On September 3 or 4th…or somewhere around there of 1995, I started home schooling for the first time, with my then 4.5 year old son, while his younger sister joined in the fun. It was pre-school and it wasn’t too formal, but it was structured. I began with morning prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance and a song….We did math, reading, art and geography (states & capitals songs). My favorite $14.95 piece of curriculum was Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. And it absolutely taught him to read! It bedazzled his grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends. He was reading really quite well by that December. So when he turned 5 in February of that winter he could read small books. 100EZ lessons was the best curriculum purchase I had ever made; I used the book through three other children, so what a huge return on a very small investment. Thank you Timberdoodle, for your description of this fine resource. Sure, I picked up the idea from Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, but I fell in love Timberdoodle’s educational items. We purchased many of them and I very much enjoyed those early years of home education with my little brood.
Teaching a four year old to read was one of the best educational endeavors I could pursue in our home. And I am a convinced advocate of early reading whenever possible. Getting them up and running with reading opened an incredible door to their own self satisfaction and learning capabilities. I taught all my children by at least age 4 – 4.5 to read; the exception being my autistic spectrum child, who in fact, taught himself to read by that age on his own, much to our amazement. And he got it right! I took him through Teach Your Child to Read, just in case it wasn’t true and he hadn’t learned correctly, but boy, had he!
*Just a tip: Teach your child letter/alphabet recognition through fun games and DVDs, etc., and some activity materials….then dive into Teach Your Child to Read. If after a substantial time of using it, you find they are not “getting it”, you might need to go a different course, which would be learning about decoding more first….100 EZ does give decoding/phonics, but not as fully as some other programs, like All About Reading, or the famous Writing Road to Reading (a full language arts curriculum, covering writing, recognition, decoding phonograms, spelling rules, etc.) Our system is to get them up and reading with 100EZ, and continue to build reading and decoding skills then implementing Writing Road to Reading.
Reflecting back on one of the hallmarks of our home education is so delightful today as we continue our 18th year of home education. This week is Orientation week for my children; an individual meeting with the children and their respective curriculum resources and courses for the year. I will have them look over their books, do a sample lesson in some cases, and review what is expected.
The next two weeks for us are very busy indeed, but by the middle of September we should be in a regular routine of how we will be progressing through the year ahead.
Best wishes and blessings to all my home school friends who are beginning their schools at home also this week!! May God see you through the tough moments with added grace, and give you those awesome hallmark moments you can look back on with great sweetness and gratefulness.