Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Middle Child...

I don't know about anyone else, but I see the "middle child syndrome" occurring in a homeschool situation as well as in regular family life. I spend a lot of time thinking about what to do with Gene (now getting closer to 7), especially since I have not been trained in Montessori for the elementary child. My sister just gave me all her albums and materials, as she is no longer planning to teach, but I don't know when I'll have a chance to look at them. It is so exciting to teach him, leading him in new directions. He takes a bit of prompting to be swayed off his beaten path (generally he is interested in only a handful of activities and would be satisfied to stick with them)...for example, he is finally showing interest in the piano (we have had one in our house for over a year now). He is playing every day, and has learned to play all the major scales and is trying to figure out some of the sharp scales (C sharp major, etc). He is really interested, and is getting good fast.

Jane is almost 3 (in a couple months) and has about mastered her numbers. She is beginning to learn letter sounds, we're playing the I Spy game from Gettman (I think she's in stage 3 or 4, but I'm not looking at the book) and this is also a very exciting stage of life. I LOVE to teach reading, and she is on her way:)

Lucy, at almost 5 (4 months away) is doing great as well. She is becoming a bookworm, and is challenging herself with the books she chooses. For instance, I began reading chapter books to her about a month ago, and began with Chocolate Fever. I let Gene borrow it when we were done, and he left it in the car. She picked it up and began reading, and made it through the whole book by herself! She reads a few books every day, but is now at a stage that doesn't require a whole lot of work from a teacher's point of view. All she has to do is keep on reading, and she'll pick up more and more through the books. She is also quite interested in art, and often amazes me with what she creates. She mostly uses paper, scissors, tape, and various coloring tools. I guess because that's what is available most often.

I realize once in a while that I am not really teaching her anything. She picks up a lot, and seems generally satisfied with her lot in life, but I think she would really appreciate a little time and attention with her schooling:) What I want to do is teach her to write. She knows all the uppercase letters (how is it that they always learn those on their own!) but we'll work on the lowercase. I'd like her to know them by the end of the summer...and I'm just devising a lot of different ways to teach her. I think she'll progress with flying colors, and should know them all soon. 26 letters...about 60 days of summer left...

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