Starting School with Helen

I guess the title of this post isn't exactly accurate. It's not like I STARTED school with Helen this fall. I've been teaching her since she was born. She could recognize many of her letters when she was 2. She started counting when she was 18 months. So in reality she's been learning her whole life.

But I didn't start doing a structured school day with her until this fall. I wanted to make sure that she was ready for kindergarten next year, so I set myself some goals to achieve.

I'm not going to lie: it's been a challenge at times. Teaching can be very frustrating. But seeing the progress that Helen has made already makes it all worth while. And she loves doing school.

Here's what our school routine looks like:
Even though I think that the academic side of school is very important, I think it's also important to teach kids about routines and working. So we start our day with cleaning the kitchen, getting dressed, doing hair, brushing teeth, etc. I think it helps kids learn if their day is orderly. 

After James is down for his nap, we get to work on the book learning. First we read a Bible story and recite memory verses, then we work on letters, art, and numbers. Then I read out loud to her from a chapter book (so far we've read Ellen Tebbits, Muggie Maggie, The Hundred Dresses, and now we're reading Little House in the Big Woods). 

It's a simple routine, which I like. We are well on our way to meeting our goals before the school year is over.

Here are some snapshots of what Helen's been learning:

Hands down, art is her favorite. Here she was learning to draw flowers.

Here she was drawing a pumpkin.

We also did leaf rubbings. So fun!

Helen wrote everything in green. She wrote most of these letters just by hearing the sounds they make. I'm so proud of her!

One thing that surprised me is that Helen LOVES math. She loves it when I give her addition problems. She either counts on her fingers, or uses an abacus. I'm so happy that she ENJOYS learning!

It's exciting to see Helen's curious little mind expand. I can't wait to see what we can accomplish the rest of the school year!

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