Since we are currently business owners without a business we have been utilizing the divide and conquer strategy for home school. While I usually pick out what the kids will be learning for the week, Darin has been teaching Tyson and I have been teaching Jori. For the first month or so, I thought I definitely had chosen the easier child to teach, but lately I am not feeling nearly as smug! Although our sweet girl is usually a joy to work with and really has a good head for learning, she also has a stubborn streak a mile wide. If she decides that she is not into school on a particular day there is really not a thing I can do to change her mind. I can threaten, plead, encourage, bribe, and try to reason with her (“If you were in a real school you would have to sit and listen right now…”), but I cannot make her do much of anything when she is in stubborn mode.
I have been sticking to the basics with Jori. We have a math workbook that Tyson’s 1st grade teacher, Mrs. G, found for us. It is the same workbook that she would be using if she was going to school in Hudsonville. We do a lot of reading. Thankfully my parents were able to bring us a lot of books for a beginning reader, so Jori has been happy to have new things to read each week. Jori finished one Handwriting without Tears book and has moved on to the next level. I really want her to learn proper handwriting techniques now so she doesn’t end up with sloppy handwriting like her Papa John and her own dear mother.
Since mid-October, Jori has been writing short stories and reports. I am so glad I decided to have her do this as I think it is a great learning tool and I just love to read what she writes. This week Jori wrote a report about the house where we are house/cat sitting at for the month of December. She did all of the writing on Monday and Tuesday and then this morning we looked over her report together and talked about some words that were missing vowels and did some other spelling corrections. Here are both versions of her report:
We aro at gipsinv (Gibsons). We hav a cat. The cats nam is Tabitha. I luve hr. She skraj me. We have a chramp. I lik jump hiy. We have a pol I luve to jmp in the pol. We have a teve. We have kak bos on are teve and man vrsis wilthe.
We are at gipsins. We hav a cat. The cats name is Tabitha. I love her. She scrach me. We have a tramp. I like to jump hiy. We have a pol I love to jump in the pol. We have a teve. We have kayk bos on are teve and man versis wild.
When I review things with Jori, I really try to keep in mind that she is 5 years old and cannot be expected to know all the different spelling and grammar rules. This helps me to focus on things that I feel she can do better at, like making sure that words like “jump” and “her” have vowels in them, and that the “sss” sound is made by an “s” and not a “v”. (As an aside, if there is anyone out there that can explain to me why she uses a “v” for the “sss” sound, I would really appreciate it! I don’t know if it’s the vibration sound of the letter or what, but I just don’t get it. If she was using the letter “z” instead, I would totally get it, but “v”, not so much.)
I am so proud of Jori and all of her hard work. Even though I still feel totally ill-equipped to be teaching her and often worry that she is going to be way behind her peers, I totally love seeing her learn new things.