Warning: this blog post is full of praise towards Sophie's homeschool accomplishments from the heart of her very proud teacher and mama. My intention is for this to serve as some kind of progress report so I can remember this first 3 months of homeschooling.
I am so proud of Sophie!!! She is officially reading up to 4 letter words and is able to sound out some larger ones too. She can read beginner books on her own and I know she is amazed by her own accomplishments. Sophie's writing skills have greatly improved as well and she is finally confident using all her lowercase letters and even writing short sentences. Kindergarten level math was a breeze for her and she is quickly advancing through 1st grade math now. She counts and writes numbers up to 100 one number at a time and by tens, knows the value of coin money and how to add it together, and is excelling in addition and subtraction without the use of visual aids. I can see where her strength is going to be! It is so exciting to watch Sophie learn and make these important connections.
Sophie still needs some improvement with her handwriting as she tends to become sloppy or write a few letters or numbers backwards when she gets tired and when she tries to go too fast, but she is really working on taking her time and focusing.
I have to admit that I was very nervous to take on the responsibility of homeschooling. It was rough in the beginning as we both struggled through frustrations, but I am finally able to see some of the fruits of this labor. There are still days when Sophie grumbles about doing school work, but that just challenges me to be more creative in how I present the information. Sophie does not learn well under the "traditional" model so I am glad that I am able to help her learn according to how her brain processes things.
Art is still her favorite "subject" and the detail in her drawings really amazes me. She is also learning how to play the piano and is able to figure out simple songs by ear. I will definitely continue to nurture her love and skill in creative arts.
I have noticed a change in attitude in Sophie as well. She helps out without being asked and has shown real maturity in her compassion towards others and her desire to give. It is hard to stay calm when her little sister has just torn apart something special, but Sophie has been very understanding and loving about these things. Sophie is learning a lot about God's Word and His character as well and she has memorized a few scripture verses along the way. I know this is why her attitude and behavior have made such positive changes.
Sophie does seem to be closer to tears than usual and is expressing a lot of emotion. I was talking to a couple of other moms of 6 or near 6 year old girls and they described some of the same behaviors as I am seeing in Sophie. She is just so sensitive right now. The other day she found out that the Bear Rock Cafe at Cary Crossroads is closed and moving locations and she cried because this was her favorite place to eat lunch with her "partner" Clinty on his lunch breaks from work. She also gets really whiny and tearful when she is tired or hungry which reflects her behavior from back when she was 2 or 3 years old. I am thinking this must be something developmental, but I haven't really researched it yet.
Ok. I think I am done with the first unofficial progress report from our first quarter of homeschool. I am looking forward to this next quarter and hoping that we are able to stay on track with the addition of another baby coming soon!