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Although I wasn’t homeschooled, I knew fairly early that I wanted to homeschool. I planned and read and researched. I decided to wait and start with kindergarten when Caeden had just turned 5. Logan did preschool at 3 because he wanted to be involved, and because he was ready to learn.
Like many new homeschoolers, I had big plans. We were going to be laid back and it was going to be fun. I was going to follow a Letter of the Week style of learning our ABC’s. We would do fun things while learning our letters. We would immerse ourselves in a new letter each week–we would learn the uppercase, the lowercase, the sound, words that begin with it, etc. We would write the letters with sidewalk chalk, modeling clay, and shaving cream. We would fashion them out of popsicle sticks and cut up straw pieces, and we’d do lacing activities and scavenger hunts. Oh yeah, we might as well learn the sign for each letter as well.
And in the process, they would have no choice but to get those letters ingrained into their little minds. It was a great plan. And it works for many people.
But what I didn’t know at the time is that my little kindergartner has some challenges.
We would review each week, and then push on. By the time we got to “H,” he still didn’t really know “A.” He could only review if I pointed to the letters in order, because he did know the ABC song, but he could only recognize a few letters otherwise.
I beat myself up. I questioned my choice to homeschool, wondering if I was cheating him. Maybe he’d be better off in public school. But then I looked at my 3-year-old who was learning all the letters, and it didn’t make sense that I was the sole problem. But maybe my tactic was. I had to try a different method.
In researching, I discovered All About Reading from All About Learning Press. I had been trying to do it alone, but I decided that maybe I needed some help, maybe I should go with the experts on something so important as reading, since I have a struggling learner.
All About Reading provided us with a kit for review. They gave us a new approach to learning letters.
Since we were behind, I started with the pre-reading curriculum. From the beginning, it was a better approach for my struggling son. With my letter-of-the-week approach, he was completely overwhelmed trying to learn the uppercase, lowercase, sound, sign, etc. all at once. With All About Reading, the approach is completely different. First, you cycle through the alphabet learning uppercase letters, then again learning lowercase letters, and again focusing on sounds. The pace, although faster in some ways is much more manageable in others, because they are only learning one thing at a time, and that made all the difference for Caeden.
There are a couple other things that this program helped us with as well, but I’ll share those next week in my full review of this program. For now, I just wanted to share how the program, with a new approach helped us turn around our school year.
Here is a little sneak peek of us playing with Ziggy the Zebra. Love that smile on my 5 year old’s face :)
One of the most important things I learned this school year was the need for flexibility. I really already knew this, but everything about this school year solidified it. I’m so glad for the encouragement I’ve received in the process though. Because no matter how hard it seems, and how much things aren’t working, there is always another avenue. Another method, another tactic. And we will keep on trying, until we find what works.
So, next week be watching for my full review of the All About Reading, pre-reading program, along with a chance to win the deluxe pre-reading package, as well!