Sam is doing really well with homeschooling. He is so smart (which I knew because I'm his mom, and of course, I am biased!). No really, though, I am so impressed with God's design of the brain. Sam is soaking up so much in a short period of time. Because I did the Beginning Reading from Hooked on Phonics with him prior to starting school, the entire first semester of his phonics curriculum has been review (with the exception of a couple of lessons on sentences).
Sam finished that first semester of phonics LAST week. We reviewed what was necessary and flew through the rest. We are finally slowing down now that we have made it to long vowels. I would be thrilled if he finishes the phonics curriculum by Christmas (or before the boys arrive, whichever comes first), and then he can just READ, READ, READ!!!
As for math, we aren't going quite as fast, but it has been really neat to see him learn. I am discovering what is hard for him and easy for him. I am also discovering what kind of approach I prefer. He loves real-life application. He's not content counting manipulatives (though he does), he really wants to do something that is REAL. We have made toast together, used the computer together, and I've noticed how much more quickly he learns by doing. It is so neat to see him in this new light.
Handwriting is fine--he does fine on his worksheets, but he forgets to apply what he's learned while drawing for fun. I suppose it will translate eventually. Other people experience this? We're doing Handwriting Without Tears, if you didn't know.
He has memorized seven verses so far! I am so encouraged. I am re-memorizing them with him. One day, I noticed Maryn was learning them too, just by listening to Sam recite them. So great!
Maryn is almost finished with the Beginning Reading Hooked on Phonics. I ordered some books for her to give her something to do for awhile. I got the Bob Books and the Now I'm Reading books. She has shocked me with how quickly she has picked up reading. She is not as proficient as Sam yet, but she will be in no time, I'm sure. I wanted to get him really comfortable with long vowels before I go any further with her. I am not ready for her to catch up with him yet!
I am really amazed and encouraged by my experience so far. My kids are learning so much in an hour a day. I am thankful for this opportunity. I am loving my time with them, watching them grow and learning more about who they are. They are a joy and a blessing.
By the way, Lucy will watch a Backyardigans Sing-A-Long DVD, and that has helped immensely! I've also found that snacks help keep her occupied as well!