Happy Back to School Season! I think everyone I know is officially back in school! We started our homeschool last week. Over the summer we had done almost daily reading lessons and saw some serious struggles in Blu. While he is two young to diagnose anything he shows several markers of dyslexia. It may go away as he learns more, but we are also preparing our selves for a future diagnosis. We agreed that while we love unschooling, and it was working on most subjects (seriously, as him almost anything about animals, or just let him wow you with random educated announcements) we knew he’d need help on some more serious subjects.He also has a habit of purposing avoiding anything difficult. With he speech issue if he couldn’t say a word, instead of practicing he’d start the sentence over with a whole new word!
So we know that it wouldn’t do him any favors to wait and then find out that he has a problem. The sooner you get help the more it actually helps. If we kept unschooling and he still couldn’t read at 10, 11, 12, 15, it would be that much harder to help him learn to cope with any issues he has. Which is exactly why I didn’t expect unshooling to work for us. It WAS very good and helpful to just relax for a year and really see some good effects of unschooling, and also just to relax a bit about school in general.
After we decided to “do school” things got stressful. First, we were planning to use a boxed curriculum from Winter Promise, then I was going to use Galloping the Globe, (bought the main book and everything.) Then I was going to make a curriculum from scratch, AND THEN I decided to do Charlotte Mason, a style I have loved, identified with, and respected for years.
We are using a free curriculum found online called Higher Up and Further In, minus the bible resources. The website has lots of great articles about truly implementing Charlotte Mason as well as a tab at the top for the free curriculum, and there is a Yahoo group for support. We are modifying it some, because I promised Blu a focus on animals and nature. So instead of some of the suggested work I am using animal work instead.
So far it is having overwhelming results!!!! We had been stuck on step one of a Orton Gillingham reading method for years. We did a phonics program that died a horrible death, and it’s a really popular, really good one. And then after weeks of daily practice with Dick and Jane Blu still struggled through every word, but with the method Charlotte suggests he can read “Elephants” on sight!" And he knows “walking, the, trails.” He has some other words he is getting, but isn’t 100% on. On some subjects it’s like his mind is a trap that can only hold so many things. He can remember what he ate for dinner at a restaurant 3 years ago on vacation, but starts to struggle once more than 5 words are in his mind. Seriously?!?!?!?!??!
I started last week with a slow approach, just 3 subjects Monday, and then expanded with one new subject a day. We also did some first day of school celebrations, including a German school cone!
I can’t take pictures of our reading lessons, or schoolwork, because we REALLY need to have NO distractions if we want to get through our day. I don’t even answer the phone, and have told people not to call before lunch. I will post soon about our daily schedules, and what we do for reading lessons! Stay tuned!
I’d love to hear about how your year started out in the comments below!