Thursday, August 15, 2013

gearing up and slowing down

Every week for the past month I have looked over the office supply store ad and circled super deals such as notebook paper and tissues for $0.01 each. My schoolroom now has stacks of supplies for each older child according to their (demands) list sent out by their schools. I guess I didn't realize how cheap homeschooling is until I was attempting to find every item needed and ended up spending hundreds of dollars on double sided tape, specially colored binders, and colored 4x6 index cards. We always just used cheap notebooks, dollar store pencils, and Crayola thin markers on sale at Walmart for $1. So, while the older ones are getting ready to start school, my youngest son has been doing schoolwork all summer....  

Late on Friday afternoon I called the counseling department of Seton, the homeschool curriculum we use. "I need some reassurance that I am doing the right thing by cutting back with my 5th child." I explained that Timmy had just turned 7 and was reading one painful word at a time. "Words like 'and', 'this', 'some', and 'know' take at least a minute to figure out. I'm getting a headache every day from banging my head against the wall in frustration!" I told the lady that my older boys also had a tough and long road on their way to reading prowess, and that Timmy had sort of fallen through the cracks in the past due to me having to spend so much time with the older children's schooling. "This past year was good, he has made a lot of progress, but it seems to be one step forward 3 steps back, some weeks."

She definitely agreed that he was young to be going into 2nd grade and the benefit of homeschooling was that the child can progress at his own rate. "Don't push it," she said. So I put away the reader and over the past week we have done 1 page of math, 2 pages of phonics, and 1 spelling lesson each day. His attitude has improved and the reading aloud he does do for phonics is faster and more confident than before. We will finish these three subjects before going back to the Faith and Freedom readers (a Catholic version of Dick and Jane). I will start some 2nd grade subjects in a few weeks, but not enroll him until he is completely finished with everything from this year. It doesn't matter how long it takes him to learn to read and subtract properly as long as he does get them eventually with as few tears shed as possible.   

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