Today was a surprisingly productive day. Luca and I managed to squeeze in quite a bit, even though we got a late start of it. We were out until after noon and it seemed like that was going to keep us from having a terribly productive day, but I was wrong.
The first thing we did when we got home was lunch, which Luca wanted to have while working on the computer. We were working on the “L” sound with lunch. Is it supposed to be /l/ sound? I don’t know. Some books have the sound written out that way. Anyhow, we did that with lunch, so we had letters with lunch today. Luca loved it and kept going with his work for quite some time.
We even printed out some pages and wrote in parts of the story. Luca doesn’t know how to write very well, so I guided Luca’s hand and we wrote the words together. I think we might move on to copy work at some point because Luca is pretty competent when it comes to writing the letters, but doesn’t know the spelling, nor can Luca come up with what the letters look like if I tell Luca what letter to put. But Luca likes writing with his pictures. I think that’s the most exciting part. I think we may have to do more picture story types of things in the future. Copy work might just be the way to get Luca comfortable with letters and writing, so long as Luca still wants to write. Before long Luca will be writing full stories independently. That’ll be a change from the other kids that don’t like to write!
After we did the storytelling we put together a picture to go on Luca’s portfolio. Luca picked out the font, the color, and the picture to go on the front. I know Luca is technically preschool age, but a lot of the work we’re doing is kindergarten level work, so I just put kindergarten on the cover. Technically we don’t need to report anything until Luca is age 6, which would be going into first grade, so it doesn’t matter what’s on the portfolio now. Nor does it really matter what’s in the portfolio. I just want to get into good habits. Besides, it might be fun for Luca to look back on the work he’s done in a year to see how much further he’s come.
Before long I’m going to be doing these up for all of the kids. I’m really excited about that. I think we’re going to start with half inch binders and whatever we can get to fit is what will go in. We may find we need larger portfolios, but I figure one attendance entry each week leads to 52 pages, or 26 sheets, and that’s if we don’t take any breaks in the year (which we undoubtedly will). We’ll also probably have one to two entries each week, so that results in maybe 52 more sheets. If that turns out to be too much we can tweak and modify. Either that or I can get larger portfolios and the smaller ones can be used for other things. I’m flexible where that’s concerned.
Finally we busted out the kindergarten level of Primary Phonics. I’m glad I had the teacher’s guide to that one because I wasn’t entirely sure what I was supposed to do with it. I never would have guessed the directions from simply looking at the page. Luca really liked doing the work because it was simple enough, and saying the letter sounds turned out to be pretty enjoyable for Luca. Getting the letter sounds down will be pretty helpful as we move into reading.
I’m really happy with how Luca’s learning is progressing. I was worried that pushing Luca into Kindergarten work would be too hard for Luca, and that perhaps it wasn’t wise to push for too much too soon, but Luca seems to be loving it. I’m not sure if we’re going to continue to do kindergarten next year or if we’re just going to boldly push on the first grade. With programs like Primary Phonics and Explode the Code, I guess it doesn’t really matter. Once we get Math U See, I don’t think that will matter much either. We can just keep working through until all the lessons are completed and it’s time for the next set. Since Luca is happy with this kind of work, I don’t see why we’d change it up, even if it doesn’t seem the most “unschool” of us. If Luca likes the work, then why not?
As an update, I’ve decided to give the kids one more week in school. Sander wants to continue to go to school until his last day falls on a Friday. He likes Friday because he has gym. A.J. wants his last day to fall on a Monday, that way he gets in one last art class. Corde wants to give it another week or two until she can figure out if she can still participate in after school activities at her school. We have an option for transportation both ways (via bus) so that shouldn’t be a problem. I just don’t know if the school will let her participate. I’d heard that homeschool kids can still play team sports and other things with the school, so I don’t understand why school clubs would be an exception. She’d only really get to participate until the end of the year when everyone goes to high school anyway. More than anything she wants a chance to get her friend’s numbers before she leaves school, that way she doesn’t lose touch with anyone. I can’t blame her there.
It’s been a really productive day. For that matter, it’s been a productive week. Even with taking a day off, Luca has already logged over 5 hours on the computer and a little extra with writing. I’m pretty happy with Luca’s progress this week. Of course, that’s going to get tricky when I have four kids home and they all want to work on the computer, but we’ll work it out. Corde has a second hand laptop that needs an additional keyboard (the one on hers is broken) and Oz has my old laptop, which the kids can use. That should be able to get three of them working at once. We have Starfall on the tablet, so that should help with some of the arguing over who gets to do online schooling when. Corde can also do her writing on the computer that way. She’s going to be starting a blog for her fan fictions and another for her homeschooling (which links will be provided when they exist), so having access to a computer without having to fight with someone else for it will be really important for her.