Thursday, September 30, 2010

Learning Notes::Wk1:2010

It took us a while to get over summer and vacation and such and get back to school. Most of the summer we have played with school now and then but come fall it seems like it's time to get down to the business of 1st grade.

Learning Our Faith:
  • We continued to learn the catechism by heart. John is pretty good at the 1st through 5th commandments and this week we added the 6th, there were some interesting signs to learn.
  • We read aloud First House and First Sin from A Child's Garden of Bible Stories.
Learning to Read - John is perhaps more interested in this than any other subject at this point and can often be found riding around in his chair with a book, looking through the pages and if asked tells us that he wants to learn to read big books like this, lately it's been Canterbury Tales.
  • Phonics from Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading we added K and L. Vowel recognition continues to be a struggle but he is getting better every time.
  • Phonemic Awareness - we are reading Rhyming books and while working on the poem Twinkle Twinkle Little Star we are emphasizing the rhyming words.
  • Dolch List - John is working on the green list and was able to actually read 7 words this week.
  • Teaching Reading with Children's Books - we have been rereading Here Comes the Cat and John has been working on spelling out 'here', 'comes' and 'cat' with his magnetic letters. John has also enjoyed Fox on the Box and I Want a Pet. We've repeated these enough though that we were both ready to see them go back to the library and as he progresses in Phonics I'm guessing that the importance of this aspect of his reading education will decrease.
Language Arts:
  • We did the first 2 lessons in First Language Lessons and John did great with all the new signs and the concepts, well there is plenty of time to work on them.
  • John continues to enjoy doing a page in his Handwriting Without Tears workbook. Writing is a huge challenge for him, but he continues to try and he loves doing it.
  • John is working on memorizing poems, he has Twinkle Twinkle Little Star pretty much down and he is getting better with BINGO.
  • Reading aloud is perhaps the biggest part of our school day and the part that all of us enjoy the most. This week we finished the third Magic Tree House book Knights at Dawn, started Stuart Little, and continued reading poems from Favorite Poems Old and New
  • I want to use Singapore Math 1st Grade and we will get there, but I realized that John has a problem with the concept of counting. This is frustrating because I have counted to him over and over through the years because I love math, then it dawned on me that I have counted to him and that he has not been counting. So right now we are working very hard on the concept of counting. This has some challenges as John is currently unable to make the signs for 6, 7 and 8 but by the end of the week he was rock solid on the amounts 1 through 3, with 4 and 5 being better, these are also the signs that he does the best and I think that goes hand in hand, no pun intended.
  • John LOVES music, loves it! So we have decided to start with some music appreciation and will eventually move into piano lessons too, but that has difficulties of it's own. This week we started reading Bach by Wheeler and Deucher and listening to Bach's music. John has enjoyed both the story and the music.
  • We will eventually move into Drawing With Children for this week John took the introductory art test again. The first time he took it several months back he had no understanding of putting a copy of the drawing in each block, this time the concept is there and a few of them he even got pretty well. We will continue to do the art test from time to time, at least once a week, until he has a little better mastery over it and then dive into this book. He loves to draw and draws for me all the time and his drawing is getting to be more and more understandable so this is something that we are both looking forward to.
Therapy At Home
  • This is done all the time, John walks off and on through out the day and everything he does is helping to train and strengthen his fine and gross motor skills. This week we played with playdoh and clothespins intentionally, the rest just comes as a consequence of life.

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