This past summer I wrote a series called Early Grammar Stage Focus. In it, I took a close look at the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10 from Trivium Pursuit and challenged myself to do better in the areas that they highlight. It is been a few months, and school is in full swing, so I want to check back in and see how I have done in each of the areas. Each week I will re-visit one of the 10 topics, so come back next week for more!
You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.
The first thing the article says to do is teach your child to read. I won't go into detail like I did in my first post on the subject, but to sum it up, they stress learning via a phonics based program, starting an English Language Notebook, and using copywork to teach and reenforce. We were already well on our way in these areas, but I did write down some goals that I wanted to aim for in the new school year...
- Start an English Language Notebook for Mackenzie
- Expand sources of copywork for Trevor
- Compile Trevor's work into a binder instead of being loose in a file folder.
I was a little nervous as I sat down to write this, because I honestly hadn't taken the time to see what my goals had been at the beginning of the year (though they were swimming around in the back of my head.) Much to my surprise and delight we have been doing each of these three things!
Goal #1 - Start an English Language Notebook for Mackenzie. This sounds really formal for a two year old, but it's not =) We have mostly been using the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler. When we finish each day's papers, I put them up on a cork board for her to see and review. Then at the end of the week, I hole punch them and put them into a binder. I have not been active in flipping through the binder with her (good reminder for me!) but theoretically, we would flip through her previous work each week so she can remember the past letters and numbers that she has learned. Of course this would look different for an older child, but I think it's just right for her.
Goal #2 - Expand sources of copywork for Trevor. I have planned ahead each week to have copywork ready for Trevor. It is part of our daily routine and he is learning to do it diligently. We always copy whatever it is we are memorizing that week, whether it be a Bible verse or a poem. Also, he has copied pieces from McGuffey's First Reader and Primary Language Lessons. I am very happy with how it is going, and will be sure to continue to include a variety of sources of writing for copywork in the future.
Goal #3 - Compile Trevor's work into a binder instead of having it be loose in a file folder. I have two binders going this year for Trevor. The first is our history binder. In it we will have his timeline (which is currently on the wall), any activities that we do related to history (that can be recorded on a paper), and any copywork that he does that is related to our history studies. The other binder we have is for Language Arts/Fine Arts. Here we put the rest of his copywork along with any art type things he does.
What do you think? Do you do any of these things with your child? Trevor is reading better and better each day. I am so proud of him and the confidence he is gaining in his ability to read. If you do not teach your children using a phonics based method, I really encourage you to look into it! My favorite resource is The Writing Road to Reading if you want a place to start.
I'd love to know what you are working on this year and how reading and writing is going with your children!