would miss out on this time with me. Not to mention my little Laycie would miss out on her special creative moments like the ones she’s had this morning. And it’s the same for my other children. This is what homeschooling is all about.
I must say this is not the post I intended for this morning but I guess God had different ideas for me! I’m finding following his lead is much easier than I once thought and my life is much better for it. The joys of my days are found in the Love He has blessed me with.
What is joyful to you today??
Six years ago when I began homeschooling my oldest son, my homeschooling association head recommended several resources for a new Mom who was starting out on the grand adventure of home education. One of her top recommendations at the time for a Preschool to Kindergarten aged child was Five In A Row curriculum. I immediately went to my local library to seek out this book just to see what all the hoopla was about and if it was worth my time. I remember being very impressed by the detailed curriculum written by Mrs. Jane Claire Lambert that suggested fun activities to use with classic children’s books daily for five days each week.
Six year later, I was asked by The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew to review Mrs. Lambert’s book Before Five In A Row and I literally JUMPED at the offer. I knew without a doubt that this book was going to be just as wonderful as I had found the original Five In A Row to be when I began homeschooling and I have not been disappointed at all!
In Before Five In A Row, Ms. Lambert provides a list of enriched, engaging classic children’s books that are widely available. Titles such as Caps for Sale, The Little Rabbit, Blueberries for Sal, Goodnight Moon, and many, many more have been chosen for teaching this curriculum. For each one of these books Mrs. Lambert has written a detailed lesson plan, providing reading, play, science, math and simple snack ideas that build upon the story to provide a real life experience of the book to the child reading it. But that’s not all that is provided in Before Five In A Row.
In the latter part of Before Five In A Row, Mrs. Lambert has provided a section called the Parent’s Treasury of Creative Ideas for Learning Readiness. This section provides parents with an extensive list of ideas to use for creating their own “unit” study for their own children’s classics and favorites. It begins by explaining how to gage if a child is ready to learn important reading skills and shows a parent how to build upon those skills as their child grows and developes to encourage a life-long love of reading and learning.
For our review of this book, I purchased the book Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by N.W. Carlstrom. Jesse, a small little bear, must figure out the appropriate clothing for each event throughout this book from his rain jacket and boots to his pajamas at bed time. My preschooler absolutely LOVED listening to the story about Jesse, picking out objects she recognized throughout the books and repeating many of the words she also recognized as we read.
For fun and as an extension of her lesson, we dressed up her stuffed animals using old baby clothes. We also colored our own Jesse Bear’s, simple bear print outs I found online. We practiced the suggested bible verse A cheerful heart makes good medicine (Proverbs 17:22) and a happy heart makes a cheerful face (Proverbs 15:13). We also colored heart printed outs and drew happy faces on those hearts, as well as on smiley faces. We really enjoyed reading Jesse Bear and learning through his story.
Before Five In A Row is written by Jane Claire Lambert for preschool children age 2-4. It concentrates upon building memorable learning experiences and family bonding for young children, as well as strengthening pre-learning skills needed for education. You can read an explanation of the book here. Before Five In A Row can be purchased through Rainbow Resource for around $35. To read more reviews of this book from the TOS Crew click here.
*Disclaimer – Before Five In A Row was provided to me by the TOS Homeschool Review Crew in exchange for my honest opinion of this product. I was not required to provide a positive review and I was given no money in exchange for my opinion.
I know I haven’t been posting a lot lately but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I think I have a half dozen or more posts just waiting to be finished. I manage to get half-way through before becoming unable to finish because of children needing me or writers block on how to end the post and idea.
There is so much that I want to write about and say that it sometimes becomes a jumbled mess. I am wondering if becoming a public reviewer was a good idea for me after all and I find it affects a lot of my thinking. I know I’m going to love it in the end but I want to write things that my readers enjoy and get something from. I don’t always feel I do a good job of that. My decision to review publicly has left me thinking a lot about that. I will say that I, like all new reviewers, am anxious to get started and I am thankful for the opportunity to share my opinion with others on what I use and read. I just pray my readers are able to get something from my reviews, to walk away wanting to try that product and find my opinions useful to their final decisions.
There are a LOT of life changes coming our way that I cannot talk about right now but they will majorly affect how we live now, how we go through our days and weeks. One of them is reviewing materials. Another is anxiously awaited and exciting our whole family. One is changing how we learn, grow and share with each other.
The kids have started using their newest bible addition and are really enjoying that time during our day, though they don’t always want to listen – typical them. Laycie is LOVING doing “kool” herself. She wants to learn numbers and say sounds. She does NOT want to learn letters and say numbers. She is so sweet and has a mind totally of her own.
Winston is going back to 100 Easy Lessons and enjoying it this time. I used it years ago and it did nothing for him but now he’s really liking it a lot and is flying through the lessons pretty quickly. My plan is to let him get at least 1/4 of the way through the book, then start him on the Funnix program again (which coincides with 100 Easy Lessons) for “extra” practice in reading. He already has much of the needed concepts, he just struggles with his secureness in them. I’m hoping working through this program will give him the confidence he needs to take off in his reading.
He and Emmalee will both continue using Pathway Readers as their reading curriculum this year. Emmalee is secure enough in reading that she will fly through it. I’m hoping with the 100 Easy Lessons/Funnix instruction Winston will follow right along with her.
They are both helping to instruct baby sister in her daily lessons, teaching her the Alphabet and it’s sounds as well as counting, adding and subtracting. She absolutely loves the attention from them and it is helping them to become stronger in their own skills. Its a beautiful thing to watch your children learn and teach one another!
There is much to come for us. For now though, we must remain patient and let God continue his work in our life. Soon I will finish those half-written posts. Soon there will be many reviews coming from me from various places. For now though, we are just enjoying our Lambert Life.