Monday, August 4, 2008

Back to School

Today was our first day back to school. Everyone did very well, including Noah. The older boys worked on writing and reading while I worked with the youngers on their stuff. All in all, we actually got enough done to have it count as a school day.

Noah is going to be especially rewarding to work with this year. He has several speech impediments that we have been working on for years. He can't get the "s" sound at the beginning of a word; he uses the "h" sound. It's the same with the "f" sound. His "v" sound is like "b". I am using a mirror so he can look at me and himself at the same time to see what I am doing with my teeth and lips, and hopefully in the future, he will be able to do the same. I am using the "Phonics Pathways" book with him. He can read very well, but I'm more interested in getting the sounds correct at this stage. We also worked on handwriting. He still holds his pencil in a fist grip. I am working on getting him to hold the pencil correctly and to make straight, strong lines up and down. We will then move on the diagonal lines, then circles. Eventually we will get to letters. The other kids didn't need to start at square one, so this is a challenge and a joy.

Because our finances are very tight, I am using spelling lists that I have found online for the kids this year. They are certainly capable of looking up words in the dictionary, writing a paraphrased definition and writing a sentence. They are also going to be doing more independent reading because I don't feel like investing in a reading program that I think looks great, but that they hate. I have found a few resources for book report forms for age appropriate literature, so I think that should prove to our school district that they know how to read, and can interpret what they read. I will have to buy a science book, but that isn't too expensive. Both of the older boys will use the same book this year.

I find it interesting that our homeschooling rules state that all children have to show that they have done 180 days of work in 11 subjects, but the public school doesn't teach most of the subjects at all. Somehow, I have to prove that a learning delayed 8 year old has had meaningful instruction in social studies and science. I talked to a special ed teacher about this, and she said that I should just take him to different stores and places like the post office to see what sorts of different jobs people do. She also suggested that because we live on a farm, our science program was kind of self-explanatory. That made me feel better, and made my life a whole lot easier.

So, we are off to the races for another year. Please keep me and the gang in your prayers!